Spiced Sticky Rhubarb and Apple Cakes with Caramel Icing

. August, 2016
Photography by Claire Aldous.
Spiced Sticky Rhubarb and Apple Cakes with Caramel Icing

Packed with tart rhubarb and chunks of juicy apple, these treats are fragrant with spices then topped with a swirl of delicious caramel icing. 


4–5 stalks slim red rhubarb, sliced 1cm thick (you need 2 cups)
1 crisp apple, peeled, cored and diced 1cm pieces
2 tablespoons caster sugar
½ cup golden syrup
¼ cup water
40 grams butter, chopped
¼ cup packed brown sugar
½ teaspoon sea salt
1 large egg, size 7
1 cup plain flour
½ teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon each ground ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg and mace
Caramel Icing
60 grams butter, chopped
½ cup firmly packed brown sugar
½ teaspoon ground ginger 
2 tablespoons milk
½ teaspoon sea salt
¾ cup icing sugar, sifted
3 tablespoons chopped glace or crystallised ginger
3 tablespoons chopped pistachio nuts


Grease 10 holes of a standard muffin tin and line the bases with baking paper.

Preheat the oven to 160°C fan bake.

Combine the rhubarb, apple and caster sugar in a bowl and set aside for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. 

Put the golden syrup, water, butter, brown sugar and the salt in a saucepan. Place over a medium heat, stirring until the butter has melted. 

Set aside to cool for 10 minutes then whisk in the egg.

Sift the flour, baking soda and all the spices together into a large bowl. Pour in the syrup mixture and whisk until smooth.

Add the rhubarb and apple along with the sugary juices and stir to combine well. 

Divide evenly between the tins then bake for 20-25 minutes until risen and a skewer inserted in the centre comes out clean. 

Leave in the tins to cool completely before removing.

Icing: Put the butter, brown sugar, ginger, milk and salt in a small saucepan and heat until the sugar has dissolved.

Bring to the boil then simmer for 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Take off the heat and stir in the icing sugar until smooth. Cool for a few minutes, stirring occasionally to prevent a skin forming, but don’t leave it too long as it will set in the pan. If it does set, place back over a low heat until it’s the right consistency.

Drizzle the icing over the cakes and sprinkle with the combined ginger and pistachios. Makes 10