Fact: a person can never be happy without cake in their life. Few people would disagree, and those few would, whether they recognize it or not, be quite unhappy.
So as I found myself edging towards the 1 month mark of a 3 month autoimmune protocol (AIP), I discovered my life lacked substance. For 30 days, I had gone without cake, and the time had come to rectify the situation.
The problem was, the Paleo autoimmune protocol is one of the strictest, perhaps the strictest, diets on the planet. For those of you unfamiliar with it’s dictates, AIP means cutting out any foods which might be potential allergens. That means all nightshades (potatoes, peppers, eggplant, tomatoes, etc), nuts, seeds, dairy, grains (of course!), eggs, chocolate, and probably plenty of other food staples that have just now slipped my mind.
The AIP, while undoubtedly effective in identifying problem foods, doesn’t leave a person with a whole lot of foods that they can eat. This meant that I had been subsisting on a diet of meat and vege for as far back as my troubled mind could remember, and it was starting to get a bit old.
You see, I love meat and (to a lesser degree) vegetables as much as the next person. Probably more than the next person, if I’m honest. But there’s only so many times a man can have meat and vegetables for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and dessert without starting to get a bit grumpy.
And so I found myself wondering whether there was a way to piece together what few ingredients I could eat to form some semblance of a cake.
Luckily, there was. Funnily enough, it’s called the Paleo AIP Spiced Apple Cake.
Easy Recipe: Paleo AIP Spiced Apple Cake
Before we begin, a disclaimer: every time I make this cake, it varies considerably. A little more apple, a little less banana, a little more coconut oil, a little less raisins….but every time it’s come out utterly delicious. I’d even substitute desiccated coconut instead of coconut butter if I didn’t have any to hand (just whizz it in the blender and it comes out a similar consistency to coconut butter).
So don’t be afraid to deviate a little from the recipe – that’s what I did, and everything worked out just dandy!
- 1 ripe banana
- 1 medium-sized apple
- 1/4 cup coconut oil
- 1/2 cup coconut butter
- 1 tbsp honey or maple syrup
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 1 1/2 tsp lemon juice
- 1/4 cup coconut flour
- 1/2 cup rice flour (technically not necessarily AIP, so can substitute same amount arrowroot flour)
- 1/2 cup raisins (optional, but delicious!)
- 2 tbsp coconut milk (ONLY if you add in the optional raisins)
- 1 tbsp water
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp cinnamon powder
- 1/2 tsp clove powder
Throw a banana and a cored, roughly chopped apple (don’t bother peeling) into a blender with around a tablespoon of water to make it easier for the blades to do their thang. Blend on high until a smooth paste has formed. If your blender is having trouble, force the apple bits down towards the blades (when it’s off, of course!) and add in a little more water.
Set the oven to 350 Fahrenheit (180 celsius), and melt your coconut oil in the warming oven if it’s below room temperature (and therefore hard!). If you coconut butter is also hard, put it in the oven for a minute or two to soften it as well.
Line a 9×13 inch baking pan with baking paper (aka parchment paper in other parts of the world!).
Mix the wet ingredients (coconut oil, banana and apple paste, lemon juice, vanilla, honey/maple syrup, and coconut butter) together in a bowl until combined.
In another bowl, combine the dry ingredients (the flours, salt, baking soda, cinnamon, and clove) and mix to ensure consistent. Then add to the wet ingredients and stir until everything is perfectly amalgamated. At this point, if you’re feeling a bit racy, add in 1/2 cup of raisins and see whether the consistency of the batter is still wet but sticky. If it seems a bit dry, add in a tablespoon or two of coconut milk. If it’s still too wet, add in some desiccated coconut or rice flour. Play around with it until it looks right to you – it should be thick enough to hold its shape for a while, but wet enough that you could (technically) pour the batter into the cake tin if you stood there for like ten minutes. You get my drift, right?
Next, spread the mixture into the pan. If you’re having guests over and want the cake to look fancy schmancy, slice another apple in half, core it, then slice thin strips of apple and place them lightly on top of the batter to create a rustic apple pie-type effect. Add a sprinkle of cinnamon to complete the aesthetic ensemble.
Cook for around 25 minutes. When it gets close to the 25 minute mark, start checking to see whether it looks cooked. Really depends how moist you like your cake – I like it to be still ever so slightly gooey inside, so I take it out just before it gets to the point where it springs back when you press your finger into the top. It should be golden around the edges and smell ah-may-zing!
Lift the cake out of the pan using the baking paper, and place on a cooling rack for 15-20 minutes. The longer you wait, the easier it’ll be to cut and less likely to crumble.
Cut a healthy slab, pour over a little coconut yoghurt and (if you’ve got a serious sweet tooth) a bit more honey, and enjoy! Liivi isn’t on the AIP but she still eats this cake and swears it’s better than any of the Paleo cakes she’s made lately – she just slathers on a slab of grass-fed butter instead of the yoghurt! I’m only slightly jealous.
Have you tried the recipe? How’d it go? Got any variations you’d like to suggest? Tell us about it in the comments below!