Apple Walnut Cake

This flavourful cake is all about apples. . . and you’ll be hard pressed to find a more delicious cake with such healthful ingredients.  Boasting the nutrients of 3 cups of apples, the healthy Omega-3 fats of walnuts, whole wheat flour, and just enough sugar for optimal sweetness,  you can enjoy this nutritious treat as a breakfast bread, a nourishing snack, or a light dessert. This recipe produces an 8 x 8 cake and it doesn’t rise a lot (after all, it is mostly apples . . .), but you can make a more substantial and impressive dessert if you double the recipe and bake it in a bundt tin.


  • 3 cups apples, diced
  • 1/3 cup walnuts, chopped
  • 1 cup whole-wheat pastry flour (if available, regular whole wheat flour is fine)
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • ½ tsp. cinnamon
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 3 tbsp. trans-free margarine or butter
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp. vanilla


Not your typical cake mixing! Mostly healthful apples, with walnuts and a bit of batter.
  1. Cut apples into small chunks, leaving the peels on. Chop walnuts. Set aside.
  2. Mix the flour, baking soda, and cinnamon.
  3. In a separate large bowl, cream sugar and margarine or butter. Mix in the egg and vanilla, then add the flour mixture.
  4. Add the apples and walnuts (dough will be stiff – use your hands if you must!).
  5. Spread mixture in an ungreased 8 x 8 or 9 x 9 inch pan (or a 9-inch pie plate or round cake pan) and bake at 350 for about  30-40 minutes (timing varies depending on the pan used; the cake is done when a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean).

Makes EIGHT Servings

Nutrition Per Serving

  • 200 calories
  • 3 g protein
  • 32 g carbohydrate
  • 8 g fat (1.5 g sat)
  • 25 mg cholesterol
  • 2 g fiber
  • 210 mg sodium
  • 100 mg potassium
  • 15 mg calcium
  • 15 mg magnesium

Tips and Variations

  • Toast the walnuts first for maximum flavor
  • Add orange zest to the batter
  • You’ll find tips for selecting, preparing, and storing apples here.

Nutrition Notes

  • walnutinshellWalnuts are a good source of healthy fats, and contain more of the omega-3 fat alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) than other nuts.  Eating walnuts has been associated with lowering cholesterol, reducing breast cancer risk (in mice), helping control blood sugar, and reducing the risk of diabetes.
  • Peeled ApplesApples are a good source of fiber, and rich in antioxidants and other protective compounds.  Don’t peel your apples, because you’re throwing away important nutrients. Not only does the peel account for about 75% of an apple’s dietary fiber, but also about two-thirds of an apple’s antioxidants are found in its peel. In addition, apple peels contain biologically active components  with anticancer effects called triterpenoids. Ursolic acid is another protective compound in apple peels that might prevent muscle atrophy associated with aging and help control blood glucose, cholesterol, and triglycerides, and possibly increase brown fatRead more about the health benefits of apples here

This recipe is from the cookbook and food guide Food For Thought: Healing Foods to Savor by Sheila Kealey, Vicky Newman, with Susan Faerber. 

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