Veggies on the counter

Simple and (almost) Fat Free Apple Cake

Posted in baked goods by veggies on the counter on March 15, 2011

I always love to watch people cooking, specially to see how their process is – not only in terms of what ingredients they choose to cook with, but also in terms of how they organize things and manage the time they spend preparing a meal. I’m not sure if I’ve told you this before, but I’m not (really) an organized cook. Firstly, I spend way too much time preparing things, and secondly, I tend to be messy. I know some people who are always cleaning up and arranging the ingredients they’re working with on the kitchen counter, and even though I try to be like them, it seems I can’t achieve such level of method. Pans, plates and bowls are left on the kitchen sink, waiting for the meal to be done to get washed; ingredients remain on the counter even though I might have already used them; t-shirts and sweaters get stained with tomato sauce, cake batter, and so on, because most of the time I forget to put the apron on. I don’t mean to scare you – in fact, if you’d come over for dinner, I’d do my best to hide the evidences of my messiness.

Things tend to get worse when I bake – flour all over the place, packages of sugar and margarine clearly out of their natural environment, dirty bowls and cups pilled up on the sink. You get the scenario. As I was thinking about this the other day, I thought it’d be great if I could come up with a cake recipe that would require minimal effort and the use of only a few kitchen utensils.

The recipe for the Apple Cake I’m sharing with you today, even though requiring the use of a food processor, can be pretty much considered a clean-up-friendly type of cake. It’s also gluten-free and (almost) fat free, meaning that a second or third slice won’t hurt. The fact that it’s a fat free cake doesn’t compromise its flavor, which is delicate, yet full of warmth, for which the addition of a generous amount of ground cinnamon definitely contributes.

And finally last, but definitely not the least: I’m really (really!) excited to be a contributor for Honest Cooking, a brand new online food magazine that has launched just yesterday. My very first article can be found here, but please do check out the website, it’s really well worth it!

Simple and (almost) Fat Free Apple Cake

(for one 20 cm – 8 inches – round pan)

1/2 cup (73 grams) buckwheat flour

½ cup (80 grams) brown rice flour

1/3 cup (35 grams) oat flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

½ teaspoon baking soda

a pinch of salt

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

wet mixture:

6 tablespoons agave nectar

½ cup (65 grams) light muscavado sugar

½ cup (125 ml) apple juice

½ cup (125 ml) soy milk

100 grams (one medium sized) banana, peeled


250 grams (2 medium sized units) sweet apples (such as Starking or Red Delicious)

1 tablespoon light muscavado sugar

1 tablespoon cold vegan margarine, cut into very small pieces

a good pinch of ground cinnamon

1. Pre-heat the oven to 180º.

2. Grease a 20 cm (8 inches) round baking pan with melted vegan margarine and dust it lightly with flour.

3. In a large bowl, combine all the ingredients for the dry mixture. Set aside.

4. In a bowl of a food processor, combine the agave nectar with the muscavado sugar. Process, at medium speed, until creamy. Add the apple juice, soy milk and the banana and process for additional 2 minutes, or until totatlly smooth.

5. Slowly pour the wet mixture into the bowl with the dry ingredients, mixing everything with a spatula. Even though you shouldn’t overmix the batter, make sure it doesn’t have any lumps.

6. Transfer the cake batter to the prepared pan.

7. In the meantime, peel and core the apples and cut them into thin slices. Then, arrange the apple slices evenly on top of the cake. Sprinkle it with the remaining tablespoon of muscavado sugar and a pinch of ground cinnamon. To finish things off, evenly distribute the margarine pieces on top of the cake.

8. Bake the cake in the preheat oven for 30 to 35 minutes, or until the top is golden brown. Let it cool for 10 to 15 minutes in the pan, after which you should transfer it to a wire rack or large plate to cool down completely. To do this, carefully flip the cake onto a large plate (it will be upside down), and then use another plate to flip it again. Serve warm or at room temperature.


12 Responses

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  1. Angela said, on March 15, 2011 at 3:58 pm

    Wow–looks simple indeed, and great! I might see if I can bake it today! I’ll have to substitute the agave (unavailable here) with barley malt extract, which I suppose will work.

