This gluten free apple cake is positively packed with fork-tender apple chunks, the cake delicate and tender from being baked along with them.
There are few things more comforting than a still-warm slice of cinnamon-rich apple cake, packed with tender chunks of apples. It needs no dollop of whipped cream, no scoop of vanilla ice cream, to delight, especially if your friends and family are lucky enough to be served a slice the same day it was baked, the whole house still fragrant with its baking.
Similar in ingredient proportions to a French apple cake, this much simpler apple cake is baked right in a standard cake pan rather than a springform pan. This recipe somehow still manages to deliver a cake with a custardy texture inside, but with a lovely, buttery browned crust.
Have you been lucky enough to spend a day picking apples at an orchard this year, leaving you with the apple over-abundance you promised yourself you’d avoid but never seem to? This year, it seems we won’t make it to the orchard ?, so I’m just picking out the very best apples at the grocery store and baking like I mean it.?
Tender Gluten Free Apple Cake
1 1/2 pounds baking apples (about 3 large apples), peeled, cored and diced (a mix of Empire, Gala, and green apples works really well)
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 cup + 2 tablespoons (158 g) all purpose gluten free flour (I used Better Batter)
1/2 teaspoon xanthan gum (omit if your blend already contains it)
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
10 tablespoons (140 g) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
1 cup (200 g) granulated sugar
2 eggs (100 g, weighed out of shell) at room temperature, beaten
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Preheat your oven to 325°F. Grease well a 9-inch round cake pan, and set it aside. Place the diced apples in a large bowl, and toss with 1 teaspoon of the ground cinnamon and the lemon juice, then set the bowl aside.
In a separate medium-sized bowl, place the flour, xanthan gum, baking powder, salt, remaining 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon and nutmeg, and whisk to combine well, then set aside. In a separate large bowl with a hand mixer or the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter until light and fluffy. Add the sugar, then the eggs and vanilla, beating to combine well after each addition. Add the dry ingredients in two batches, beating until just combined after each addition. The batter will be thick but light. Scrape about two-thirds of the cake batter into the bowl of apples, and mix to coat all of the apples in the batter. It will be very chunky.
Scrape the remaining one-third of the cake batter into the prepared cake pan and spread into an even layer with a moistened spatula. Scrape the chunky apple-packed cake batter into the pan on top of the base layer of batter, and spread again into an even layer with a moistened spatula.
Cover the pan tightly with aluminum foil, and place in the center of the preheated oven. Bake for 20 minutes. Remove the foil cover from the pan and return to the oven to bake until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out with no more than a few moist crumbs attached (about another 20 minutes). Remove from the oven and allow to cool in the pan for 10 minutes before carefully transferring to a wire rack for about 15 minutes before slicing and serving while still warm.