Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Harvest (cup)Cake-Tasty and Super Healthy

Why am I proposing this cake in the middle of winter you might ask?  Well, as much as I try to only eat what is in season, zucchini are hard for me to give up, plus this cake is so tasty I didn't want to wait until September to post about it.  If you are inclined to only use seasonal ingredients I would imagine that parsnips could be substituted for the zucchini, I bet they would taste great.  If you have followed this blog for a while you know that I gave up gluten a little bit over a year ago.  Yes, and my profession is pastry chef, pretty ironic, right?   It has been a sad year for my baking as I had quite few baking disasters when I tried to convert  recipes containing gluten.  I learned that is not that simple, using gluten free flour doesn't always give you the results you want, and tweaking the recipes takes time.  Since I have a big sweet tooth I love to eat something sweet every day so I have been trying to master few recipes I can count on. Luckily there are so many wonderful gluten free sites and blogs so I have plenty of inspiration.  I have now accumulated a great deal of recipes, some I tried and some are in my recipe holder waiting for inspiration.  This cake was one I decided to try even if it meant to use zucchini not grown in California, it looked delicious. 

The cakes comes from the recently discovered blog Roost. I found this blog not because of the gluten free contents, but because of the stunning styling and photographs, I hope you go and take a look.  Caitlin/Coco, the super talented author, and her husband embarked in a dietary adventure for health reasons and one of the thing they eliminated from their diet was gluten.  Needles to say, I am in heaven when I read her blog.

This cake caught my eyes and made me salivate enough that I decided to try it.  It is wholesome, sweetened with honey, uses almonds as the bulk ingredients, which one of my favorite nuts, and has three cups of fruit and veggies.  I tried it and loved it, so after asking permission to post it here, I am now encouraging you to try it.  If this is not your cup of tea, try to make it for a friend who is gluten intolerant, she/he will thank you.

The cake is good without topping but if you would like to dress it up please try the topping as well, it is the most delicious and natural thing I have tried in a long time.  Cashews, honey, and dates are the main ingredients, and it is so good I wanted to eat it with a spoon, give it a try.

If you know me, you also know that I love sweet things to be small, they are much cuter, and you don't feel guilty eating two or four, plus I wanted to know how this cake would work in a mini form.  The verdict...it is even better, it is a tad drier and cooks super fast. 

The recipe calls for leaving the apples in chunks, but a trusty taster friend of mine suggested to cut the apples smaller, so do so if you want.  I like the chunky texture.  I used canola oil in the cake, something I usually don't like, but there not much of it and the other flavors cover it up.

Below find the recipe as written by Caitlin.

Harvest Cake (Makes 1-9inch cake)
  • 3 cups almond flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup ghee (or oil of your choice) if you use ghee make sure it is melted
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup grated carrot
  • 1 cup grated zucchini
  • 1 cup chopped apple
Preheat oven to 350F. Grease a 9inch cake pan (you can use a regular cake pan if you prefer, not the fluted one pictured above). In a bowl combine dry ingredients. In a separate bowl combine wet ingredients. Pour wet mixture into the dry mixture and stir to incorporate. Pour into prepared cake pan and cook in oven for 40-45 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.

Vanilla Cream (makes almost 2 cups)
  • 1 cup raw cashews, soaked for three hours, water discarded
  • 1/2 cup fresh apple juice
  • 2 Medjool dates, pitted
  • 1 TBS honey
  • 1 vanilla bean, seeds scraped and pod discarded
In a high speed blender combine ingredients until very smooth. Spread on cake or muffins.
Cake can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for 4 days or in the fridge for 1 week.

Other gluten-free cakes....
Orange cake with chocolate glaze
Fig hazelnut tart
Cherry almond cake


Rosa's Yummy Yums said...

Wonderfully healthy! Those cupcakes look really tempting and delicious.



Sylvie @ Gourmande in the Kitchen said...

Beautiful and a wonderful way to satisfy a sweet tooth.

Simona said...

The recipe looks indeed very interesting. Using parsnip instead of zucchini sounds like a good idea. How many cupcakes did you make with one batch?

Lisa said...

I'll take these over any biscuit or scone ANY DAY of the week. Healthy and decadent. That frosting (and your photos) look fantastic! How did I miss these? It's been 10 days since you posted! Can't wait to get a new computer so I have a reader that works!

lisa is cooking said...

I love all the fruit and vegetables in these little cakes! The cashew vanilla cream sounds great. I really want to try that!

pet food said...

This cupcakes really looks delicious and mouth watering. Aside from it is is nutritious because of the ingredients are selected.


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