Evergreen Recipes, Fall, Low Calorie Recipes, recipes, Sweet Pastries

Healthy Apple Cake Recipe (Sugar Free)

This healthy sugar free apple cake is juicy and sweet with hints of cinnamon and almonds and above all it is incredibly delicious. However, this pie is made without any butter or sugar but instead is sweetened with dates and lots of apples. 

If you love healthy sweet treats like this easy apple cake recipes, check out my date-sweetened apricot cake or this healthy zucchini bread recipe with apple sauce!

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Healthy, sugar free apple cake served with sliced almonds on top.
This easy and wholesome apple cake is the perfect recipe for the apple picking season.

About this Recipe

The ingredients that make a pie or cake so unhealthy are basically the mixture of lots of saturated fats, sugar, and white flour. Unfortunately, this mixture is present in almost every baking recipe since it is the foundation of most baked goods.

Therefore, to make a healthy apple pie we need to find some suitable substitutes for butter, sugar, and white flour. 

So, let’s start with the easiest part, the flour. This part is easy since you can simple switch to whole wheat flour which has almost the same calories and baking characteristics than all-purpose flour but contains much more vitamins, minerals and fiber. 

Part two, the sugar, is a bit tricky. Of course you could go and replace the refine sugar with a lower calorie or calorie free sweetener like erythritol, stevia, or xylitol. However, these substitutes are quite expensive, highly processed and could potentially cause digestion problems.

But on the other side are natural substitutes like dates. They also contain a lot of sugar. But sugar is not always the same. Unlike the classic white or brown sugar, dates also contain lots of minerals and vitamins. In addition, their sugar mainly consists of fructose. This in turn has a higher sweetening power than the glucose in regular sugar, which means that we need less of it.

And finally, there’s the butter. Well, butter unfortunately comes with a lot of saturated fats. On the other hand, a vegetable oils like a (high quality) canola oil, which is one of the healthiest oils thanks to its nearly perfect distribution of omega-3 to omega-6 fatty acids. And since we only use a single tablespoon of oil, we save a significant amount of calories. 

A piece of apple cake on a plate, served with a small fork.
This healthy apple cake recipe is so sweet, fluffy and moist with hints of cinnamon and almonds.

Ingredients 

  • Medjool dates for a healthy, natural sweetness
  • Apples – varieties such as Braeburn, Jonagold, Honeycrisp, Pink Lady or Red Delicious apples are my go-to favorites for baking
  • Eggs to bind the dough and make it fluffy
  • Whole wheat flour instead of all-purpose flour 
  • Ground almonds for a moist dough and a slightly nutty flavor
  • Baking powder for fluffiness
  • A tiny bit of vegetable oil as a healthy substitute for butter
  • Lots of cinnamon – cause, what would be an apple pie without cinnamon?
  • A pinch of salt to enhance the sweetness
  • Dairy or a non-dairy milk of choice
  • Optional: a tablespoon of maple syrup and a handful of sliced almonds

The exact measurements for each ingredient are listed in the recipe card below. They are based on a 26cm or a 10 inches springform pan. However, if you prefer to use a smaller springform pan (about 14cm or 6 inches) or if you want to make some healthy apple muffins, only use half of the batter. Therefore, change the servings sizes to 6.

Please note, I always base portion sizes on my personal dietary needs (presumably those of the average woman). However, you or perhaps one of your fellow eaters may need more or less than I do. So, feel free to adjust.

Ingredients for a healthy, sugar free apple cake on a wooden table.
Ingredients for the sugar free whole wheat apple cake.

Substitutions and Variations 

Instead of ground almonds, you can use ground hazelnuts or walnuts. 

If you like, you can also refine your apples with an additional tablespoon of maple syrup or replace half of the cinnamon with speculoos spice. Especially in fall and winter, the delicious caramel cookie flavor fits perfectly into the cake.

How to Make this Recipe

Alright, as soon as all the ingredients are ready, we can start baking. But before we get to the dough, we need to prepare our dates and apples.

Step 1: Puree the dates and sauté the apples

First, pit and roughly chop your dates, place them in a small bowl and cover them with 120 milliliters or ½ cup of boiling water. Put them aside for now, and then we’ll take care of the apples. 

