Has ANYONE else ever heard of Australian Lumberjack Cake? Once upon a time in my early food blogging days, a friend from high school sent me a message and asked ” If you ever come across a recipe for Australian Lumberjack Cake, let me know.” I did a little bit of research on the web, found absolutely nothing (remember, this is probably 12 years ago when the internet still was a burgeoning force when it came to recipes) and tucked that little nugget into the back of my head for a later date.
Now, first things first. Has ANYONE else ever heard of Australian Lumberjack Cake?
No one has ever known what I was talking about when I mentioned this recipe ( except my friend that had actually lived in Australia for many years) so when I was thinking of a recipe that would make a great idea for a food video that would teach people a NEW recipe, this one popped right into my head.
In all of my cake tasting years ( and oh have I tried cakes!) I have never come across something that has this flavour combo. The apples and dates are vaguely reminiscent of a date pudding but not close enough because once you throw that that broiled coconut topping on top?
Sweet Lord above. This is now Mike’s favourite cake, no word of a lie.
I can’t call it plain, but it is a plain cake. It doesn’t have this flavour that punches you in the mouth but is a delicate apple and date delight perfectly foiled by that coconut topping.
Sigh.What I am trying to do here is describe the flavour of a cake that is brand new to me and I’m just not doing it justice. So much for being a wordsmith.
You have to try this cake to actually see what I am talking about. The Australian Lumberjack Cake is moister than any cake mix cake you are going to find but light as a feather. The coconut broiled topping is where most of the sweetness lies in the cake and it’s simply perfect in every way.
So thank you to my friend Lori for living in Australia and asking me to make this cake. Sorry it took me about 6 years. You guys should thank her as well, because once you try this cake, you are going to keep dates, coconut and apples in your house at all times. Guests? This is the recipe that everyone is going to ask you for because like I said, you haven’t really tasted anything like this cake before.
Happy Baking. Make this cake!
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Australian Lumberjack Cake
- Prep Time
- 10 minutes
- Cook Time
- 1 hour 20 minutes
- Total Time
- 1 hour 30 minutes
- Karlynn Johnston
- 1 cup peeled chopped apple
- 1 cup dates diced small
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 cup boiling water
- 1/2 cup butter
- 1 cup white sugar
- 1 Large egg
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 1/2 Cups all purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 4 tablespoons butter
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 4 tablespoons milk
- 1 cup sweetened shredded coconut
- Combine apples, dates, baking soda and water in a medium sized bowl. Allow to cool to lukewarm.
- Preheat your oven to 350 °F.
- Grease an 8x8 pan.
- Cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
- Add egg and vanilla and beat well.
- Sift flour and salt, beat in alternately with apple mixture.
- Pour into the pan and bake for approximately 1 hour or until cooked.
- Make the topping by combining butter, sugar, milk and coconut and use the microwave or the stove top to melt the ingredients together.
- Spread over the hot cake and return to oven for a further 20 minutes or until topping is golden brown.
All calories and info are based on a third party calculator and are only an estimate. Actual nutritional info will vary with brands used, your measuring methods, portion sizes and more.
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Comments & Recipe Tips Share a tip or comment!
My recipe is very close yours. I add one egg and two egg yolks.
My husband loves this cake and gets disappointed if I don’t make it very week.
Another favourite of his is Banana and Prune cake.
lisa k says
can i make these into muffins?
wendy inglis says
I have been making this for about 20 or more years Was popular back in the 80s and 90s I am in Australia and it has become quite a popular cake along with the Hummingbird cake
This is the closest thing I can find to a cake I grew up with. It was a handwritten recipe in my mom’s box called “German Raw Apple Cake.” I can’t find that one anywhere online either. The measurements, method, and even baking times are identical, but there are a few ingredient swaps. It uses only brown sugar, honey instead of dates, and buttermilk instead of water.
Carson W. says
My version with a few added ingredients.Wonderful cake however you make it.
1 Cup peeled, chopped Apple
3/4 Cup chopped Dates
1/2 Cup Raisins
1/2 Cup chopped Nuts
1 tsp. Baking Soda
1 Cup Boiling Water
1/2 Cup Butter
1 Cup White Sugar
1 tsp. Vanilla
1 1/2 Cups Flour & 1/2 tsp. Salt
3 Tblsp. Butter (Melted)
1/3 Cup Brown Sugar
3 Tblsp. Milk
2/3 Cup Shredded Coconut
Hi Karrlyn I live in Australia and only two days ago while out with a friend for coffee die I see Lumberjack cake on the menu- and to our delighted surprise it had dates and a coconut topping!!Neither of us had ever seen or heard of this before- we are both mums in our sixties. I’m popping one in the oven as soon as possible!
I live in Australia and the Lumberjack cake has been attributed to the lumberjacks who came out from Canada to fell trees (in Qld??). However, once they saw the snakes here, they left and went back home.
I was given a recipe for “lumberjack squares” by a neighbor in New Brunswick, Canada back in the early 1980s. It’s been years since I made them, so I decided to search online rather than digging through scads of handwritten recipes. This sounds and looks very similar so I’m going to give it a try! (my neighbor wasn’t Australian though!)
Hi Karlynn! This cake looks amazing and I plan to make it very soon! I have never cooked with dates before and I have no idea what to look for at the store. Are they normally on the baking isle? Do most stores carry them? I truly appreciate your help with my question and I cannot wait to try this recipe. Thank you!
wendy inglis says
Hi Heidi Dates here in Australia are usually found with the dried fruit isle
What a great cake! So moist and flavorful. And with two of my husband’s favorite ingredients, dates and apples! He says I need to make this cake every week! The only change I made was to bake the cake in an 8″ springform pan and I added 1/2 cup chopped pecans to the topping.