Apricot, Apple and Pecan Loaf

Everyone loves this cake, which is rather special, full of good wholesome ingredients and so easy to make. To ring the changes you could use soft prunes and walnuts in place of the apricots and pecans, plus one rounded teaspoon of mixed spice.

This recipe is from Delia's Cakes

Apricot, Apple and Pecan Loaf
 175g pecan nuts
 110g wholemeal flour
 110g plain flour
 a pinch of salt
 1½ level teaspoons baking powder
 2 rounded teaspoons ground cinnamon
 110g spreadable butter
 175g light brown soft sugar
 2 large eggs, beaten
 3 tablespoons milk (plus a little extra if needed)
 175g ready-to-eat dried apricots, each chopped in half
 175g Bramley apples, cored and cut into 1cm chunks with the skin on
For the topping:
 2 level tablespoons demerara sugar
 ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
 Pre-heat the oven to 180°C, gas mark 4
Equipment: You will need a Delia Online/Silverwood loaf tin (or a standard 2lb loaf tin), lined with a 2lb traditional loaf tin liner


First of all, when the oven has pre-heated, spread the nuts out on a baking sheet and toast them lightly for about 8 minutes, using a timer so that you don’t forget them. After that remove them to a chopping board, let them cool a bit, then chop them roughly.

Meanwhile take a large mixing bowl and sift the two flours, salt, baking powder and cinnamon into it, holding the sieve up high to give the flour a good airing (adding the bran from the sieve to the bowl as well).

Then simply add the rest of the ingredients except the fruit and nuts.

Using an electric hand whisk, begin to beat the mixture on a slow speed, then increase the speed to mix everything thoroughly till smooth.

Lightly fold in the apricots, apples and pecans. When everything’s folded in, add a drop more milk if necessary to give a mixture that drops easily off the spoon when you give it a sharp tap.

Combine the cinnamon and sugar together. Pile the mixture into the lined tin, level the top with the back of a tablespoon and sprinkle on the cinnamon sugar.

Bake the loaf on a lower shelf so the top of the tin is aligned with the centre of the oven for about an hour, then cover loosely with a piece of foil and leave to bake for a further 15–30 minutes or until the cake feels springy in the centre.

When it’s cooked, remove it from the oven and allow to cool for about 5 minutes before turning it out onto a wire cooling rack, leaving it in its liner.

Let it get completely cold before transferring to a cake tin.

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