Fat-Free Apple Cake

I know spring is coming, I know it is! I am so sorry for those of you who are experiencing relentless winter and snow and cold but spring is coming. Having said that, that doesn’t mean that we have to forget what winter and autumn gave us and concentrate on the things that are showing up in your fruit and vegetable section…. There is one fruit out there, that is proud to say that it is a classic. A classic knows no time passing, no deadlines and it never goes out of style. The apple.

My mom calls the apple the Queen of Fruits. And she is! She comes in many varieties, sweet, sour, tangy, crispy, or less so, scented, flavoured, you name it. And has more vitamins in itself than other fruits. I don’t know if an apple a day would keep the doctor away, but it certainly can’t hurt, could it?

I have seen this cake on David Lebovitz’s site and have bookmarked to make it (it is originally a Dorie Greenspan recipe). I was postponing it for whatever reason (I am at the same time eyeing another apple recipe), but when someone, whom I love very much, shared their recipe for apple cake, I couldn’t but make it. I read the shared recipe and instantly said, this is exactly like David’s. The difference is that this person had not previously consulted David’s recipe. This just goes out to show how much all these recipes are similar and if we want to find out who is the original owner of the recipe, we’ll just be going in circles and chase the chicken or the egg.

I am doing here a combination of both recipes, but definitely using the option of applesauce instead of butter (can you guess that David’s is the one that has butter? Lots of butter! It is a French cake after all!). When making it, I had resist the urge to add butter. Oh, but is such a natural addition to everything baked. Oh, butter!!!! This being a French apple cake, it does not have cinnamon. *gasp* I know. But, since the owner of this recipe suggested that it would go well nicely the next time she makes it, I didn’t hesitate to add some. I may have omitted it now since I wanted to try how it would taste, but the fact that the advice came from a person who otherwise shuns cinnamon… well, you know the rest.

David’s version has dark rum. All 3 tablespoons of it! I didn’t have dark rum, I had white and I added 1 tbsp. Now I am unsure about the white rum + cinnamon combination… I like the cake a lot… I may have liked it even more had I chosen one or the other… (which could’ve made it dangerous for me to control myself eating it lol) I dislike spiced rum as a drink or in drinks, so therefore I wouldn’t add it in cooking either (if I don’t like to drink it, then I won’t cook with it). But maybe there is a reason why it goes better in baking? I don’t know. Open for exploration.

When it comes to the apples, he says it doesn’t really matter, you can use a variety. I chose Honey Crisp. Besides I had no choice in the supermarket since everything was labeled “douce”… Oh well “douce” it is…. So the apple of choice is left to you. As are the sugar quantities. I am having a hard time finding unsweetened applesauce. So the “allégé” is actually still too sweet for my taste. Therefore, when you add yours, if you use unsweetened, adjust the sugar to your liking (and apple). 

Word of advice: even after buttering and “flouring” the pyrex baking dish, the bottom of the cake stuck. So, we had a bit of an “assemble the bottom” situation, but I managed to do it in one layer. So, it might behave differently if it had butter inside the batter, but if you choose the applesauce option either do it in a nonstick baking dish (I’d still butter it, I’m paranoid, I butter every time) or butter and cover with parchment paper, which you’d buttered as well.


3/4 cup (110 gr) flour

3 tbsp granulated sugar

1 packet vanilla sugar

1 cup (170 gr) ground almonds

pinch of salt

3/4 tsp baking powder

1/4 tsp baking soda

2 eggs

1/3 cup (80 ml) applesauce

1 apple, peeled and cubed

1 apple, peeled and grated

1 tbsp rum (optional)

1 tsp cinnamon (optional)


2. Preheat the oven to 350F/180C and butter/flour your baking dish.

1. Sift the flour and mix the dry ingredients together. It’s ok to even mix the granulated sugar in here. (if you choose to add cinnamon, add it here)

2. Whisk the eggs and whisk in the applesauce.

3. Stir in the grated and chopped apple. (if you choose to add rum, add it here)

ready for assembly

4. Incorporate the dry and wet ingredients with a spatula. Make sure the dry ingredients are well incorporated and you don’t have dry pockets.

before baking

5. Pour in the prepared baking dish and bake for 50 minutes, to an hour. David said, until a knife comes out clean. I believe it was done at the 50 minute mark, but I did leave it for 1h, therefore the dark colour. But the cake is so moist or it has so much apple, that I was hitting apple every time with the knife, that it never came out completely clean.

it really is less dark than it looks

Enjoy, guilt-free. It’s always time for apple cake! 🙂

it feels as if it’s made with semolina – it’s all those almonds! 🙂


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