This post is also available in: Suomi (Finnish)
If what others are saying in this blogging world and what the weather man in the evening news is telling us is true, autumn is here. The last weeks of August is my favorite time of the summer, probably the whole year. There’s summer feeling in the air and the weather is warm and sunny, but the nights are already dark, vegetables and berries are in their best season and hobbies, routines and ‘normal life’ at home feels inspiring after a break.
I’ve learned to appreciate having our own place while we’ve been homeless for the summer. Well, not technically homeless as we’ve got to stay in our summer house by the sea most of the time, been able to swim and go to sauna whenever we like, work outside and collect berries and apples from our own garden. I’m super excited about moving to our new place next month and being able to set my things in one place, but somehow I wish I could take one the apple trees and berry bushes with me. Yes? No? Okay. Next summer then.
To celebrate the last weekend of this summer and our time in the summer house, I wanted to make something from the apples from the garden. There are three apple trees there and they’re so full of apples that you can see the apples falling one after another. So it’s more like collecting the apples from the ground than from the tree. I don’t know what variety they are but two of the trees produce apples that taste…just awful. But luckily there’s one that makes sweet little apples, that I picked for my bakings.
I decided to practice my patience and made both a cake and some homemade applesauce, which actually ended up to the cake too. Homemade applesauce is good on everything and as you can freeze it in small boxes, you can treat yourself with it all year round. The easiest way to do applesauce at home is to roast the apples in the oven and then just smash them, and maybe add some honey or spices. This gluten free apple cake gets it flavor and luscious texture from the applesauce, while the crushed nuts bring a nice crunch to it and make it look relaxed and rustic, just like everything is at this time of the year.
Photographing a cake is always a bit nerve-racking as you don’t know is the cake a success or a failure until the end of the shoot. So you just hope you don’t have to do it all over again. And it’s even more nerve-racking if you’re hungry while taking the photos, like I was. As sometimes you might accidentally end up taking a piece just to make sure that you’re on the right track, and then you have to hide that side of the cake in the photos.. It could be that it happened in this case, but I’m not admitting anything!
But let me tell you, the relief was huge when I gave myself the permission to taste the cake properly. It’s juicy and super satisfying and it also tastes great the following day, as I’m enjoying a piece while writing this. Yum.
The cake is good as it is straight from the oven but vanilla yogurt or vanilla ice cream is a great companion for it. You can make your own vanilla yogurt just by adding a drop of vanilla powder to natural (soy / coocnut) yogurt. If you’re more into the ice cream part, I recommend trying the cashew vanilla ice cream or the simple coconut soft serve from our Kind Ice Cream for You ebook. Both of the ice creams are delicious and a top notch for this cake.
With these thoughts and two apple recipes I’d like to wish you a beautiful end of summer and happy beginning of autumn friends!
Rustic Apple Cake (gluten + dairy free)
notes: instead of homemade applesauce you can use store-bought unsweetened applesauce, but in that case add 2-4 tbsp honey to the cake batter to make it sweet. in case you don’t have any almond or oat flour, you can easily make it yourself by grinding whole almonds / rolled oats in a blender until they turn into flour.
1 cup / 240 ml almond flour
1 cup / 240 ml gluten-free oat flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
a pinch of sea salt
1/2 tsp vanilla powder
1 tsp cinnamon
1 cup / 240 ml homemade applesauce (or store-bought unsweetend applesauce, see notes above)
1 cup / 240 ml rice milk (or oat or almond milk)
4 tbsp melted extra virgin coconut oil
(1-2 tbsp honey)
2 cups / 500 ml chopped local apples
1 cup / 240 ml crushed pecan nuts (or other nuts)
1. Heat the oven to 350 F / 175 C degrees. Mix all the dry ingredients together in a bowl. Take another bowl and mix the remaining ingredients (eggs, applesauce, rice milk, and melted coconut oil) carefully. Combine the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients in couple batches and mix until smooth. You can taste the batter and add som honey if you desire more sweetness. (Baking soda will make the dough a bit stingy, so don’t be afraid by it).
2. Line a spring form cake pan with baking paper and brush the edges with a little coconut oil, so the cake won’t stick to the sides. Pour the batter into the cake pan.
3. Chop the apples into small cubes and remove the seeds. Crush the nuts into smaller pieces. Spread the apple pieces and nuts on top of the dough and press down lightly to make them sink in a little.
4. Put the cake into the oven and bake for about 45-55 minutes, or until the cake has got a golden brown color and a toothpick comes out nearly clean.
5. Allow the cake to cool slightly before removing the cake pan. Serve as is or with vanilla yogurt or ice cream and enjoy!
a trayful of local apples, chopped into pieces
2 tsp cinnamon
2-4 tbsp honey
1. Heat the oven to 175 C / 350 F degrees. Chop the apples into small pieces and remove the core and seeds. Mix the pieces in a bowl with cinnamon. Spread the pieces evenly on to a baking tray coated with baking paper and bake in the oven for about 45-60 minutes, until the apples are completely soft.
2. Move the apple pieces into a large bowl and smash them with a hand blender until totally smooth. Add honey and stir until smooth. Store the applesauce in an airtight glass jar in the fridge. It will keep good up to a week.