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Walnut & Coconut Fruit Cake recipe

Walnut & Coconut Fruit Cake recipe

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Classic fruit cake with a twist - walnuts & coconut!! Friends & family love it.

Gloucestershire, England, UK

5 people made this


  • 225g Self raising flour
  • 110g unsalted butter
  • 110g caster sugar
  • 225g mixed fruit
  • 1 large free range egg
  • 12 tablespoons milk (semi skimmed is fine, whole milk is better)
  • 1 teaspoon mixed spice
  • A few chopped walnuts (to your own tastes)
  • Desiccated coconut (2-3 tablespoons)
  • 1 tablespoon of Demerara sugar


  1. Pre heat oven to 180 degrees C
  2. Grease and line a loaf tin or 20cm cake tin
  3. Rub the butter into the sifted flour until it looks like fine breadcrumbs. Use fingertips only.
  4. Add the sugar, dried fruit and mixed spice.
  5. Add the egg and milk and mix together until it is well combined and has a soft “dropping” consistency.
  6. Stir in the walnuts and coconut.
  7. Put the mixture into a loaf tin (or a round tin if preferred) and sprinkle some Demerara sugar on top to leave a “crunch” finish when baked (pat it gently onto the top of the mixture).
  8. Bake in the pre-heated over at 180 degrees C for an hour or until a skewer comes out clean when poked in the middle.

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Recipe Summary

  • 1 cup applesauce (such as Mott's® Natural Applesauce)
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 ½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1 cup flaked coconut
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1 tablespoon confectioners' sugar, or to taste (Optional)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease a 9x13-inch baking dish.

Combine applesauce, white sugar, brown sugar, eggs, and vanilla extract together in a bowl. Whisk flour, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon together in a separate bowl. Add flour mixture to the egg mixture, alternating with buttermilk just until batter is moistened. Fold coconut and walnuts into batter pour into the prepared baking dish.

Bake in the preheated oven until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean, 45 to 55 minutes. Cool on a wire rack. Dust coffeecake with confectioners' sugar.

Banana Walnut Cake Recipe


  • All Purpose Flour / Maida - 1 cup 120 grams
  • Baking Powder - 1 tsp
  • Baking Soda - 1/2 tsp
  • Cardamom powder - 1/4 tsp
  • Cinnamon Powder - 1/2 tsp
  • Butter - 50 grams
  • Brown Sugar - 3/4 cup 150 grams
  • Ripe Banana - 1
  • Milk - 1/2 cup 120 ml
  • Egg - 1
  • Walnuts - 1/2 cup



Tried this recipe? Let us know how it was!

1)Take all your ingredients

2)Take butter in a mixing bowl.

16)Top with walnuts and bake

About Aarthi

Over the past few years I’ve been on a mission to find and create recipes that I can make from scratch. I hope you enjoy the recipes on this blog as they are tried and true from my kitchen to yours!

Greek walnut cake

The founder of the Global Gardens line of olive oils and specialty food products, Stephan makes about 2,000 gallons of olive oil a year. Needless to say, there are bottles of it everywhere in her home. She has no shortage of recipes that will allow the flavors of the olive oil to shine through -- scrambled eggs, a brushing of olive oil to brown a grilled cheese sandwich or sauteeing vegetables for a lasagna.

But bringing olive oil out of the realm of the savory into the sweet is perhaps the most unexpected way Stephan knows how to showcase the literal fruits of her labor.

And they’re exactly what you’d expect from a woman who has spent a lifetime dodging convention -- and has finally found her sweet spot.

“It always stops people in their tracks,” Stephan said. “They say, ‘Olive oil? For dessert? Really?’ And I say, ‘Just try it.’ ”

Stephan, 50, was partner in a Dayton, Ohio-based graphic design firm buoyed by Southern California film-and-tourism accounts when she arrived in L.A. in 1996 to open a West Coast office. She rented a convertible and took a meandering drive up the coast to explore and celebrate. Fixated by her first glimpse of the Pacific Ocean off Santa Barbara, she lost track of her gas tank as she ventured farther into wine country. She ran out of fuel just as she was pulling into a gas station in Los Olivos, and she says the convertible had to be pushed to the pump.

