A healthy twist on apple and spice cake

Everyone will enjoy this tasty afternoon tea treat. Source: Getty Images.

The daily ritual of an afternoon tea with a side of something sweet is so popular and beloved that choosing which treat to bake can be difficult thanks to the hundreds of recipes out there to choose from. However, this sugar-free cake is definitely one of the best options for those who are looking to enjoy something slightly healthier but that still has that same addictive taste. Rather than adding sugar, this easy recipe uses the natural sweetness of dried figs to achieve the same delicious taste as the everyday cake. While this teacake is perfect on its own, you can also try serving it up with a spoonful of vanilla-flavoured yoghurt or a bit of cream to help complement the tasty natural flavour. Enjoy!


  • 250g dried figs
  • 5 pink lady apples (750g), peeled, cored, thinly sliced
  • 200g butter, at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups self-raising flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon mixed spice


  1. Place figs in a heatproof bowl. Pour boiling water over the top. Let stand for 1 hour to soften. Carefully drain the liquid into a large saucepan. Add apples to the fig-soaking liquid. Bring to the boil. Simmer, covered, for 3-4 minutes or until the apple is tender but still holds its shape. Strain over a bowl to catch the liquid. Transfer apples to a large plate to cool. Add figs to process. Process until they become a puree.
  2. Preheat oven to 180C. Grease and line the base and sides of a 21cm springform pan with baking paper.
  3. Use an electric mixer with paddle attachment to beat butter, fig puree and vanilla together until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs, 1 at a time, until combined. Sift over flour and mixed spice. Add 2/3 cup apple cooking liquid. Stir until combined.
  4. Reserve enough apple slices to cover the top of the cake. Spoon 1/3 of the batter into the prepared pan. Top with half of the remaining apple slices. Cover with 1/3 of batter. Top with the remaining half of the apple slices. Cover with remaining batter. Arrange the remaining apple slices on top of the cake. Bake for 1 hour 10 minutes or until a skewer inserted in the centre comes out clean. Stand cake for 5 minutes in pan. Remove the sides of the pan and serve.


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