Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Gluten Free & Vegan Applesauce Cake

I've always had a soft spot for apple cakes, especially those peppered with warming, comfort-inducing spices. My mom is still my favourite apple-caker - thanks to her Jewish Apple Cake recipe that she gleaned from a childhood friend back when she lived in downtown Toronto - but I have to say I'm picking up a few pretty good treats as days go by! While there is definitely a time and a place for them, none of my favourite apple cakes (or actually, cakes in general) are your traditional sky-high, frosting-laden confections. Give me a crumb topping, or even just a sprinkling of raw sugar, and I'm happy!

For bake sale a few weeks ago, I decided to bring in a apple-spice loaf cake that everyone at school could enjoy - meaning it was allergy-free, low in sugar and - most importantly - absolutely delicious! I got the idea from Tia's Kitchen, and by swapping in some stevia and maple syrup, nixing the nuts and packing in diced, home-dried apples instead created a moist, melt-in-your-mouth treat with just enough textural contrast to make you want more. After making it once, I wound up being asked to do a second one for a (staunchly non-GF) friend who fell in love with one of the "taster" muffins! Given the reputation that gluten-free baking still seems to have (and in a few cases - ahem, rice bread - deservedly so), I consider it high praise indeed!

The flour blend you use matters though - I strongly suggest making your own or buying a blend without a lot of legume flours, since these get far too heavy and gummy in a tender cake like this. Don't skimp on the spices either - they really help the natural flavours of the flours and apples!

Gluten Free, Vegan Applesauce Cake
Gluten Free & Vegan Applesauce Cake
Makes one loaf, 10 slices
2 tbsp ground flaxseed
¼ cup warm water
¾ cup chunky unsweetened applesauce
¼ cup brown sugar
½ tsp liquid stevia
1 tbsp maple syrup (Grade B recommended)
¼ cup canola oil
1 tsp vanilla
1 ¼ cups “cup-for-cup” GF flour blend (I used my Artisanal Gluten Free Flour)
½ tsp guar gum (omit if your mix contains guar/xanthan already)
2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp cardamom
¼ tsp nutmeg
¼ tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
½ tsp baking powder
1 cup diced dried apples
  1. Preheat oven to 350F and grease a 9x5” loaf pan.
  2. In a bowl, whisk together flaxseed, water, applesauce, sugar, stevia, syrup, oil and vanilla.
  3. Stir in half the flour, the guar gum, spices and salt until well combined.
  4. Add baking soda and baking powder to remaining flour, mixing well.
  5. Add the dried apples to the flour and toss.
  6. Add flour mixture to the batter, mixing well.
  7. Spread into the pan evenly, smoothing the top.
  8. Bake 35-40 minutes.
  9. Cool in the pan before cutting.
Amount Per Serving
Calories: 172.6
Total Fat: 6.3 g
Cholesterol: 0.0 mg
Sodium: 11.8 mg
Total Carbs: 30.9 g
Dietary Fiber: 2.2 g
Protein: 1.6 g