Quince & yoghurt cake

Just for the record, a quince is a fruit. A delicious, fragrant and golden yellow fruit. Don’t be fooled into thinking this little gem is just some purple sticky blob served alongside cheese – it’s so much more than that. In fact, it’s scent is a portal to my childhood – my Grandparents used to cook quinces whole to serve alongside breakfast. I used to watch as they slowly turned from a vibrant yellow to the a deep ruby red. My Mother however has always made quince jams. So when she bought me some the other day, I was a little perplexed as to what to do with them…..

Eventually I convinced myself to invent some sort of cake to put them in, but I didn’t want to use whole pieces – which lead me to the puree idea. Quinces need a long time to cook. It took me one and a half hours to get  them to transform from tough and woody to soft and deliciously sweet.

I love quinces versatility. I often use the puree to enhance a gravy – especially when serving pork or venison roasts. It adds a wonderful sweetness and vibrancy to rich, gamey meats. Even baked and then used in a dark chocolate cake is another family favourite.

So if you ever stumble across these golden yellow, knobbly and tough unknowns, make sure you give them a good home. Treat them with the love and time that they deserve and they will reward you with a wonderful, if somewhat forgotten, flavour.

Serves 10

Quince and yoghurt cake

Quince and yoghurt cake

The list:

2 – 3 quinces (small, or 1 large)
1 stick of cinnamon
1 vanilla bean, split

Yoghurt cake
1 1/2 cups full-fat Greek yoghurt
2/3 cup olive oil
1 1/4 cup sugar
3 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla paste or extract
2 1/2 cups self-raising flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 – 4 cups icing sugar
1/2 stick unsalted butter


The method:

  1. Peel and quarter your quinces, removing the seeds.
  2. Bring a large pot of water to the boil and add in your cinnamon stick and vanilla bean pod. Once boiling add the pieces of quince and cook for 1 1/2 hours, or until soft.
  3. Heat the oven to 180°C. Grease a 24cm spring form pan lightly with baking spray or oil, and line the bottom with parchment.
  4. Puree you pieces of quince until smooth and creamy, reserving the liquid they cooked in.
  5. Boil down a couple ladle fulls of the quince cooking liquid until it becomes more syrup like.
  6. Whisk together the yoghurt, olive oil, sugar, eggs, and vanilla. Sift the flour and salt into the liquids and stir until no lumps remain.
  7. Pour the batter into the cake pan and then pour over roughly 1 cup of your quince puree, then gently stir through. Bake for 30 – 40 minutes or until a tester comes out clean, transfer the cake to a cooling rack and let it cool for 10 minutes before removing it from the pan.
  8. Poke a few holes in your cake with a skewer and pour a a few tablespoons of the reserved quince liquid over the cake.
  9. Using a bench-top mixer, beat butter and incing sugar until creamy and pale, then add a tablespoon of the quince puree. Once cake is cooled, spread icing over the cake.




Easy and quick to make, this cake has a wonderful point of difference

Easy and quick to make, this cake has a wonderful point of difference

A lovely little cake perfect for afternoon tea

A lovely little cake perfect for afternoon tea


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