Lumberjack Cake

My lovely Mum left a folder full of recipes she'd cut out from newspapers, magazines etc, and I was browsing through these and found this cake. It came from a series of recipes of cakes that were 'Old Fashioned'. It didn't say where the lumberjack comes into the picture!
  I had some dates that needed using, so instead of the usual sticky toffee cake or pudding I thought I'd give this recipe a try. It's not a great heavy cake for beefy men chopping down trees, although I'm sure they'd love it, it's an old fashioned apple and date cake with a yummy caramelised coconut topping.
Preheat oven 180C/gas4 and grease and line a 23cm springform tin.
Peel and finely chop 2 eating apples  - about 400g [ I used Granny Smiths] and put them in a bowl with 200g chopped dates, 1 tspn bicarb. and 250ml boiling water. Stir, then cover with clingfilm and leave till cooled.
Beat together 125g butter, 1 tspn vanilla extract and 210g caster sugar till thick, then beat in 1 large egg. Stir in 180g plain flour and the apple mixture [not including the water] and gently mix together. Spoon into the tin and bake for 45-50 mins.
While the cake's in the oven make the topping - put 60g butter, 125ml milk, 110g soft brown sugar and 60g dessicated coconut in a pan over a low heat and stir till the butter has melted and the sugar dissolved.
When the cake comes out of the oven after 45 mins, pour this mixture over the top, then put back in the oven and bake for a further 30 mins. Cool the cake in the tin.

This is a squishy, sticky, moist cake, none of your typical Victoria sandwich crumb here. It's probably better as a dessert, as it is almost like an apple and date pudding. Mum's recipe said to add the water that the apple and dates had been soaking in, but I didn't, and I'm glad or it would have been too moist.
I love the topping - a chewy layer which is a complete contrast to the moist texture of the cake. It's a sweet cake, and as I've already said, it would make a good pudd, or have a piece with your afternoon cuppa. The topping could be a useful standby for a tart topping. I'll certainly make this again.


Suelle said…
This sounds an intriguing combination of ingredients! I like toppings that are integral to the cake, rather than having to decorate afterwards.
That is the kind of cake that I remember from many years ago but the topping's a bit of a surprise. Sounds very tempting to me. I'd love to know where the name comes from.
Snowy said…
Phil, on the River Cottage site they say:

‘Elevenses’ lumberjack cake
As its name suggests, this favourite of the burly Canadian woodcutter is a hearty cake, full of fruity goodness. It’s just the thing to keep the wolf from the door when the hunger pangs kick in and lunchtime still seems hours away.

Still don't know why coconut?

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