Apple Oat Breakfast Cake
To say I love fall and all that comes with the season is an understatement. And I try to soak up every minute of it — without rushing.
For me, that means enjoying ALL the apple + cinnamon action before bringing on anything pumpkin spice.
These British “flapjack” style breakfast bars are a riff on an apple cake one of my mom’s dear friends would bring over on the regular. It’s a delicious cake, but definitely not what you want for a weekday breakfast.
I thought it’d be fun to list the original recipe here. And offer a little insight into how I modify recipes to make them healthier — with less sugar, higher quality fats, and added fiber for staying power.
Original Apple Cake Recipe
1 heaping cup apples, peeled and chopped
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 cups sugar
1 eggs, beaten
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 cups flour
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
How I gave it a healthy upgrade:
I left the peels on the apples — it’s where most of the nutrients + fiber are found.
I cut the oil in half and swapped in almond milk for the rest.
I cut the sugar in half and saved some of it for sprinkling on top. This way you get an instant hit of sweetness without actually adding more sugar.
I opted for pulsing whole oats in the blender for flour which adds much needed fiber.
And lastly, I upped the cinnamon + added allspice. Warming “sweet” spices add complexity and can trick us into thinking there’s more sugar than there actually is in a baked good.
Adding warm spices like cinnamon to baked goods creates the illusion of a dish being sweeter than it actually is — which means you can get away with using less sugar. Cinnamon also helps balance blood sugar by mimicking the effects of insulin and increasing insulin sensitivity.
Apple Oat Breakfast CAke
Makes one 8x8” pan | 9-12 squares
1 heaping cup sweet, crisp red apples (cut into 1/4” cubes, peel on)
1 1/4 cups sprouted rolled oats, divided
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. allspice
1/4 tsp. fine sea salt
3 Tbs. coconut sugar
2 Tbs. avocado oil
1/2 cup almond milk
1/2 tsp. apple cider vinegar
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
2 tsp. coconut sugar, for topping
2 Tbs. sprouted rolled oats, for topping
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Line an 8x8” square pan with parchment paper or grease well with avocado oil.
Add 1 cup rolled oats to blender or food processor and pulse until a medium-grind flour forms. Transfer to mixing bowl and combine with remaining 1/4 cup oats, baking powder, cinnamon, allspice, and sea salt.
In a medium bowl, whisk together coconut sugar, avocado oil, egg, almond milk, apple cider vinegar, and vanilla extract.
Add wet mixture to dry ingredients and gently fold together until just combined. Stir in apples and transfer mixture to prepared 8x8” pan. Smooth batter evenly into pan. Sprinkle with additional coconut sugar and rolled oats.
Bake for 18-20 minutes until cake is just set in the center.
Let cake sit 5-minutes in pan then remove and transfer to a wire cooling rack.
Storage: Cake will keep 3-4 days room temperature or frozen up to 3 months.
NoteS: I like to use sprouted oats as they’re easier to digest and the brand linked (One Degree Organics) is certified glyphosate-free.
If you don’t want to pulse the oats in a blender, feel free to use a scant cup of sorghum or oat flour in its place.