Gluten-Free Apple Spice Cake

by Beth @ Tasty Yummies

Apple Spice Cake

This afternoon when I took a break from work to have lunch, I was struggling to figure out what to make since our fridge is looking a bit bare. We are leaving Monday morning to go to Birmingham for a job we are working on, so we are nearing the end of the planned meals and the groceries I bought earlier in the week. As I sat thinking for a minute, it came to me, I made a chickpea, kale, sun-dried tomato salad with goat cheese and a homemade multi-grain mustard vinaigrette, on the side I toasted up one of those delicious gluten-free multi-grain rolls I had made earlier in the week and topped it with a tad bit of garlic butter and small sprinkle of Parmigiano Reggiano. As I was “whipping” this all up, Mark sat down to eat his lunch, a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, and he started laughing at me and my creation. First he told me how jealous he was of my lunch and that he wished he had waited to see what I came up with. Then, he asked ‘what is your first memory of really loving good food. Like, at what age do you remember thinking, THIS is really good food?’

It was such a good question, I really had to think about it. I didn’t really have one solid memory, I just always remember loving good home-cooked food. Besides the traditional and super delicious Greek foods my dad and his family always made for holidays and the like, my parents cooked dinner every single night for us. My dad did the majority of the cooking, my mom most of the baking, but my mom had some really classic and comforting dishes, that I still think very fondly of now as an adult. One of my favorite memories growing up, that I always think of, was when my mom would make her homemade tomato sauce, totally from scratch, and the whole house would fill with the amazing smell of her sauce. I love my mom’s sauce so much. I used to come into the kitchen quite often while it would simmer away and grab the spoon and take a huge taste. I would sometimes grab a bowl from the cupboard and just ladle a ton of the sauce into it, maybe a meatball or two and just spoon it into my mouth like soup. It was so good. She never bought the jarred spaghetti sauce crap. It was that way for almost everything my family made. There was a major emphasis on homemade food. I am sure that is a large part of where I got my love of food and cooking from.

I asked Mark what he remembers and he told me about him being really young and biting into a really good ham sandwich and think “woah, this ham sandwich is REALLY really good” – haha. I can totally see a young, adorable little Mark all excited about his ham sandwich, likely served with some southern style sweet tea or orange soda on the side.

Can you remember the first time you really realized your love for good, home cooked food? Were you a kid? Or did you not really realize your love of food until you were an adult?

I made this cake yesterday morning. I was going to my sister’s apartment for a party in the evening and she asked everyone to bring a snack and something to drink. Since I knew there would be tons of savory snack options and wine, I decided I wanted to bring a healthy fall inspired dessert and some spiced rum and apple cider. At first I thought about making my gluten-free apple crisp (well really it’s my Mom’s recipe), but then I thought up the idea of an apple cake made with some of that great almond flour that I am obsessed with and just a tad bit of honey and dates as the sweetener. Look at me, all confident after my cookie recipe last week. I baked a cake, guys! My own cake with my own recipe.

The cake turned out great, I honestly have to say I was a little surprised, I had visions of the entire thing sinking in, or just being totally tasteless. It was the right amount of moist, which I honestly was a bit worried about, it seemed like so many wet ingredients to me. The spices all sang in perfect harmony with the apples and the dates and the small amount of honey surprisingly made it the perfect amount of sweet. I honestly hate super sweet cake, I think that is one of the reasons I don’t care for most cakes.

I cut into the cake to take photos to post the recipe here on the blog, but I didn’t taste it before I brought it to my sister’s. It seemed kinda tacky to show up with a whole cake, with one piece missing. So I served it up and crossed my fingers! Every one that tried it, loved it and some even asked for the recipe! Yay – success! This cake is gluten-free, dairy-free and egg-free, it is also easily made vegan by substituting maple syrup for the honey.

Apple Spice Cake

Apple Spice Cake
 Serves 8-10

2 cups blanched almond flour (meal) – I like Honeyville
1/2 cup chickpea flour
1/2 cup tapioca starch
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground clove
1/4 teaspoon sea salt

1 cup apple cider (unsweetened) (you could also try unsweetened apple sauce)
1/4 cup grape seed oil
1/4 cup unsweetened almond milk (cow’s milks or other non-dairy milk should work as well)
1/2 cup honey (use maple syrup to make vegan)
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2-3 peeled and chopped medium-sized apples, reserve half (or more) of one peeled apple to slice thinly for the top of the cake (I used two very large Crispin apples that we picked last weekend at Blackman Homestead Farm)
8 or so Medjool dates, pitted and finely chopped

Optional add ins:
1/2 cup chopped walnuts or other nut
1/2 cup raisins or craneberries

Topping:
1 tablespoon brown sugar or raw sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

Preheat your oven to 350ºF. Grease and lightly flour (I used sweet rice flour) a 9″ springform pan.

