Apple Streusel Cake (Dairy-free, Refined Sugar-free, Oil-free)

September 29, 2014

This past week has been all about apples. They're coating the ground right now as they fall from people's trees without being picked. It's great for the wasps but sad that no one bothers to use them. Graham hooked me up with a massive box of apples someone in his neighbourhood was giving away, so I canned a few dozen jars of applesauce that'll hopefully last all winter. It's a super simple applesauce recipe, with about 1/4 cup of honey for a pot of cooked down applesauce, a dash of cinnamon, and a wee bit of water.

I didn't want to post an applesauce recipe that isn't really a recipe, and apple butter is all over the place, so a healthy apple cake is on the menu instead. I've had so many baking failures in the past little while - I was thrilled that this experiment turned out so well. This cake is mildly sweet thanks to the shredded apples, but not overly so. It's free of sugar and made with whole wheat flour. It has no added oil, instead relying on applesauce and a bit of nut butter to moisten it. I used hazelnut butter but others, like almond or even peanut butter, would be nice as well. This lovely cake is full of fibre, low in added fat, and has a pretty big hit of protein. Eat it for dessert or, if you're like me, for breakfast (on a Monday morning. Don't tell anyone). It's such a healthy cake that it's almost not an indulgence, but it tastes like it is. Don't ignore the streusel topping, it adds a nice texture and flavour that can't be left out.

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1 1/2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
2 eggs
1/4 cup nut butter*
1/4 cup applesauce
1/3 cup honey
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups grated apple*

Streusel topping:
1/2 cup rolled oats
1/4 cup whole wheat pastry flour
1/4 cup coconut sugar
1/4 cup coconut oil

Heat the oven to 375F and grease or line a springform pan.

Begin by making the streusel topping. Add the oats, flour, coconut sugar, and coconut oil to a bowl and squish it all together with your hands. Once it's fully mixed, set it to the side and prepare the cake.

Combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, and nutmeg in a large bowl.

In a medium sized bowl, lightly beat the eggs. Add the nut butter, applesauce, honey, and vanilla.

Remove the seeds from the apple and cut away any bruises. I didn't peel my apples, but if you're using conventional fruit from the supermarket, remove the skin. Grate with a box grater or with the grating attachment of a food processor. Add the shredded apple to the egg mixture.

Add the egg and apple mixture to the dry ingredients and stir with a wooden spoon until just combined. Pour into the prepared springform and level the batter. Sprinkle the streusel topping over the cake, and bake at 375F for 30 minutes. It will spring back lightly when touched and the sides will be golden and pulling away from the edges of the pan. Serve with coconut whipped cream.

I used hazelnut butter, but feel free to use the substitution of your choice. Sunflower butter would work too if you can't have nuts.
This was four smallish apples for me. I imagine it'd take two or three supermarket apples.
I also just realized that my fork is in serious need of polishing. Pretend those water marks don't exist.

Apples are over, time to move on to winter squash. Hooray!
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