Before we get to the cake, please remember to head on over to Steph’s Bite by Bite to check out all the wonderful goodies up for auction in the online bake sale, which started at 7 AM today and goes until 9 PM EST. She’s raising money for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society and I can’t wait to mail a batch of my Mocha Toffee Brownies to the winning bidder! Good luck!
OK, now let’s get down to business. I begged this recipe off my friend, Judy, when she mentioned she had made a sugar-free apple cake that turned out well. I’m intrigued by anything that is sugar-free that also tastes good, as I have not had a lot of personal success with this. I discovered that the cake was made with Splenda and shortening and this repelled me on many levels, but also awakened a creative desire to make it healthier with a natural sweetener and not only non-hydrogenated fat, but less of it. As I mentioned in my post on chocolate chip banana bread, I’ve been experimenting with Truvia, a natural calorie-free sweetener made from the stevia plant’s leaves, so I used that in addition to brown sugar to give a better, more natural flavor. I didn’t mess with the diet soda in the recipe, but it could easily be switched out for any variety of Zevia (a calorie-free soda made with stevia), or with club soda and additional Truvia.
Now, I’m not sure who Mabel is, or if she was even the one to come up with the original recipe, but I hope that she would be as pleased as I am with my adaptation. It isn’t as light and tender as a traditional cake, but a little more dense like coffee cake, moist, perfectly sweet & spiced, with tender chunks of apple in every bite. It is best served the day you bake it as it gets a little dry a couple days later, but it can be returned to it’s former glory with a few seconds in the microwave.
Apple Cake Mabel
½ cup brown sugar
4 oz cup (1/2 cup) unsweetened applesauce
1 cup diet Dr. Pepper or cream soda
2 tablespoons canola oil
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 ½ cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup Truvia
1 teaspoon Vietnamese cinnamon
1 t freshly grated nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon cloves
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 large apple, peeled & chopped
¼ chopped pecans
2 tablespoons brown sugar
2 tablespoons shredded, sweetened coconut
Preheat oven to 350. Grease and flour a 9×13 pan. Beat eggs until smooth & uniform in color, then add in brown sugar and beat until sugar is incorporated and mixture is slightly thickened. Add applesauce, diet Dr. Pepper, canola oil, and vanilla and mix until incorporated. Add in the remaining ingredients, except for the apples, and beat until smooth, 1-2 minutes. Fold in apples and pour into prepared pan. Sprinkle the toppings over the top in the order listed and bake for 40 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack at least 15 minutes before serving. Serve with whipped cream if desired.
*Veronica’s note: I recommend using a sweet baking apple, such as Braeburn, Rome, or Gala.
Makes 15 servings. Per piece: 139 calories; 2.6 g fat; 28 g carb; 1.4 fiber; 3.2 protein
Recipe source: adapted from Judy L.