Friday, May 07, 2010

Apple and Jicama Cake

The lovely Lynne from Cafe Lynnlu is hosting this edition of Weekend Herb Blogging and this week I'm welcoming the return of that giant legume, Jicama

jicama© by Haalo

You might know Jicama by its other names - Yam bean, Mexican Turnip or Mexican Potato and up until a couple of years ago, it wasn't grown commercially here in Australia.

Tastewise, it's a combination of mild apple and nashi flavours with water chestnut like crispness and they can be eaten raw or cooked.

Most commonly you'll see Jicama in a salad but I've decided to build upon those apple notes and crisp texture and combine them with apples to make an Apple and Jicama Cake, which is based on my mothers Italian Apple Cake.

As the jicama is crisp but not overly sweet, instead of using a cooking apple like Granny Smith, I've used Royal Gala, which are crisp and sweet and will hold their shape with cooking.

Apple and Jicama Cake© by Haalo

Apple and Jicama Cake

250 grams jicama, peeled, sliced finely
500 grams apples, peeled, cored, sliced finely
350 grams plain flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
160 grams caster sugar
2 eggs
1 tablespoon vanilla bean paste or vanilla extract
120 grams butter, melted and cooled
½ cup milk, approx
Demerara sugar

Sift the flour and baking powder together and set aside.

Whisk the eggs and caster sugar in a bowl until light and creamy. Add the vanilla, cooled, melted butter and sifted flour - whisk on a low speed until combined. Pour in the milk to form a spoonable batter - you may need to add more milk to get the right consistency.

Add in the sliced jicama and apples and on low speed, beat briefly (less than 10 seconds) until they just mix into the batter.

Dollop the batter into a cake tin - I used a lined, loose-based, high sided, 20cm square tin. Smooth the top with a palette knife and then sprinkle with Demerara sugar.

Bake in a pre-heated 170°C oven until golden and cooked through - about 60 to 75 minutes. If the top is browning too quickly, cover with foil and decrease the temperature to 160°C.

Once cooked, let it stand in the pan to cool before turning out onto a serving plate. Finish the cake with a dusting of icing sugar.

Apple and Jicama Cake© by Haalo

Perfect for an afternoon tea served with thickened cream.


  1. As always, I learn something from your posts!! I've eaten jicama my whole life -- but never cooked. Julienned and dressed with a squeeze of lime and generous sprinkles of chili powder, it is THE best finger food on a hot afternoon. We'd eat it by the platter.

    Somehow, it escaped me that it was a legume!!! And I'd never heard of Nashi pears -- must see if I can find those, too.

    Thanks for a unique treatment of an old favorite

  2. I actually saw Yam bean for the first time yesterday at the green grocers. I had no idea what it is used for so I kept shopping. I love this cake. I looks really moist and tasty.

  3. I always learn something too! I love pears, never heard of Nashi though, but I will be looking for them.

  4. Wow, amazing. Never knew Jicama can be made into a cake. Lovely pics.

  5. Apple and jicama can be mixed? woah! It's new cooking techniques then, I'm going to try this cake.

    Anyway, jicama and carrots can be mixed too?

  6. Thanks Tanita - it does look like a root vegetable but it grows on a vine, must be a huge vine! It is lovely served raw but I was intrigued when I read articles saying that it was used in desserts and even smoothies! Hope you find nashi they are lovely, very crisp but very juicy too

    Thanks Mark - it is a moist cake due to all those apples, there's probably even more apples in my mothers version.

    Thanks Lynsey - good luck with the hunt for nashi

    Thanks Priya!

    Hi Jenny - apple and jicama work well together in salads, haven't tried it with carrot, but it should be fine

  7. I have just discovered your post. Really great. Where can I buy Jicama in Melbourne.

  8. Lovely cake-thanks for the info on jicama. Never thought of using it in a cake.

  9. Hi Miranda - Mows stall in Prahran Market sells them

    Thanks Lynn!


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