This is a delightfully moist, light cake awash with spices. It is very easy and swift to make and perfect as an afternoon treat with a cup of tea.






Skill level

Average: 3.6 (95 votes)


  • 3 small unpeeled Granny Smiths, grated
  • 60 ml lemon juice
  • 200 g brown sugar
  • 2 tsp mixed sweet spices (see Note)
  • 1 tsp river salt
  • 260 g sheep’s milk yoghurt (see Note)
  • 110 ml strong, spicy extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 eggs
  • lemon, finely zested
  • 250 g self-raising flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • cream or ice-cream, to serve

Cook's notes

Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.


Preheat oven to 150°C

Grate the apples and quickly place in a bowl with the lemon juice. Mix well to combine and set aside.

In a small mixing bowl, using your fingers, combine the brown sugar, spice mixture and salt. Set aside. 

In a large mixing bowl whisk together the yoghurt, olive oil, eggs and lemon zest. Squeeze out two-thirds of the grated apple, discarding any liquid, and use a spatula to mix apple into the yoghurt mixture.

Into this batter, fold two-thirds of the spiced sugar, the flour and baking powder. Once it is nicely amalgamated, spoon this batter into a lined 26 cm springform cake tin.

Squeeze out the remaining apple, discarding any liquid, and spread apple more or less evenly over the top of the cake. Use your fingertips to lightly press bits of it into the batter. Sprinkle remaining spiced sugar over the cake, lightly pressing bits of it into the batter.

Bake for 30–35 minutes or until a skewer inserted comes out clean.

Allow it to cool until warm. Serve with cream or ice-cream. Cake will store airtight for a good few days.



• For the spice mixture use cardamom, star anise or anise, fennel seeds, clove, nutmeg and black pepper. Do feel free to fiddle with your spice mix according to your taste.

• You can substitute with any other good thick yoghurt.


Photography by Sharyn Cairns. Styling by Deborah Kaloper. Food preparation by Emma Warren. Creative concept by Lou Fay.


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This recipe is part of The Seasonal Cook: Apple column.

View previous The Seasonal Cook columns and recipes.