Allergy Free French Apple Cake



French Apple Cake is a rich tasting healthy cake that is wonderful for teatime, as a seasonal dessert, or perfect for celebratory brunches. I’ve whipped up a gluten-free, vegan, and top 8 allergen-free version that will knock your socks off.  Allergy-Free French Apple Cake is one of my new favorites, and as apple season comes into full swing, I hope it will be one of yours’ too!

The key to this cake is precooking the apples for 3 minutes in the microwave.  This ensures you’ll have tender apples without them releasing too much moisture into your cake.


Allergy-Free French Apple Cake

Serves 8 to 10

prep time: 20 minutes

bake time: 60 minutes


2 large granny smith or other large baking apples (1 lb), peeled, cored, cut into 8 wedges, and sliced 1/8th inch thick crosswise

2 teaspoons brandy (Calvados if you have it)

¾ teaspoon freshly squeezed lemon juice

2 cups Authentic Foods GF Classical Blend or my Basic Gluten-Free Flour Mix

½ teaspoon xanthan or guar gum

1 Tablespoon double-acting baking powder

1 teaspoon salt

¾ cup dairy-free, soy-free vegetable shortening

¾ cup firmly packed light brown sugar

½ cup plus 1 Tablespoon granulated sugar

4 ½ teaspoons Ener-G egg replacer mixed with 6 Tablespoons rice milk

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

¾ cup rice milk


1. Preheat oven to 350°F.  Line a rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil.  Grease a 9-inch springform pan, sprinkle with a little gluten-free flour mix, tapping out any extra, and place prepared pan onto baking sheet.

2. Place apple slices in a microwave-safe pie plate, cover and microwave 3 minutes until apples are slightly tender and pliable, toss with brandy and lemon juice, and set aside on a wire cooling rack to cool.


3. Whisk together flour mix, xanthan gum, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.

4. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine shortening, light brown sugar, and ½ cup of the granulated sugar.  Mix on medium-high speed for 1 minute, or until fluffy. Whisk egg replacer with 6 Tablespoons rice milk, till frothy.


5. Add egg replacer and vanilla extract, and mix for 20 seconds.

6. Reduce the speed to medium and beat in one-third of the flour, mixing for 15 seconds.

7. Add half the rice milk, mixing for 20 seconds.

8. Beat in half the remaining flour, then the remaining rice milk, and finally the remaining flour mixture, scraping down the sides of the bowl as necessary.

9. Scoop out 1 1/3 cups of the batter and set aside.

10. Using a rubber spatula, gently fold cooled apple slices into the remaining batter. Transfer to the prepared springform pan, smoothing batter evenly to edges of pan.




11. Top with the reserved batter, using an offset spatula or rubber spatula to smooth batter evenly to edges of pan. Sprinkle top evenly with the remaining 1 Tablespoon of granulated sugar.



12. Bake in center of oven until top is golden and pulling away slightly from the sides of the pan, and a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean, about 1 hour.   Transfer cake pan to a wire cooling rack. Let cool about 10 minutes, then run a butter or pairing knife around the sides of the pan, and let cool completely, 1 to 1 1/2 hours.  Cut into wedges and serve. Store covered with a cake dome at room temperature.  May be reheated at 350°F for 10 to 15 minutes the following day to freshen and be served warm.


Allergy-Free French Apple Cake  © 2012 by Cybele Pascal Photos by Stephen Scott Gross

(Please note that all my recipes are completely free of all top allergens (wheat, dairy, soy, eggs, peanuts, tree nuts, sesame, fish, shellfish, and gluten), so as many people as possible can enjoy them. Additionally, all the ingredients are available atWhole Foods, and online at If you have trouble finding something, let me know and I’ll help you find it.)

SAFETY NOTE: Because each person’s food sensitivity and reaction is unique, ranging from mild intolerance to life-threatening and severe food allergies, it is up to the consumer to monitor ingredients and manufacturing conditions. If manufacturing conditions, potential cross contact between foods, and ingredient derivatives pose a risk for you, please re-read all food labels and call the manufacturer to confirm potential allergen concerns before consumption. Ingredients and manufacturing practices can change overnight and without warning.

Back from Chicago


Dear Readers:

I’m back from Chicago, where I had such a great time!  Below is the video from ABC 7 Chicago of me making my Gluten-Free, Allergen-Free Brownies.  Chicago is such a fantastic city, a foodie hub, and also a real hotbed for those making  a difference in the Food Allergy and Gluten-Free community.

First I did a demo of “Allergy Friendly” Brownies and Blondies on ABC 7 (where I shared the stage with a band called “Honor Society”, who I guess are a huge band… but I live  in Mommyville, so I’d never heard of them, even though they live like 2 miles away from me!)

