Though summer is typically the time of year people think of for food picnics and outings, fall is definitely my favorite. I love the warmth of Indian Summer and the seasonally-themed outings that come with it.
Some of our family favorites are apple picking, going to the local pumpkin patch and an annual Pig Roast at our CSA farm (Cure Organic Farm) that celebrates the bounty of the harvest and the crest of the season as it relaxes toward the cool weather months.
As goes our Colorado fall weather, we’ve gone from being bathed in beautiful fall light and warmth one day to our first snow, and the promise of temperatures in the 70’s again this weekend. Flexibility is key in our neck of the woods but I feel having fun, seasonal menu options at the ready for anything is key.
Anticipating our fall outings I came up with a portable dessert that I find pretty charming: Little Apple Oat Cakes in a Jar. The wonderful thing about being gluten-free is that I’ve met so many new flour types. I don’t love them all, I’ll be candid, as pretty much anything that is a grain, bean or nut can become (and has become) a flour. Some are very green tasting to me in a way that fights with a demure desserty baked good. Oat flour is one I love. It has a bit more texture than standard potato starch/tapioca starch/rice flour blends (though I use those too often) and some light flavor. I don’t have to use a binder like xanthan gum either.
These little cakes are super moist and flavored with apple as I included both applesauce and finely chopped fresh Honeycrisp apples. I sprinkled the tops with Organic Honey Granules which are like adding sprinkles of pure honey. They melt into the top a bit but still add some texture and honey flavor when the little cakes are finished baking. Lastly we could not resist trying them with a bit of homemade Pumpkin-Salted Caramel ice cream. It was a perfect fall addition.
Little Apple Oat Cakes in Jars
- ½ cup unsalted Butter , softened
- ½ cup granulated Sugar
- ½ cup Light Brown Sugar
- 2 Eggs , room temperature
- 2 cups Oat Flour (gluten –free)
- ½ teaspoon Baking Soda
- 2 teaspoons Baking Powder
- ½ teaspoon Kosher Salt
- ¼ teaspoon Cardamom , ground
- ¼ teaspoon Allspice
- ¼ teaspoon Nutmeg , ground
- ½ cup Applesauce (I used local, unsweetened)
- ¾ cup Honeycrisp or other tart apple , cored and finely chopped
- ½ cup Pecans , finely chopped
- Topping (optional): 3 teaspoons Honey Granules or Sparkling Sugar (larger granule sugar intended for decorating)
- JARS: 6-½ pint wide-mouth Mason jars
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
In the bowl of a standing mixer (or large free standing mixing bowl if using a hand held mixer) cream the butter until smooth. Add both the granulated and brown sugars and cream together.
Add the eggs, and beat to fully combine.
In a separate bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cardamom, allspice, nutmeg and stir to fully mix.
Slowly pour the dry ingredients into the butter-sugar mixture while beating on low, allowing the dry ingredients to combine with the wet before pouring more dry ingredients into the mixing bowl.
Add the applesauce and beat on low to combine.
Fold in the chopped apples and pecans.
Spray the inside of the Mason jars with no stick cooking spray.
Divide the batter evenly between the 6 Mason jars. Note: I found filling them to approximately ½ inch below the lowest lid thread allowed even amounts in each jar. Sprinkle with honey granules or sparkling sugar if desired.
Place the jars on a baking sheet and place in the oven for 25-30 minutes. Remove when they are a medium golden brown on top and don’t jiggle when moved (that was 25 minutes for me).
Allow to cool on a cooling rack until they can be easily handled. Serve as is or with a scoop of ice cream.