Early on in our relationship, I learnt that, when it comes to treats, Fiorenzo loves an Apple Cake more than anything else. Hazelnut Gelato runs a close competition, but a good Apple Cake wins hands down. He’s particular. He doesn’t like it too sweet, and leave out the cinnamon and spices, please. In the old days, he would have appreciated a dash of brandy, but now the way to warm his heart is with a good, homely Paleo Apple Cake that crumbles just a little when it’s sliced. He likes a layer of apple half-caramelized on the top, as well as the baked-in chunks which keep the cake moist and offer natural sweetness.
The Perfect Paleo Apple Cake
Looking for the recipe? Scroll all the way down.
Paleo baking is challenging because we’re gluten and grain free. Gluten holds ingredients together, and adds to the rise of baked goods. Wheat flour, moreover, is cheap in comparison to non-cereal alternatives such as coconut or cassava flour, so you’ll find that Paleo cooks use a less flour than that used in non-Paleo recipes. Less rise and less mass can result in a disappointing cake or bread. We craved satisfaction. We wanted a great Paleo Apple Cake. I kept chipping away with modifications to our old, wheat-and-refined-sugar based recipe, and a couple of weeks ago I struck gold.
I added bulk. Instead of an extra cup of flour, I added chopped dates and walnuts – and when I tested it again, for a nut-free version, I substituted the nuts with dried mulberries. Both work wonders with regards to flavour, texture, and volume. I upped the apple. Two full cups of apple, half of which creates the succulent, moist inside and the other half the tantalising topping of a classic upside-down cake. I made sure to cream the butter and sugar before adding anything else so as to integrate more air into the batter. I tested with both clarified dairy butter and coconut butter: personally, I can’t tell the difference. All is good.
Then there’s the bundt tin. The bundt tin has become my Paleo Cake Tin of choice. It contributes to the making of a higher cake, instead of the sweet flat bread that comes out of a normal round tin. It cooks through evenly, with no sinking in the centre as it cools.
Paleo Apple Cake: Rich, Natural and Homely
What we have here is a Paleo Apple Cake that truly delights, and the satisfaction starts long before serving. After around 30 minutes of baking, when the oven starts releasing it’s long and steady exhale, the kitchen is infused with the heady scent of roasting apples, and all your memories of apple cakes past mingle in that space between appetite and emotion.
At the 45 minute mark, when the skewer tests clean, it’s impossible to not to sigh, because it is gorgeous. It’s golden. It has risen perfectly. It’s freckled with dates. But wait! Give it a little time and allow it to settle. After half an hour or so, with a secure grip and a deft rotation of the wrists, turn it out onto your serving plate. The glorious topping of apple which, having been trapped at the base of the pan, it’s natural sugars heated and steamed and baked, is now slightly caramelised. It’s turned into the proverbial cherry resting atop of your perfect Paleo Apple Cake.
Hold your horses before diving in. Allow it to reach tepid, if not room temperature. Serve it on it’s own, or with coconut cream. On a plate or a serviette. With a spoon or in your hands. It’s not-too-moist – which means there are sticky crumbs to be picked up with a fingertip. It’s not-too-dry, which means it’ll last a few days in your airtight cake tin. It holds together, so your kids or your man can take it wrapped as play lunch or a snack. It’s not-too-sweet, so it won’t give you a rush. But most of all, the flavour is rich, deep, natural and homely – and it’ll make the hearts of your loved ones sing.
Paleo Baking Powder Recipe
2 parts Cream of Tartar
1 part Bicarbonate of Soda (Baking Soda)
1 part Tapioca Starch
More Apple Recipes
Slow Simmered Cabbage with Apples and Spice – Serve it with Roast Pork!
Celeriac, Carrot and Apple Soup – Delicate and Soothing, wonderful for when you need a little self-love.
Apple Crumble with Coconut, Almonds and Spice – You might call it ‘Cobbler’. We’re still undecided if it’s better straight out of the oven, or out of the fridge the following day.
I hope you love this Paleo Apple Cake recipe – it’s always worth taking the time to make it. And while we’re here with Apples, if anyone has a recipe for a perfect Paleo American Apple Pie or Tart, please share your recipe!
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Best Wishes, Good Health and Happiness
- 2 medium apples, peeled, cored and diced (2 cups)
- 4 tablespoons muscovado sugar (1/4 cup)
- 100 grams butter or coconut butter, at room temperature, cut into small pieces
- 1½ cups cassava flour
- 2 teaspoons Paleo Baking Powder (Recipe: 2 parts Cream of Tartar, 1 part Bicarbonate of Soda/Baking Soda, 1 part Tapioca Starch)
- 2 tablespoons water
- 3 eggs at room temperature
- ¼ roughly chopped walnuts or dried fruit (mulberries, cranberries, sultanas)
- ½ cup pitted dates, roughly chopped
- Preheat the oven to 180°C / 350°F, and lightly grease a 20cm / 8 inch springform bundt tin with a little of the butter.
- Sprinkle 1 tablespoon of muscovado sugar over 1 cup of the chopped apple and mix to coat. Distribute the sugared apple evenly around the base of the bundt tin.
- Fit the food processor with the mixer blades, and cream the remaining muscovado sugar and butter until it is light and fluffy.
- Place the cassava flour and baking powder nto a bowl and mix together lightly with a spoon.
- Set the food processor to a low speed, and add the eggs and flour in lots, stopping every now and again if necessary to scrape down the sides. Lastly, add the water, the dates and the nuts or dried fruit.
- Remove the blades from the food processor, and fold in the remaining apple using a rubber spatula. Combine well.
- Add spoonfuls of the batter to the bundt tin, taking care not to displace the sugared apple. Press lightly and smooth the batter so that it is evenly distributed.
- Bake for 45 minutes, or until the cake is golden and an inserted skewer comes out clean.
- Wait for 30 minutes before turning the cake out onto a serving plate.
- Serve warm or at room temperature, on its own or with coconut cream.
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