Then, I rushed back to my hotel to  have lunch with Kelly Rudnicki, The Food Allergy Mama who was the nicest person in the world.  First of all, she and I have so much in common, it’s eerie… between our son’s food allergies, to our writing backgrounds, to our love of long distance running.  It was great to meet her, but it also brought about the first of what I guess I’d call my  “vulnerability incidents”.  What do I mean by that? Well, usually, I’m very stoic about all that we’ve been through in my family with food allergies. I’m a cheerleader for “living well”, not “living without”.   But the reality is, my son Lennon has been through some very hard times, and still continues to have hard times periodically. So meeting such a nice, kind, food allergy mom took my guard down.  I realized, as I welled up with tears talking to Kelly about the fact that my son is showing signs of a new food allergy, there is a lot of emotion that goes along with this job.  So thanks to Kelly for being supportive and for doing such great work to help kids like ours!   Also, look for Kelly’s new revised Vegan “Food Allergy Mama’s Baking Book” in stores near you soon.

On Saturday, I had the pleasure of going on Mr. Fix-It, with Lou Manfredini, who squeezed in an interview with me between discussing toilets and roofiing. Love this man, he’s my new “Car Talk”.  Then went on to spend the weekend at the Gluten-Free Cooking Expo, where I met more great Food Allergy people.  (I’m telling you, Chicago is Food Allergy Central).  Jen Cafferty  of Gluten Free Life with Jen organized a hugely successful event with lots of great cooking demos, and amazing GF vendors at the Vendor Fair.  Jen is an inspirational ball of energy, and a name I expect we’ll be hearing a lot more about around the country, as she spreads awareness about gluten-free life. She did a cooking demo from Elana’s Pantry,  and I did my Double Choco Chunk Cookies (featuring Enjoy Life).  I sold out of my books the first day (thank God, I was dreading lugging them back to Los Angeles!) so had a chance to walk around and see the other vendors.  Can I just wax poetic about Udi’s for one second? Without fail, the best gf bread on the market.   Hands down.

While selling The Allergen-Free Baker’s Handbook at the book table, I got a chance to hang with the Welcoming Kitchen ladies, two more great moms and cookbook authors. Megan Hart and Kim Lutz are the duo behind the Welcoming Kitchen blog and are about to publish their third cookbook, next spring — all GF, and Allergen-Free, so look for that one in 2011, it will be great!  We had a good time hawking our wares as the public poured in, and I had a great time talking to them about our shared experience in this field, and also as parents.  Again, talking to Kim, mother to a child with multiple food allergies, I welled up discussing my sons’ allergies, and started to feel both a bit embarrassed, but also a little surprised.  What, after all, was happening to me?  Is a food allergy something to shed tears over? Usually, I’d smile and say, “absolutely not!”, and “just think of all the wonderful alternatives you can still eat”… which is absolutely true. The food we eat is not what makes me feel sad. I love what we eat, and feel lucky.  But that doesn’t take away the fact that when you or your child has food allergies, it makes you feel vulnerable, and sometimes, very sick.  So I think what I got most out of my trip to Chicago, was a great sense of community and the realization that I need to fess up to my own sadness about this once in awhile.  I need to shed that tear, and then go back to laughing heartily over some really good allergy friendly cookies.  Speaking of which… has anyone tried the mini chocolate chip cookies from Pamela’s Products? (note:contain eggs and soy) To-die-for addictive.  Uber Uber Yum.



Hey, thanks for all the great FOOD ALLERGY RECIPE CHALLENGE REQUESTS!  What a great way to return from vacation. I am totally excited to get going on them.  And as you can see from the following photo, I AM BACK IN MY KITCHEN!

Yesterday, I baked Chocolate Layer Cake (p.106), with Chocolate Buttercream Frosting (p.91) to test out the recipe as sheet cake for Douglas, (a reader who doesn’t like layer cake). Yes, you can. Use a 9″x13″ pan.

Made Amaranth Date Bread (p.47) for Adam (husband making request).

Made a vat of “The Lady from Naples Red Sauce” from first book (p.69) in prep for the GF Allergen-Free pizza I’m going to make this week with my GF Pizza Crust  (p.169) and the Daiya dairy-free (soy-free and nut-free) cheese I purchased from Whole Foods yesterday during the EARTHQUAKE  (thought shelves were going to fall on me, though there are worse places to be buried than Whole Foods).

Then made homemade gf breadcrumbs and the Turkey Meatballs from first book (p.77), subbing Bison by request from kids.

Finally, it was time to make dinner. So I boiled up the “New” De Boles Gluten-Free Multi Grain Spaghetti bought during said Earthquake at Whole Foods.

I WAS excited about this. “Was” being the operative word.

What the heck is that?! They have the nerve to call that Spaghetti?  How DARE they!  Into the trash it went, and out came my trusty Tinkyada.  I thought when De Boles said “new” that might have meant “improved”, but sadly, it’s still the same old mushy glop.  I hate to be harsh, but when Tinkyada does it so well, why do they have to do it so poorly?

Anyway, today, back to those caramel cupcakes I promised (a food allergy recipe challenge request made last month), which I’ll be starting my WHOLELIVING.COM posting with.  Can I go back on vacation now? 🙂 Just kidding…. I’m only getting started.