Looking for a Lumberjack cake recipe? What even is a lumberjack cake? It’s an old-fashioned squidgy apple and date cake with a caramelised coconut topping. When baked, the cake part is a sticky marriage of apple pieces and dates. It’s almost like a pudding so don’t be expecting your typical fluffy cake crumb here. My favourite part is the caramelised topping of brown sugar, butter and coconut. When baked it turns into a sweet chewy layer of awesome, helping to break up the squishy texture of the cake part. It’s a pretty sweet cake, so have a cup of tea on stand-by.


(VIDEO – recipe below)


Serves 8-12 people        Difficulty: Easy


·      23cm (9 in) Springform cake tin (tin must have removable base)

·      Medium bowl

·      Oven thermometer

·      Large bowl

·      Kitchen timer

·      Kitchen scales

·      Spatula

·      Hand mixer / electric mixer

·      Small saucepan



·      2 Green Apples, peeled, finely chopped (about 400g, 14 oz)

·      200g (7.0 oz) Dried Dates, chopped

·      1 teaspoon Bicarbonate Soda

·      250ml (8.8 fl oz) Boiling Water

·      125g (4.4 oz) Unsalted Butter, softened

·      1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract

·      200g (7.0 oz) Caster Sugar

·      1 large egg

·      180g (6.3 oz) Plain Flour


·      60g (2.0 oz) Unsalted Butter

·      100ml (3.5 fl oz) Full Cream Milk

·      110g (3.9 oz) Brown Sugar

·      60g (2.0 oz) Desiccated Coconut


  • Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius (160 fan-forced; 350F).
  • In a medium bowl add the chopped apples and dates, bicarb soda and boiling water. Stir so the ingredients are evenly coated in water. Cover the bowl with clingfilm and leave the bowl aside until it’s at room temperature.
  • In the bowl of an electric mixer beat the softened butter, vanilla and sugar until it becomes thick pale and creamy. Scrape down the sides of the bowl occasionally. Beat in the egg until combined.
  • Use a spatula to gently stir in the flour, and the apple/date mixtures including the water it was soaking in. Don’t drain the water! Pour the batter into the cake tin.
  • Check the oven has reached the right temperature, set your kitchen timer for 45 minutes, and place the cake on the centre rack of the oven.
  • While the cake is baking prepare the topping. In a small saucepan add the butter, brown sugar milk and coconut. On low heat stir them together until the butter has melted and the sugar is completely dissolved. Set aside.
  • Remove the cake from the oven at 45 minutes. Pour the topping evenly over the cake. Return the cake to the middle rack of the oven and bake for a further 30 minutes. The cake is ready when a skewer inserted in the middle of the cake comes out clean.
  • Let the cake cool upright in the tin.

Recipe adapted from Australian Women’s Weekly: Old Fashioned Favourites



  • Cake will store in an airtight container at room temperature for 2 days
  • This is quite a dense and “wet” cake, almost like a cakey poached Christmas pudding.
  • If the cake isn’t cooked yet but the topping is starting to get too brown, cover the top with aluminium foil.
  • The springform tin lets you remove the cake tin without turning the cake

2015 Vintage Collector’s re-issue (first published 1991)

TheBookDepository.co.uk Sweet Old-Fashioned Favourites Vintage Edition (free worldwide shipping)

Fishpond.com.au Sweet Old-Fashioned Favourites Vintage Edition (free AU and NZ shipping)