An incredibly moist and delicious, autumn inspired spice cake. JUMP TO RECIPE
If you’ve ever done any cooking with sour cream or yogurt, you know that when it’s called for in baking recipes the result is usually an incredibly moist and tender finished product. But there’s another food that’s just as effective at transforming what might otherwise be dry and crumbly baked goods into melt-in-your-mouth treats, and ironically, it’s a vegetable – zucchini! This Paleo Apple Zucchini Spice Cake is one of the moistest, most delicious cakes you’ll ever taste yet it contains no dairy, no oil, and no refined sugar. It’s the perfect, healthy dessert to mark to the beginning of fall.
How fitting that zucchini, one of the season’s most abundant vegetables, is the key to Paleo Apple Zucchini Spice Cake’s incredible texture. Like most vegetables, zucchini consists mostly of water. It’s important to finely grate it and then squeeze out as much water as possible before adding it to the cake batter. To do this, you have to either wrap the grated zucchini in a clean dish cloth, or put it in a nut milk bag, and then twist/squeeze it until you can no longer wring out any water. I prefer using a nut milk bag for this job because it’s smaller, with enclosed sides, and is easier to clean than a dish cloth, which is much larger and will likely require laundering afterward. It’s worth stating again – be sure to squeeze out as much water as you can or else the cake will be soggy instead of perfectly moist. Even though you’ll extract a lot of water from the zucchini, there’ll still be a little bit left – just enough for it to work its magic!
After it’s baked, you won’t taste the zucchini at all in Paleo Apple Zucchini Spice Cake, but if you look closely you may see some tiny flecks of green throughout. Much more noticeable is another food synonymous with fall – apples – slices of which take center stage decorating the top of this cake. If you don’t adhere strictly to a paleo diet, scoops of vanilla ice cream or big mounds of whipped cream on top of each slice are highly recommended.
If you have any Paleo Apple Zucchini Spice Cake leftover you can store it in the fridge for up to 5 days and reheat it in a 400-degree oven for 3-5 minutes. For longer term storage I wrap the individual slices in plastic wrap and store them in the freezer. If you’d like to see some other fall inspired recipes check out Maple Glazed Pumpkin Seed Clusters, Cranberry Apple Chicken Sausage Patties, Pumpkin Lentil Flax Crackers, Pumpkin Sweet Potato Alfredo Sauce, Crisp Rice Apple Crumble, and Healthy Caramel Apples.
If you make Paleo Apple Zucchini Spice Cake don’t forget to snap a pic and tag me over on Instagram @QueenofMyKitchen. I’d love to see your creation!
- Olive oil cooking spray
- 1 medium zucchini, weighing about 8 - 8½ ounces
- 1¾ cups (198 grams) finely ground almond flour
- ¼ cup (30 grams) tapioca starch
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon ginger
- 2 teaspoons cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon nutmeg
- ¼ teaspoon cloves
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 3 eggs
- ¼ cup maple syrup
- ¼ cup unsweetened almond milk
- 2 tablespoons unsulphured molasses
- 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 apple, thinly sliced
- 5-6 Dried cranberries
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line the bottom of a 9-inch round cake pan with a circle of parchment paper and spray with cooking spray.
- Finely grate the zucchini (no need to peel it) and place it on a clean dish towel or piece of cheesecloth. Twist it tightly into a ball to wring out all the water/liquid. You can also use a nut milk bag if you have one. Set aside
- In a large bowl whisk together the almond flour, tapioca starch, baking soda, ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, and salt. Add the zucchini, eggs, maple syrup, almond milk, molasses, vinegar, and vanilla, and stir until smooth.
- Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Arrange the apple slices decoratively on top of the batter and place the dried cranberries in the center.
- Bake on the bottom rack of the oven for 40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean. Let cool completely before removing from the pan.
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