“Cake! Dessert! Mama!” said our 2-year-old-son, Leo, with his face lit up when I announced that we were having fresh red grape cake for dessert. When I served him the cake, his jaw dropped and he said, “Wow! Cake!” After he finished the big piece I gave him and while his cheeks were still full of cake, he said, “More, more”. I just wish I had caught these precious moments with my camera.
Most people would think that loosing your childlike excitement is just part of growing up. Maybe so, but when a new experimental recipe turns out better that I expected, I still have a hard time containing my excitement. Before bedtime, I was skimming through my old Food&Wine magazines and found a harvest cake with grapes recipe.
You may be saying “What? Excuse me! Grape Cake?”
It seemed a little odd to me at first as well. However, grapes are now in their harvest season and have been my favorite August fruit ever since I was a child, so I gave it a try. I changed the recipe to be gluten-free, vegan, and no sugar added and was very pleased with the result.
In addition to being simple to make, it was also moist with the juicy baked grapes and had just the right amount of sweetness. By adjusting how much homemade red grape syrup (concentrated from store-bought no-sugar-added grape juice) you pour over your piece, you can make it as sweet as you desire. Applesauce, the magic ingredient in most of my gluten-free and vegan desserts, was added to replace the sugar and eggs used in traditional cake recipes. It gives extra moisture and adds a fluffy texture to the cake. No regrets for leaving out the sugar and eggs!
Why not invite your friends over for brunch or an afternoon snack and serve them this fresh red grape cake before all the best grapes are gone? I know Leo would be happy to come.
- 2 teaspoons vegan butter (for greasing springform pan)
- 1-1/2 cups gluten-free flour (I used Bob’s Red Mill 1 to 1 baking flour)
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- ¼ teaspoon pure stevia extract powder (Now brand)
- 1 cup fresh red grapes, halved
- 1-1/2 teaspoons Ener-G egg replacer
- 2 teaspoons water
- 1 cup unsweetened applesauce
- ¼ cup olive oil
- ½ tablespoon white distilled vinegar
- ½ cup soy milk
- 3 cups grape juice (100%, no sugar added)
- (optional) ½ teaspoon organic powdered sugar
- Preheat the oven to 350 °F. Butter the springform pan. In a large mixing bowl, whisk all the dry ingredients together except the grapes. Set aside. In another mixing bowl, whisk together the egg replacer and water. Let it stand at room temperature for 2 minutes. Mix in the remaining wet ingredients.
- Pour the wet ingredients mixture into the dry ingredient mixture. Mix until just combined. Fold ¾ cup grapes in the flour mixture. Scrape the batter into the prepared springform pan. Arrange the remaining grapes on top of the batter.
- Bake for 35 minutes until a cake tester (such as tooth pick) inserted in the center comes out clean. Place the pan onto a cooling rack and let it stand for 5 minutes before removing the ring. Let it cool.
- While the cake is baking, boil grape juice in a saucepan over high heat until reduced to ⅓ cup. Approximately 40 minutes.
- Remove the cake from the base and transfer it onto a serving platter. Dust the top of the cake with powdered sugar before serving. Serve with the grape syrup at the table.