Lumberjack cake

An old-fashioned apple and date cake topped with caramelised coconut, the lumberjack cake is dense, moist and packed with enough energy to get the proverbial lumberjack through from morning tea to lunch.

  • 25 mins preparation
  • 1 hr 10 mins cooking
  • 15 mins marinating
  • Serves 12
  • Print


  • 2 apples (400g), peeled, cored, chopped finely
  • 1 cup (150g) finely chopped seeded dried dates
  • 1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
  • 1 cup (250ml) boiling water
  • 125 gram butter, softened
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup (220g) caster sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 1/2 cup (225g) plain flour
Coconut topping
  • 60 gram butter, chopped
  • 1/2 cup (110g) firmly packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup (125ml) milk
  • 2/3 cup (50g) shredded coconut


  • 1
    Preheat oven to 180°C (160°C fan-forced). Grease deep 23cm-square cake pan; line base and sides with baking paper.
  • 2
    Combine apple, dates and soda in large bowl, stir in the water; cover bowl with plastic wrap, stand 10 minutes.
  • 3
    Meanwhile, beat butter, extract, sugar and egg in small bowl with electric mixer until light and fluffy. Add butter mixture to apple mixture; stir to combine. Add sifted flour; stir to combine.
  • 4
    Pour mixture into pan; bake about 50 minutes.
  • 5
    Meanwhile, to make the coconut topping, stir all ingredients in medium saucepan over low heat until butter melts and sugar dissolves.
  • 6
    Remove cake carefully from oven to bench. Using metal spatula, carefully spread warm topping evenly over cake; return to oven, bake about 20 minutes or until topping is browned. Stand cake in pan 5 minutes; turn, top-side up, onto wire rack to cool.

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