November 28, 2022

Canadiannpizza

Cooking Is My World

Healthy Apple Cake – Chelsea’s Messy Apron

This Healthy Apple Cake is one for the books! A ridiculously moist, dense, and flavorful cake made without any flour, butter, or refined sugars! Yet, taste testers didn’t even know it was a “healthy” cake! This indulgent-tasting cake is richly spiced with cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, and cloves.

Try some of our other favorite healthful apple treats like this easy Applesauce Cake, these quick Apple Nachos, or these Gluten Free Apple Muffins.

Image of the Healthy Apple Cake on a plate

An Easy Healthy Apple Cake

This Healthy Apple Cake recipe is a BONUS recipe as part of our Back-To-School Lifesavers — a series of recipes that are intended to have little (or no) veggie chopping, minimal prep time, around 10 ingredients or less (not including pantry staples), and use kid-friendly ingredients. This (obviously) isn’t a dinner recipe, but a fun back-to-school snack or addition to a balanced breakfast. Click here to see all the recipes in the series!

Heads-up: there are a few more ingredients in this cake than is typical for this series, but most of the spices and baking agents are likely pantry staples or ingredients you already have on hand. That, coupled with how easy this cake is to make (no mixer, or even a bowl and spoon for that matter!), we thought it fit into this series nicely.

Process shots of the Healthy Apple Cake-- images of the cashews, oats, honey, coconut oil, applesauce, eggs, and vanilla being added to the blender and being blended together

Is Apple Cake Healthy?

We’re obsessed with this Apple Healthy Cake! It’s ultra dense and moist with a tender crumb and a wonderful sweetness. It’s perfectly spiced with a rich flavor reminiscent of a great Apple Pie! It also happens to be loaded with nutritious ingredients and offers loads of health benefits; here’s a quick breakdown:

  • No flour– we use whole old-fashioned oats instead.
  • No refined sugar– really, there is none! We’re sweetening this cake with applesauce and honey — a natural sweetener.
  • One full cup of applesauce — an antioxidant-rich fruit that is loaded with nutrients among other benefits.
  • Cashews–loaded with good-for-you fats and an excellent source of vitamins and minerals. In this recipe, cashews thicken the recipe.
  • Protein– thanks to the cashews and eggs, this recipe is packed with protein!
  • Anti-inflammatory spices– nutmeg, allspice, cloves, and especially cinnamon contain antioxidants that help reduce inflammation.
  • Coconut oil–linked to increasing levels of good cholesterol while lowering levels of bad cholesterol among other potential benefits.

Process shots-- images of the spices and baking agents and it all being added to a pan and being baked

Healthy Apple Cake Recipe Ingredients

Below are a few ingredient specific notes:

  • Cashews. We love dry roasted and lightly salted cashews best — more flavor without any extra effort on your part. (Here’s what we use in this cake).
  • Applesauce. To keep this cake as nutritious as possible, I suggest using unsweetened applesauce which does not have added sugar.
  • Honey is a natural sweetener and when combined with the sweetness of the applesauce, it perfectly sweetens the cake while also adding just the right amount of moisture. Alternatively, use pure maple syrup– also a natural sweetener (unlike corn syrup or pancake syrup) made from the sap of a maple tree that has been boiled down to a thicker consistency. Maple syrup is just one ingredient and all natural. (Honey, maple syrup, and applesauce are natural sweeteners. A natural sweetener is one that is found in nature and not processed.)
  • Old-fashioned oats. Although it would seem that any oats would work since they’re getting blended anyways, it’s important to use old-fashioned to ensure you get the right measurement. Both quick and steel-cut oats are smaller, denser, and more compact so measurements would be off and this healthy apple cake with oats would end up overly dry.
  • Coconut oil. I have found a good amount of variation in coconut oil brands; there is a stronger coconut flavor in some brands as opposed to others. I personally use LouAna® Coconut Oil and don’t find any recognizable or pronounced coconut flavor in this Healthy Apple Cake Recipe.
  • Corn starch. This is an important ingredient since we aren’t using flour and need some additional support and thickness.

