Applesauce Date Cake

Today was busy.  Very busy.  Piano students, visiting daughter and grandbaby, trip to the grocery store, visit with grandson to hear about his day at preschool, more piano students….yes, today was busy!  And in the midst of all that stuff (most of which was stuff I loved) I remembered that I needed to do a blog post.  Oops.  Fortunately my pre-sensitivity recipe list was extensive, so really it’s just a question of taking mental inventory of what is in the house, doing some quick figuring (will this work as a non-allergy recipe????) and taking the plunge.

I must say, hubby does love blog days, as it seems to  be becoming mostly about desserts, and he knows that even if I’m watching my weight, and monitoring calories, I will still bake something, and he will have dessert – at least until it’s gone.  🙂

Today’s dessert is something I have done before as part of the goodies I serve after a piano recital.  There is one student who is sensitive to a number of things as well, so it makes me happy to bake something for her. While everyone else is eating cupcakes and cookies, she can take part in a snack too.  However, last time I made this I could still have eggs, and this time I had to sub out the egg.  I’m happy to say that it still worked, and still tasted good!

First you need a decent gluten free flour blend.  Here is the one I am currently using:

2 cups quinoa flour (2/3 part)

1 cup sorghum flour (1/3 part)

3 cups cornstarch (1 part)

3 cups tapioca flour (1 part)

Obviously this makes way more than you need.  Feel free to scale it down given the proportions listed.  This mix works in this particular cake well because the cake contains spices that mask the distinctive flavour of sorghum and quinoa flour.

Next the cake! Don’t let the long-ish list of ingredients put you off.  Most of them are just spices.  🙂

1 1/3 cups flour mix

1/4 cup tapioca starch

1 tsp. xanthan gum

1/2 tsp. baking powder

1/2 tsp. baking soda

1/8 tsp. salt

1 tsp. cocoa powder (or cacao, if you like)

1 tsp. cinnamon

1/4 tsp. nutmeg

1/8 tsp. cloves

1/4 cup butter or margarine, depending on your tolerance to butter

1/2 cup packed brown sugar

1 chia egg (1 tbsp. finely ground chia seed soaked in 3 tbsp. water)

1 tsp. vanilla

1 cup applesauce (sweetened or unsweetened, based on your desired sweetness level)

3/4 cup chopped dates (I used Medjool – they are just so lovely and soft)

Sift together the flour and all the dry ingredients/spices.  (I stirred with a fork.)  Cream together the butter and sugar.  Use a mixer or, if you’re like me, a wooden spoon.  Add in the chia egg and vanilla.  Into this add alternately the dry ingredients and applesauce, stirring after each addition.  Stir in the dates (I tossed the dates in with the last bit of the dry ingredients before adding them in.  That way they don’t all stick together in the cake).  Spread in a greased 8 x 8 pan.  Bake in a preheated 350* oven for 25 to 30 minutes, until you touch it and it bounces back nicely.  Ice with a simple buttercream icing (recipe below).  This time I splurged on organic icing sugar, and I swear it made a difference to the taste and texture.  Even hubby said, “Man, this icing is really good!”

Applesauce Date Cake

Buttercream Icing:
Cream 3 tbsp. butter or marg.  Beat in 1/2 tsp. vanilla and a few grains of salt.  Blend in 2 cups icing sugar alternately with 2-2 1/2 tbsp. of your favourite non dairy beverage.  I used Flax Beverage.  That’s it!

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