Blackberry and apple cinnamon crumble cake

Part apple crumble, part gluten-free cake, this delicious bake from Henrietta Inman skillfully straddles the line between baked treat and comforting dessert – meaning you can eat it whenever you fancy! Serve without yoghurt for a fantastic vegan dessert.

First published in 2016

I love slicing this cake in front of friends, each piece revealing the white apple slices dyed by the purple blackberry juices, listening to the satisfied 'oohs' and 'aahs' as people delve into the three layers of crunchy crumble toppings, sweet fruit and deliciously gooey cake. It is warming, comforting, autumnal wholefood at its best.

There will be plenty of apple purée leftover, but this will keep well in the fridge for up to five days or can be frozen in batches if you prefer

Recipe and images extracted from Clean Cakes by Henrietta Inman, photography by Lisa Linder. Published by Jacqui Small (£20).




Crumble cake

Apple purée

  • 6 apples, such as Cox's, each weighing 120–140g

To serve


Preheat the oven to 180°C/gas mark 4
Begin by preparing the apple purée. Wash and dry the apples, then cut into quarters. Place on a baking tray and bake for 20–30 minutes, until soft
Remove from the oven and leave to cool, reserving any liquid in the tray, then transfer the apples and their juices to a blender and blitz to form a smooth, sweet purée
Preheat the oven to 170°C/gas mark 3.5. Line the bottom of an 18–20cm loose-bottomed cake tin with baking and grease the sides with a little oil
Place the walnuts on a baking tray and toast in the oven for 5–8 minutes until beginning to colour. Leave to cool, then weigh out 80g and finely chop. Set the remaining walnuts aside
Combine the milled flax seeds with the water and leave for 15 minutes to form a gel, stirring occasionally
In a large bowl, mix together the finely chopped walnuts, ground almonds, chestnut flour, cinnamon, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda, salt and lemon zest. Make a well in the centre and add the flax gel, maple syrup, vanilla extract, oil and 60g of the apple purée. Mix well until combined
Divide the mixture equally in two, placing half in the cake tin. Spread it out evenly with a palette knife to form a 1cm layer. Peel, core and thinly slice the apples and spread them over the cake mix, overlapping them in a circle
Scatter the blackberries over the apple slices and top the fruit with the rest of the cake mix. The mix will be sticky so use your fingers to dab small bits of the mix over the blackberries (it doesn't matter if some berries are still showing, but try to cover most of them)
Sprinkle the remaining walnuts over the top of the cake, breaking them roughly between your fingers as you do so. Press them into the cake mix slightly. Bake for around 30 minutes, rotating the tin halfway through baking
If the top is looking a bit dark, turn down the oven to 160°C/gas mark 2.5 for the last 10–15 minutes. It is ready when the top is firm to touch and a rich golden brown, the nuts will be well toasted and a skewer inserted into the centre of the cake comes out almost clean
Serve warm with an extra dusting of cinnamon or mesquite if you like and natural yoghurt. This is best eaten fresh but will keep for up to five days in a sealed container in the fridge

Henrietta Inman trained as a pastry chef, working at the Lanesborough Hotel, London, among other prestigious restaurants and hotels. Now living in rural Suffolk she runs Henrietta Inman Pâtisserie alongside supplying festivals, pop ups and farmers' markets and running regular cookery classes.

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