Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free Apple Cinnamon Cake with Maple and Walnut Glaze

As much as I tried to pretend it wasn’t happening, I can no longer ignore the fact that fall is coming. The trees are starting to turn, the nights are cold, the Broncos are back every Sunday and pumpkins are showing up everywhere. Sigh…goodbye summer! Time to embrace the fall!

In the spirit of the season, and in an attempt to bring a sweet snack to choir that everyone could eat, I whipped up this cinnamon apple cake. I made the cake twice, tested the first attempt on my gracious coworkers and then make some tweaks to make it more to my own liking. This is a simple, moist cake with great spices and a moderate level of sweetness. I’ve added loads of apples so that every bite has a little bit of the tart crunch from an apple mixed with the moist, spicy undertones from the cake. This is a great recipe for a potluck or Sunday dinner in the fall, enjoy!

completed

Ingredients:

For the cake:

  • 1/2 cup coconut flour
  • 3/4 cup brown rice flour plus some for prepping the bundt pan
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons baking soda
  • 3 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon allspice
  • 1 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon ginger
  • 1 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 4 eggs
  • 7 tablespoons coconut oil, melted
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup
  • 1/2 cup apple butter
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 2 large Granny Smith apples,quartered
  • 2 tablespoon brown sugar

For the Glaze

  • 1/2 cup walnuts
  • 5 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoons coconut oil, melted
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • pinch of salt

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Prepare a 6-cup bundt pan by greasing it with butter or non-stick spray very well (make sure to get in all the nooks and crannies!) and then sprinkle brown rice flour into the interior of the greased pan. Try to get all the edges of the pan and the bottom of the pan. Give that pan a shake and then dump out any excess flour. Your prepared pan should look like the one below.

prepared pan

2. Take one quarter of a Granny Smith apple and run it through the mandoline or slice it very fine. Lay this quarter into the bottom of the prepared bundt pan in a fan to top your lovely cake.

apples in pan

3. Chop the remaining apple into 1/4″ cubes and toss in a small bowl with 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon, allspice, nutmeg, ginger and cloves and 1/4 teaspoon of salt. mix well so that the spices are mixed throughout all the apples. Set aside for later.

4. Pass your coconut flour through a sieve into a medium bowl. Whisk the coconut flour together with the other dry ingredients (brown rice flour through salt), until dry ingredients are mixed well.

sift flour

dry ingredients5. In a large bowl, whisk together your eggs, coconut oil, maple syrup, apple butter and vanilla. Whisk together until well blended.

wet ingredients6. Slowly add your dry ingredients to the wet ingredients. Add flour mixture little by little, stirring the whole time to make sure the flour gets incorporated without clumping. Once wet and dry ingredients are blended, add your chopped apples that have been standing by waiting for their change in the limelight. Pour batter into your prepared bundt pan, sprinkle with 2 tablespoons of brown sugar and smooth top of batter with the back of a spoon.

completed batter

7. Bake cake for 30 minutes or until a serrated knife inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. My fully baked cake is pictured below. Note: the first time I made this cake, 30 minutes was the perfect amount of time. The second time, the cosmos were not aligned and it was only about half cooked after 30 minutes. To finish cooking the cake the second time, I turned off the oven after 30 minutes, kept the door closed, and let the cake sit in there for about 15 more minutes. This way the cake stayed moist but continued to cook. Ovens are finicky.

cake out of oven

8. While your lovely cake is baking and making your house smell awesome, prepare the maple and walnut glaze. Place walnuts on a cookie sheet and pop in the oven for 5-8 minutes, checking frequently. The heat of the oven will cause the nuts to start releasing their oils, thereby upping their nutty flavor, but if the walnuts go unattended they will burn and turn bitter.

9. Let walnuts cool for about 5 minutes then pop them in a food processor and pulse-blend until a butter starts to form. Scrape nuts from the sides of the food processor, add other glaze ingredients and blend well. Your glaze should have a syrupy consistency. If it’s too loose, pop it in the fridge for 10 minutes then check it again. If it’s too tight, add a teaspoon of water and blend again.

walnuts

10. Once cake is cooked, allow it to cool for 10 minutes. To remove the cake from its pan, place a plate upside down on top of the bundt pan, then, holding the bottom of the bundt pan and the bottom of the plate, invert the pan and plate. Your cake should pop out of the pan and be sitting pretty waiting for its glaze. Simply drizzle glaze over cooled cake and get ready to enjoy the autumn!

baked cake

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