Healthy Apple Cake: Its Finally Apple Season!

I don’t know about you, but I have a love-hate relationship with apples. By the end of the winter, most of the apples in stores have lost their crunch, and when spring comes along I am relieved to have more fruits to choose from. Autumn apples are a different story. Picked fresh from the tree, they are sweet with crisp skin and the perfect amount of crunch.

Whole apples make a great, healthy snack, but I also love slicing them thin and tossing them in salads, and apple crisps, crumbles, and pies rank pretty high on my favorite-desserts-list. To celebrate the beginning of autumn, I’ve decided to make a healthy apple dessert. This may not be the prettiest cake, but it is full of flavor, and low in fat and sugar (if you don’t use the glaze). This completely satisfied my apple dessert cravings for the week, but look for a crumble or crisp recipe soon!

One of the best things about this cake is the small list of ingredients. Most of them are pantry staples, saving you a trip to the store. The oats add a really nice texture, and the browned butter adds a ton of flavor. If you’re in a hurry, you can skip the browning step, but the extra five minutes really are worth it. You can also leave off the cream cheese glaze. This cake doesn’t really need it, but last night I just had to have cream cheese frosting.

 Ingredients

Apples

3 apples, sliced

1/2 tablespoon butter

1 tablespoon brown sugar

Cake

1 cup whole wheat flour

2 cups old fashioned oats

1/2 cup brown sugar

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon cinnamon, pumpkin pie spice, or mixture of cinnamon, nutmeg, and ginger

1/2 cup buttermilk

2 eggs

1/4 cup butter

Glaze

4 oz cream cheese

1/2 cup powdered sugar

3 tablespoons milk of choice

1 tsp vanilla extract or vanilla paste (I used paste for a really intense vanilla flavor)

Instructions

1. In a skillet on the stove, cook the sliced apples with butter and brown sugar over medium heat for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.

2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spread cooked apple slices on the bottom of a glass casserole dish.

3. In a small saucepan, brown the butter. To do this, cook butter over medium-low heat, stirring constantly until browned and fragrant, but not burned. Remove from heat.

4. In a large bowl, combine the dry ingredients.

5. In a medium bowl, mix the wet ingredients with the browned butter, and then stir into the dry ingredients, mixing until just blended.

6. Pour the cake batter over the top of the apples.

7. Bake for 30 minutes, or until a tester inserted at the center of the cake comes out clean.

8. While the cake cools, make the glaze: Add all ingredients to a medium mixing bowl and beat with an electric mixer.

9. Pour the glaze over the top of the cake while it is still warm. Run a knife around the sides of the cake to allow the glaze to run down the sides.

Makes 8 servings.

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