First, wash the apples thoroughly, cut them into quarters, remove the core and then cut them into thin slices. In a large pan, add the apple slices along with a tablespoon of water, half of the cinnamon and, if you like, a tablespoon of maple syrup. Then cook the apples over medium heat for about five to eight minutes. By the end, the apples should smell wonderfully cinnamony and sweet, and they should already be quite soft and very juicy.

In the meantime, grease your springform pan with some butter, oil or non-stick baking spray and preheat the oven to 180°C or 350°F convection (alternatively 200°C or 400°F at your regular setting).

Now, scoop out about half of the water in which the dates are soaking and set it aside. But don’t pour it away, we still need it. Then grab a fork and mash the soaked dates until you have the smoothest puree possible.

Step 2: The Dough

Alright, time to make the dough. First, put all the solid ingredients, meaning the flour, baking powder, the remaining cinnamon and the nuts in a bowl and mix them well. Then separate the eggs, add the yolks to the dry ingredients and beat your egg whites in a separate bowl together with a pinch of salt until stiff and set aside briefly.

Now add the oil, date puree and the remaining date water to the batter. Mix it with your hand mixer or a whisk and meanwhile, gradually add the milk. Once everything is well combined and the batter has a creamy, but not too liquid consistency, you can first carefully fold in the beaten egg whites and then the apple slices.

Now transfer everything into your cake pan and flatten the top. If you like, you can sprinkle a few sliced almonds on top and then bake the apple cake in the oven for 30 minutes. 

Step 3: Bake and Enjoy

Before you take the pie out of the oven, you should test it for doneness with a toothpick. As soon as there is no dough sticking to the toothpick when you insert and remove the pick, this apple tarte is done. So, remove the cake from the oven and let it cool for 10 to 15 minutes.

Then carefully remove the outside ring around the cake. And after another 5 to 10 minutes of cooling, you can carefully slice the cake and serve it.

Apple cake served with sliced almonds on top.
Serve this cake while it’s still warm and keep leftover pieces in the fridge or freezer.

Here’s How to Save Leftovers

Because of the apples and the moisture of the cake, I would recommend keeping this healthy, sugar-free apple cake in the refrigerator. To do this, you can either cover it with foil or place it in a cake box to store it in the fridge for several days.

Alternatively, you can freeze the leftovers for several months. To do this, simply wrap the cake pieces in a freezer bag, place them in your freezer, and let them thaw in the refrigerator or on the counter as needed.

Your Common Questions Answered

In case there are any questions left, I hope these FAQ will help you. If not, feel free to drop your question in the comments below.

What kind of apples are good for baking?

Apples that are used for baking shouldn’t be too watery, but rather have a firm flesh. In addition, a sweet and sour taste is very suitable. Therefore, varieties such as Braeburn, Jonagold, Honeycrisp, Pink Lady, Red Delicious or similar are a good choice. Apples on a wooden table.

Can you save even more calories by using sugar substitutes and artificial sweeteners instead of dates?

Yes and no. Sure, dates have more calories than erythritol or any artificial sweeteners. However, when calculated down to one serving of this apple pie, it hardly makes a difference. In addition, the dates also bring a certain moisture into the dough, which is why I cannot say whether and how you can replace them against erythritol and Co. You would just have to try a little bit and maybe even mix some applesauce or something like that into the dough. 

I forgot to separate the eggs, does the cake still work?

Yes, the cake works even if you have not beaten the egg whites previously. However, you will need much less milk (only about 80 to 100 ml or about a 1/3 cup), so pay attention to the consistency of your dough. In general, it is recommended to separate the eggs and beat the egg whites until stiff before adding them to the dough.

Can I freeze leftover apple cake pieces?

Yes, just wrap them in a freezer bag and store the leftover pie in the freezer. To thaw them, you can either put them in the refrigerator or on the counter.

Save for later

Click the pin button and add the recipe to one of your Pinterest boards. This way you can also easily bookmark the recipe for later. The pin button will appear as soon as you hover over the picture. 

Pin this healthy, sugar free apple cake recipe to your Pinterest account to save it for later.
Save for later!

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I hope you like this recipe and that you give it a try soon. If you have any further questions or suggestions, feel free to drop them in the comments, or send me a massage via email at contact@julesbalancedrecipes.com or Instagram(@julesbalancedrecipes). 

