Kentish Cobnut cake with apple compote - a marriage made in autumn

It seems like in a weeks time the days have started to get more chilly and shorter. The trees are starting to shake off their leaves and we are greeted by cobnuts, apples and plums. Autumn is definitely upon us.

Last week I walked in a sunny meadow in Kent wearing a summer dress and red dancing shoes, today I'm packing a warm cardigan for London where I will stay with friends for a few days to attend this years food blogger conference. This time away from the hectic magazine deadlines and the company of like-minded food lovers from all over the globe will warm me with a fire of creativity.

In Kent, my mission was to find the 'Kentish cob' which is a type of hazelnut that has been grown in England since Tudor times and perhaps even earlier. The Victorians considered the Kentish cobnuts to be a delicacy and therefore are responsible for planting 7000 acres of cobnut orchard or 'plats'.
Like the cherry orchards, after first world war the amount of cobnut plats in Kent was
drastically decreased to no more than 730 acres with a further decline to 250 acres today.
Unlike most hazelnuts, cobnuts are sold fresh and not dried. They are in season from the end of august through october.
At the beginning of the season the husks are green and the kernels very juicy, further into the season when the nuts have ripened the husks and shells are brown and the flavour has developed further to the hazelnut taste that we are used too.

This cake has a wonderful nutty flavour, together with the apple compote the flavours are a marriage made in autumn. Just glorious cake.

Kentish cobnut cake
traditional Kentish recipe adapted from English Teatime Recipes

preheat the oven to 160C

To roast the cobnuts
Remove the shells and place them in an oven at 160C for 45 minutes

For the cobnut cake
• 225 g self-raising flour

• 110 unsalted butter, at room temperature
• 110 g light soft brown sugar

• 3 free-range eggs, beaten
• 50 g (1 cup) cobnuts, shells removed, roasted and finely chopped

For the cobnut cake, preheat the oven to 160C°.  

Line you cake tin with baking paper.Add the butter to the flour and mix until it resembles breadcrumbs
Add the sugar and eggs and beat until well combined. 
Stir in the chopped cobnuts until well combined.
Spoon the mixture into the prepared cake tin, gently spreading the batter into all the corners.
Put the cake in to the oven and bake for 1h 20 min, or until the cake has risen and is lovely golden-brown, when a skewer is inserted into the centre of the cake it has to come out clean.
Set the cake aside to cool slightly in the tin.

For the apple compôte 
• 3 apples, peeled, cores removed, finely chopped
• 2-3 tbsp cane sugar

• 2 tbsp water

Heat the water in a frying pan over a medium heat. 
Add the sugar and let it dissolve
Add the apples and stir well
Cook until the apples have broken down slightly and the mixture has thickened.

Serve the slices of cake with a spoonful of warm or cold apple compôte. 


For more information about Kentish Cobnuts visit this website:

Want to know where to find Cobnuts? Check out this page here
or visit

You might also like
Elisabeth sandwich cake
Chestnut cake
Parsnip and apple cake 
Vegan beetroot and chocolate birthday cake


  1. A beautiful post! The pictures are stunning and your cake is wonderful. I love that poem...



    1. Thanks Rosa, I knew you would like this beautiful poem...

  2. I get great satisfaction just looking at your photos... I can only imagine how lovely the cake must taste!


    1. Thanks, it is lovely! :)

  3. Beautiful, I will share a slice of my cake if you bring a slice of this! and regula, thank you for the thoughtful and always so so so passionate insights on English culture! see you in a few days! x

    1. I knew you would love this, our Anglophile sides :) See you soon x

  4. This looks absolutely amazing! I wish I could have a slice right now!

  5. This looks glorious. Rich and dense and nutty. Lovely.

    1. The nut flavour is so intense!

  6. simply gorgeous Regula!!! the atmosphere leaves me breathless!
    A tableau like out of a Flemish painting.
    xox Karin

    1. Aww thanks Karin, that was what I was going for :)

  7. Kara Lamnb25/9/12

    Your photography is exquisite, Regula; I'm so happy to have discovered you & look forward to adapting your recipes (I'm vegan because of food allergies). The pretty cake looks especailly scrumptious! :)

    1. Hi Kara, you can easily make this cake vegan by using a cup of apple puree and perhaps half a cup of oat milk. But if you are vegan, you will know this better than I do ;) I have a lovely moist vegan chocolate and beetroot cake on the blog.
      Let me know if you make any vegan experiments, I love hearing feedback :)

  8. Regula I adore the new header with the birdie - the whole blog is stunning and so fits you!!
    Well done Darling!!
    xox Karin

    1. Thanks Karin, I also hope to be on wordpress in the new year too! Isn't it great the bird flies around?!!

  9. Such a beautiful cake - love the idea of serving it with compote. I get a bag of Kentish cobnuts every year from a local farmers market (a perk of living in Kent!) and have bookmarked to make this when I get my hands on them!

  10. can i just say i'm drooling over those

  11. Oh I love that!
    Such beautiful pictures!!!

  12. What an absolutely beautiful cake made all the better for seeing your photographs. So wonderful. I was lucky enough to find a few handfuls of cobnuts down at my allotment a couple of weeks ago. Now I wish I had seen your post first!

  13. I have never seen kobnuts in where I live. Guess I can only drool over your yummy photos.

  14. Wow Regula! What gorgeous shots! I'm sorry I missed everone in London this year but who knows maybe next year!

  15. O and wow... love your new header with the flying bird!! Beautiful too!


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