“The whole time I was driving I was, like, ‘Oh, my God, look at this place.’ I was just tingling,” Stephan said. Gassed up and back on the road, she noticed an ornamental olive tree. “I don’t know how to explain it. I just had this glimmer, and it was like I knew I was going to put olive trees in the ground here.”

That was 2,047 olive trees ago.

“It took forever. Man, did it take forever. But it’s the culmination of the lifestyle I always wanted. I can honestly say I’ve never been happier. I feel like I’m supposed to be doing this.”

Stephan thinks the 2010-11 harvest might be the best yet and is planning on bottling 10th anniversary estate varietals to celebrate a decade in business. She also has her eyes set on a more prestigious prize: She’s collected nine medals over the years from the Los Angeles County International Extra Virgin Olive Oil competition. With this harvest, she hopes to make it an even 10.

Olive oil is present at nearly every meal in Stephan’s home, and more often than not it’s also a key component of dessert. One of Stephan’s favorite olive oil desserts, a walnut cake, has been in the family for years, a nod to her Greek ancestors and a culinary heritage in which olive oil-infused sweets are not at all unusual. It seems like Stephan is teaching her two daughters, Anita and Sunita, in the same manner. Recently, Stephan came home after work one night to find that the pair had baked a batch of brownies that were rich and moist . and different. Quite chocolatey. Stephan quizzed them as she polished off one square and headed for another. Turns out the girls couldn’t find butter, so they used olive oil instead.

“I have to say that was one I hadn’t thought of before,” Stephan said with a laugh.

The substitution of olive oil for butter goes beyond touting a heart-healthier fat. While butter can melt into the background of many desserts, which is exactly what you want it to do, olive oil adds a stand-out fruity richness. Butter helps highlight sweetness, while olive oil rounds off those edges. The rest of the ingredients, such as the chocolate in those brownies, are elevated.

“There’s a different weight, a different crumb with olive oil. You think it’s going to be heavier, but it’s lighter,” she said. “It adds a spark, a freshness . but at the same time it’s extremely subtle.”

The result, she says, is an elegant, more grown-up twist on dessert.

She is currently fine-tuning her dessert recipes, as well as other recipes, for a health-minded cookbook, “Olive Oil & Vinegar for Life,” due out in the fall from Skyhorse Publishing. She says her No. 1 rule is: Don’t be afraid to experiment.

Her olive oil chocolate sauce was the result of a frantic need for a dessert for company. What if, Stephan thought. Now, she uses the chocolate sauce over freshly roasted or sauteed fruit -- whatever happens to be in season. It couldn’t be easier to make, either. Add about 1/3 of a cup of olive oil plus 3 tablespoons to a skillet over low heat, toss in 1 1/4 cups of chocolate chips and stir until it all melts together in a velvety sauce.

Last holiday season, she began contemplating the Thanksgiving pecan pie. How crazy would it be to make an olive oil pecan pie with an olive oil crust? Not crazy at all, it turns out. Some might say a pie crust made without butter is culinary sacrilege. But Stephan says she plans to keep pushing the boundaries to see how far she can go with olive oil.

“I always wonder when I’m going to get busted, but if you don’t feel some fear, you’re not going to be pushed to do your best,” she said, espousing a philosophy that has worked equally well for her professional life as for the sweet finishes to a meal.

“I was thinking the other day about tarte Tartin,” a famously persnickety dessert coated in a rich, buttery caramel sauce. “That’s one I’m coming for next.”

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How to Toast Nuts

Spread nuts out in a single layer on a baking sheet.

Bake, stirring occasionally. The length of time will depend on the nut being toasted. Walnuts and pecans, for example, typically take 10 to 15 minutes while hazelnuts and macadamia nuts take 12 to 15 minutes. Sliced almonds take 7 minutes and whole almonds need to toast for 10 minutes. Pine nuts toast in 5 minutes and bear close watching because they can go from golden to black in seconds.

