Keto Baked Apple Dessert

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Keto Baked Apple Dessert is low carb with a capital L. No, that’s not a typo! That’s because it does not include any of the gram-counting nonsense that seems to be rampant in these health-conscious days. I am completely happy about this because I would rather eat cupcakes any day than worry about my carb intake.

SUGAR FREE KETO APPLE CAKE

This easy keto apple cake is going to wow your guests and it’s so healthy you could eat it for breakfast. It has a moist, fluffy crumb studded with apple pieces and it’s topped with a sugar free cinnamon streusel layer. A keto coffee cake perfect for the colder season.

“A keto cake with real apples!” I hear you scream… yes, indeed!

I’ve tried all the faux low carb apple cake recipes with zucchini and apple cider vinegar over the years. They are okay, but let’s be honest, they’re no real apple cake. 

This gluten free, sugar free apple cake is filled with big bursts of flavourful apple pieces in every bite.

Serve it with keto custard for the ultimate comfort cake this autumn!

ARE APPLES KETO

Can you eat apples on keto? Well, it depends on the amount.

Apples contain a fair amount of carbs, that’s why you might have heard that “apples are not keto”. But here at Sugar Free Londoner we value common sense over the rulings of the keto police.

Keto is a metabolic state, not a food. And as long as you eat higher carb food in moderation, it can be part of a low carb diet and even a keto diet. This includes apples! I still make my unsweetened apple sauce every autumn, and we all love these low carb grain free apple cinnamon granola bars.

This keto apple cinnamon cake contains 400 grams of dessert apples – about 4 apples. Spread across 12 slices of cake, we’re talking ¼ apple per portion. This way, you’re getting all the apple flavour but at the same time each slice only has 6.5g net carbs.

Ingredients

  • 5 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cubed, more for greasing the baking dish
  • 1 1/2 cups almond flour
  • 3 tablespoons coconut flour
  • 1/2 cup granulated keto sweetener
  • 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 2 pounds zucchini (about 6 medium), peeled, seeded, and thinly sliced crosswise
  • 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup brown Swerve
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon xanthan gum

Steps to Make It

HIDE IMAGES

  1. Gather the ingredients.Keto "Apple" Crisp ingredients in bowls
  2. Position a rack in the center of the oven and heat to 350 F.Generously grease 9-x 9-inch baking dish with butter. Set aside.Greased baking dish
  3. To make the crumble topping, place the almond flour, coconut flour, granulated keto sweetener, and pumpkin pie spice in a medium bowl. Toss to combine.
    Almond flour, coconut flour, granulated keto sweetener, and pumpkin pie spice in a bowl
  4. Using your fingers or a pastry blender, cut the cold butter into the flour mixture until pea-sized clumps form and the mixture is blended, but crumbly. Set aside.Crisp dough in a bowl with a pastry blender
  5. Place the zucchini in a separate medium bowl, then toss with the lemon juice, brown Swerve, cinnamon, and xanthan gum until the zucchini is well coated.
    Zucchini, lemon juice, brown Swerve, cinnamon, and xanthan gum in a glass bowl
  6. Spread the zucchini mixture into an even layer in the prepared baking dish, then sprinkle the crumble topping all over top. Press the crumble mixture into zucchini so it is fully covered.
    Crisp dough on top of the zucchini mixture in a baking dish
  7. Bake the “apple” crisp until golden brown on top and the zucchini is tender, about 45 minutes. If the top begins to brown too early, cover lightly with foil.
    Baked Keto "Apple" Crisp in a baking dish
  8. Let cool for 10 minutes, then serve warm.
    Keto "Apple" Crisp in a baking dish and in a bowl with ice cream

Tips

  • To seed the zucchini, cut the zucchini in half lengthwise. Then, use a small spoon to scoop out the seeds by running it along the length of the zucchini.
  • If the crisp is browning too quickly, place foil over top or reduce the oven temperature to 325 F.
  • For more robust apple flavor, add 1 teaspoon of apple extract to the filling mixture.
  • If the brown Swerve becomes clumpy when tossed, use your fingers or a fork to break it up and disperse it back into the mixture. Any small clumps left will melt into the crisp filling.

