Growing up in a European family on the Northwest side of Chicago meant getting to frequent the Polish delis and bakeries on Harlem, Belmont, and Pulaski. Polish cakes and cheesecakes are entirely different from their American counterparts, especially in terms of sugar content. There’s no such thing as the gritty, sickly sweet frosting found in most chain grocery stores. Fruit is also a major component, both for flavor and sweetness, and apricot is an all-time favorite. This Grain-Free Apricot Almond Cake is our take on a traditional dense yellow sponge, flavored with apricot and just sweet enough.
We’re using a batch of our homemade Sugar-Free Apricot Sauce to add subtle flavor to the sponge, as a thin brush-on glaze, and as an optional topping or serving sauce. This can be made ahead of time and refrigerated or even frozen until ready to use. We also used mini cookie cutters (we found at Michael’s) to create apricot shapes for decoration (optional but fun). This Grain-Free Apricot Almond Cake looks lovely on a holiday table and goes perfectly with a cup of tea. It can also be made ahead and frozen.Print
Grain-Free Apricot Almond Cake
For the Cake
- 4 large eggs, separated
- Zest of one mandarin orange
- 1 1/2 cups Anthony’s Blanched Almond Flour, packed and leveled
- 1/4 cup Lakanto Classic Sweetener
- 4 tbsp Homemade Sugar-Free Apricot Sauce, divided
- 2 tbsp Brown Swerve Sweetener, packed
- 2 tbsp coconut flour
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
- 1/8 tsp ground allspice
- Pinch of salt
For the Topping
Doing the Prep
- Prepare a batch of Homemade Sugar-Free Apricot Sauce
- On a sheet of parchment, trace the bottom insert of a 9-inch, round spring-form pan. Cut inside the line so the piece you are left with has no ink. Assemble pan and generously grease the bottom and sides of the pan with the fat of your choice (butter, coconut oil, ghee). Line the bottom with the parchment round and cut two strips of parchment paper to line the side walls of the pan. The grease should make the parchment stick in place.
- Place oven rack in center position and preheat to 350 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with foil and place the prepared spring-form pan on the sheet.
Making the Batter
- Separate eggs into two medium bowls, one with egg whites, and one with yolks. Set the egg whites aside. Place a generous pinch of salt in a small bowl and set aside with egg whites.
- To the egg yolks, add orange zest, Lakanto Classic, Brown Swerve, and 3 tablespoons apricot sauce. Whisk to combine thoroughly.
- In a large bowl, combine almond flour, coconut flour, baking powder, and allspice. Whisk to break up any lumps and distribute ingredients evenly.
- Add the egg yolk mixture to the flour mixture and combine with a rubber spatula. The dough will be thick and heavy.
- Use a hand or stand mixer to whip the egg whites, starting on low, increasing to medium-high. As son as the egg whites begin to foam up, add the salt and continue mixing until stiff peaks form.
- Transfer half of the whipped egg whites to the bowl with the dough and slowly begin folding the dough and egg whites together. It will still be very thick and lumpy…just keep going. Once combined, add half of the remaining egg whites and repeat. Finally, add the last of the egg whites and fold in until well combined. The dough will be thinner and fluffier, but it is still a heavy dough and should not be watery.
- Gently transfer batter to the prepared pan and smooth into an even layer. The dough will be sticky. If necessary, place parchment on top of the batter and smooth down. Top with a single layer of sliced almonds and bake in a preheated oven for 30 minutes.
Prepping the Toppings
- While cake is baking, combine the remaining tablespoon of apricot sauce and a tablespoon of boiling water. Pour through a fine mesh strainer and set the strained liquid aside.
- Place the dried apricots on a cutting board and cover with plastic. Use a rolling pin to gently flatten the apricots slightly so they are big enough for the mini cookie cutters (a large metal piping tip will also work for cutting uniform circles). Cut apricots into desired shapes and roll in a tablespoon of Lakanto Classic. Place in a single layer on a small plate and set aside.
Putting it Together
- When to cake is done baking, remove from oven and immediately brush with the strained apricot liquid. Allow cake to cool 20 minutes, then open the spring pan and remove side walls and parchment from sides of cake. Transfer the cake, still on the base of the spring-form pan to a cooling rack and cool completely.
- The cake is delicate, so we will have to do some careful stacking and flipping to remove the base and get the cake on a serving plate. Place a parchment-lined plate on top of the cooled cake and flip the plate, cake and cooling rack over (the cake will be upside down on the plate). Remove cooling rack, run a knife between the base and parchment on the base to loosen, and remove the base and parchment from the bottom of the cake. Align a serving plate or cake board with the bottom of the cake and flip both plates over. Remove the top plate and parchment and your cake will be upright on the serving plate, all in one piece.
- Dust cake with Powdered Lakanto (through a small fine mesh strainer) and place the eight dried apricots on top of the cake.
- When ready to serve, slice and serve plain, drizzled with apricot sauce, or with a dollop of sauce on the side.
Refrigerate cake wrapped tightly in plastic up to 5 days.
To make ahead and freeze, place cooled cake on a serving plate or cake board. Place a circle of parchment on top of the cake (to prevent sticking) and wrap tightly in plastic. Then wrap in foil. Freeze up to 2 weeks.
Not baking for a crowd? Wrap individual slices in plastic and place in a zip top freezer bag with air removed. Freeze up to 2 months, thaw a slice at a time and top as desired.
Keywords: YELLOW CAKE, ALMOND CAKE, APRICOT CAKE, APRICOT FILLING, POLISH CAKE, EASTER CAKE, HOLIDAY CAKE, GRAIN-FREE, GLUTEN-FREE, DAIRY-FREE, NO ADDED SUGAR, SUGAR-FREE, FLOURLESS CAKE, APRICOT, ALMOND