Sour Cream Apple Cake

A moist and sweet gluten-free apple cake with sour cream.

Tis the season for flourless cakes, so I thought I might reprise one of my first gluten-free recipes, based on a traditional Jewish apple cake recipe I had used for years. Using nut meal instead of flour is a baking tradition in Eastern Europe and a favorite way to make a cake during the season of Passover. Almond meal makes this cake a dense, chewy and delicious dessert or a perfect snack with tea.

Karina's Jewish Apple Cake Recipe with Sour Cream

Almond meal gives this gluten-free wheat-free apple cake a satisfying chewy texture. Both blanched and regular almond meal works. Blanched almonds produce a slightly softer flour.


5 medium apples, room temperature, peeled, cored (I use a mix of both tart and sweet apples)
A little lemon juice for spritzing the apples

Wet ingredients:

3 large organic free-range eggs
1 cup packed organic light brown sugar
1/2 cup organic cane sugar
2 teaspoons bourbon vanilla extract [or use Kosher vanilla powder, to taste]
3 tablespoons extra light olive oil
1/4 cup sour cream

Dry ingredients:

2 cups almond flour aka almond meal
1/4 cup rice or sorghum flour
1/2 cup potato starch or tapioca starch
1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder* see notes
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon McCormick Apple Pie Spice
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon or cardamom
1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt

To assemble:

Organic light brown sugar
1/2 cup pecan or walnut halves


Preheat oven to 350ºF. Line a 10-inch Springform pan with greased parchment paper. Springform pans are deeper than average cake pans.

Chop the apples and toss them into a bowl; spritz with a little fresh lemon juice. Toss to coat.

In a separate bowl beat the eggs with the sugar until smooth. Add the vanilla, oil and sour cream; beat to combine.

Stir together the dry ingredients in a separate bowl. Slowly add them into the wet mixture and combine well.

Drain the apples, if necessary (you don't need any extra lemon juice). Toss them in a light sprinkle of cane sugar.

Pour half of the cake batter into the prepared pan.

Add the drained sugared apples into the batter. Shake the pan a bit.

Add half of the nuts.

Pour the remaining batter on top of the apples; shake the pan again to distribute the batter around the apple pieces.

Add the rest of the nuts to the top and lightly press in.

Bake in the center of a preheated oven. The cake should be done in about 60 to 70 minutes. Test for doneness with a small thin knife. If the cake begins to over-brown before it is done, cover the edges loosely with pieces of foil.

Cool on a rack for ten ten to fifteen minutes. Loosen the cake gently from the sides of the pan with a thin spatula. Release the clasp and remove the pan ring. Allow the cake to cool completely on a wire rack.

Serve warm or room temperature.

Wrap up leftover cake slices individually in foil; seal in a freezer bag, and freeze. To thaw, unwrap and allow the cake to reach room temperature.

Servings: 8 - 10

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Enjoy sugary treats in moderation. Gluten-Free Goddess advises consuming no more than 2 tablespoons of sugar a day.

Recipe Notes: 

As always, make sure the oven is preheated.   

I used large eggs, not extra large. 

Make sure the apples are drained well and not cold. 

If you use a smaller cake pan the cake may stay wet in the center. 

I baked this cake at sea level and it took an hour; but as always, go by your own experiential wisdom. If the cake needs a bit longer to bake, please do so, and keep an eye on it. 

Sometimes I mix it up and use a combo of pears and apples.



Heather said...

Karina: What a lifesaver! I was just lamenting the fact that I would not be able to make and eat my favorite apple cake recipe! Quick question: Can this be made the day before?

Karina said...

Hi Heather!

Yes, you can make it a day ahead. Just keep it tightly wrapped.

If you're going to make it ahead, I'm thinking it might be wise to add some honey in [honey is a humectant and attracts moisture]. Try adding two tablespoons; and use two tablespoons less sour cream. If the batter seems stiff, add the sour cream back in.

This is a *stiffer than usual* cake batter.


k said...

sounds yummy as usual karina. will have to try it soon. also wanted to say that your continually evolving look for the website is looking really great lately - love the warm colours!

Slacker Mom said...

Looks yummy! Can't wait to try it.

And..I love the new picture at the looks great.

ByTheBay said...

This looks great! I wish I could find Kosher for Passover baking powder, though. It's hard to find, as it's usually made from corn derived ingredients. I'll add this to my Passover roundup with a note regarding baking soda and baking powder. Yum!

~M said...

Gefen makes a corn-free, kosher-for-Passover baking powder. I found this in IL, but haven't seen in Boston.

Manischewitz lists many substitutions for Passover (probably useful for any gf cook to know). For baking powder, it suggests 1/4 teaspoon baking soda plus 1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar.
Manischewitz Substitutions List

ByTheBay said...

Thanks, M - I haven't been able to find either of these in this area, but haven't been to our (tiny) local kosher market yet. If I can't find it I'll use Karina's recipe.

Linda said...

wow - now that's a warm, cake photo, and a perfect one at that. this really looks divine. i love flourless cakes -- the richness really hits you in the taste buds!

Sea said...

This looks so good that I think I may just have to make it next week. Mmmm.... I love the idea of a flourless apple cake- flourless chocolate is always what I think of first, but really, the options are limitless...


Sea said...

I made it and blogged about it! Very, very yummy! Thanks again... It made a great dessert for Easter.


Karina Allrich said...

Note to readers: This recipe has been updated. Thanks!

Karina xox

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