Through this week I’ve seen lots of signs of spring in the form of daffodils and even the odd tulip, but down here in Surrey and London the days have still been quite cold. The sight of the cherry blossom though has now convinced me that spring has arrived! Now the weather just needs to take note. Hurry up please! Time for a slice of my slow cooker apricot spelt loaf cake in the meantime.
Because of the chilly weather (that’s my excuse anyway), I made a cake this week for afterschool snacks for a boost of energy. My children love dried fruit, in particular apricots, so adding them to the cake seemed a good idea.
I’ve chosen to use wholemeal spelt flour here, it has a great taste and wholemeal grains are so much better for you than refined grains. I’ve also read that spelt is an ancient form of wheat which contains less gluten and may be tolerated better by people with wheat intolerance. Here I’ve chosen to use it as it tastes good and gives a lovely colour. I’ve also used coconut oil in place of butter for this recipe, again this swap has health benefits, and I also find that coconut oil performs just as well as butter.
The mixture I’ve used here is rather like a muffin recipe, as you mix the wet ingredients into the dry. It also has lower proportions of fat and sugar than you’d get in a typical cake. Just right for an afternoon snack or little treat with a cuppa.
Why bake in your slow cooker you might ask? Of course this cake can also be made in the oven, but I like to bake in the slow cooker for several reasons:
- It is much cheaper to run a slow cooker than an electric oven (only 1-2 p per hour approximately)
- You can forget about it and get on with other things while it bakes
- The cakes turn out very moist
- It can be fun!
The cake turned out to be very tasty, even though it caught a little on some edges we found those crunchy bits tasted great! Definitely one I would make again if I had visitors popping in for tea.
- 325 g spelt flour
- 2 tsp baking powder
- Pinch of salt
- 100 g coconut oil, melted
- 85 g golden caster sugar
- 2 eggs
- 250 ml milk at room temperature
- 115 g dried apricots, chopped and dusted with flour
- Sift the flour, baking powder and salt into a large bowl.
- Stir in the sugar.
- Melt the coconut oil by heating it gently in a pan or in the microwave. Keep it a little warm so it doesn’t solidify again.
- Place the milk and eggs in a jug and beat them together.
- Add the warm melted coconut oil to the milk and eggs and mix well.
- Fold the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients until just combined.
- Stir in the chopped apricots (dust them in flour first to stop them sinking in the cake as it bakes).
- Line your slow cooker pot with either baking paper or a large cake case (available in pound shops etc).
- Pour the cake mixture into the lined pot.
- Replace the lid, after adding a tea towel under the lid to stop condensation dropping onto the cake. You could also use paper kitchen towel.
- Cook on high for one to two hours, until a skewer or knife comes out clean. If the edges start burning, you could turn the slow cooker down to low after the first hour to finish it off.
- Once done, turn the slow cooker off and allow it to cool. Use the edge of the baking paper or cake case to pull the cake out of the slow cooker.
For more spelt recipes, how about one of these:
- My Nutella spelt pancakes
- Green peppercorn spelt loaf from KneadWhine
- Easy thyme and olive oil protein spelt bread from My Food and Happiness
- Vegan banana cake from Fab Food 4 All
- Spelt and orange date squares from Elizabeth’s Kitchen Diary
- Matcha spelt chocolate chip cookies from Tin and Thyme
Or perhaps one of these fruity ideas:
- Super fast apricot custard Danish pastries from A Mummy Too
- Date, apple and walnut loaf from Rough Measures
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