This delicious alternative Christmas dessert from Edward Hayden will wow all your guests.

"This is a most unusual recipe... is it a cake, is it a crumble? Who knows?! Whatever category you wish to put it in it, it is a wonderful cake to have for family and friends to enjoy over the season of goodwill.

Bear in mind it does take a little bit of preparation, so take your time when working your way through the recipe, but it can be very successfully frozen so it means you will have one less dessert to worry about on Christmas eve!" – Edward Hayden. 


For the cake mixture:

  • 8oz/225g softened butter

  • 8oz/225g demerara sugar

  • 4 large eggs

  • 2 tablespoons milk (approx)

  • 7oz/200g plain flour

  • 2oz/50g ground almonds

  • 1 rounded teaspoon baking powder

  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon

For the fruit filling:

  • 1oz/25g butter

  • 1oz/25g caster sugar

  • 2 large cooking apples, peeled and cut into wedges

  • 9oz/250g good quality mincemeat

  • 1 tablespoon honey

For the crumble topping:

  • 3oz/75g hard butter

  • 3oz/75g demerara sugar

  • 4oz/110g plain flour

  • 2oz/50g flaked almonds

  • A pinch of cinnamon


  1. Preheat the oven to 170C/325F/Gas Mark 3.
  2. Grease an eight-inch round cake tin.
  3. Line the base and the sides of the tin with some baking parchment.

For the fruit topping:

  1. Heat a large frying pan with a little butter and add in the chunks of apple and cook gently for a couple of minutes.
  2. Add in the caster sugar and continue to cook until the sugar has dissolved. You just need to soften (not cook) the apples.
  3. Turn off the heat and allow the apples to cool down. Mix in the mincemeat once you have removed the pan from the heat.

For the crumble topping:

  1. Sieve the plain flour into a large mixing bowl. Add in the sugar and the cinnamon and mix well.
  2. Cut the butter into cubes and using the tips of your fingers rub this into the flour and sugar mixture.
  3. Add in the flaked almonds now and cover down until needed.

For the cake mixture:

  1. Meanwhile in a large mixing bowl cream the butter and the sugar together until light and fluffy.
  2. Add in the eggs and milk.
  3. Sieve together the flour, baking powder, ground almonds, and cinnamon and add these to the mixture also. Mix well until a creamy consistency has been achieved.
  4. Place approximately half of the cake mixture into the cake tin. Arrange half of the apple and mincemeat mixture on top of this.
  5. Sprinkle approximately half of the crumble topping on top of this.
  6. Carefully spread the remaining cake mixture on top of this.
  7. Neatly arrange the remaining cool apple and mincemeat on top of the cake and then cover with the remaining crumble.
  8. Bake in the preheated oven for 1½ hours.
  9. After the first 45 minutes, you can cover down the cake with some tin foil or baking parchment and reduce the oven temperature to 150C/300F/Gas Mark 2 if the cake is browning excessively.
  10. When the cake is cooked, ensure it is so by inserting a skewer into the middle of the cake and ensure that the skewer comes away clean.
  11. Allow the cake to cool slightly in the tin and then carefully remove the cake from the tin and place it on a large serving platter.
  12. Drizzle the cake with the honey and serve with some freshly whipped cream or crème fraîche.

Additional Information:

Substitute apples for pears, if you wish, and you can use fresh or frozen berries instead of the mincemeat.