Alternatively, toast nuts in an ungreased skillet over medium heat, stirring, until golden brown and aromatic.

If your recipe calls for chopped toasted nuts, make sure they have cooled completely before chopping.

Raw Egg Warning

Consuming raw and lightly-cooked eggs poses a risk of food-borne illness.

Recipe: Plum and caramelised walnut cake (vegan)

The caramelised walnuts in this recipe add the most incredible crunch to the pillowy cake and contrast the tart plums in a lovely way. Make sure you get a really thick coconut yoghurt variety so it can work as a topping for the cake.


Caramelised walnuts

180g raw walnuts, roughly chopped
2 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp coconut sugar
1 tsp ground cinnamon
Pinch sea salt

250g white all-purpose flour
180g coconut sugar
125g ground almonds
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp cinnamon
Pinch sea salt
160ml / ⅔ cup almond or oat milk
150g / ⅔ cup olive oil
140g / ½ cup Greek-style unsweetened coconut yoghurt
1 tsp vanilla extract
6 ripe plums, each cut into 8 slices

360g / 1½ cups Greek-style unsweetened coconut yoghurt
4 tbsp good-quality plum jam
Fresh flowers (optional)

Preheat the oven to 170C fan bake. Line 2 x 22cm tins with baking paper and line a baking tray with baking paper.

First, make the caramelised walnuts. Place the walnuts on the lined baking tray and top with the oil, coconut sugar, cinnamon, and salt. Toss altogether until evenly coated. Bake for 12-15 minutes, or until golden brown and fragrant. Remove from oven and set aside.

Next, make the cake. In the bowl of an electric stand mixer, combine the flour, coconut sugar, ground almonds, baking powder, and salt. Gradually add in the almond/coconut milk, vanilla and oil. Finally, fold through the coconut yoghurt, being careful not to over mix.

Evenly divide the batter between the 2 tins and dot in the plum slices and scatter over half of the chopped caramelised walnuts, pressing them down well with a spoon.

Bake for approximately 30 minutes or until golden in colour, springy to the touch and a skewer inserted in the centre comes out clean. Allow the cakes to cool for 10 minutes before turning out onto a cooling rack.

Meanwhile make the coconut yoghurt topping by combining the coconut yoghurt with the jam, leaving a visible ripple.

Once the cakes are cool, spread some of the yoghurt mixture onto one layer and place the other layer on top. Spread the remainder of the yoghurt mixture on top of the cake and decorate with the rest of the chopped candied walnuts. Finish with fresh flowers, if using.

Serve at room temperature. Store in a cool, dry place in an airtight container for up to 3 days.

Agen prune, walnut, and coconut bars

Monica shares a great basic template for making all manner of homemade raw bars. Discover how Agen prunes are perfect for binding the ingredients together and are less sugary than dates.

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I first became acquainted with Agen prunes when I went to Gascony in 2012. As my friend Mardi (eat live travel write) puts it: “if someone thinks they don’t like prunes, give them one of these and they’ll change their mind.” It’s totally true.

Agen prunes (pruneaux d’Agen) have been developed to have the perfect balance of sugar and acidity. They are moist, delicious and very addictive. I always bring some back with me when I go on my French road trips.

Speaking of road trips, while I was cruising along the autoroute last December from Gascony to the ferry terminal in St Malo, snacking on prunes and daydreaming about car snacks (and Armagnac, also good with Agen prunes), I got to thinking that these prunes would make a great alternative to dates in a homemade raw snack bar recipe. I’m talking about snack bars of the Larabar / Nakd bar variety basically a nut and dried fruit mush, expensive to buy, delicious to eat, and actually really easy to make at home.

Dates are the default fruit binder in homemade raw bars, but they are SO sugary that it makes me wonder if these raw bars are any better for you than a Snickers bar (for your reference, a “Cashew Cookie” Larabar has 230 Calories and 18g of sugars while a Snickers bar has 250 Calories and 27g of sugars - food for thought!).

