So this cake was born out of insomnia. I haven’t been sleeping well for some reason. Loads of thoughts buzzing around in my head, too much excitement and lots going on. Anyway, last Saturday night after a while of trying , just after midnight, I gave up and went poking around the kitchen looking for something to do. I made this cake, some oatmeal pancakes with lemon macerated apples, and I made puff puff. All that night.

I slapped the icing on mid-morning, the next day after it had cooled in the fridge, and the cake ended up being dessert for Sunday lunch. It has a surprisingly soft, moist, rustic texture and has a warm, gentle spice to its flavour. The interesting thing about the recipe is that apart from the icing, there’s no butter involved. I adapted it from a couple of different recipes in my Magnolia Bakery cookbook, and made it my own based on what ingredients I had available at home at that time of night. I really didn’t know what to expect, when I was throwing things together in mad fashion in the middle of the night, but I am so happy it turned out well, and went down a treat. I promised on Instagram to have it up this week, so here it is.




For the cake:

2 cups plain flour, sifted

1 cup rolled oats

1 teaspoon cinnamon

2 cups ugar

3 eggs

1.5 cups live Oil

3.5 pears, chopped

1 cup flaked almonds

1 teaspoon salt

Bicarbonate of soda

1 tablespoon of vanilla essence

3 tablespoons of good brandy


For the frosting:

400g cream cheese

1 cup of icing sugar, sifted

1/8 cup caramel

2 teaspoons vanilla essence


For the decorations:

Caramel for drizzling

Flaked almonds for sprinkling



  • Beat the olive oil and sugar in a large bowl until well combined
  • Add the eggs and vanilla and mix well
  • Add the flour, oats, cinammon and bicarb and mix gently
  • Fold in the  flaked almonds and pears
  • Pour on the brandy, make sure well combined, and put it in a greased and floured baking tin. I used a round 8 inch springform tin.
  • Bake in the over at 180*C for 45 minutes or until a skewer inserted comes out dry
  • Once baked, leave to cool slightly in the tin and then turn onto a rack to cool further. If you are eating this uniced, then you can enjoy it straight away.
  • Otherwise, transfer to the fridge over night to chill really well ahead of icing
  • For the frosting, whisk all the ingredients together until creamy and smooth. If it is too stiff, add a splash of milk and if it is too sloppy, add more cream cheese or icing sugar
  • Slap the frosting on, covering the top first, and then using a spatula to cover up the sides. This does not have to be a perfect cake. Its charm is in the homely, comfy look of it
  • Just before serving, drizzle some caramel over the cake and then sprinkle on some almonds.
  • Serve and enjoy 🙂



I’m not the hugest fan of pears for eating’s sake as you know, but they did well in this cake. I think you can chop and change this recipe quite a bit depending on what you have. Try apples or berries instead of pears, and any kind of nut or raisin, instead of almonds. Try dividing the batter into muffin tins or baking in a flatter tray to get cake slices. Go wild. What do you think?