Apple blackberry cake (gluten & lactose free)

Another birthday, another cake!

A couple weeks ago I presented Jan with several options for his birthday cake, and of them he chose an apple & blackberry cake. Since we were going to be sharing with friends, one of them needs to eat gluten & lactose free, I went and adapted the original recipe. And here is my version.


  • 125 grams (refined) coconut oil1
  • 125 gr (cane) sugar 2
  • 3 eggs 3
  • 1 tsp vanilla essence
  • 50 grams ground almonds 4
  • 50 grams oat flour 5
  • 50 grams fine corn flour (not cornmeal, not cornstarch!)
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 3/4 tsp baking powder
  • 2 apples
  • 150 grams blackberries
  • 2 tbsp cane sugar + 1 1/2 tsp cinnamon for topping


  1. Preheat oven to 170°C / 150°C if using convection. Line the bottom of a 20-22 cm spring form with baking paper.
  2. Soften the coconut oil by either leaving it in a warm place or microwaving it at low power for 30-45 seconds. Add the sugar and mix until well combined and sugar starts to dissolve into the oil.
  3. Add the eggs, one at a time, to the oil-sugar mixture, and mix well. Add the vanilla essence and mix.
  4. Combine ground almonds, oat & corn flour, salt & baking powder in a bowl. Add to the oil-sugar-egg mixture slowly and mix until a smooth dough has formed.
  5. Peel and core the apples, slice them in 12-14 pieces each. Separate 8 slices for decoration, and cut the rest in smaller pieces.
  6. Add the apple pieces and most of the blackberries (leave 4 for decoration) and fold gently.
  7. Pour the batter onto prepared spring form and spread (more or less) evenly. Decorate with the reserved apple slices and blackberries.
  8. Mix sugar and cinnamon for topping and sprinkle on top of cake.
  9. Bake cake in preheated oven, middle rack, for 50-55 minutes. A cake tester inserted in the middle will come out clean (albeit greasy) when cake is ready.
  10. Loosen the edges of the cake with angled spatula / knife, let cool enough to remove cake from spring form and let cake cool on cooling rake.


8 servings


  1. Refined coconut oil tastes and smells less than non-refined, thus making it ideal to bake with when you aren’t planning on a coconut tasting cake
  2. I’m picky with sugar, I like raw / cane sugar, not white. Use whatever you prefer
  3. Be kind to the hens, try to get eggs from free range / bio producers, but that’s just me
  4. You can grind the almonds yourself. Use raw almonds.
  5. You can make the oat flour yourself too. Just grind some oats in a blender.

Strawberry tiramisu for a summer birthday

It’s that time of the year again, when Jan celebrates his 18th birthday! This year it was really warm the days before, so neither of us felt like me turning on the oven to bake something. Luckily the supermarket publicity came to the rescue with a nice summery recipe that required no oven! It did require some stove top time, but not too much. And so, the strawberry tiramisu became this year’s birthday dessert.

Strawberry Tiramisu

Strawberry Tiramisu


  • For the coulis:
    • 250 gr strawberries
    • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • For the cream:
    • 4 eggs
    • 50 gr powder sugar
    • 500 gr mascarpone
  • For assembly:
    • 300 gr ladyfingers (the cookies)
    • 500 gr strawberries, clean, hulled & sliced


  1. Make the strawberry coulis: clean, hull and quarter strawberries. Place in a sauce pan with lemon juice, heat gently for 10-15 minutes, until the fruit collapses. Using an immersion blender, puree the strawberries. Sieve the sauce using a fine mesh sieve to remove the seeds. Add enough water to obtain 250-300 ml of sauce.
  2. Make the filling: separate egg yolks from whites. First, whip up whites until firm peaks form (or if you’re so inclined, they hold when you upturn the bowl above your head!). Then (don’t bother cleaning the whisk) mix the egg yolks with the sugar until white and volume is two-three times the original. Finally mix the mascarpone on its own (to soften) before adding the egg yolks and mixing thoroughly with whisk. Switch to a rubber spatula to softly fold in the egg whites in three times.
  3. Assemble the dessert: dip lightly the ladyfingers in the strawberry coulis and arrange one layer on the bottom of a serving dish. Spread with half of the mascarpone mix, then place half of the sliced strawberries on top. Place another layer of dipped cookies, then mascarpone and finish with strawberries.
  4. Chill in the refrigerator for a few hours or overnight before serving.

Makes: 6 servings according to the original recipe, but make that more like 12-14 servings.

The best way to turn 30

Is as follows:

Come home to a bunch of balloons:

And two dozens of roses:

And a chocolate cake:

And then follow it with a luxury dinner at Restaurant Lof:

Amuse Bouche:

Jerusalem artichoke cream with kale and truffle as starter for me:

and Jan’s Cabbage and curry with poached quail eggs,black olives and peppers:

Red beet with inlayed pumpkin, gherkins, airy cashew nuts, polenta and red beet sauce as main dish for me:

And Baked pear with parsnip, red onion compote, roasted shallots, crispy salsify & creamy porcini sauce for Jan:

Dessert was Pear cake with mascarpone, coffee and dark chocolate for me:

And ‘Our’ tarte tatin with apple, vanilla ice cream, caramel and sugared pastry for Jan:

Followed by tea for me:

chosen from a fancy tea menu:

And coffee for Jan:

It was a lovely day!