It’s that weird/wonderful/terrible time of year again! Summerfall.
I’ve found that most people tend to be at either end of the summer/fall continuum. Some people spend all their time talking about how they’re so sad summer is coming to an end, probably shedding a single tear each day, mourning the loss of that extra minute of brightness and still insisting on drinking iced coffee. Other people have already swapped out their flip flops for boots, their sunglasses for scarves and are spending their mornings hunting for the perfect fallen leaf to post on Instagram. (But for real, where is everyone finding these leaves, I have already seen photos of orange-leafed trees and I swear these people must be posting photos from last year or did some serious photo editing)
You don’t seem to find a lot of people who are simply indifferent to this season change conversation.
So whether you’re #TeamSummer or #TeamFall, time is one of those things we just can’t change (and our capitalist culture won’t let you forget it, I’m looking at you candy corn that’s been on the shelves since August) so get ready to embrace the apples and cinnamon and pumpkin because they are coming!
In fact, they’ve already arrived in my kitchen. This recipe was inspired by traditional German Apfelkuchen which is a simple apple cake. I’m not German and didn’t study abroad there or anything so not sure why the influence was there, but I’ve always been a fan of this style cake! The hidden vegetable surprise comes by way of Japanese sweet potatoes, which I used in place of apples to create the sweet crisp texture in each bite. They have a lower moisture content than their sister the traditional orange sweet potato, and they also are a bit starchier (closer to the texture of an apple!)
A combination of Oat flour and ground almonds helps this recipe earn the Gluten-Free badge. As long as you stick to gluten-free oat flour for the celiacs out there, you can enjoy this cakey treat worry free! (Pro tip: can’t find ground almonds? Buy some almonds whole or slivered and toss them in your food processor or blender and voilà, you have ground almonds)
I used an 8″ pan for this recipe and left the cake unfrosted because I was feeling a bit lazy and also didn’t want something too indulgent. Without the frosting, I found this cake perfectly acceptable to have with a cup of tea for breakfast – highly recommended as sweet potatoes are high in B Vitamins which are said to help with energy levels. (Though I can’t say I’ve tested this as the energy boost could have been from the tea…)
If you have a mandolin you should totally use it to slice your sweet potato. I don’t have one (on my wish list of kitchen appliances) so I just sliced them by hand, it took me less than five minutes to slice the 2 sweet potatoes I used to produce about 3.5 cups sliced.
If you have a mandolin, like the instrument, you should play a quick tune on it while the cake is in the oven.
I hope you enjoy this ‘welcome fall’ treat as much as I did – I swear it’s super easy to make and definitely worth it!
- ¾ cup Ground Almonds (or almond meal)
- ⅓ cup Oat Flour
- 1 tbsp Cinnamon
- 1 tsp baking powder
- ¼ cup Applesauce
- ¼ cup Coconut Oil (or vegetable oil)
- 3.5 cups Sliced Japanese Sweet Potatoes (I left skin on)
- 6 tbsp Maple Syrup
- 2 large eggs
- 2 tbsp slivered almonds (optional)
- Preheat oven to 350° F and grease an 8" cake pan
- Whisk together almonds, oat flour, cinnamon, baking powder in a small bowl
- In a separate bowl beat the oil, maple syrup, applesauce, and eggs together until well combined, should take 3-4 minutes.
- Pour the dry ingredients into the wet and fold until combined.
- In your greased pan, pour about a third of the batter, then spread half of the sweet potatoes evenly in the pan. Cover the layer with batter being sure to reserve the last third for the top.
- Place the rest of the sweet potatoes on the second layer of batter before pouring all the remaining batter evenly spread on top. You may need to use a wooden spoon to move around the batter, don't worry if it doesn't seem like enough.
- Place in the oven and cook for 45 minutes (knife should come out clean from the center)
- Remove from oven when ready and let cool in the pan for about 5 minutes.
- Flip over on a cooling rack (you may need to gently use a knife to separate the cake from the sides)
- Top with slivered almonds, slice and enjoy!