I remember when I first had this cake. It was near a nursery in a cafe that is surrounded by a beautiful park. This was before I became vegan. I recall noting down the name of the cake mentally as I fell in love with it. I wanted to have it again if I came across it next time I was out in a cafe. That day never came. It’s been over a decade since that day, and I am yet to see anyone make this cake, vegan or not.
So as I was going through my Pinterest binge to get some inspiration for recipes, I came across a Lumberjack cake that wasn’t vegan, and it brought back those memories. I was on a mission to recreate it and do the flavours and texture proud, but make it vegan and gluten-free.
I tested it with a couple of different gluten-free flours to make sure that pretty much any blend that you use would work. The two that I used that had a great outcome were Bob’s Red Mill All-Purpose Gluten-Free Flour and The Source Organic Wheat-Free Plain Flour Mix. So if you can’t get yourself a hold of either of these, find one that has a similar combination of gluten-free flours. This will give you the best results.
This cake is moist, sweet, balanced, and has that bit of crunch from the coconut on the top, making it perfect. I may or may not have eaten about half of each of the test cakes, for quality control, of course 😉
I’m addicted. If you love dates and coconut, you will love it (at the same time these ingredients do not dominate the flavour). I think that it’s such an underrated type of cake and am glad that I can share this vegan and gluten-free version with you. It will definitely be added to my list of top ten favourite cakes!
I hope you enjoy it as much as I have. Give a try and let me know what you think.
- 2-3 apples (around 1.5 cups), peeled and grated
- 1 cup pitted dates, chopped
- 1 tsp bicarb soda
- 1 cup (250ml) boiling water
- 3 tbsp aquafaba (chickpea water)*
- 1/2 cup neutral cooking oil, I'd recommend sunflower, grapeseed or rice bran
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 cup coconut sugar
- 2 cups (+ more for the cake tin) gluten-free all-purpose flour
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/3 cup vegan butter (+ more for the cake tin)
- 1/3 cup almond or any other non-dairy milk
- 1/4 cup coconut sugar
- 1/4 cup maple syrup
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1.5 cups shredded coconut
- Preheat the oven to 180C (356F) and spread some vegan butter on the base and sides of a 21cm (8.5inch) springform cake tin. Add approximately 2 tbsp of the flour to the pan and tap it around until it sticks to the butter. You've just created a non-stick surface. If you have any flour left over, save it for the batter.
- In a bowl, combine the apples, dates, bicarb soda and boiling water. Pop a lid or plate on top and set aside for 10 minutes.
- In the meantime, in a seperate bowl, whisk the aquafaba for about 30 seconds to a minute until it goes white and a small peak forms. This is your binder.
- Add in the oil, vanilla, sugar and whisk until well combined.
- Sift in the flour and salt and fold to combine. If you have any flour left over from doing the pan, add it in now.
- Add in the apple and date mixture to the main bowl and stir. It is going to be quite a wet batter. Don't worry, it will bake fine.
- Pop in the oven and bake for 45-50 minutes.
- While the cake is baking, combine and mix well all the topping ingredients in a bowl and set aside.
- Once cake is ready, remove from oven and spread the coconut mixture on evenly and return to the oven for a further 25-30 minutes, until the coconut is a light golden brown.
- Remove cake from oven and let cool completely before removing from cake tin and serving.
- It's great with some whipped coconut cream or some plain vanilla ice cream. On its own is also divine.
* If you haven't used aquafaba before, this is the chickpea water when you purchase a can of chickpeas.
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