  2. woman said, on March 15, 2011 at 4:54 pm

    Looks Yummy. Love this recipe. Will definitely try it.

  3. sweet road said, on March 15, 2011 at 6:14 pm

    This cake looks delicious, and I don’t know about where you are, but it is such a beautiful beginning-of-spring kind of day today, this cake would be perfect!

  4. mihl said, on March 16, 2011 at 11:16 am

    When I was a kid I never liked apple cake. Now I never can say no to a slice of apple cake, especially if it looks as wonderful as yours.
    I am a very, very messy cook/baker too and can totally relate.
    Congrats on your contribution.

  5. Sylvie @ Gourmande in the Kitchen said, on March 16, 2011 at 11:30 am

    Well that’s an attention grabbing title, I’m up for an almost fat free apple cake, and it’s easy on the clean-up too? Well I’m sold. By the way I’m going to be contributing to Honest Cooking as well so I’ll see you over there!

  6. Angela said, on March 16, 2011 at 1:23 pm

    forgot to add i love this post and about watching others cook. I’m hopelessly messy, but trying.

  7. Angela said, on March 16, 2011 at 5:01 pm

    Making this now. Is that really all the flour that goes into it?! Using freshly juiced apple juice (yum), and unfortunately home-processed oat flour as I can’t find any. But I see the amount of flour(s) in the bowl and wondr, is something missing, maybe?

    • veggies on the counter said, on March 16, 2011 at 5:56 pm

      Hi Angela! No,1/2 cup of buckwheat flour also goes into the cake (you can sub for regular flour if you want). I’ve already corrected the recipe. Thank you for noticing. If you make the cake, please report back : )

  8. Angela said, on March 16, 2011 at 6:11 pm

    Oookay. Good timing–searching cabinets now! Thanks! And will do.

  9. Angela said, on March 17, 2011 at 12:11 am

    Well, I scrounged around the entire kitchen, and rummaged through the cabinets in search of buckwheat. Didn’t find any, so I used whole rye flour instead. I made a few substitutions: barley malt extract for the agave, dark brown sugar for muscavado, but because malt extract is so strong and molasses-like, substituted ½ golden caster sugar so it wouldn’t be overpowering. And didn’t have any soy milk or margarine so I used cow/butter–not vegan but that’s okay with me. It still has a wholesome feel and wow–the taste is lovely delicious. Simple method, too–just should have had my kitchen in more order! Mine seems wetter than yours and is slightly sticky-gooey (especially under those apples), from the malt extract I assume. The texture I was a little concerned about, with having processed the oat flour myself and it wasn’t a fine flour, but I guess oats can be forgiving as the texture was great and cake-like. Used fresh apple juice–didn’t have any on hand, either, just lots of apples. That was a great reason to get the juicer out!

    I never have made an eggless cake before–save for the simple vinegar-soda (vegan) Hershey’s chocolate cake, but this with the whipped banana was an eye opener! I didn’t feel up to getting out my food processor, so I just used a mini one that goes with my hand-held blender for the banana, and used a hand mixer for the rest of the wet mixture, beating in the banana after a minute.

    So glad I tried it, and will make again, perhaps with soy milk next time. My husband also liked it very, very much. He was totally uninterested in the low-fact aspect, he just knew he loved the taste.

    I have to learn to layer the apples nicer, like you.

    And, I found some interesting things in the cabinets in the process. :)

    Thanks for this nice recipe!

    • veggies on the counter said, on March 17, 2011 at 11:38 am

      Glad you’ve enjoyed the cake Angela. And thank you for such a great and detailed report, it’s really helpful. The cake is actually pretty flexible, you can substitute the three different kinds of flour for plain regular flour if you want, or for other varieties you have on hand. I just like to experiment with different gluten-free flours to see how they work in baked goods, but it’s not necessary to strictly use the ones I’ve mentioned. Now that I’m thinking about this, next time around I’ll be making the cake with chestnut flour to see how it works. All the best! : ) J

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