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Apple Cake



I love when it’s apple-picking season. It’s the time of the year I most want to bake desserts. But I like desserts that aren’t that sweet. My favorite desserts have fruits and vegetables in them such as carrot, squash, zucchini, bananas and apples with warm spices like cinnamon, nutmeg and ginger.

This apple cake is that kind of dessert. It’s not that sweet. The consistency is almost more like a bread, like banana bread, but apple bread doesn’t sound right. It’s filled with chunks of apples that soften while they bake to become sweet and juicy. It’s the perfect dessert to have with a cup of coffee although because it’s not too sweet, it would be great for breakfast as well.


Not only is this cake delicious, it’s moist and tender with a nice crust. In fact, it got moister over time. I couldn’t believe it. I expected it to get harder and stale as the week went on but it got even more delicious!

I made this cake gluten-free. If gluten is not an issue for you, you can certainly make it with regular all-purpose flour and leave out the guar or xanthan gum. When I want it really chunky, I use two apples but when I want it smoother (like in the picture  below), I only use one.


My Apple Cake is a wonderful dessert for fall and all your holiday menus. Enjoy!

Apple Cake




2 Tbs. flax seed + 1/3 cup warm water

2 cups gluten-free all-purpose flour

1 tsp. guar gum or xanthan gum

1 tsp. baking powder

½ tsp. baking soda

1 tsp. kosher salt

1 tsp. ground cinnamon

¼ tsp. ground nutmeg

½ cup brown sugar

¼ cup sugar

1/2 cup unsweetened apple sauce

¼ cup vegetable oil

1 tsp. vanilla

1 tsp. fresh lemon juice

2 apples, cored and chopped


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease a loaf pan. In a mug or small bowl, combine the flaxseed and warm water. Stir to combine and let sit for at least 5 minutes until it forms a thick gel. Set aside. In a medium-sized bowl, combine the flour, guar gum, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg. Mix to combine.

In a large bowl, combine the brown sugar, sugar, apple sauce, oil and vanilla. Add in the flax/water gel. Mix to combine well. Add the lemon juice and mix it in. Slowly add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients. Stir to combine until you have a batter. Fold in the chopped apples.

Transfer to a greased loaf pan. Set on a baking sheet and bake for 1 hour. Check it after 50 minutes as ovens may vary. When the cake is golden brown and a toothpick comes out dry, it is done. Remove from the oven and let cool before removing it from the pan.


The “V” Word: Say it. Eat it. Live it.



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13 Responses to Apple Cake

  1. Gita Devi October 21, 2013 at 4:12 pm #

    Rhea – Do you think this would work if baked as large muffins?

    • Rhea October 21, 2013 at 4:16 pm #

      Gita, I’m guessing but I bet it would. It’s very moist but it develops a crumbly crust. That’s why I said it’s more like a bread than a cake. If you try that, let me know please 🙂

  2. Kathy McKinstry October 10, 2013 at 4:38 pm #

    Karen, I bet you could find it in Stockholm. If not, I can send you some. I’m sure a package would last you quite a while if most recipes only call for a tsp or so….

  3. Kathy McKinstry October 10, 2013 at 12:04 pm #

    Hi Karen. It’s your sister. xanthan gum is a thickener that holds food together and is the ideal substitute for gluten in gluten free baking. I am reading from the Bob’s Red Mill package! It’s made from a bacterium called xanthomonas campestris. Now you know!

    • Rhea October 10, 2013 at 2:26 pm #

      Thank you Kathy. You beat me to it 🙂

  4. Karen October 10, 2013 at 8:56 am #

    I´m so excited! I just made this and it came out just like your picture 🙂 And very yummy! Question: What does the guar gum/xantham gum do? Could not find this in Northern Sweden where I live, so I didn´t use it.

    • Rhea October 10, 2013 at 2:26 pm #

      Hi Karen, guar gum and xanthan gum are used a lot in gluten-free baking. They give the stability and elasticity that you would normally get from gluten. Not all recipes need it, as you discovered. I don’t use it in my carrot cake, for instance. I used it here because it was my first time making it and I wasn’t sure how it would be without it. Sometimes, if you don’t use it in baking, the cake or cookies come out too crumbly and hard. Xanthan gum and guar gums are also used in cooking. I use it in my gluten-free sausage to give that chewy flavor you would normally get from seitan/vital wheat gluten. And it is a thickener/stabilizer in other foods which is why you often see it on ingredient labels. I’m glad you liked it. It really gets better over time…if it lasts that long.

      • Karen October 10, 2013 at 4:38 pm #

        Thanks! My bread held together great, so I guess I lucked out without it. AND… the bread did not last long… already gone 🙂 I invited some Swedish friends for “fika” (tradition with baked goods and coffee) They were all VERY impressed that there were no eggs, milk or butter!

        • Rhea October 11, 2013 at 5:17 pm #

          Yay! I love when people love vegan food and don’t even realize it. And I’m glad it held without the gum. I try to avoid it whenever I can. Thank you!

  5. CJ October 10, 2013 at 6:56 am #

    Looks super yummy. How big are the apples you use? Any idea of cup measurement after chopping or grams?

    • Rhea October 10, 2013 at 2:20 pm #

      Hi CJ, Hmmm….what size apples? My apples are kind of medium-sized. I would say one apple would make a cup when chopped up. When I used one apple, the cake came out smoother. When I used 2, it was chunkier. I would say to use 1 if you want a smooth cake with a few chunks inside and 1 1/2 or 2 if you really want lots of apple chunks.

      • CJ October 17, 2013 at 8:00 am #

        I had to come back and let you know that I did make the cake/bread. I used crab apples from a tree in my yard–used just less than 2 cups worth, and it was awesome. I used regular AP flour since I wasn’t feeding any gluten-intolerant folks this time. I ended up making a 2nd loaf since the 1st one was so well received, and my boys were literally fighting over the last piece of the 2nd loaf this morning. It looks like I’ll be keeping this recipe in steady rotation now.

        • Rhea October 17, 2013 at 12:24 pm #

          Yay! I’m so glad to hear that, CJ. It’s become one of our favorites too. It actually gets moister as days go by… if it lasts that long 🙂

          How cool you have an apple tree! We stayed somewhere once where there was an apple tree we shared with the deer. It was apple recipes for weeks! Thanks xoxo

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