In a large mixing bowl, add the almond flour, chickpea flour, tapioca starch, baking powder, baking soda, all the spices and the salt. Whisk together well so it’s all evenly mixed.

In a separate mixing bowl, whisk together well the apple cider, grape seed oil, almond milk, honey, lemon juice and vanilla. Add the apple pieces and the finely chopped dates. Mix well to incorporate.

Pour the wet ingredients into dry and stir by hand to combine. Be sure it is well mixed and there are no flour lumps.

Pour the cake batter into the prepared springform pan and top with the remaining apple slices in a circular pattern . Use as many or as few slices as you’d like. (I actually wish I had used a few more apple slices, but I was afraid to overdo it.) Mix together the sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg and sprinkle the mixture on top of the cake.

Bake the cake for about 60-70 minutes or until a tester or a very thin knife inserted in the middle of the cake comes out clean. Allow the cake to cool for about 15-20 minutes, or longer before removing the ring on the springform pan, you may need to loosen the cake from the sides of the pan with a think spatula or knife. Slice with a sharp knife and serve slightly warm or at room temperature.

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{ 9 comments… read them below or add one }

1 namasteawhile October 22, 2011 at 11:11 pm

Love your recipes! My daughter and I made the pumpkin spice granola a few days ago. Awesome. One question…the last couple of recipes have called for almond flour/meal. My daughter is allergic to nuts…what would you suggest as a substitute for this ingredient? Thanks for the recipes and any suggestions!

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2 Tasty Yummies October 23, 2011 at 11:28 am

Hi there – thanks so much, I am glad you are liking my recipes, makes me so happy. Isn’t that granola to die for? I need to always have it on hand.

As far as the almond flour substitute goes, that may be hard since nut flours are their own animal, you may need to experiment a bit. You could try coconut flour, which is also great, but you may need to alter the wet ingredients a bit to use more, or use less coconut flour than it calls for in almond flour. Coconut flour really sucks up the moisture. You could also try it with other blends like buckwheat flour, brown rice flour, etc. Play around, it is actually quite fun to see how the different flours act in recipes. Worst thing that happens is whatever you are making ends up kinda flat or too soggy, there is always a use for even the messiest of cakes. My husband and I took a road trip to NYC earlier this year and we were definitely eating a failed chocolate almond pound cake from a ziplock baggy. It was a crumbly mess, but still tasted delicious.

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3 Eva Taylor October 25, 2011 at 1:34 pm

What a lovely fall recipe. The cakes looks very moist too.

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4 Lemon October 25, 2011 at 2:12 pm

This cake looks so delicious. I would like to try it – well, I have to go to the kitchen and bake it, think I should.

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5 Vegan Bakerista November 4, 2011 at 7:41 pm

lovely recipe! the photo is enticing, I found it on Tasteologie. thanks for sharing!

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6 Sophie33 November 22, 2011 at 3:52 am

I made this stunning cake & it tasted divine!! It was a big hit with me & my family! ;)

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7 Andrea April 26, 2012 at 12:11 am

Oh my gosh, I use to live off of this cake for the first few years of going gluten free! Probably not the exact recipe but it looks the same. This is the best cake!! My dad has the same allergies and this is at the top of his request list!

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8 Emmanuelle November 1, 2013 at 9:24 pm

I am having friends over for brunch on Sunday and was looking for GF ideas. I found your blog! I am going to try your sweet potatoes and eggs and the cinamon rolls or apple cake or all of it. The almond flour you use for the cinamon rolls it like almond meal? I have bob mill’s almond flour, wondering if that the same as the one u use?

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9 tastyyummies November 2, 2013 at 9:15 am

Hi there! The cinnamon roll recipe is not my own, it was guest post so I cannot say for sure. I personally use Honeyville brand blanched almond flour – http://amzn.to/1aRqZ4x for most of my recipes. I buy it online in 5-lb bags. Almond meal and almond flour aren’t necessarily the same thing. Many times almond meal contains the skins and it doesn’t react the same as blanched almond flour does. Hope that helps.

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