Rustic paleo apple cake

Fall in California requires a little creativity.

I live in the desert. Sometime it’s also the mountains, and if I drive for fifteen minutes I’ll hit the ocean, but for the most part, there’s a lot of a dust and a lot of cacti and a lot of sun.

This weekend was supposed to be upper 90s (!) over on the Westside and 100 (!!!) in the Valley.  Many vague plans were made: go to the beach, go to the pool, etc, etc.  They were all very appropriate things for one to do when the heat comes wriggling in a thick magic carpet-style wave.  When it’s hot, you try to cool off. That’s why I bought a Chillow.

But I also had another idea in mind, and it was called Apple Cake.

During this heat wave, Sydney and I blasted the air conditioner, wore cotton socks, and lit pumpkin and vanilla candles. With autumn scents wafting through the air, and the glimmer of pines out the window (Yes, we have a few pines! That’s pretty great), it felt like your average, September afternoon. To heighten the experience, I explored the cabinets for fall-related goodies, and emerged in a pile of metaphorical crunchy leaves and holding a jar of applesauce.

I was never crazy about applesauce as a kid, as I’ve morphed into adulthood, I’ve grown to love it. Paired with a sprinkling of cinnamon, it’s a comforting and simple snack, and tends to make one feel slightly adorable. It’s a cute food. And when it comes to making cakes, it’s wonderful. With applesauce, gluten-free and paleo recipes are TRANSFOOOORMED into beautiful, moist desserts.  

The apple cake is a great example for this. I had a marvelous time slicing the apples, hearing them crunch, and allowing the aroma of nutmeg and cinnamon to dance through the kitchen.  I licked the batter off the rubber spatula, and it was earthy and sweet.  When the cake came out of the oven, the edges were golden and the apples had softened into a gentle dusting of tiny pillows.  Steam billowed out as I made thick slices. It was so moist that not a single crumb fell.

It’s paleo and gluten-free, and if that turns you away, please don’t let it. Using applesauce and banana feels so appropriate for this fall treat, and the coconut flour adds a richness that you simply can’t find with all-purpose.

rustic paleo apple cake

1 apple ( I used Gala, but any would do)

2 tsp maple syrup

¾ cup tapioca flour/starch

½ cup coconut flour

1 tsp baking soda

½ tsp baking powder

¼ tsp salt

½ tsp +1/2 tsp cinnamon, divided

tsp + tsp nutmeg, divided

tsp + tsp ground cloves, divided

2 eggs

½ cup agave or honey (I used agave)

1 tbs vanilla

2 tbs melted coconut oil

1 small banana (mashed up)

1 cup apple sauce

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Cover a 8x8 cake pan in wax paper. You can also use a 9.25 X 5.25 X 2.75 loaf tin, if desired.

Cut the apple into thin, vertical slices and then cut in half horizontally. Place the slices in a small bowl and pour 2 tsp of maple syrup on top.  Add ½ tsp of cinnamon, and the tsp of both the nutmeg and the cloves. Mix everything together and set aside.

In one bowl, mix the flours, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and the rest of the spices together with a fork. Set aside.

In a second bowl, mix the eggs, honey or agave, vanilla, coconut oil, and mashed banana together with an electric mixer until everything is well incorporated. Add the apple sauce and mix with the electric mixer until well blended. Pour the first bowl into the second bowl and mix using the electric mixer.

Use a rubber spatula to pour the batter into the pan. Vertically insert the apple slices into the batter in rows. Try to space them evenly apart, with not too much or too little space in between the apples. You might not use all the apples, but that’s okay because you can snack on the leftovers…!

Bake for 60 minutes. Remove from oven when golden brown and let cool.

This recipe was found off of Perchance to Cook, which is very cute and should be explored.

So, A++++++++ for Apple Cake. It’s simple, rustic, and warm. It can be eaten for breakfast, dessert, or a simple snack.

By the way, the Chillow did not satisfy. Boyhood, however, is VERY satisfactory, and I could talk for hours about how much I enjoyed this film. If you haven’t seen it yet, I suggest you do. It’s very, very good.

-stay cozy (even when it’s warm!)