The Native Seeds

Weekend Herb Blogging comes back to Kalyn this week. And for this edition, I have chosen something Australian to feature – wattle seeds.

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Wattle seeds may be new to some of us, but they have been used by the Australian Aboriginal communities for a long time. Wattle seeds come from a range of acacia tree species. According to this link, out of 900 plus species of Acacia, only 100 species are suitable for human consumption.

Roasted and ground, wattle seeds have a wonderful light nutty, chocolaty and coffee aroma. I have read that these seeds are useful in baking. However, I don´t recall seeing a lot of products contain wattle seeds here in Australia. Furthermore, these seeds are generally not available at normal supermarkets. I bought mine as a native speciality from a gourmet shop .

My first experiment with wattle seeds is in this flourless apple and almond cake which comes from Nigella Lawson´s Feast. To my surprise, the original recipe does not contain any flavouring ingredients, i.e. no cinnamon or even vanilla. Having made it once, I found that although the cake had wonderful texture and taste, it still had an unpleasant `eggy´ aroma. To fix this, wattle seeds were added to lend some aromatic coffee fragrance to the product. The new combination proved to be wonderful. The cake turned out moist, buttery (even though no butter is used) and aromatic. Great with a cup of coffee or tea.

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Wattle Seed, Apple and Almond Cake

Adapted from this book


3 tart apples (I used Granny Smith)

2 tablespoons lemon juice, divided

2 teaspoons castor sugar

8 eggs

325g ground almonds

275g castor sugar

50g slivered or sliced almonds

1 tsp wattle seed

Icing sugar, to serve


For the apple puree: Peel, core and roughly chop apples. Place in a saucepan with 1 tablespoon of lemon juice and 2 tsp sugar, and bring to a boil over medium heat. Cover, reduce heat, and cook for about 10 minutes, or until you can mash apple into a rough puree with a wooden spoon or fork. Remove from heat and allow to cool.

Preheat oven to 180C. Grease 10-inch springform pan and line bottom with parchment paper.

In the bowl of a food processor, add eggs, ground almonds, sugar, wattle seeds, cooled apple mixture and remaining tablespoon of lemon juice, and whiz until combined. Pour batter into prepared pan, sprinkle with almonds and bake for about 45 minutes. Check after 35 minutes and test doneness with a toothpick inserted in center (should be nearly clean).

Cool. Lightly dust with icing sugar before serving.

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26 Responses to The Native Seeds

  1. Angie says:

    Hey pal, great to see you back again :) I’m sure things have worked out, I’m happy for you, and congrats!

  2. Kalyn says:

    I’ve never heard of wattle seeds, so I’m excited to learn about something new. They wound interesting, and your photos are just fabulous too! Great entry.

  3. Lydia says:

    Wattle seeds are new to me — I’m going to look for an online source here in the US! Thanks for another wonderful post.

  4. Y says:

    Great looking cake! :)

  5. sher says:

    I’ve never heard of them either–so this is quite exciting. I learn so many things from you! The cake looks fabulous.

  6. Nora B. says:

    Anh, your cake looks sooooo good! If you lived closer, we could do a cake exchange 😉 I had wattle seeds in a bread for the first time when I went to a “bush food” dinner party. Wattle seeds added a slight nutty, almost coffee like flavour.

  7. Precious Moments says:

    ha…. so now I know if anyone ask me what I like from Aussie. hahahaa….

  8. SteamyKitchen says:

    I’ve never heard of this before – now I must find it and try!

  9. Johanna says:

    Hi anh, thanks for the recipe – I just started looking in Australian indigenous herbs and spices and bought some wattleseed yesterday and was wondering what to do with it – am thinking about trying your recipe if I can get past the 8 eggs – do you think you could get away with less?

  10. Amy says:

    Wattle seed is very new to me. I always learn something about plants and herbs on your blog. :) The cake looks beautiful and delicious.

  11. Anh says:

    Angie, *hug, hug*. This recipe is really nice. I think cinnamon will do the work, too. And yes, I love love almond.

  12. cin says:

    I tried wattleseed in one of Nigella’s other recipes and it turned out great too!

  13. Patricia Scarpin says:

    Anh, your idea is wonderful!

  14. Sharmi says:

    the Wattle seed really sounds good and new to me. this is a lovely recipe. haven’t you posted the photo or is it my system which is having a problem?

  15. Anh says:

    Cin, I have seen your delightful bake! Very nice. I picked up my wattle seed bottle at Macro Whole Food in Richmond. I think they have several branches throughout Melbourne. Here’s the link to their website:

  16. Vic says:

    Hi Anh,

  17. lynn says:

    Beautiful cake! Now I have to search for wattle seeds. I love the way you describe their flavor. It sounds delicious!

  18. Mishmash ! says:

    Hello Anh! Following the trail you left on my page, I came here and got hooked! I gave browsed through most of your posts and was admiring the magazine quality food photography and food styling. Somehow, I felt you and Gattina of Kitchen Unplugged share some common grounds….Beautiful- Beautiful blog.

  19. Susan says:

    Now, I’ve got to search for wattle seeds. Nutty and chocolately flavors? I can think of many good uses for them. The cake is just lovely. Thanks!

  20. Anh says:

    Vic, thanks so much for the info and tips. I’ll remember it!

  21. urban vegan says:

    I never heard of wattle seeds…how intriguing.

  22. joey says:

    This is the first time I’ve heard of these wattle seeds…sounds interesting! :) And that cake sounds really gooood!

  23. Freya and Paul says:

    I have exactly the same pot of wattle seeds in my drawer and I had no idea how to use them! Thanks so much for the inspiration and your photography is beautiful!

  24. Sandeepa says:

    I learn so much from your blog, never heard of these seeds either

  25. Helen says:

    Looks absolutely gorgeous! Familiar with wattleseed although I have never baked with it. Something else to get..woohoo!

  26. Eva says:

    Like everyone else obviously I’m very intrigued by those wattle seeds (only heard the name before and that was it) but also by this very unique cake. I never made such a no-butter-but-applesauce-cake before. Thanks for such a unique recipe!