Apple Cake

It’s been a very celebratory period, with a birthday (or two) almost every week-end. So it’s been really busy, really sugary, really naughty.

Among these birthdays, Kid 1 has also celebrated his. To make up for all the sugar rushes he was definitely going to be on, I, of course, have decided to make a less indulgent cake for his birthday party at home. He had been telling me for a few months that he wanted apple cake when he turned 5, then chocolate cake when he turned 6 (yes, he plans that much far ahead when it comes to sweets he can have. He also thinks that a lollipop he got as a gift from a friend will actually last that long once opened. I haven’t broken the news yet that said lollipop has ended in the trash.). So, apple cake it was. I spent a few good hours looking for recipes that would meet my criteria, and every time I was taken aback by how much sugar “healthy cakes” contain. Maple syrup may be better than refined sugar, but when I see 3/4 cups of maple syrup, I close the recipe just as quickly as I would if I saw 3/4 cups of granulated sugar. That is still a lot of sugar, way more than we’re supposed to eat in one go, even if you share the cake (ha!).

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In the end, I settled on what I saw as a decent compromise. I did adapt the recipe a bit, to reduce the amount of sugar even more. As apple cake is not exactly the most celebratory-looking cake, I also added some chocolate cream all around it. Kid 1 was happy with the result, and that is all that matters.

apple cake

Ingredients

For the cake

  • 1 thinly sliced apple

  • 1 3/4 cups whole wheat flour

  • 2 tsp cinnamon

  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg

  • 1 tsp baking soda

  • pinch of salt

  • 1 Tbsp coconut oil, melted and cooled

  • 1 egg

  • vanilla seeds from 1 pod

  • 1/2 cup Greek yogurt

  • 1/4 cup maple syrup

  • 5/8 cups unsweetened almond milk*

For the chocolate cream

  • 1 cup of pitted dates

  • 3/4 cup water

  • 1.5 Tbsp raw cacao powder

* The measurement may look weird, but to make it simple, just measure 1/2 cup, then 1/8 cup. It doesn’t make a difference when you mix the batter.

Method

Preheat the oven to 175 C. Line a cake tray with baking paper (I use a spring tin), or grease and flour if you prefer. Chop the dates, place them in a bowl and cover them with the water. They need to soak for at least half an hour.

Thinly slice the apple, then put it in the microwave for about 1 minute, so it can soften a little. In a bowl, whisk together the flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, baking soda, and salt. In a separate, and larger, bowl, whisk the coconut oil, egg and vanilla, then add the Greek yogurt and the maple syrup. Finally, alternate the flour mixture and the almond milk, starting and ending with the flour mixture. Be careful not to overmix.

Pour the batter into the tray, then arrange the apple slices on top. I used a circular pattern, starting from the edge, but you can use any other pattern you fancy. The cake needs to bake for about 45-50′, then let it cool down for about 10 minutes before removing it from the tin.

While the cake is cooling, prepare the chocolate cream. Place the dates and the soaking water in a blender, add the cacao powder and blend until smooth. You can add more cacao if you prefer a more intense taste, but keep in mind your audience and their preferences too.

I used the chocolate cream to cover the sides of the cake, it is firm enough not to run off it, but you can’t create too thick a layer either. This will leave you enough cream to add on top if you like, or serve the cake with a dollop of it on the side.

Enjoy!

The Laughable Baker

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