Apple, Pear and Bay Leaf Cake – Dani Valent

This beautiful grain and nut cake is a true favourite of mine and I hereby give you permission to eat cake whenever you want.

So simple to make yet so unusual in flavour, this two-fruit cake is based on buckwheat and almonds, while bay leaf adds a subtle herbaceous fragrance. The cake is gluten-free, so long as the baking powder used is gluten-free too. Served with tea, it’s a nourishing, sustaining feel-good cake.

Makes: 1 large cake
Time: 1 hr 15 mins


  • 150 grams (5.3 oz) unsalted butter, cut into pieces (2 cm / 1 in), plus extra for greasing
  • 160 grams (5.6 oz) buckwheat
  • 100 grams (3.5 oz) raw almonds
  • 120 grams (4.2 oz) raw, brown or rapadura sugar
  • 1 fresh or dried bay leaf
  • 1 pear (approx. 100 grams / 3.5 oz), peeled and cored
  • tsp vanilla bean paste
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 1 Granny Smith (or other) apple, peeled, cored and cut into thin slices (5 mm)
  • brown sugar, for sprinkling
  • whipped cream or yoghurt, to serve (see Tips) (optional)


1. Preheat oven to 170°C (340°F). Grease and line a springform cake tin (20 cm / 8 in) with baking paper and set aside.

2. Place buckwheat, almonds, sugar and bay leaf into mixing bowl and mill 12 sec/speed 9.

3. Add butter, pear, vanilla, eggs, baking powder and salt and mix 50 sec/speed 5.

4. Pour mixture into prepared tin. Fan apple slices over cake in a circular pattern, then sprinkle with brown sugar.

5. Bake for 55 minutes (170°C / 340°F) or until cake springs back when touched and a wooden skewer inserted into the centre of the cake comes out clean. Transfer onto a wire rack to cool completely, then serve with whipped cream or yoghurt (optional).


  • This cake can be made with other seasonal fruits (eg. apricot, peach or plum).
  • Try experimenting with different flavours by replacing the bay leaf with rosemary (12 leaves) or sage (4 leaves).
  • You can replace the buckwheat with buckwheat flour, wholemeal flour or plain flour.
  • You can make this cake using a 22 cm / 9 in cake tin – the cake will be a bit thinner, but the baking time will stay the same.

Want more delicious and comforting cakes, biscuits, sweet treats and desserts? I have an entire dessert recipe library over here.

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