One recent morning as I dropped my littlest at preschool, I watched the fog swirling through the vineyards and apple trees across the street in a slightly eerie, very wintry scene. I longed for a cup of coffee. I also said to myself, as I shivered a little: I need something warming, cozy, richly-spiced. A cake? Yes, that would be exactly it.
So when I got home I put my mind to creating a gluten-free applesauce cake spiced with a combination of cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg and cardamom, sweetened just with a bit of maple syrup, and balanced by a lovely trio of flours: sweet rice, oat, and sorghum.
The result was a beautifully fluffy, not-too-sweet cake that satisfied both as dessert or a morning snack. I love using fruit when possible to sweeten cakes; the natural sugars in the fruit allow me to lower the additional sugar content (as mentioned, bananas are stellar for this purpose). Applesauce is lovely here as it sweetens naturally and brings a bit of additional moisture to the gluten-free flours. The apple cider (or white vinegar if that’s all you have) reacts with the baking soda to create a wonderfully high crumb in the cake; you wouldn’t be able to tell it’s gluten-free. The oat and sorghum flours bring flavor and whole grain goodness.
Though spring is coming (soon!), we still have days yet of winter and if you’re like me, you might want to be making the most of them in the kitchen. Hope you enjoy this one.
Til next time – N x
Need substitutions? Swap millet flour for the oat, almond flour for the sorghum, and tapioca starch for the sweet white rice flour. Try honey in place of the maple syrup, or half a cup of brown sugar.
Warm and Cozy Spiced Applesauce Cake
1 cup unsweetened applesauce
½ cup maple syrup
⅓ cup extra virgin olive oil
¼ cup whole milk, non-dairy milk of choice, water, or apple juice
4 large eggs
1 teaspoon pure vanilla vanilla extract
1 Tablespoon apple cider vinegar
80 g/1/2 cup sweet white rice flour
90 g/3/4 cup gluten-free oat flour
90 g/3/4 cup sorghum flour
1 Tablespoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground ginger
½ teaspoon ground cardamom
½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 Tablespoon baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon fine sea salt
- Grease an 8×8-inch round baking tin with olive oil and line with a piece of parchment paper.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the applesauce, maple syrup, olive oil, milk or water/juice, and vanilla. Whisk in the eggs one at a time, then whisk in the apple cider vinegar until well combined.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the flours, spices, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
- Stir the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients and stir until just combined.. Pour into the prepared pan and let rest for up to 30 minutes. With about 5 minutes left, preheat the oven to 350 F.
- Place the cake in the oven and bake for about 35 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. Remove from oven and place on a rack; cool for 10 minutes then turn out on the rack to cool completely.
- Cake will keep, tightly wrapped in the fridge, for up to 5 days.