Strawberry Swirl Cake (gluten free, vegan, sugar free, whole grain)

Apologies for the radio silence these last few days. It's been a little hectic, to say the least. We've had two visits to the emergency room within the last 4 days. Thankfully everyone is safe and recovering, which is what matters most.

I was at a bit of a loss for what to make today. I wanted to make something that wasn't too complicated but still pushed my boundaries. And miracle of miracles, I finally made something that's vegan and gluten free! Previous experiments ended up a little too pudding like in the center, but this one was light, fluffy, and fully cooked straight through the center.

I have to admit, vegan baking is not my favorite because it really lacks the depth of flavor butter brings (no, vegan butter flavoring just isn't the same!). Next time I'm going to try replacing the oil with brown butter. Another option I might try to add more depth is to sub some of the sweetener with molasses. Nevertheless I'm really pleased with how this came out!

Strawberry Swirl Cake (gluten free, vegan, sugar free, whole grain) makes one 6" cake

1/2 c brown rice flour 8 tsp ground flax meal 8 tsp almond meal 1/2 tsp baking soda 1/2 tsp baking powder

1/3 c almond milk (or any other milk) 8 tsp unsweetened apple sauce 2 tbsp maple syrup, agave, or honey 2 tbsp oil

1/4 c strawberry sauce (directions below) chopped walnuts (optional)

Preheat oven to 400° F.Grease a 6" cake pan and line bottom with parchment.

In a medium bowl, whisk together dry ingredients (rice flour, flax, almond meal, baking soda, baking powder). In a separate bowl whisk together wet ingredients (milk, apple sauce, sweetener, oil). Add wet ingredients to dry and mix until there are no lumps.

Pour cake batter into prepared pan. Using a spoon, dollop strawberry jam or compote onto cake and gently swirl into batter. Sprinkle chopped walnuts, if using. Bake for 18-22 minutes or until skewer comes out clean and cake starts to separate from edge of pan.

Strawberry Sauce

Dice fresh strawberries, then place in saucepan with a splash of water. Heat over medium flame and mix/mash every so often until a chunky sauce forms. Let it continue to simmer until half of the water has evaporated.