Recipe: Apple Buckwheat Cake

Photo: Matt Armendariz

Photo: Matt Armendariz

Zoe Nathan may be the most accomplished baker/restaurateur in Los Angeles. Her cookbook "Huckleberry" is a collection of some of her favorite brunch recipes, including this delicious (and somewhat healthful!) cake. Enjoy it as is, or if you're facing sweet tooths, add whipped cream!

Apple Buckwheat Cake

Makes one 10-inch cake




  • 1 cup unsalted butter, cubed, at room temperature
  • 1 and 2/3 cups sugar, plus 2 tbsp
  • 2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract
  • 6 eggs
  • 3 or 4 apples; 1 peeled and grated, and 2 or 3 peeled and sliced 1?8 in thick, cores reserved
  • 1 and 1/2 cups almond flour
  • 3/4 cup buckwheat flour
  • 2/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup cornmeal
  • 2 tsp baking powder


  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup water
  • Pinch of kosher salt
  • 1 vanilla bean, scraped (optional)
  • Apple cores (reserved from making the cake)

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To Prepare

Position a rack in the middle of your oven and preheat to 350°F/180°C. Line and grease a 10-in round cake pan.

In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter, 1 and 2/3 cups sugar, and salt on medium-high speed, until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Incorporate the vanilla and eggs, one at a time, scraping the sides of the bowl well between each addition. Add the grated apple and mix. Then add the almond flour, buckwheat flour, all-purpose flour, cornmeal, and baking powder. Mix cautiously, just until incorporated. Do not overmix!

Scoop the batter into the prepared pan, top with the sliced apples, arranging them in pretty concentric circles, and sprinkle with the remaining sugar. Bake for 1 hour and 15 minutes, or until a cake tester comes out clean. Do not overbake! Allow to cool for about 15 minutes in the pan.

Meanwhile, make the glaze: Simmer the sugar, water, salt, vanilla bean seeds and pod (if using), and apple cores together in a saucepan until the sugar is completely dissolved, about 2 minutes. Set aside to infuse.

Place a flat plate on top of the cake and pan. Carefully invert the cake onto the plate by flipping both upside down. Then lift the pan off the cake. Gently pull the parchment from every nook and cranny of the cake, being careful not to break the cake. Rest your serving plate on the bottom of the cake and turn the cake right-side up onto the plate.

While the cake is still warm, brush the glaze all over the top and sides and garnish with the nonedible vanilla pod. This cake is best served the day it's made but keeps well, tightly wrapped, at room temperature, for up to 2 days.

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