When I was a teenager I worked at a lovely little cafe that served the best homemade cakes in town. My favourite was the Lumberjack. Think: rich, sticky caramel-y taste with apple, dates and toasted coconut on top! So delicious! I have re-created the Lumberjack cake with a healthy twist by using spelt flour and relying on the fresh dates to naturally sweeten it. The caramel topping I have made is not only vegan and refined sugar free, it has many uses: try pouring it over freshly made banana nice-cream, with popcorn or added to any other dessert or cheesecake.
Recipe: Healthier Lumberjack Cake
1 cup medjool dates
½ cup water
½ tsp bicarb
1 tsp baking powder
2 tsp vanilla
2 tbsp coconut oil, melted
3 medium Beurre Bosc pears, finely chopped or blitzed in a blender
1 ½ cups spelt flour
Vegan Coconut Caramel
1 tbsp coconut oil
¼ cup coconut milk
½ cup coconut sugar
1 cup shredded coconut
Preheat oven to 180. Grease and line a tin with baking paper.
Chop up the dates and place in a saucepan with the water. Heat until just boiled and remove from the heat ad stir in 1/2 tsp bicarb soda.
Lightly mash the dates with a fork and leave to cool for 10 minutes.
In a separate bowl mix vanilla, eggs and oil.
Add in the flour, pear and the cooled date mixture and stir to combine.
Pour into the tin and cook for 50 minutes or until firm. (If you are making the mixture into smaller cakes, reduce the cooking time to 25 minutes).
For the caramel, place the oil, coconut sugar, coconut milk into a saucepan and bring to a slow boil until thick. Take off the heat and stir in the shredded coconut.
Once the cakes have cooked, place the caramel coconut on top of each and put back into the oven for 10-15 minutes or until browned.
Serve with Greek yoghurt, ricotta or mascarpone.
~ Jo Kate