Variations

  • Add more flavor to the zucchini mixture with 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract.
  • For a texture that is slightly more similar to apples, you can use chayote squash instead of zucchini.
  • Because it is firmer in texture, prep it similarly to the zucchini, but then place it in a steamer over simmering water for 3-4 minutes first.
  • Let it cool before proceeding with the filling, or do this step ahead.
  • For a crunchier topping, try 1/4 cup chopped pecans, walnuts, hazelnuts, or a mix.
  • Add the nuts to the topping mixture after the butter is incorporated, then toss to combine.

How To Store

Refrigeration

  • This keto apple crisp can be stored in the refrigerator for up to one week.
  • Store remaining portions in a tightly-sealed container, or place plastic wrap tightly over the baking dish.
  • To reheat, let it come to room temperature if it’s in the baking dish, then warm for 20 minutes in a 350 degree oven.

Freezing

  • To freeze this crisp, let it cool completely then freeze for up to 3 months in a tightly-sealed container.
  • Reheat in the oven before serving, as it is likely to have turned mushy if eaten cold.

How do you thicken keto apple crisp?

We thicken this keto crisp with 1/4 teaspoon xanthan gum. Though that is a very small amount, it’s sufficient to hold the juices together into the syrupy texture you expect from a fruit filling. Note that if you don’t seed your zucchini, you’ll want to add an additional 1/4 teaspoon of xanthan gum, as the filling will become more runny when baked.

RECIPE TIPS AND SUBSTITUTIONS

Don’t let it burn: Almond flour cakes brown quicker than cakes made with wheat. Check the cake after 35-40 minutes oven time. If the top of the cake has browned sufficiently, loosely cover it with a piece of aluminium foil to prevent burning. 

No coconut flour – To make this keto apple cake without coconut flour, replace it with 3 times the amount of almond flour.

Dairy free – For a dairy free keto apple cake, replace the butter with coconut oil and the cream cheese with coconut cream.

Nut free – Try a blend of sesame flour and sunflower seed flour in place of the almond flour.

Using different fruits – This cake would work well with berries, although I would leave the cinnamon out of the cake batter.

Using a different cake pan: You could use a rectangular pan if you prefer and even make a no sugar added cinnamon apple dump cake – where the apple mix is at the bottom, topped by the batter.

Should I add a sweetener?

Classic apple crisp recipes contain a lot of sugar. This is unnecessary. In fact, this dessert doesn’t even need to be sweetened. Unless you use tart apples (and you shouldn’t), baked apples are naturally very sweet. The combination of their sweetness with the buttery topping is amazing.

If you’d like to add a sweetener, 2 tablespoons of a sugar-free sweetener mixed into the topping are plenty.

When I make this recipe, I often divide the mixture into two and make half with a sweetener and half with no sweetener at all. My husband and I think that the unsweetened version is perfect. But my kids do prefer the lightly sweetened version.

How do you core an apple?

I admit that I own an apple corer (I got it on Amazon). I’m not proud of it – I try to avoid buying kitchen unitaskers. But this is one gadget that I actually use quite a bit.

If you don’t own an apple corer, simply peel the apple, cut it in half, then cut each half into two quarters, cutting around the core. That’s how I do it in the video below.

VARIATIONS

I love this recipe as is and almost always make it as written. But in case you’d like to vary the basic recipe, here are a few ideas for you:

  • Use chopped pecans instead of walnuts.
  • Use ghee instead of butter to turn this into a dairy-free dessert.
  • Experiment with different apple varieties, but remember to choose firm, dense apples and not soft ones.
  • Add a pinch of nutmeg.

SERVING SUGGESTIONS

This dessert is perfect just as it is. But if you’d like, you can top it with whipped cream, frozen yogurt, or ice cream.

You can also use this dessert as a filling for crepes or to top pancakes.

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