Sometime last year I got inspired to try out rosemary & pine nuts together after seeing my friend Nissrine’s delicious rosemary and lemon pine nut cookie. I never gave rosemary in sweets much thought up to that point, but it suddenly seemed delicious. I gave it a go and made a beautiful cake, but the photos and the overall feel of the cake screamed winter, snow, and a mug of hot chocolate in tow… So I decided to save this one to share with you until the blistery winter weather arrives, to have its sting relieved with a warm, sweet, nutty, festive, and fragrant baked cake…
Good forward thinking, right? Evidently not… Last week I discovered a had a folder full of photos of the cake, but no recipe! Somewhere amidst my travels, working on my book, and my generally disorganized computer files (project for the new year: tidy those folders up!), I lost the recipe… I found vague notes, but nothing more. So I set out to recreate it. 10 cakes later, no less, I finally have something most delicious to share with you — completely different from the original, and about a thousand times better too. Definitely worth all the remake efforts.
I’m particularly excited about this cake because of its wonderful texture. You’d really never know this is a gluten-free or even grain-free cake at all. I bet your grandma wouldn’t believe that no eggs were the cause of the fluffiness in here… And no “gums”, binders, or oils in there either. Its very springy, stays moist for days, and has a most comforting soft and light texture and crumb, as a cake should.
Just blend, bake, and go! Oh, and there’s some mandatory coconut milk “snowing” action not to be forgotten at the end…
The pine nuts are optional, but they add a nice seasonal wintery touch and a nice soft texture and beautiful accent flavor — aim for fresh and fragrant ones for a most delicious treat. If you’re interested in a nut-free version of this cake though, use the cake from this recipe as a base, and just work in some finely chopped fresh rosemary and pine into it as your add-ins.
Lastly, I made this in my 6 cup bundt pan (this is the one I use), so you’ll either need to multiply by 1½ if you want a 9 cup standard cake, or just have a shorter 9 cup ring. Or bake this as a loaf or a layer cake, or in a square pan instead — all good options. But there’s something fun about a bundt and about smaller cakes :) . Note: if you’re swapping out pans, just beware the cake rises quite a bit so leave room for that.
We’re enjoying this cake right now. As I type the winds are howlin’ outside. The fireplace is going. Cozy cups of drinks are at arms’ reach. Ready for the evening’s festivities. I’m glad I saved this cake for the occasion. It is most fitting of a warm and magical night like this.Print
A warm, sweet, nutty and fragrant gluten-free cake with excellent texture. Dairy-free.
- ¾ cup agave (or liquid sweetener of choice)
- ½ cup unsweetened applesauce
- ½ cup water
- 6 tbsp almond butter
- 2 tbsp fresh rosemary leaves (roughly 2 small sprigs)
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- 1 tbsp pure vanilla extract
- 1 tsp almond extract
- 1 cup almond meal (or flour)
- ⅓ cup arrowroot
- ⅓ cup chickpea & fava bean flour (or all chickpea / besan will work)
- ⅓ cup coconut palm sugar
- ½ tsp baking soda
- ⅛ tsp salt
- 3–4 tbsp pine nuts
- dairy-free coconut milk powder (optional for snowy look)
- Preheat oven to 350F. Oil a 6 cup non-stick bundt pan well. Set aside.
- Blend all wet mixture ingredients in a blender until smooth. Add all dry ingredients, except pine nuts, and blend until smooth once again. Add in pine nuts and pulse briefly to fold them in. (Note: I used my Vitamix for this step and used my tamper to help the blending process. If using another blender, you’ll likely need to pause and scrape down the sides every so often). Immediately pour the batter into the prepared bundt.
- Bake in a pre-heated oven for 45-50 mins, until a skewer inserted in the center comes out dry. Cool on a wire rack for at least 10-15 mins, then carefully loosen the sides and flip the cake out of the pan and allow it to cool completely. Prior to serving, dust with coconut milk powder and enjoy!