The scent of cinnamon filled the house with an irresistible aroma while I was testing this new apple pecan coffee cake recipe. It’s gluten-free, dairy-free and reduced in sugar. Just a small indulgence to be enjoyed on occasion. Fall, baking, and apples just go together. Beautifully.
Apple Pecan Coffee Cake
While I enjoy baking, I don’t do it often to keep temptations down to a minimum. But once in a while it’s nice to have a treat. I wanted to bake a fall apple cake to take to my bible study. They are one of my test groups for new recipe ideas, and this recipe was a hit.
For the flours, I used Bob’s Red Mill All Purpose Gluten-Free baking blend and their almond flour.To make it dairy-free, I used almond milk (homemade) for the liquid and olive oil instead of butter for the fat. You could also use coconut oil.
When buying apples for baking, choose them with a firm, crisp, unbruised flesh. Our favorite apples are Honeycrisp. It’s our favorite for eating raw, so that’s what I had on hand. Go with your favorite apple, or try a tart apple like a Granny Smith which is often used for baking.
For a guide to varieties, check out this helpful site for great information on apples.
Storing Apples: Ethylene Gas
As they ripen, apples emit a plant hormone called ethylene gas. Yes, even plants have hormones. What a crazy thought. Anyway, this gas hastens the spoilage of other ethylene gas-sensitive fruits and vegetables (like lettuce, berries, kale, green beans, carrots and many others). So apples are best stored by themselves in your refrigerator.
If you want a list of fruits and vegetables and their sensitivity to ethylene gas, check out this freshness card from Sub-Zero. It’s a good one to bookmark for reference.
Sub-Zero Air Purification System
To prevent ethylene gas from making other foods spoil, check out Sub-Zero refrigerators. They have an air purification system that helps food stay fresher, longer by filtering out ethylene gas and scrubbing the air of mold, viruses and bacteria. In fact Sub-Zero owners report that foods stay fresh up to 20% longer. That means less food and money wasted from being thrown out. That’s big savings when you realize that the average American household tosses nearly 500 pounds of food — worth $600 or more — every year.
My Two Kitchen Remodels: Choosing Sub-Zero
My choice for more than fifteen years, through two kitchen remodels, has been Sub-Zero for refrigeration. When I was offered the opportunity to work with Sub-Zero for sponsored posts, I said yes. It was natural fit. It’s a quality product I’ve invested in and believe in.
To Peel or Not to Peel?
I tested the cake both ways. While I like the idea of leaving the skin on for more fiber and nutrition, it looked nice without the peel. It may depend on the apple that you use and the color of the skin. The lead photo was baked without the skin. The photo above shows apples with the skin on, and two teaspoons of extra, coarse brown sugar (Demerara or Turbinado) for sparkle after baking. It’s optional if you want to reduce sugar.
Adding Sweetness – Reducing Sugar
For sweetening, I used 1/3 of a cup of organic light brown sugar and 2 1/2 tablespoons of granular stevia (both from Wholesome Sweeteners) to reduce sugar. For Stevia, be sure to buy the whole leaf kind. You can use 2/3 cup of brown sugar if you don’t like stevia.
Another option for baking is called Sucanat, which stands for Sugar Cane Natural. Sucanat is a whole unrefined cane sugar. Because it retains all of the cane’s natural molasses, it has a deep brown color and a distinct, natural molasses flavor that is particularly nice in baking. It contains trace amounts of iron, calcium, vitamin B6, potassium and chromium. Another option is unrefined raw coconut sugar, which is like brown sugar. So experiment when you bake.
Check out Sub-Zero here and on Facebook. Now for a giveaway! To enter for a chance to win a $100 Visa gift card, leave a comment below letting me know your favorite treat to bake for the fall. Sweepstakes Rules: No duplicate comments.You may receive (2) total entries by selecting from the following entry methods:
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This giveaway is open to US Residents age 18 or older. Winners will be selected via random draw, and will be notified by e-mail. The notification email will come directly from BlogHer via the sweeps@blogher email address. You will have 72 hours to respond; otherwise a new winner will be selected. The Official Rules are available here. This sweepstakes runs from 11/6/14 – 12/4/14. Be sure to visit the Sub-Zero and Wolf brand page on BlogHer.com where you can read other bloggers’ posts!
THIS GIVEAWAY HAS ENDED
Apple Pecan Coffee Cake
- 1 cup all-purpose gluten-free flour blend 4 1/2 ounces, I use Bob’s Red Mill
- 1/2 cup almond flour 1 3/4 ounces, Bob’s Red Mill
- 2 1/2 tablespoons granular stevia I use Wholesome Sweeteners
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
- 1 teaspoon spice of choice cinnamon, pumpkin pie blend, Chinese Five Spice
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/3 cup olive oil
- 1/3 cup sucanat or golden brown sugar unrefined brown sugar
- 2 eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup almond milk
- 1/2 cup chopped pecans 2 1/4 ounces
- 2 large apples I use Honeycrisp
- 2 teaspoons Demerara or Turbinado sugar for top optional
- Special equipment – 9″ springform pan and parchment paper
- Pre-heat oven to 350º. Cut a parchment round to fit inside springform pan, spray pan with non-stick and add parchment.
- Mix dry ingredients – In a medium bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients: all purpose and almond flour, stevia, baking powder and soda, salt and spice.
- Mix wet ingredients – In a large measuring cup or bowl, whisk together wet ingredients: oil, sugar, eggs, vanilla and almond milk until smooth. Pour wet ingredients into dry and stir until smooth. Stir in pecans. Pour batter into the pan.
- Trim a thin slice off of the top and bottom of the apples. Core and peel apples. Cut into 24 slices. To do this easily, cut the apple into eights, then each piece into equal thirds. Arrange apple slices in a circular overlapping pattern starting at the outside edge of the pan. Slightly overlap apple ends and tip the bottom of the slices (the thinner end) a bit down into the batter. This will allow you to get more apples into the batter. Continue around the pan until you get to the center. For the small center, cut a slice of apple into smaller pieces and fit them in as best you can. You may not need all of the apple slices. If using, sprinkle the demerara sugar over the top to give the cake top a sparkle (optional).
- Bake cake at 350º for approximately 40-45 minutes. Timing will depend on your ovens. When done a toothpick inserted into the center should come out clean but moist. Remove cake from the oven and allow to cool for 15 minutes. Run a thin bladed knife around the inside edge of the pan to free the cake, then pop the spring and remove the cake. Cool on a wire rack or serve warm. If serving later after cooling, wrap well and keep at room temperature.
- Notes on sugar – Demerara and Turbinado sugar is a large crystal, somewhat crunchy, raw light brown sugar. I’ve sprinkled two teaspoons over the top before baking to give the top a sparkle, but this is optional. Sucunat is a natural, unrefined brown sugar, as is raw coconut sugar.