Sticky pecan cake

 Serves 12 | Preparation time: 15 minutes | Cooking time: 1 hour

 This is American baking at its best. Packed with unrefined sugars, maple syrup, sweet cinnamon, juicy apples and crunchy pecans, this cake is topped with ruby apples and drenched in a buttery syrup…heaven!


140g (5oz) unsalted butter, melted, plus extra for greasing

200g (7oz) light muscovado sugar

150g (5½oz) pure maple syrup

1 tsp ground cinnamon

½ tsp ground cloves

½ tsp ground ginger

2 large eggs, beaten

2 tbsp milk

250g (9oz) plain flour

1½ tsp baking powder

½ tsp salt

2 red apples

250g (9oz) pecan nut halves, roasted and

chopped (see Tip on page 17)


For the glaze:

1 tbsp unsalted butter, melted

2 tbsp pure maple syrup



Preheat the oven to 180°C (fan 160°C)/350°F/gas mark 4.

Grease a 23cm (9in) diameter springform cake tin and line with baking paper.

 In a large bowl, mix the melted butter, sugar, syrup and spices together. Stir in the eggs and milk. Sift the flour, baking powder and salt together, then fold in until the mixture is well combined. Peel, core and dice 1 apple, then fold in.

 Spoon the mixture into the prepared tin. Core and dice the remaining apple, leaving the skin on. Scatter over the mixture with the pecans. Bake in the oven for 50 minutes.

 Meanwhile, mix the glaze ingredients together. Remove the cake from the oven, brush over the maple glaze, then return to the oven and continue to cook for another 10 minutes, or until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean.

Leave to cool in the tin for 15 minutes, then turn out on to a cooling rack to cool completely