I don’t have much of a sweet tooth, but there are four kinds of cake I cannot resist:
1. white wedding cake with white buttercream frosting
2. my dad’s Christmas fruit cake
3. my Sitti’s chocolate cake
4. dense, chewy, cinnamon-y apple cake
My favorite apple cake of all time is this retro recipe from 1973 called Teddie’s Apple Cake. The description of the cake from The Times is almost as delicious as the cake itself:
“… if you look back in The Times archives at recipes from 30 or more years ago, when most people cooked every day, there were many more cake recipes. Cake was something you whipped up every couple of days, after the previous one vanished to crumbs.
Teddie’s apple cake, which appeared in The Times in 1973, is a typical standby of the period. None of the ingredients are difficult to find — most are probably already in your pantry — and the cake is designed to stay fresh for no more than a few days. Based on oil rather than butter, it creates a light, airy crumb that’s delicious while it lasts, with walnuts, raisins and slivers of apple threading the cinnamon-scented dough. There is no icing, and no need for one.”
I’ve made the original version of this cake a few times, and to me, it’s the perfect apple cake. A little dense and not too sweet, it’s sturdy and unfussy; somehow, it seems to taste better as time goes on.
Last year, I made this grain-free version and was delighted with the result. I’m not a skilled baker, so this is my first/best attempt at translating a traditional recipe into grain-free status. Keep in mind that this is not a light, airy, supermodel of a cake. It’s the reliable friend who’s always there for you. The comforting cup of tea you choose instead of the multi-layered, fluorescent-colored, specialty shot at happy hour. A hunk of love on an old-fashioned china plate.
This cake is kind and true and simple and delicious. I hope you like it.
Grain-Free Apple Cake
Serves a lot | Prep 20 minutes | Bake 60 minutes
coconut oil and coconut flout to prepare the 9-inch tube pan (or bundt pan)
1 1/2 cups coconut oil, melted
1 1/2 cups coconut sugar
5 large eggs at room temperature
1 1/2 cups almond flour (about 6 ounces by weight)
3/4 cup coconut flour (about 3.5 ounces by weight)
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon vanilla
3 cups tart apples (Honeycrisp or Granny Smith), peeled, cored and thickly sliced
1 cup chopped walnuts
1 cup raisins (optional)
1. Preheat oven to 325F. Butter and flour (with coconut flour) a 9-inch tube pan (or bundt pan). Beat the coconut oil and sugar together in a mixer fitted with a paddle attachment while assembling the remaining ingredients. After about 5 minutes, add the eggs and beat until the mixture is creamy.
2. In a large bowl, sift together the almond flour, coconut flour, salt, cinnamon and baking soda. Stir into the batter on medium-low speed. Add the vanilla, apples, walnuts, and raisins; stir until just combined.
3. The batter is quite thick (and luscious!). Transfer the batter to the prepared pan. Bake for 1 hour, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean; I checked mine at 45 minutes and it was almost done. Cool in the pan before turning out. Serve at room temperature with whipped coconut cream.
NOTE: I’ve made this cake three times, and each time it’s looked a little different. Baking with almond flour is still tricky for me. This year, my cake came out pretty dark, but it still tastes awesome. Just keep that in mind as you’re going about your baking business.
Whipped Coconut Cream
This requires a bit of forethought: place a can of coconut milk in the refrigerator, ideally overnight, but 3-4 hours will do. DO NOT SHAKE THE CAN AT ANY TIME DURING THIS PROCESS.
1 can full fat coconut milk
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1. When you’re just about ready to eat dessert, put the can of coconut milk, a metal mixing bowl, and beaters from the mixer in the freezer for 15 minutes.
2. When the coconut milk is cold, turn the can upside down, open it with a can opener, and pour off and discard the watery liquid. Scoop the thickened coconut milk that remains in the can into the chilled mixing bowl. Add the vanilla extract. Whip on your mixer’s highest setting until the milk is fluffy and has taken on the texture of whipped cream, about 5-7 minutes. Marvel at the creaminess!
3. Dollop on whatever your heart desires. But start with the apple cake.
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