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Winter Apple & Cinnamon Cake

By Marcus Braid on June 26, 2014 in

Photo: Catherine Noonan

Photo: Catherine Noonan

Believe it or not, this sweet, moist and nutty cake is completely gluten, grain, sugar and dairy free. It’s nut free too, and it’s paleo.

It’s densely packed with wonderfully healthy flavours and ingredients including fresh apples, free-range eggs, coconut oil, cinnamon, sultanas and the star ingredient, sunflower seeds.

Yes, you read right, sunflower seeds, or rather sunflower seed meal. You need only whiz whole raw sunflower seeds in a blender to create this nutty meal, which behaves similarly to almond meal when it comes to baking, retaining the same moist texture and a comparable nutty flavour.

This one-bowl-wonder is so versatile and can be served as follows:
• Like a warm winter pudding, straight from the oven – just watch it doesn’t crumble.
• At room or fridge temperature, for morning or afternoon tea.
• As a decadent chilled dessert, served with double cream or yoghurt.
I used a round baking tin, but you could also use a square tin, cutting the cake into snack-sized cubes, or divide the mixture into a 12 capacity muffin tin, reduce the baking time to 30 minutes and eat as breakfast muffins. The options are truly endless.

Ingredients (Serves 8-10)
2 large red apples, grated
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1/3 cup coconut oil
2 tsp baking powder
2 tsp cinnamon
3 cups sunflower seeds, ground*
1/2 cup sultanas
1 large apple, sliced to garnish
*Whiz whole raw sunflower seeds in a blender or food processor to create a fine meal. Alternatively use almonds or other nut meal.

Mixing bowl and fork
20cm round spring-form cake tin

1. Pre-heat a convection oven to 160 degrees Celsius.
2. Grease and line a 20cm round spring-form cake tin with baking paper and set aside.
3. In a mixing bowl, add the grated apple, beaten eggs, coconut oil, baking powder and cinnamon. Mix briskly with a fork to combine.
4. Add the ground sunflower seeds and sultanas and mix to combine.
5. Transfer the mixture into the cake tin and decorate with the extra sliced apple.
6. Place in the preheated oven and bake for one hour, or until lightly golden. If the top is cooked before the centre, cover with foil. However, this should not be a problem when cooking on convection mode.
7. Cool completely before storing.

Store in an airtight container in your refrigerator for up to one week.