Lumberjack Cake

I came across this fabulous cake a few years ago in Bundanoon, Southern Highlands, NSW, but sadly couldn’t find any of the cafes serving it on my recent visit. It’s delicious served at room temperature with tea or coffee but even better served fresh and warm from the oven when it’s like a gooey sticky pudding.


About this Recipe

By: Sheridan Rogers

The cake is even more pudding-like if you use 375g dates and reduce the flour to 1 cup and is at its best served warm.  The rich buttery-caramel topping lends extra flavour and texture – make sure you use shredded (and not desiccated) coconut.  And don’t stint on the cream and ice cream!


Serve 8 – 10

  • Granny Smith apples, 2 large, peeled, cored and chopped
  • dates 185g, pitted and chopped
  • bicarbonate of soda, 1 teaspoon
  • boiling water, 1 cup
  • softened unsalted butter, 125g
  • white sugar, 1 cup
  • orange (or lemon) zest 1, finely grated
  • vanilla essence, 1 teaspoon
  • organic or free-range egg, 1
  • self- raising flour, 1 1/2 cups
  • mixed spice, 1 teaspoon


  • unsalted butter, 90g
  • brown sugar, 2/3 cup, firmly packed
  • milk, 1/2 cup
  • shredded coconut, 2 1/2 cups


Preheat oven to 170degC/150degC Fan Forced.
Line a deep 20 – 22cm springform with baking paper and grease the sides.
Combine apples, dates, soda and boiling water in a bowl. Leave to cool.
In a mixing bowl, beat the butter and sugar until light and creamy. Add the citrus zest, vanilla and egg and beat until combined.
Stir in sifted flour and mixed spice alternately with apple mixture. Pour into the prepared pan.
Bake for 60 minutes, covering the top with foil if it begins to colour too much.
For the topping: Melt butter and sugar in a medium pan.  Add the milk and coconut and simmer 2 – 3 minutes or until thick. Spread over the cake base and bake for another 15 minutes or until topping is golden brown.