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Welcome Fall with Apple Cinnamon Skillet Cake
I actually started this recipe creation with a cookie in mind, but the adjustments were most suitable for a cake. Now, I suppose I could call it a cookie cake, but it is really fun in that it has the consistency of a coffee cake with the delicate flavors that make for a good breakfast OR dessert. This is dairy-free and vegan-friendly with applesauce serving as the fat and flax meal eggs instead of traditional eggs.
1 cup of butter contains about 1,627 calories while 1 cup unsweetened applesauce contains 166 calories. Using applesauce cuts the calories in this apple cinnamon cake by 1,000!
Substituting Applesauce for Butter in Baked Goods
Keep in mind that if you are working with a tried and true recipe that you've come to love over the years, it's probably best to slowly incorporate applesauce and decrease the amount of butter used - until you achieve the consistency you prefer. Though applesauce can be substituted using a 1:1 ratio for oil in recipes, it is wise to start with a combination of butter and applesauce (half and half, or ¼ increments) to give the recipe a test run. Enjoy this resource if you want to learn more about the applesauce substitution fan club!
Tips for the best apple cinnamon skillet cake
The use of applesauce does make baked goods more moist and dense, which is great if you want to enjoy over the period of a few days. Less drying out and more enjoyment! Here are a few more notes from my recipe notebook to help make your version tasty.
- Give the pecans a quick toast in a skillet before chopping to unlock their flavor.
- Use the apple type of your choice. Honeycrisp and Granny Smith are the popular options, but I used Fuji in this recipe. (Truth be told, I needed to save a little money. 😉)
- Coat the cast iron skillet with a little olive oil before baking to make sure it isn't dry. You should always keep your cast iron seasoned, though!
- If you decide to top the apple cinnamon skillet cake with a little ice cream, be sure to sprinkle with some extra ground cinnamon!
- The combination of the applesauce, flax eggs, and cinnamon gives this dough a nice, golden hue which is perfect for fall. Bring out the blankets and fall-themed mugs, everyone!
- This recipe does not diminish its sugar use, so make note of that if you are trying to avoid sugar. You could decrease the sugar amounts slightly, or use a substitution of your choice.
Apple Cinnamon Skillet Cake
- I used an 11-inch skillet (measuring the diameter across the top).
- 2½ cups all-purpose flour
- 2 cups diced apples
- 1 cup unsweetened applesauce
- ¾ cup light brown sugar tightly packed
- ¾ cup granulated or cane sugar
- ½ cup chopped pecans lightly toast before chopping (optional)
- 2 flax eggs 2 tablspoons flax meal + 6 tablespoons water; substitute with 2 regular eggs, if desired
- 2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- 1½ teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- Preheat oven to 350ºF.
- In a small bowl, combine flax meal and water, stirring to combine thoroughly. Place in refrigerator while preparing other ingredients.
- If desired, lightly toast pecans in skillet over medium heat before chopping. Keep over heat for approximately 3 minutes.
- In a large bowl, mix flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon. Whisk together to thoroughly combine.
- Using a stand or hand mixer, beat applesauce, light brown sugar, granulated sugar, and vanilla extract until combined. While beating, slowly pour in the flax eggs.
- Add the dry ingredients in spoonfuls, stirring slowly. Continue stirring until the dry ingredients are completely incorporated into the wet. Fold in the diced apple and chopped pecans.
- Pour batter into skillet and bake for about 35 - 40 minutes until a toothpick inserted in the middle of the cake comes out clean.
- Enjoy warm with topping of your choice.
As everyone's social media feeds seem to be harnessing the excitement of the approaching fall months, all the orange, red, and muffled golden hues are taking over the photo filters. And, of course, the first flavor that is on everyone's mind seems to be pumpkin spice...for the 10th year in a row (that's totally fine!). I realized, though, that I tend to associate flavors with different months. The pumpkin-flavored yearning probably won't hit until October. So, now, I'm all about the apples. And, in November, I'll crave pecans/nuts, with a nice hankerin' for chocolate and mint in December. What about you?
Until next time, friends, cheers to your #hearthhealthhappiness!
Pssst...if you're interested in another skillet recipe, check out this lighter chocolate chip skillet cookie. You won't regret it.