Food obsession: BakefestDXB apple cake

Sitting shyly on one of the 15 community tables at BakefestDXB, a moist apple cake with butterscotch glaze was the highlight of my sweet feast last week.

The apple cake strikes the perfect balance of simple ingredients and classic textures.
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I sank into a giddy heap on a bench outside the Metro. For the past two hours I had been scarfing down sugar in all its decadent forms: mixed into cookies with chocolate chips or candied ginger, paddled into cupcake batter with pineapples or minty chocolates, folded into brownies and blondies and cakes and puddings or whisked into the vibrant scoop of cool lemon sherbet that cleansed my palette between each debaucherous bite.

But as I teetered out of the community BakefestDXB at Wild Peeta, the sugar rush snapped wildly out of control. It slithered up the back of my neck, shot around my ears and bolted to the bull's-eye of my pounding temples until my whole face was engulfed with the flames of a burning sugar high.

But regret is not something I experienced. In fact, as I stumbled into the Metro, my mind was preoccupied with the moist, butterscotch-glazed slice of Sugarama's apple cake (, an unpretentious home-made cake without any of the sugary frills that pander to the pretty trend of the day. This cake spoke to me of toasted walnuts, of the fragrant chunks of apple in my mother's apple pie, of a childhood affinity for butterscotch sauce and of a tray pulled out of the oven at that perfect moment when dense batter starts firming up into crumbly, porous cake. It held a grandma-style simplicity yet boasted a well-balanced trio of classic textures. The only things missing were my cup of steaming hot coffee and a romance novel.

When I congratulated Sugarama's baker on her apple cake, she glowed with pride, revealing that she had used applesauce to keep the cake moist. As I drew near to glean more of her baking secrets, she quietly admitted that this was her first apple cake ever. Here's hoping that it was not her last.

Arva Ahmed blogs about hidden food gems in Old Dubai at