This nutrient dense vegan and gluten free cake uses only natural sugars. I love to make it with buckwheat flour which has a nutty and slightly bitter taste that I really enjoy. If buckwheat is not for you then feel free to substitute it with any flour, such as spelt, kamut, oat, rye etc. But bear in mind it may not then be gluten free, depending on what you use.

I also prefer to make my own milk and nut butter for this recipe, if that seems like too much of an ordeal or you don’t have the time then you can use ready prepared ones. It is so easy to make the nut butter and plant based milks though and of course you retain many more nutrients that way, plus know exactly what you are getting!

IMG_5226This is not a very sweet cake and has a very light natural sweetness coming from the apples and dates. You could add a little coconut sugar or maple syrup but try it first as you may be surprised:)

Prepare the nut butter, milk and apple sauce in advance so you are ready to go when making the cake.


1 cup buckwheat flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp bicarbonate soda
1 tsp cinnamon powder
1/2 tsp ginger powder
1/4 tsp grated nutmeg
2 cloves
1/2 tsp sea salt
5 tbsp hazelnut butter (see method below)
2 tbsp plant based milk (such as nut, seed or rice milk, see below)
3 tbsp coconut oil – melted
1 full cup apple sauce (see method below)
2 chia ‘eggs’ – 2 tbsp chia seeds mixed with 6 tbsp water – leave to sit a minimum of 30 minutes to become a thick gel
1 tsp apple cider vinegar
1 large apple – diced
5 large medjool dates – stoned and roughly chopped

Hazelnut Butter Method:
20160130_120645* Dry toast hazelnuts on an oven tray in a pre heated oven (150 degrees) for approx 20-30 minutes. Test one to see if it is just going brown on the inside and has a good crunch. If not ready continue to cook until reach this stage. Don’t burn!
* When the hazelnuts are cooked take a clean tea towel and lay it on a surface. Add the hazelnuts, fold up the tea towel and rub vigorously until the skins start to come off.

IMG_4414* Take the nuts without skins and add them to a food processor.
* Blend for approx 5-10 minutes, past the stage of when the nuts become a flour, then to a sticky rough paste and eventually they will release their oils and become a lovely butter consistency.
* That’s it! Store in a glass jar in the fridge.

Nut/Seed Milk Method:
* If using nut milk you will need to soak the nuts in water overnight or for around 8 hours. Seeds such as sunflower and pumpkin you can get away with less soaking time, sometimes if I forgot to soak any I sesame seeds to make a quick and simple milk.
* Once soaked and rinsed if necessary – add nuts or seeds to a high speed blender
* Add double the quantity of water
* Blend until very smooth
* Pass through a fine sieve or use a muslin cloth or nut milk bag
* Store in a glass jar in the fridge until ready to use

Apple Sauce Method (makes approx 1 full cup):
* Take 2 large sweet apples and roughly chop
* Add to a small saucepan with a little water and bring to a simmer. Cover and cook until soft.
* Puree in a blender

Cake Method:
* Heat the oven to 180 degrees. Prepare a 9inch spring bottom cake tin by lining with parchment paper and greasing the sides with a little coconut oil
* Sift the dry ingredients together – flour, baking powder, bicarbonate soda, salt, cinnamon, ginger and nutmeg
* In a blender add the apple sauce, cloves, milk, nut butter and coconut oil and blend until smooth
* Add the chia gel and whizz together until just incorporated
* Add the wet mix into the dry and mix together (I always use my hands for this!) with as few strokes as possible – try not to over mix
* Add the apple cider vinegar and quickly mix in to the batter
* Pour into the cake tin and bake in the oven for approx

For more delicious and nutritious recipes get your hands on a copy of Hayley’s Holistic Kitchen ebook, visit Kirsten’s website or check out our previous blogs here