In case, you’ve tried this recipe, I’d appreciate your comment and 5-star-rating for this recipe. It would mean the world to me.

And if you loved this recipe, you may also like some of my other healthy baking recipes such as …

Have fun trying it out and bon appétit,
Jules

A piece of apple cake on a plate, served with a small fork.

Healthy Apple Cake

Julia Schmitt
This apple cake is moist, sweet, and fluffy with hints of cinnamon and almonds. And with its perfect texture and taste no one will notice the lack of butter, sugar, or white flour in this recipe. 
No ratings yet
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 10 mins
Baking Time 30 mins
Total Time 50 mins
Course Cake, Dessert, Snack
Cuisine german
Servings 12 servings
Calories 143 kcal

Equipment

  • 1 springform pan (26 cm or ≈10 in)
  • 1 hand mixer
  • 2 bowls
  • 1 pan

Ingredients
  

  • 4 Medjool Dates
  • 120 ml boiling water (½ cup)
  • 350 g apples * (about 2 ½ medium-sized apples or 12.5 oz)
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup (optional)
  • 250 g whole wheat flour (1 ⅔ cups or 8.8 oz)
  • 30 g ground almonds (⅓ cup or 1.3 oz)
  • 10 g baking powder (2 tsp)
  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 pinch of salt
  • 160 to 180 ml milk or non-dairy milk of choice (≈ 5.4 to 6 fl. oz or ⅔ cups – the exact amount depends on the size of your eggs)
  • 1 handful of slices almonds (optional)

For Baking

  • non-stick baking or cooking spray, some extra oil or butter to grease the baking pan

Instructions
 

Preparations

  • Pit and roughly chop the dates. In a bowl, add the date pieces and cover them with boiling water, set aside and let them soak for about 10 minutes.
    Chopped dates are soaking in a bowl of water.
  • Wash and core the apples, then cut them into thin slices. In a pan, add the apple slices alongside one tablespoon of water (and one tablespoon of maple syrup if desired) and let the apples cook over medium heat for five to seven minutes, stirring occasionally.
    Apple slices in a cast iron pan.
  • Meanwhile, preheat your convection oven to 180°C or 350°F (alternatively 200°C or 400°F at your regular setting) and grease the cake pan with butter, oil, or non-stick baking spray. Skim half of the date water, set it aside for later and finely mash the softened dates with a fork. 
    Homemade date puree in a bowl.

Cake Batter

  • In a bowl, add the flour, the remaining cinnamon, the ground almonds and baking powder and mix until combined. Separate the eggs, add the yolk to the dry ingredients, and put the egg whites in a separate bowl. Add a pinch of salt to the egg whites and beat until stiff with your hand mixer. 
    Dry ingredients mixed together in a bowl.
  • To the yolk-flour-mixture, add the date puree, date water and oil and mix well while gradually adding the milk. Then, carefully fold in the beaten egg whites, followed by the apple slices.
    Apple slices are folded inside the cake batter.
  • Transfer the batter to the greased cake pan, smooth it out and sprinkle the sliced almonds on top. Place the cake in the oven for about 30 minutes. Test it with a toothpick for doneness before removing it from the oven.
    Springform pan filled with the apple cake batter.

Serve

  • Let the cake cool for 10 to 15 minutes before carefully removing the outside ring. Allow the cake to cool for another 10 to 15 minutes before serving. Store leftover pieces in the refrigerator.
    Healthy, sugar free apple cake served with sliced almonds on top.

Notes

*Apples that are used for baking should not be too watery, but rather have a firm flesh. In addition, a sweet and sour taste is very suitable. Therefore, varieties such as Braeburn, Jonagold, Honeycrisp, Pink Lady, Red Delicious or similar are a good choice.

Nutrition

Serving: 1 pieceCalories: 143kcalCarbohydrates: 21.4gProtein: 4.2gFat: 4.2gSaturated Fat: 0.5gCholesterol: 33mgSodium: 330.5mgPotassium: 113.7mgFiber: 3.6gSugar: 3.4gVitamin A: 45.6IUVitamin C: 3.7mgCalcium: 41.5mgIron: 460.4mg
Keyword date-sweetened cake, healthy apple pie, sugar free, whole wheat flour
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