Paleo Apple & Cinnamon Tea Cake – a special recipe for Mothers Day

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Believe it or not, this sweet, moist and nutty cake is completely gluten, grain, sugar and dairy free. It’s paleo and nut free too. It’s health promoting which is just want we want, particularly for our mamas!  Be it morning tea, afternoon tea or dessert, our Paleo Apple & Cinnamon Tea Cake is just the thing to top off your special Mothers Day celebrations.


This one-bowl-wonder Paleo Apple & Cinnamon Tea Cake is densely packed with wonderfully healthy flavours and ingredients including sweet fresh apples, free-range eggs, coconut oil, cinnamon, sultanas, and the star ingredient, sunflower seeds!

Yes, you read right – sunflower seeds, or rather sunflower seed meal. You need only whiz whole raw sunflower seeds in a blender or food processor to create this nutty meal, which behaves similarly to almond meal when it comes to baking, retaining the same moist texture and a comparable nutty flavour.

I used a round spring-form baking tin, but you could also use a square tin, cutting the cake into snack-sized cubes, or divide the mixture into a 12 capacity muffin tin, reduce the baking time to 30 minutes and eat as breakfast muffins. The options are truly endless!


Serves 8-10



  • Mixing bowl & fork
  • 20cm round spring-form cake tin

 paleo apple cake 3


  • 2 large red apples, grated
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1/3 cup coconut oil
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 3 cups sunflower seeds, ground*
  • 1/2 cup sultanas
  • 1 large apple, sliced to garnish

* Whiz whole raw sunflower seeds in a blender or food processor to create a fine meal. Alternatively use almond meal or other nut meal.



  1. Pre-heat a convection oven to 160 degrees Celsius.
  2. Grease and line a 20cm round spring form cake tin with baking paper and set aside.
  3. In a mixing bowl, add the grated apple, beaten eggs, coconut oil, baking powder and cinnamon. Mix briskly with a fork to combine.
  4. Add the ground sunflower seed and sultanas and mix to combine.
  5. Transfer the mixture to the cake tin and decorate with the extra sliced apple.
  6. Place in the preheated oven and bake for 1 hour, or until lightly golden. If the top is cooked before the centre, cover with foil, however, this should not be a problem when cooking on convection mode.
  7. Cool completely before storing.


Store in an airtight container in your refrigerator for up to one week.

Serving Suggestions

This versatile cake can be served as follows:

  • Like a warm winter pudding, straight from the oven – just watch it doesn’t crumble
  • At room or fridge temperature, for morning or afternoon tea
  • As a decadent chilled dessert, served with double cream, fresh ricotta or yoghurt.


11 replies
  1. Diana Everding
    Diana Everding says:

    Cath, I made this Sunday for Mother’s Day as mum’s chemo sessions have made a lot of foods hard to digest. It was delicious and she loved it. Perfect timing! Thank you.

  2. Sarah
    Sarah says:

    Mum absolutely loved it! She’s not a fan of sultanas so used some chopped up figs and dates instead. Thank you! X

  3. Di
    Di says:

    This was delicious. However before I put it in the fridge , 6 hours after it was cooked, I noticed certain parts had turned bright green. What could have caused this? I had to throw it out, because it looked very unappetising.

    • Di
      Di says:

      Just read that sunflower seeds sometimes turn green when baked because of the reaction with baking powder or soda.:(

      • Catherine Noonan
        Catherine Noonan says:

        Hi Di,
        My goodness – I hadn’t heard of that. Perhaps using a quality gluten-free baking powder and quality sunflower seeds may make a difference?
        If not, then why not try almond meal? It’s a wonderful, wonderful cake and definitely worth a second a try.
        Best wishes !

    • Catherine Noonan
      Catherine Noonan says:

      Hi Steph! Absolutely – you can divide the mixture into a 12 capacity muffin tin, reduce the baking time to around 35-45 minutes. Enjoy!


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