Marie-Helene’s Apple Cake (Sans Grain, Sans Nuts)

I am always searching for recipes to share with you; of course they must be made from healthy ingredients, and free of grains.  The recipe I am sharing with you today is one I adapted from Around My French Table, a book that I have been salivating over in recent months.  Authored by Dorie Greenspan, this book celebrates French home cooking and the photographs are absolutely stunning! Dorie is a part-time resident of Paris, France and the recipes in this book focus on what French people really eat at home.   The D-Man requested that I make this cake after seeing the photograph, and how could I refuse.  I removed the all-purpose flour, refined sugar, and a few tweaks later had a beautiful cake that Dorie refers to as “Marie-Helene’s Apple Cake”.   The cake produced has a moist crumb, and is not overly sweet.  The recipe sounds tedious, but I assure you it is not difficult to make, a whisk and spatula are the only tools you need to make this beautiful cake.

½ cup coconut flour (sifted)
¼ cup + 1 tablespoon tapioca starch
¾ teaspoon baking powder
pinch of sea salt
¼ teaspoon of ground organic cinnamon
3 or 4 large apples (preferably different kinds)
2 large pastured eggs at room temperature
¾ cup sucanat (or organic sugar)
3 tablespoons dark rum (optional)
2 teaspoons vanilla extract (if omitting the rum add 1 tablespoon vanilla)
1 cup unsalted pastured butter (melted and cooled)

Center a rack in the oven, and preheat to 350 degrees.  Generously butter an 8-inch springform pan, and put on a baking sheet lined with a silicone baking mat or parchment paper (this step is important as the cake weeps a bit when baking).

Whisk the coconut flour, tapioca starch, baking powder, cinnamon and salt together in a small bowl.  Peel and core the apples, and cut them into 1 to 2 inch chunks (I made mine 2 inch chunks….I was going for a rustic appeal, and also saving time).

In a medium bowl, beat the eggs with a whisk until they are foamy.  Add the sucanat and whisk for a minute or so to blend.  Whisk in the rum and vanilla extract.  Whisk in half the flour mixture, and when it is incorporated, add half the melted butter, followed by the rest of the flour and the remaining butter, mixing gently after each addition so that you have a smooth, rather thick batter.  Switch to a rubber spatula, and fold in the apples, turning the fruit so that it’s coated with the batter.  Scrape the mix into the pan, and even it out a bit.

Bake for 50 to 60 minutes, or until the top of the cake is golden brown and a knife inserted deep into the center comes away clean; the cake may pull away from the sides of the pan.  Transfer to a cooling rack, and lest rest for 5 minutes.  Carefully run a blunt knife around the edges of the cake, and remove the sides of the pan.  (Open the sprinform slowly, and make sure there aren’t any apples stuck to it).  Allow the cake to cool until it is just slightly warm or at room temperature.  If you want to remove the cake from the bottom of the springform pan, wait until the cake is almost cooled, then run a long spatula between the cake and the pan.  Cover the top of the cake with a piece of parchment or wax paper, and invert it onto a rack.  Carefully remove the bottom of the pan, and turn the cake over onto a serving dish.

The cake can be served warm or at room temperature, with or without whipped cream, barely sweetened heavy cream, or ice cream.  (The cake can be kept for 2 days at room temperature; press plastic wrap or wax paper against the cut surfaces).

Sweets and Treats

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4 responses to Marie-Helene’s Apple Cake (Sans Grain, Sans Nuts)


  1. Tina Turbin

    What a delicious and nutritious recipe Laura. You really pulled off a great one here. I can not wait to try this one in my kitchen.

    I too adore Dorie Greenspan yet as a grain-free guru that I am, I too have to adapt so many recipes to fit our needs. The baked goods are always the most challenging yet always the most rewarding by far. They get the real Oohs and Aahs.

    Thanks for sharing this!

    Tina Turbin
    http://www.GlutenFreeHelp.Info

  2. Laura

    Tina, I hope your family enjoys the cake as much as mine has.

  3. Shane

    Hey Precious Friend…cannot wait to try this…it sounds divine! Thanks for sharing your great gift with us!

  4. Laura

    Shane, you are sweet. Enjoy the recipe, it's simple yet elegant…just like you.

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