“Life is too short to not bake.”
To my great sadness, a friend and neighbor unexpectedly passed away. She had been fine but then wasn’t feeling well one day, discovered she had stage four pancreatic cancer, and died within two weeks of the diagnosis. The funeral was this past Friday, a week after her passing. As I dealt with the sorrow of losing her this weekend, I turned to those things which give me solace: my faith, family and friends, writing, and cooking. In their own way, each provides me comfort and renewal.
Fortunately for me, my husband is teaching a class on Sundays which I tend to bake for, so I had the perfect opportunity to create a recipe. Because a friend generously gave me tons and tons of my favorite Honey Crisp apples, I knew I wanted to make something apple-y. I wanted something a little special, though — something wonderful like my friend. A bundt cake came to mind.
In a previous post, talking about bundt cakes, I mentioned that they’re tasty, dense cakes which are pretty to serve because they retain the shape of their molded pans. Usually bundt cakes are filled with goodies like fruit and nuts and chocolate, so they’re even pretty once they’re cut into slices. Since I had the abundance of apples, I decided that a spiced apple bundt cake would be perfect.
The batter is very important to a bundt cake. I decided that I’d combine sorghum and millet flour with arrowroot starch for my gluten free blend with a little bit of xanthan gum. For the spices I opted for cardamom, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger and cloves because they remind me of Autumn. With the sweetness of the apples, I didn’t really need to much for a sweetener so I chose to add Agave which would add mild sweetness as well as some liquid moisture to the cake. For the fat, I decided safflower oil would be best because of it’s light taste. To add some more spice to the cake, I mixed the apples with the same spices as the batter. Then to finish the cake, I drizzled a little mixture of cinnamon and powdered sugar mixed with flax milk on top of the cake. The result was both pretty and tasty.
Spiced Apple Bundt Cake
3 cups of finely diced peeled and cored Honey Crisp apples, about 3 to 4 apples (My daughter and I liked the batter to apple ratio in the cake but my son and husband suggested that next time I increase the apple pieces to four cups so there would be “apple pieces in every bite”; I’ll let you decide what you’d prefer to do. *grin*)
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp cardamom
1 cup sorghum flour
1 cup millet flour
1 cup arrowroot starch (you can also use tapioca or potato starch if you’d prefer)
1 1/2 tsp xanthan gum
1 tsp salt
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground cardamom
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp ground cloves
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
3/4 cup safflower oil (I like a drier cake which goes well with tea and coffee or glass of milk so this was perfect in my opinion, but I know some folks prefer a moister cake, so if you do, increase the oil to 1 cup)
1 cup agave
1 1/2 tsp gluten free vanilla
1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and liberally grease a bundt pan with your preferred method and then dust it with your preferred flour. (I used vegan shortening and brown rice flour.)
- Mixed the peeled, diced apple pieces with the cinnamon and cardamom and set aside.
- Blend the sorghum and millet flours, arrowroot starch, xanthan cup, salt, cinnamon, cardamom, nutmeg, ginger, cloves, baking powder and baking soda. Set aside.
- Whisk together the oil, agave, eggs and vanilla.
- Add the dry ingredients to the wet with the apple cider vinegar and mix just until the dry ingredients are moistened.
- Carefully fold in the apple pieces until the apples are fully incorporated into the batter.
- Spoon the batter into the prepared bundt pan.
- Bake for 50 minutes until the cake is golden and pulling away from the sides and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
- Let the cake sit in the pan on a cooling rack for at 15 to 25 minutes.
- Turn the cake over onto the cooling rack to cool completely.
- The cake can be served as is or you can top it with a sprinkling of powdered sugar or a mixture of powdered sugar and cinnamon, or you can glaze it. I glazed it by mixing a couple tablespoons of powdered sugar with 1/2 tsp of cinnamon and just enough flax milk to make a drizzable glaze.