Health education specialist Elaine Gordon reviewed many standard spiced apple cake recipes and came up with this healthful version, which also happens to be vegan and gluten-free.
Applesauce, apples, raisins and agave syrup provide most of the sweetness, and replacing eggs with flaxseed meal cuts down on cholesterol.
- 3 Granny Smith apples, peeled and cored
- 2 tablespoons ground flaxseed
- 1/2 cup plus 4 tablespoons unsweetened almond milk
- 1/2 cup light agave syrup
- 1/2 cup canola oil
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 1 cup unsweetened applesauce
- 1/2 cup raw, unsalted walnut pieces
- 1/2 cup golden raisins
- 1 cup almond meal
- 1 cup brown rice flour
- 1/4 cup light or dark light brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9-inch round springform pan with canola oil spray.
Chop 2 1/2 of the three peeled apples into 1/4-inch pieces. Cut the remaining half of the apple into paper-thin half-moon slices and reserve for topping the cake, if desired.
Combine the ground flaxseed with the 4 tablespoons of the almond milk in a large bowl and mix well, then add the chopped apples, agave syrup, canola oil, vanilla extract, applesauce and the remaining 1/2 cup of almond milk; mix well.
Combine the walnuts, raisins, almond meal, brown rice flour, brown sugar, sea salt, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, ginger and nutmeg in a separate bowl.
Slowly stir the walnut mixture into the apple mixture; once they are well incorporated, pour into the pan. Bake for 40 minutes, then, if using, carefully arrange the reserved apple slices in a fanned-out pattern on top of the cake. Bake for 5 to 10 minutes, until the cake does not wobble at the center when gently shaken and the edges have started to brown and pull away from the sides of the pan.
Let the cake rest for 10 minutes before releasing it from the springform pan.
Adapted from a recipe by Elaine Gordon, creator of the healthful-recipe site Eatingbyelaine.com and director of health management solutions at LiveHealthier.
Tested by Kendra Nichols.
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