Wholefood Cooking

Walnut and Yoghurt Cake


I do love Easter weekend – the weather is cooler and it’s not as rushed. Especially this time around, with a 5 day long weekend. Ahhhh – big sigh. Sometime over those five days you are going to want a piece of cake with a cup of tea or coffee. Nothing too rich or time consuming, but wholesome and simple. The cake I’m going to introduce you to, is a sneak look from the new book (nowhere near yet ready – and not available until next year), but this cake is perfect for the Easter weekend. Very simple to throw together, not too sweet and keeps very well – in fact just gets better.

A couple of things about the recipe – I call for a thick yoghurt. Now most of those – even organic, will be thickened with milk solids – yuk, and not good for you. Look for a real one – just milk and cultures. True yoghurt is fairly thinish.  I’ve made my own here, and it’s too easy (oh, and very good). I’ve used a natural yoghurt (I like the Paris Creek and Shultz) and let the whey drip off. Roughly 1 kg real, full cream, non – homogenized yoghurt will give you 500 gm labne and 500ml whey. Just line a sieve with 4 layers of muslin over a bowl, and leave it too sit for 3 – 4 hours (if it’s hot, do this in the fridge). Secondly, your olive oil is critical – all extra virgin olive oils are certainly not equal – even organic. Choose one that has a full and fragrant flavour, and it goes without saying it should not be rancid (or your nuts for that matter). Rancidity in your nuts or oil will make the cake bitter and nasty. Finally I call for quality cinnamon – something fresh and alive – ground cinnamon looses it’s oomph very quickly, so it might be time for you to buy a new batch, or if you have a Thermomix or Prep Mill, to get some wonderful organic cinnamon quills and grind them to a fine powder.

This cake is also lovely served without the syrup – you could add honey and cinnamon to the left over yoghurt (to taste) and serve it with that – seriously good, and it keeps exceptionally well.  Enjoy the long weekend…..

Walnut and Yoghurt Cake


1 cup / 110 gm walnuts, lightly roasted and roughly chopped
1 cup / 145 gm wholemeal spelt flour
1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon quality cinnamon
grated zest of ½ lemon and 1 small orange
2 eggs
1/3 cup quality extra virgin olive oil
¾ cup thick yoghurt
½ cup rapadura sugar
Juice 1 small lemon (or ½ larger lemon) and 1 large orange
1 cinnamon quill
¼ – ½ cup honey

I have found lately that I make a little more syrup than is called for, it’s good to be generous with the syrup !!


Pre heat oven to 180c or 165c if fan forced.

Line a 20cm cake tin with baking paper – do not cut the paper to fit the tin, but rather fold it, so the syrup that is poured on later doesn’t seep through the paper.

Add the dry mix ingredients to a mixing bowl, and whisk through to evenly distribute.

Add the wet mix ingredients to a small bowl and whisk together. Add to the dry and stir through until just combined. Turn into the baking tin, and bak for 30 – 35 minutes, or until a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean.

While the cake is cooking, add the lemon, orange juice and cinnamon quill to a small saucepan and simmer over a medium heat for apprx 10 minutes or until reduced to a third of it’s original volume. Remove from heat and add ¼  cup honey, stirring to dissolve. Taste and add more honey as desired. When cake is cooked, use the skewer to make a few holes in the cake, and immediately pour the syrup over the cake. Leave to sit for 15 – 30 minutes to soak through.