Baking with coconut sugar, plus our favorite apple cake recipe

The beauty of coconut sugar is that unlike many other alternative sweeteners, coconut sugar can be used as a 1:1 replacement in baking and it has a lovely caramel flavor similar to brown sugar. Switching to coconut sugar also means your blood sugar levels will be happier as it's one of the lowest glycemic index sweeteners available. 

Apples meet coconut sugar from Big Tree Farms


This apple custard tea cake from Good Food is a favorite of ours and we've made it with our Big Tree Farms Coconut Sugar with great results.  It is a two part recipe- a custard and a cake batter, which combine to create an incredible texture and flavor. 


Apple tea cake made with coconut sugar


Ingredients for the Fragrant Apple Custard Tea Cake 

We use organic ingredients when possible. 

For the custard

1 cup milk

3 large egg yolks

55g coconut sugar

30g plain flour

2 tsp vanilla extract (we used fresh vanilla scraped from the pod) 


Big Tree Farms coconut sugar ready to bake with

For the cake

200g soft butter

110g coconut sugar

2 eggs

225g self-raising flour, sifted

2 small unpeeled apples, cored and thinly sliced (about 140g each)

1 tbsp butter, melted

2 tsp coconut sugar, extra

1 tsp fragrant sweet spices*

*We mixed some freshly ground Bali spices like cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, and cloves 


For the custard

Place milk in a small saucepan and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Remove. Whisk egg yolks and sugar in a small bowl until thick then add flour and whisk until smooth. Pour hot milk onto egg yolk mixture and stir until smooth. Return mixture to saucepan and stir over low heat until mixture comes to the boil. Stir constantly for 1-2 minutes until thick then remove from heat, stir in vanilla and chill, covered in the fridge.

For the cake

Pre-heat oven to 180C/350F.

Combine butter and sugar in a bowl and beat with an electric mixer until pale and fluffy.

Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each. Fold in flour.

Spread half the mixture into a 22cm (around 8.5 inches) greased and base-lined cake tin, add custard and smooth with a spatula.

Add spoonfuls of remaining cake mix and spread carefully with a spatula to cover custard.

Arrange apples on top of cake mixture and brush with melted butter. Combine sweet spice mix with extra sugar and sprinkle over apples.

Bake for 60 to 70 minutes or until cooked when tested with a skewer. Cool in pan before turning out.

Apple custard cake made with coconut sugar by Big Tree Farms