QUICK TIP

The ingredients in this Healthy Apple Cake are naturally gluten free, but make sure to check all your ingredient labels to be sure they weren’t processed in a facility with gluten.

Image of the healthy apple cake with a bite being taken out of it

How To Make Healthy Apple Cake

True to this series’ intent, this low-fat apple cake couldn’t be easier to make. In fact, all we use is a blender! (This recipe is quick and easy to make, but you do need a good, powerful blender like Blendtec® or Vitamix® to break down the cashews and oats into a smooth batter.)

We make the entire batter in the blender in different stages. Stop the blender and scrape down the sides frequently (or as needed) to ensure all the ingredients are blending and incorporating well. 

Once the batter is fully blended and smooth, transfer it to a baking pan and bake. 

QUICK TIP

Use a light-colored 8×8-inch pan and line it with parchment paper for easy cake removal. You’ll know this cake is done baking when it’s no longer glossy looking on top, the edges are firm, lightly browned, and slightly pulling away from the edges. A toothpick inserted into the center should come out clean or with a few moist crumbs.

Overhead image of the dessert on a plate

QUICK TIP

Want to add a frosting to this Healthy Apple Cake? Try our favorite Cream Cheese Frosting! Then, garnish with a few coarsely chopped nuts or a Bare dried Apple Chip (not sponsored)! Or make a Healthy Apple Cake with yogurt by topping individual slices with a spoonful of a tasty vanilla Greek yogurt!

More Gluten-Free Baked Goods

Healthy Apple Cake

This Healthy Apple Cake is one for the books! This ridiculously moist, dense, and flavorful cake is made without any flour, butter, or refined sugars! Yet, taste testers didn’t even know it was a “healthy” cake! This indulgent-tasting cake is richly spiced with cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, and cloves.

Healthy Apple Cake

This Healthy Apple Cake is one for the books! This ridiculously moist, dense, and flavorful cake is made without any flour, butter, or refined sugars! Yet, taste testers didn’t even know it was a “healthy” cake! This indulgent-tasting cake is richly spiced with cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, and cloves.

Instructions

  • PREP: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (176 degrees C). Line an 8×8-inch baking pan with parchment paper and lightly grease with cooking spray. Set aside for now.

  • CAKE: Add all the ingredients under “first blend” to a large powerful blender (Blend-tec/Vitamix) and blend until smooth, about 60 seconds. Add in “second blend” ingredients. Blend until smooth and creamy, about 60-90 seconds. Stop and scrape down the sides of the blender as needed. Pour the batter into the prepared pan, using a spatula to scrape out every bit.

  • BAKE: Smooth the top with the spatula and bake for 35-40 minutes or until cake is lightly browned at edges and set in the middle (toothpick when inserted in the center should come out clean).

  • DECORATE: Allow cake to fully cool on a wire cooling rack and then cut into pieces. If desired, dust the top with powdered sugar.

Recipe Notes

Note 1: Blender: You’ll need a good, powerful blender (think Blendtec® or Vitamix®) to break down the cashews without over-heating the machine.
Note 2: Oats: Although it would seem that any oats would work since they’re getting blended anyways, it’s important to use old-fashioned to ensure you get the right measurement. Both quick and steel-cut oats are smaller, denser, and more compact so measurements would be off and the cake would end up too dry.
Note 3: Corn starch: This is an important ingredient since we aren’t using flour and need some additional support and thickness.

Nutrition Facts

Serving: 1serving | Calories: 176kcal | Carbohydrates: 23.7g | Protein: 3.1g | Fat: 8g | Cholesterol: 23.3mg | Sodium: 11.3mg | Fiber: 1.2g | Sugar: 15g

We do our best to provide accurate nutritional analysis for our recipes. Our nutritional data is calculated using a third-party algorithm and may vary, based on individual cooking styles, measurements, and ingredient sizes. Please use this information for comparison purposes and consult a health professional for nutrition guidance as needed.