Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Apples...The Final Chapter

I know, I know, I can hear you saying it "No more apples!" Sorry, one more..I promised to reveal the result of my challenge to healthify (uh, I know that's not a word but I like it!) the "I Love Apple Cake" Apple Cake. It took me a little longer than expected - it has been a rough go in the test kitchen.

On the recommendation of my friend Renee of Zookini Kids, I was determined to modify this Apple Cake, mainly to remove the refined white sugar. Renee made many suggestions, and I figured, "I'm game." My kids love this cake so why not find a way to make it better for them.

After a trip to Whole Foods to stock up on really healthy ingredients (I have whole wheat flour, organic sugar...but I didn't have the REALLY healthy stuff). I was eager to spend some time in the test kitchen and conquer the Apple Cake.

(For your reference, click HERE for the original recipe)

Trial #1
I replaced... 
...the oil with applesauce -1 cup for 1 cup.
...2 cups of the 2 1/4 cups sugar with brown rice syrup. I left 1/4 cup sugar for coating the apples and dusting the pan.
...all the whole wheat flour for brown rice flour

The "I am Bleeding Brown Rice Syrup" Apple Cake...a.k.a A Gooey Mess! Apparently before you go swapping ingredients you should read the jar and do some online research (seriously, I am on the computer enough!) to find out what the conversion should be...duh! (I am really good at not reading directions when assembling things either.)

 "Uh, Hi Renee...the cake is an oozing mess... what do I do now?"

So with a little more help from Renee...I got it right (at least this family thinks so)

The "Don't Tell the Kids It's Healthy" Apple Cake
2 1/2 cups Brown Rice Flour (or a mixture of flours, see below)*
1/2 cup ground flax seed
2 teaspoons baking powder
5+ teaspoons cinnamon (see taste notes below)
1 cup coconut oil
1/2 cup orange juice
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup Brown Rice Syrup
1/4 cup Honey
1/4 cup Applesauce
4 large eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3-4 Apples, preferably Pippin or Granny Smith

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Grease Bundt pan (I used Pam Cooking Spray for Baking).
3. Mix together 1/4 cup sugar and 2 teaspoons cinnamon and dust the pan with the mixture. Reserve any remaining mix to sprinkle on Apple Cake just before baking. (There is always some of this mixture left do not need to use it all)
4. Combine the flour, baking powder, 2-3 teaspoons of cinnamon, and ground flax seed n a large bowl.
5. Peel, core, and thinly slice the apples, then toss apples in a large bowl with the sugar/cinnamon mixture.
6. Using a mixer (a stand mixer is perfect, but a good old-fashioned hand held mixer will work just as well!), mix 1 cup of (melted) coconut oil, with eggs, and orange juice, and vanilla.*
7. Mix together 1/2 cup Brown Rice Syrup, 1/4 cup Honey, and 1/4 Applesauce.
8. Add the above mixture to the oil mixture and beat on medium for about one minute.
9. Add the flour mixture in three batches (this is when the stand mixer comes in handy!), until it is just combined.
10. Add the apples and fold them in gently.
11. Pour into the pan, and if you want sprinkle some of the remaining cinnamon/sugar mixture on top.
12. Bake for about 1 1/4 to 1 1/2 hours...start checking it around 1 hour mark for readiness. Bake until a toothpick inserted into the cake comes out clean.***
13. Let the cake cool for at least 30 minutes. Remove it from the pan and let it cool completely on a baking rack.

Notes on baking...
*Bob's Red Mill Gluten Free All Baking Flour or Buckwheat Flour can be used, or you can combine the flours into a mixture that equals the necessary amount.
**Coconut oil is thick and solid (I did not know that!). Melt it slowly and let cool a little prior to adding to the orange juice mixture.
***The outside of this cake cooked very quickly - possibly due to my rickety old not-quite-ever-the-right-temperature-soon-to-be-replaced-oven or the way the coconut oil reacts.

Notes on taste...
-I thought I was really going to be able to taste the coconut because I could really smell the coconut, but while there is a slight and subtle hint of coconut, no one in my family even mentioned it (they are not fond of coconut)
- I always make extra cinnamon sugar mixture for dusting the pan and sprinkling on the cake.
- If you like, adding some ginger, cloves, or pumpkin pie spice to the flour mixture spices things up a little.
-This version is much moister than the original, so I cut down on the amount of apples.

Ok, that's it...NO MORE APPLES! (Unless I am eating them in the privacy of my own home.)


  1. Mmmm. Apple cake. My boyfriend's mom is coming for the weekend and I need something to make for dessert. I may try this one!

  2. I have a favorite apple cake I make this time of the year, but it's not the least bit healthy!! I'll have to give this recipe a try!

  3. Thanks for stopping by...the original apple cake recipe is not healthy at all but super yummy. I just figured since my kids LOVE it, and I love a challenge I would try something different. The original recipe is linked in the post too if you want it. Bye for now...


  4. It does sound really good with the substitutions. What a process you went through. I would have done the same thing and just guessed. Charisse uses coconut oil for everything because it is so good for you (according to her). She grew up pretty holistic. They make smoothies everyday and use it in there too. Proud of you for taking the challenge! Holly at

  5. This sounds great - and oh so good for us! Popping by from SITS!! ;-)

  6. Sounds good. I am not a fan of coconut either, and also didn't know it was solid, but got some for some of my concoctions that I am doing for soap and stuff like that. I think it's great you didn't give up after trial number 1! I would have!!

  7. I am a glutton for punishment. I will not be defeated! Most of my tales from the kitchen involve a few missteps and messes...and I like it that way! Thanks everyone for stopping by.


Thanks for stopping by and joining the conversation! I sure hope you come back for more!