One of my very good friends, and number one fan (hey, his words, not mine!) sent me an email last week with the following subject line:
“Hey, Ms Healthy Foodie… check this out (let’s see you make that!)”
The body text consisted of basically nothing but a copy of a recent tweet from Foodista:
Curious, I immediately checked it out…
– Hmmmm, nice, I thought. Very interesting. GREAT looking cake, looks extremely yummy, but…
My answer went like this:
WOW, nice! But I’d have to give it a hell of a healthification treatment, as well degrainization galore… 😉
Was that an official challenge, Sir?
To which he responded:
Do it the Healthy Foodie way and yes that’s a challenge!
THAT was all I needed. From that point on, I was a girl on a mission.
For some reason, I was super excited at the idea of undertaking this challenge. I felt just like a kid who’d just learnt that he’d get to spend the day at the amusement park.
Of course, you know I’m no stranger to “healthifying” things. But “degrainizing” a cake? That was a first for me.
Just to make the challenge a tad harder, I decided to also take the Low Fat and No Sugar Added route. Hey, it is Lent after all. And this cake HAD to be Lent friendly!
If I succeeded, and that, I thought, was A BIG IF, the resulting cake would actually be a Vegan, Grain Free, Gluten Free, Low Fat, No Sugar Added, Apple Ring Cake
Phew! Now that’s what I call a mouhtful!
So the very following Saturday, I got busy
recreating reinventing this cake, basically rewriting the recipe as I went along.
“Scratch this, omit that, add this, replace that…”
To say that I was extremely dubious that the cake would actually turn out would be an understatement.
Well, lo and behold, after 45 minutes in the oven, it appeared as though the batter had miraculously turned into a viable cake.
AH! I was so overfilled with joy that, as soon as I managed to take the cake out of the pan, (hmpft… THAT proved to be quite the challenge… my pan was did NOT have a removable bottom… Need I say more? ) I took a picture with my cell phone and emailed it to my friend.
Now, I’m way too humble to copy what his exact response was. Let’s just leave it at: he was impressed!
And to be honest, so was I!
This cake totally makes me forget that I am observing Lent. Totally makes me forget that I am to be without eating grains or sugar for another 5 weeks.
Totally makes me forget that it’s good for me.
It’s just plain good. Period!
I’ve enjoyed it every day of the week as my morning snack and I have to admit that I felt like I was cheating Lent. Big time.
Oh, and fyi, it’s just to die for with a little bit of peanut or almond butter on it…
- 1½ cup buckwheat flour
- ¼ cup flaxseed meal
- ¾ cup almond meal, sifted
- 2 tsp baking powder* (see note)
- 2 tsp cinnamon
- 1 tsp nutmeg
- 1½ cup unsweetened applesauce
- 1 cup unsweetened soy milk (or other non dairy milk) mixed with 1 tsp of apple cider vinegar (this makes a buttermilk)
- zest and juice of one lemon
- 4 large apples, peeled and cored. 2 apples sliced, 2 apples cut into small chunks
- ½ cup raisins
- ½ cup pecans
- 2 tbsp unsweetened shredded coconut
- Preheat the oven to 350 F. Generously coat a removable bottom tube pan with baking spray. (make sure you use a pan with a removable bottom, else you'll end up having to do what I did, which is flip your cake upside down to unmold it. NOT ideal, let me tell you!)
- In a large bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients. Add the lemon zest to the flour and mix it together with your fingers to release the lemon flavor; Add raisins and pecans and stir until well coated and evenly distributed; set aside.
- In another large bowl whisk together the wet ingredients. Add dry ingredients and stir delicately with a wooden spoon or rubber spatula until well incorporated. Fold in the apple chunks.
- Pour the batter into your prepared ring pan. Place the apple slices around the top of the batter. Sprinkle the shredded coconut on top of the apple slices.
- Bake in the middle of the oven for 40-45 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the cake comes out clean. Allow cake to cool for 5-10 minutes then remove from pan and cool completely on a cooling rack.
Vegan, Grain Free, Gluten Free, Low Fat, No Added Sugar
Adapted from Cake Duchess