This rustic Apple Skillet Cake is made from cornmeal, so it is gluten-free and also contains no refined sugar. A perfect quick and easy fall treat for the whole family!
This morning, Konrad is out to meet his brother for coffee. And so I could write this post, because he also took Olivia along!
Konrad watching Olivia isn't a big deal at all. But doing so not at home - but out in public - is. Somehow, whenever I needed a break, it was me leaving the house and letting the 2 loves of my life fend for themselves. But this morning, I packed Olivia's life essentials (bottle, diapers, and toys) in a backpack and sent them on their way. It felt good.
This week is a crazy busy one for Konrad at work. Most days he is gone from early morning to late at night.
And when he told me, he had scheduled a coffee meet-up on his only morning out, I right away suggested he take Olivia. Otherwise, there would have been no break at all for me this week. Three cheers for speaking my mind.
Making Apple Cake for My Readers
Don't get me wrong, I love my baby girl with the very essence of my being. And I feel so privileged to be able to spend her entire first year at home. But in order to be my absolute best during the time I am with her, I also need to take care of myself.
Speaking of which, creating delicious recipes for my fellow food lovers is one of the things I like to do in my baby off time 🙂
So, let's talk about this yummy apple cake. First off, it is baked in a skillet! Yes, I finally got my first cast-iron skillet (who cares if it was in a thrift shop). This is the size I have.
The Texture of the Apple Cake in a Cast Iron Skillet is Amazing
Secondly, this apple cake is gluten-free! And not made with a gluten-free flour mix or almond meal. This cake is actually made with cornmeal, and doesn't even remind me of cornbread at all.
I love the slightly crunchy, gritty texture that is nicely balanced by the soft, flavorful apple chunks. To enhance the apple flavor, I tossed the chunks in apple pie spice. You'll know how much I love fall desserts with apples from these apple pie pancakes or my apple pie breakfast cookies! Also, I love creating my own spices, like pumpkin pie and Christmas spices! Sorry; I'll calm down with the linking frenzy. Being my own number 1 fan is a benefit of writing my blog.
As for this apple cake, cardamom is the key spice in this mixture (spice mix instructions are at the bottom of the recipe). The cake is sweetened with maple syrup, so there is no refined sugar in here either, except for the coarse sugar sprinkle on top. But that could easily be replaced with unrefined turbinado sugar as well.
Serve This Apple Skillet Cake Warm, and with Cream
I love the cake best when it is still slightly warm, served with some sliced almonds and a dollop of whipped cream or a scoop of vanilla ice cream. Find out how to make delicious freshly churned ice cream at home in this post!
This time, I actually used whipped coconut cream. And I highly recommend not to skip this part. The cream takes the cake to an entirely different level.
Are you maybe planning a Valentine's dinner at home? This would be a lovely dessert - romantically shared right out of the pan. Like any relationship - sharing the refined as well as the rugged, out-of-the-pan delicacies of life 😉
Cook Like a Pro
Here are a couple of hot tips to keep in mind when creating this beautiful cast iron apple skillet cake. Firstly, remember that the cast iron skillet's job is to cook everything evenly. It's made of thick, heavy metal. People used these more in old times, and they're so cool because they offer you new options for baking. Just remember that it will be especially hot and to let it sit and cool when you pull it from the oven (with hot gloves on!) and don't fuss around with it too much. Let it do its thang.
Also, it's worth mentioning another time the steps that this skillet cake requires in order for it to be awesome. Toss the apples in spice and lemon juice. Mix the dry ingredients. Mix the wet ingredients. Add wet to dry until just combined, and then fold in the apples. Voila. Apple skillet cake, baby.
Gluten-Free Apple Skillet Cake
- 2 large apples
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 2 teaspoons apple pie spice see my recipe on how to make this
- ¾ cup cornmeal
- 1 tablespoon tapioca or cornstarch
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 2 eggs
- ⅓ cup maple syrup
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ¼ vegetable oil or melted coconut oil
- 2 tablespoons plain yogurt
- 2 tablespoons coarse sugar or turbinado sugar
- Preheat oven to 350 F. Lightly grease a cast iron skillet (8 or 9 inches).
- Peel, core and coarsely chop the apples. Toss with lemon juice and apple pie spice.
- In a large bowl whisk together cornmeal, starch, baking powder and salt.
- In a separate bowl lightly beat the eggs. Add maple syrup, vanilla, oil and yogurt and whisk until smooth.
- Pour wet into dry mixture and stir until just combined. Fold in apple chunks.
- Fill batter into prepared skillet and sprinkle coarse sugar over top. Bake for 25-30 minutes until golden.
- Serve lightly warm or at room temperature. Sprinkle with sliced almonds and top with whipped (coconut) cream, if desired.
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Adding ingredients like applesauce, yogurt, or sour cream can help keep gluten-free cakes moist. Additionally, using almond flour or adding extra eggs or fats can contribute to moisture retention.
Overmixing the batter or using too much xanthan gum can lead to a rubbery texture in gluten-free cakes. Opt for alternative binding agents like psyllium husk or flaxseed to prevent this issue.
Using certain flours with a coarser texture, such as brown rice flour or quinoa flour, can result in a grainy texture. Sifting the flour or using finer alternatives like almond flour or coconut flour can help achieve a smoother consistency.
Including binders like xanthan gum, psyllium husk, or flaxseed can help prevent gluten-free cakes from crumbling. Adding extra moisture through ingredients like eggs, yogurt, or fruit purees can also enhance the cake's structural integrity.