Apple Breakfast Cake
Anyone who has dietary restrictions knows that occasionally it becomes difficult to enjoy your food when you are required to be overly conscious of each ingredient you place into your body.
For me the struggle is most prevalent around breakfast.
I love pastries, coffee cakes, and sweets.
There, I said it.
I am one of those girls that believes the day is best started with something sweet.
Really though, is there anything more comforting on a cold winter morning than pouring yourself a cup of coffee and settling into a cozy chair to watch the world around you wake up while you have a plate of warm cakey goodness in front of you?? Let’s add some fuzzy slippers and a throw blanket crocheted with love by your mother and we really have the ideal morning laid out in front of us!
My dietary choices mean that I tend to avoid flour and most grains, and my body has made it crystal clear to me that sugar is a painful enemy to me. No flour and no sugar means that many of the traditional breakfast goodies are off limits to me (except for the occasional indulgence I chose to savor, but at those times I mentally prepare myself for the physical consequences).
Thankfully I do enjoy a savory breakfast as well. But, a girl can only eat so many eggs before she reverts back to craving the comfort of a flaky croissant or a buttery scone.
For all of you who are nodding your heads and feeling my pain I’d like to introduce you to the Apple Breakfast Cake.
I am co-hosting a retreat with some really incredible women. So, this weekend will find me in the beauty of the northwoods, steeped in scripture and discovery, and building friendships.
As we began the planning process for the retreat a number of months ago we believed that we would be supplying the 12 attendees with breakfast while the retreat center was going to handle our lunches and dinners for the three days. I egerly volunteered for the job! I then learned that a number of our guests had dietary restrictions similar to mine and I knew I had an interesting challenge infront of me. How was I to create breakfast that feel indulgent (we are at a retreat get-a-way after all), avoids any potentially no-no ingredients, and still feels fullfilling and tasty for the women who do not avoid gluten, dairy, or sugar?
Apple Breakfast Cake came to my mind and after a few flops (a big thank you to my father-in-law and mother-in-law for being brave enough to taste test that first, not very good, attempt!) I have come up with something that I believe fits all of the requirments. Yay!
Well, it turns out that as the weeks of planning for the retreat drifted by we learned that the retreat center was willing to take on the task of providing our group with breakfasts and so my services were not needed after all. My time was freed up to focus on the other important aspects of the retreat AND I am left with a recipe to share with you all!
Anyway... back to the recipe....
This cake is sweetened from the apples and with a bit of honey. These are still sugar my friends, and for me... sugar is sugar.
My body will react negatively no matter if it comes naturally from fruit, in the form of maple syrup, or from the hard work of honey bees. I have learned that the impact on my joints is slightly less if I focus on natural sweeteners, such as honey, compared to typical table sugar. But I still need to be very careful.
Admittedly because of this the Apple Breakfast Cake is not very sweet, BUT… it is cakey and deliciously spiced and fills the need for a bite of coffee cake without inflaming your joints or causing uncomfortable tummy trouble. If you feel that your breakfast cake needs some extra sweetening than go for it and add some extra honey to the batter :)
And speaking of honey… while I prefer the floral flavor of honey as the sweetness in this recipe feel free to replace it with maple syrup if that is what you have on hand.
I chose to make the Apple Breakfast Cake in a round spring form pan to keep things easy when it was time to lift the breakfast cake from the pan. And, I think it looks prettier on a plate when sliced in little wedges. But, you can easily make the breakfast cake in a square cake pan as well.
I promise that it will taste just as good.
To make things extra special try a spoonful of plain yogurt as a creamy tangy topping to your slice of Apple Breakfast Cake. The plain yogurt adds moistness and flavor without being too sweet or increasing the sugar content of your breakfast... vanilla yogurt is also a delicious topping if that’s what you prefer. Search out a good coconut yogurt if you'd like to keep this completely dairy free :)
A p p l e B r e a k f a s t C a k e
*gluten-free, dairy-free, low sugar
2 1/2 cups almond flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon cardamom
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/3 cup coconut oil (melted)
1/4 cup honey (or maple syrup)
3 large eggs
2 - 3 apples (peeled and chopped into bite sized pieces)
½ cup walnuts (roughly chopped)
* yogurt for serving
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Lightly oil the bottom and sides of the cake pan with a bit of melted coconut oil.
Whip the coconut oil, eggs, honey, and vanilla together in a mixing bowl and set aside.
In a separate bowl mix the almond flour, baking soda, cinnamon, cardamom, and salt.
Using a spatula pour the egg mixture into the bowl with the almond flour and fold all of the ingredients together. Add the chopped apples and the walnuts to the bowl and gently mix to incorporate them into the batter.
Pour the cake batter into the oiled cake pan and bake for about 25 minutes, or until the breakfast cake is baked all the way through.
Cool slightly before releasing the cake from the pan. But, don’t allow it to cool too much, I believe that this apple breakfast cake is best when still nice and warm.
*Top each slice with a dollop of yogurt before serving, slip into a pair of fuzzy slippers and pour yourself a cup of coffee :) ENJOY!