Wild hedges

As well as the plums, this year has also been brilliant for blackberries.

There are certain parts of our garden that we have deemed suitable to tame. The wild hedges surrounding our garden are not one of them! Leaving them to grow naturally means that we end up with bowls of berries every year - and this one has been better than most.

As you know by now, crumble is one of my favourite puddings. Cake is one of my favourite things to bake (and eat). And blackberries and apples together is one of my favourite flavour combinations! It made sense to combine all three together in a beautiful cake.

I'd been meaning to do a crumble cake ever since spotting Lorraine Pascale's  apple crumble cupcakes in a Sainsbury's magazine a few years ago. (Actually, now I come to think of it, I did bake them!)

I was further inspired by one of the recipes on The Great British Bake Off; and then to top it all off, there was a recipe in the Daily Telegraph last Saturday for Fiona Cairns' hedgerow crumble cake. We had apples, we had blackberries; was there any reason not to go ahead?

As you can see from the pictures, it's not the prettiest of cakes. However, as Nigella says about her Venetian carrot cake, the dip in the middle is part of its charm. (To remedy this, I recommend using a fairly large round cake tin - i.e larger than 20cm in diameter.) It's heavier than an ordinary sponge and slightly more moist due to the apples and blackberries; but it's a homemade cake that deserves to be eaten, forkful by greedy forkful.

Make the crumble first.

Now for the cake - cream butter and sugar.

Add in the eggs and vanilla extract and beat well.

Now for the flour, baking powder and cinnamon.

Stir in half of the apple and blackberries.

Pour into a lined cake tin and press the remaining fruit lightly down on top. Scatter over the crumble and bake!

The recipe that follows is based on the recipe from the Telegraph. I've changed it a bit to my tastes and whilst it's not perfect, it is certainly delicious. It's autumnal and makes the perfect Sunday pudding served warm with some fresh blackberries and vanilla ice-cream.

Sunken Hedgerow Crumble Cake
250g (9 oz) golden caster sugar
200g (7 oz) unsalted butter or baking margarine
3 eggs
280g (10 oz) self-raising flour
2 tsp baking powder 
pinch salt
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp ground cinnamon
250g blackberries, washed
1 - 2 dessert apples, peeled, cored, chopped and sprinkled with lemon juice

100g (3 1/2 oz) unsalted butter, in pieces
150g (5 1/2 oz) plain flour
80g (3 oz)soft light brown sugar

1. Heat the oven to 180˚C (160˚C fan). Grease and line a large round cake tin (about 23cm in diameter). 

2. Make the crumble by rubbing the butter into the flour until it resembles fine breadcrumbs. Stir in the sugar and set aside.

3. In another bowl, cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Gradually beat in the eggs, adding a little flour if it begins to curdle. Mix in the flour, baking powder, cinnamon and vanilla extract. 

4. Gently fold in half the blackberries and apples. Pour the mixture into the cake tin and press the remaining fruit on top. Sprinkle with the crumble.

5. Bake in the oven for 60 - 90 minutes until golden and a skewer comes out clean. Don't worry if it sinks a bit - that's part of the charm! Serve warm with ice cream.

Serves 6 - 8. Once cool, store in the fridge for up to 5 days.


  1. Crumble and cake combined!?! That sounds amazing!

    Lucy x

  2. This looks so delicious! I'm craving a piece now!
    katie x


    1. I would send you a piece via email if I could haha! But I'd have to make an extra cake, this one has mysteriously disappeared….

  3. Delicious, and so jealous that you've got such great blackberries growing. Ours all got eaten by the birds before i had a chance to use them!

    1. Last year we got barely any with the rain and the birds! You have to get out quick haha :) x


Post a Comment

I read all your comments and treasure each one. Drop me a line and I"ll check out your blog, too! x