Not long after I got home I tested my Agen prune theory. It turns out that the prunes are even better than dates for binding the ingredients together, and they have almost half of the sugar as dates. I love their flavour, less cloyingly sweet than dates and with a character all of their own.

In this recipe I’ve combined the prunes with walnuts, a nut which I’ve always found a nice compliment to prunes, and are also purported to be “the healthiest nut” for their high level of antioxidants. I also added cinnamon (I love cinnamon) and coconut flakes (I love the texture), though you could keep it pure and simple and omit these ingredients, or get creative and add your own spices and add-ins.

And so, from my Gascony road trip, a road trip snack is born! And this isn’t only for road trips - I’m going to be bringing these on hikes and bike rides, too.

Lastly, if you think you have to go all the way to Gascony to get their delicious prunes, fear not - Waitrose now stocks them, and no doubt a Google search will reveal more online stockists. (Even so, you should go to Gascony, because it’s amazing!)

This is a good basic template for making all manners of homemade raw bars. Sub all or some of the prunes for other dried fruit the walnuts for cashews, almonds or a mixture add other spices like nutmeg, ginger or cocoa experiment and have fun!


Soak your fruit in Tea overnight so that the fruit softens and steeps. Preheat oven to 125 C (257F). Stir flour into soaked fruit, and mix well. Add more tea if the mixture is too dry.

It is quite a thick mixture but sometimes the fruit really absorbs the liquid and it is hard to dampen the flour.

Spoon mixture into a 22cm (9″) lined cake tin. Bake for 2½ hours or until cooked through. Remove and leave to cool. Wrap in tin foil or place in an airtight container.

This Fruit Cake keeps for a month when stored correctly.

Grandma’s Handwritten Cookery Book

Perhaps the most wonderful, and unexpected thing I found, was the handwritten collection of recipes in a notebook which was my Grandmother’s. Inside the notebook as well as the carefully copied cooking instructions -(didn’t people have good handwriting 60 years ago?), were newspaper and magazine cuttings and even some awards from WI competitions.

It is a true treasure of family history and a record of the time. There are austerity recipes following the war (Mock Cream, Almond Paste without almonds – flavoured with almond essence) and traditional recipes such as malt loaf, gingerbread, brandy snaps – and Walnut and Date cake. Coconut features in quite a few recipes. I don’t know if it was used a lot in baking – or may be my Grandmother just liked coconut! There are a lot of recipes using dried fruit too.

What strikes me about the book is that the recipes are straight forward and no nonsense. This is real, normal day to day cooking, like, well, our Grandmothers did. It’s amazing that there are so many baking recipe books always being published, as if its something new! Of course there are always endless variations on recipes that people want to share and there are fashions in cooking like the present love of Cupcakes.

  1. 80g walnuts
  2. 1 small carrot, grated
  3. 7 dates, pitted
  4. Zest of 1 lemon (unwaxed)
  5. Pinch ground cinnamon
  6. Pinch ground nutmeg
  7. 1 tsp maple syrup
  8. 15g dried fruit (goji berries, sour cherries or sultanas)
  9. 25g desiccated coconut

One of my favourite things about creating recipes that are both plant-based and whole (not to mention often raw) is figuring out how to make something that tastes just as good – or better – as the original version. And so, back to that essence. After some deliberation, I narrowed down the flavours of carrot cake to be:

  • carrot (indeed)
  • lemon
  • walnut
  • coconut
  • cinnamon
  • juicy dried fruit
  • sweet and sharp.

And these are exactly the flavours rolled up into these delicious little bites! As you eat one straight from the freezer, close your eyes: I guarantee that you could be mistaken for thinking you are eating carrot cake ice cream. Mmm.

  • Begin by blitzing the walnuts in a food processor until they form a powder (how chunky you want this to be is up to you).
  • Add the rest of the ingredients, except the coconut, to the food processor and pulse on a slow speed until they all come together. Increase the speed to form a smoother paste.
  • Taking a teaspoon of the carrot cake mixture at time, roll into balls using your hands and coat in the coconut.
  • Place in the freezer until needed.

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