Sweet and Tart.
No philosophy today. Instead, a cake. A beautiful gluten-free cake to bake for the holidays- or any day you feel like celebrating. So dust off your cake pan, Babycakes.
This is a moist and tender apple cake laced with a hint of cinnamon and studded with fresh tart berries. After
seven eight – er, sixteen!- years of baking various gluten-free incarnations of my tried and true family apple cake recipe, this could be our favorite. Maybe it’s the sweet-tart combo. The subtlety of flavors.
In a food culture obsessed with kicking up recipes with more for the sake of more (white chocolate peanut butter bacon swirled maple donut ice cream drizzled in dulche de leche coconut marshmallow syrup and dusted with sugared Meyer lemon zest and shaved cacao, anyone?) the clean and classic flavor contrast of apples and cranberries is somehow new again. Even, refreshing.
I don’t need dessert to taste like candy.
I like my cake to taste like cake.
How about you?
Karina’s Apple Cake Recipe with Cranberries
Recipe posted November 2008.
Cranberries add a tart kick to this traditional apple cake. Not too much of a kick, Babycakes. Just enough. But if you loathe cranberries, leave ’em out. It’s all good. Make this for the winter holidays. You won’t be sorry.
1 cup sorghum flour or brown rice flour
1/2 cup buckwheat flour or almond flour
1/4 cup tapioca starch or potato starch (not potato flour!)
1 teaspoon xanthan gum
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1 cup organic light brown sugar, packed
1 tablespoon Ener-G Egg Replacer whisked with 1/4 cup warm water (or 2 beaten eggs)
1/2 cup light olive oil
1/2 cup applesauce
1/2 cup soy, rice milk or coconut milk
1/4 teaspoon lemon juice or light tasting rice vinegar
2 tablespoons raw organic agave (or honey, if not vegan)
2 teaspoons bourbon vanilla
2 rounded cups chopped apples
1/2 cup fresh or thawed frozen cranberries, halved or chopped
Sprinkle of raw sugar
Preheat oven to 350º F.
Line a deep 9-inch round cake pan with greased parchment paper (or grease and lightly flour).
In a large mixing bowl, use a whisk to combine your dry ingredients: sorghum flour, buckwheat and tapioca flours, xanthan gum, baking soda and baking powder, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, brown sugar. Set aside.
In a smaller bowl combine the wet ingredients: whisked egg replacer, light olive oil, applesauce, vanilla rice or coconut milk, vinegar, agave, and vanilla. Whisk till combined.
Add the wet into the dry ingredients and stir until a smooth batter forms. If you need a tad more liquid add a tablespoon at a time to achieve a smooth- but not too thin- cake batter.
Add half the apples and cranberries and stir in (keep some for the top).
Scoop the batter into the prepared cake pan and smooth evenly. Add the remaining chopped apples and cranberries and press into the batter.
Sprinkle lightly with raw sugar.
Bake in the center of the preheated oven for 40 to 50 minutes until golden around the edges and firm in the center. Use a cake tester to test for doneness. (Timing might also be influenced by the size of your chopped apples, oven temperature variations, etc. If your ingredients are cold, I suggest you bring them to room temperature.)
Cool on a wire rack.
This cake was divine slightly warm from the oven.
If making ahead, I would freeze slices wrapped in foil. They reheat beautifully in the microwave- or- if you like your cake cold, it is delicious slightly chilled.
Serves 9 to 10.
Recipe Source: glutenfreegoddess.blogspot.com
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Recipe Notes and Changes:
If you don’t care for buckwheat flour, substitute one half cup almond flour instead.
I used 3/4 cup rice milk when I first baked this in the dry high desert; I suggest using 1/2 cup non-dairy milk to start; and add a little more, if needed, as you mix the batter. The batter shouldn’t be runny or thin.
This recipe is for a deep 9-inch cake pan. Using a smaller pan may be problematic (if there is too much batter for your particular pan, use a little less batter).
If you use frozen berries, thaw and pat them dry. Chilled fruit creates a cold batter that needs to bake longer. Cold ingredients will stall the baking.
Room temperature ingredients and warm liquids work best in gluten-free baking.
Tip from reader Nancy B: Don’t have a deep enough cake pan? Make this recipe as jumbo muffins– she tells us they were moist and delicious.