Denise says:

  • This is an impressive apple cake with an added depth of flavour, coming from the miso paste – which gives a slight saltiness to this otherwise sweet cake.
  • This version is dairy-free and can be made vegan by substituting the honey for maple or date syrup.


  • 160g margarine / non-dairy unsalted butter
  • 100g caster sugar
  • 150g dark honey or maple / date syrup if vegan
  • 220g unsweetened apple sauce (2 cartons)
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons plant-based milk
  • 1 tablespoon white miso paste
  • 280g plain flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon bicarbonate soda
  • 3-5 small red apples – peeled, cored and quartered
  • Glaze: 3 tablespoons apricot jam – melted
  • Garnish: dusting of icing sugar


  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C / 350°F. Line a 22cm round cake tin with baking parchment and set aside.
  2. Combine the margarine and sugar into a mixer and whizz until smooth. Add honey, the apple sauce, vanilla extract, plant-based milk, miso and mix until combined. It will likely be a little clumpy, but that’s fine. Add the flour, a little at a time and the baking powder and bicarbonate soda.
  3. Continue to whisk until the batter is smooth. Transfer to your prepared cake tin.
  4. Slice the apple quarters as you would ‘Hasselback’ potatoes, i.e. with thin lines down the apples, leaving them uncut and connected at one side. Fan the apple quarters and place them on top of the batter, covering as much of the cake as possible.
  5. Place in the oven for around 45 minutes. After a cocktail stick from the centre comes out clean, remove the cake and allow to cool.
  6. Glaze the top with melted apricot jam.
  7. Dust the top with icing sugar before serving.