A gluten-free spiced apple cake which is as delicious as it is easy to make!
This lightly spiced Italian apple polenta cake is a delicious way to enjoy autumn apples.
Made with apples, cinnamon, honey and lemon, it has a slightly dense, moist crumb with a crunchy crust, covered in a marmalade glaze.
The combination of apples and spice make this a perfect autumn/winter dessert, ideal for the holidays! We love it served warm with coffee, for breakfast, or as a snack.
Like many Italian desserts its not overly sweet, and the fresh flavours are the main feature of the cake.
It is a great make-ahead cake as the flavours improve with resting, and it tastes even better the next day.
This cake is gluten-free, made with a mixture of almond and polenta flours.
Coarsely ground polenta (cornmeal) works best for this cake as it gives a wonderful texture with a slightly dense yet moist crumb, and a satisfying bite.
To make it dairy-free, skip the crème fraîche topping and add a dusting of powdered (icing) sugar instead.
Iron skillet vs springform pan?
As this batter is moist and a little heavy, I prefer to use a large cast iron skillet. The skillet heats up quickly and distributes heat more evenly so the cake cooks a little quicker.
Caution! If you are using a springform pan, make sure the bottom is securely fastened as the batter is a little heavy.
I use a 10 inch (25 cm) skillet so the cake comes out thinner (see photo above). Use a smaller skillet (8 inch/20 cm) for a taller cake.
A springform pan may require a slightly longer baking time, closer to 50 minutes. A skewer inserted into the middle of the cake should come out clean when its done.
👩🏻🍳 Helpful tips
- Select any type of firm apples suitable for cooking such as Braeburn, Gala, Granny Smiths, Golden Delicious, Crispin, Honeycrisp, etc.
- Cut the apples into small bite-sized pieces and combine with ground cinnamon before adding to the batter. This way the apples will be nicely flavoured, rather than adding them as separate ingredients to the batter.
- Line the skillet/pan with parchment paper as the cake will stick to the bottom.
- The batter is moist and heavy so take care if using a springform pan.
Garnish the slices of cake as you serve it, to make wrapping and storing the cake easier.
This cake can be made several hours in advance and warmed up before serving.
Allow the cake to cool before storing.
Place the cake in an airtight container and store in a cool, dry part of the kitchen for up to 3 days, or in the fridge for up to 4 days.
Apple polenta cake can be frozen, wrap it in several layers of plastic and freeze for up to a month. Defrost in the fridge overnight or at room temperature.
Reheat before serving.
⭐️ Are you making this Apple Polenta Cake recipe? I’d love to know how it turned out in the comments!
Instagram – I love seeing your creations, so post a picture, tag @endofthefork and hashtag #endofthefork
Apple Polenta Cake
- 2 apples cored, peeled and cut into small bite-size pieces
- 1 cup almond flour (100 g)
- ⅔ cup polenta flour (100 g) coarsely ground
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- ¼ cup olive oil (50g)
- 3 eggs beaten
- ½ cup sugar 100 g
- ¼ cup honey (runny) 85 g
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- zest of 1 lemon
- ½ teaspoon cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ¼ cup honey vanilla crème fraîche optional, as topping
- ½ cup honey glazed pecans chopped
For the glaze
- 2 tablespoons marmalade
- 1 tablespoon water
- Preheat the oven to 180°C/160°C fan/350°F. Combine the chopped apples with cinnamon in a bowl and set aside.
- In a medium mixing bowl, blend the eggs with sugar till fully combined, then mix in the olive oil pouring slowly, till fully blended. Stir in the vanilla, lemon zest and honey then set aside.
- In a separate bowl, mix together the almond and polenta flours, salt and baking powder.
- Add the dry ingredients to the egg mixture and mix well till it is smooth and lump free.
- Stir in the chopped apples and pour into a lined 22 cm/9 inch iron skillet or springform pan. Bake for 35-40 minutes*, till a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean.
- Allow to cool, then gently remove the springform pan and peel off the parchment paper.
- In a small saucepan, melt the marmalade with water on medium heat. Bring to a boil and simmer till it has thickened and become syrupy. Remove from the heat and brush the syrup over the cake.
- Once the glaze has dried, serve with a spoonful of honey vanilla crème fraîche and some chopped honey glazed pecans.
- This cake can be made in advance and will even taste better the next day.
- Flavor the apples with ground cinnamon before adding to the batter.
- Note: this is a moist and slightly heavy batter.
- Bake in a cast iron skillet or a springform pan.
- *An iron skillet will require less baking time than a springform, so check the cake after 25 minutes.
- Line the skillet or pan with parchment paper. Ensure the pan is closed securely.
- Serve warm with a spoonful of honey vanilla crème fraîche and some crushed honey roasted pecans.
- Garnish slices of cake with crème fraîche before serving, as it will be easier to wrap and store the cake without it.
- This cake can be made several hours in advance and warmed up before serving.
- Place in a sealed container or cover in plastic wrap and keep in a cool dry part of the kitchen for up to 3 days, or in the fridge for up to 4 days.