Boerencake met appel en kaneel

I don't know why the Dutch tend to add the prefix "boeren" (farmers) to food items that are larger than usual. Boerensoepgroenten (yes, that is a word!), or farmers soup vegetables, are the same vegetables as the traditional soepgroenten that consist of carrots, leeks and celeriac, but cut in larger chunks. The same with "boerencake": it's like any other cake, just larger. Odd. Maybe it's because the Dutch farmers work hard and need to eat more food?

On Sunday, my dear friend Naomi brought over a bucket full of apples to process. I ate some, baked with several others and am dehydrating the rest. Since the weather looks just like a typical Dutch fall weather (cold, rainy, dark) and I have not much else to do but watch the apples dry, I decided to bake a golden boerencake with some apples and cinnamon to bring a little bit of light into the kitchen. It worked!

It is important that your ingredients are at room temperature as it will improve the texture of the cake.

1 1/2 stick (200g) butter, room temperature
3/4 cup (150g) sugar
4 eggs, room temperature
pinch of salt
1/2 cup (60g) milk, room temperature
1/2 lemon, zest and juice
1 1/2 cup (200g) self-rising flour, room temperature
2 apples
1 tablespoon cinnamon
1 tablespoon sugar

Cream the butter and the sugar until they've formed a cohesive, fluffy mass. Add the eggs, one by one, until all absorbed. Add the lemon zest, half of the milk and half of the flour with the mixer on low. Make sure there are no lumpy bits. Now add the rest of the milk and the flour (keep one tablespoon), one tablespoon at a time until everything's well mixed. Now mix to beat air into the mixture for a good five minutes on medium speed.

Peel and dice the apples, toss with the sugar, lemon juice, cinnamon and one tablespoon of flour and fold into the batter. Grease the cake form, spoon the cake batter into the form and bake on the middle rack in an 350F (175C) oven, for about an hour until golden, or until a toothpick comes out clean.

Invert onto a rack, turn over and cool before slicing. I like to use half fresh, half dehydrated apples for this recipe.


  1. A century or more ago, white bread was called 'herenbrood' or 'fijn brood' as it was eaten by the rich. As the Dutch became more affluent, white bread became available for more and more people, and the distinction lost its function. In the 1960's, white bread was THE bread. There was a countermovement, however, that was all about 'getting back to the roots' of food, and so the more rustic brown loaves are now called 'boerenbrood' to emphasize its 'wholesome down to earth goodness'.

    I think something similar is up with 'boerencake' and 'boerensoepgroente'. It's about rustic goodness without 'all that faffing about with a pinc of this and a sliver of that', but big, hearty, chuncky goodness.


  2. Would you let us know for what size cake pan this recipe should be used? Thank you.

  3. The recipe worked for a Wilton 9.25 x 5.25 x 2.75 inch rectangular cake pan.

  4. Looks great I remember that smell as a kid Always a pinch of nut mag


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