*This Brown Butter Harvest Cake with Vanilla Nut Creme is gluten-free, grain-free, lactose-free, refined sugar-free.*
My one-year maternity leave is now over. Sob, sob, sob! I’m going to miss staying home with the kids, but I am also glad to be going back to work. With adults around me. Whom I can talk to. About normal stuff.
So, in honour of my return to work, I baked myself a cake! But of course, I’m still on my low-carb diet (call it Paleo or call it SCD), so the cake must embody that principle. Also, I wanted something pretty - to celebrate my weight loss, my family, my job, my blog, my friends – everything that is good in life!
And this is what happens when I let loose in the kitchen with my beater and spatula! So OK, I went a little overboard decorating the cake with fresh flowers – ranunculi, hydrangeas, and roses. One thing about me though, I like girly stuff. Even if our home is “decorated” (or really, anti-decorated) in a rather cold, gray, Minimalist style, I like to give the place a touch of femininity by bringing flowers in. Lots of whites, pinks, mint greens, yellows, or any other pastel-coloured blooms…Sigh…In any case, my Brown Butter Harvest Cake got the full floral treatment.
I think the cake turned out fine; however, if you like “regular” cakes like I do, this one might fall short in the sense that it is not as sweet nor as fine-crumbed you are used to. But – there is a but – you can easily replace my “health-specific” ingredients with regular wheat flour and regular sugar, etc. Don’t worry, I won’t judge. After all, I am still a sweet-lover at heart (French pastries are my downfall)! Only now, I have a deep interest in alternative baking.
- ~~ For the Harvest Cake ~~
- 2 sticks (225 g) unsalted butter
- 3-1/2 cups (400 g) blanched almond flour
- ½ cup coconut flour (60 g) coconut flour
- 2 teaspoon (7 g) baking powder
- ¾ teaspoon (3 g) sea salt
- 2 teaspoons (7s g) cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon (4 g) nutmeg
- ¾ cup (165 g) raw honey
- 2 teaspoons (6 g) vanilla extract
- 4 large eggs
- 1 cup (235 ml / 8 oz) unsweetened coconut milk
- ¾ cup (175 ml / 6 oz) fresh pressed apple cider or juice
- 1 cup (130 g) grated carrot
- 1 cup (130 g) grated zucchini
- ~~ For the Nutty Vanilla Creme ~~
- 1-1/2 cups raw cashews, soaked
- ¾ cup fresh apple cider or juice
- 3 Medjool dates, pit removed
- 1-1/2 tablespoons raw honey
- 1 vanilla bean, seeds scraped
- fresh flowers for decorating (I used ranunculi, hydrangeas, and roses)
- To make the cake, first make the brown butter. Put your butter in a saucepan over medium heat and melt until golden brown or dark amber, about 8 to 10 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 350 F (180 C). Grease two 6-inch round cake pans. Line the bottom with parchment paper.
- In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle, combine the dry ingredients (almond and coconut flours, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg). Mix on low speed for 1 to 2 minutes.
- In a separate bowl, whisk together butter, honey, vanilla extract, eggs, coconut milk, and apple cider or juice.
- Pour wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and mix on medium-low to combine. You can also mix this by hand.
- Fold in grated carrot and zucchini.
- Pour the batter in the cake pans and cook 35 to 40 minutes, or until a tester inserted comes out clean.
- To make the nutty vanilla creme "icing", combine all the ingredients in a blender or a food processor.
- Blend until smooth.
- This can be made ahead of time, stored in an airtight container for 1 week in the refrigerator.
- To assemble the cake, after the cakes are done, let cool in the pans for 15 minutes.
- Very gently turn over to a cooling rack and remove parchment paper, letting it sit for another 20 minutes or until cakes are cool.
- When they are cool enough, place the bottom layer of the cake on a plate or stand, with the flat bottom on facing up.
- Using an offset spatula, spread the vanilla creme on the cake. This will be your middle filling.
- Gently place the second cake on top and spread more vanilla creme.
- Decorate with fresh flowers.