Across the country kids are popping on their backpacks and heading to school. I don't recall my first day of any year at school, but I do remember the anticipation. Mainly this was shopping for stationery. What can I say, this Virgo is a stationery fiend. I blame my Dad, he too loves a good pen and notebook when he sees one. I remember my brother and I choosing the contact we wanted to cover our school books in and then Mum, ever the perfectionist, would carefully cover each book. There were never any bubbles. It's just how she is; a no bubbles in the contact kinda Mum.
Lunchboxes for me, as a primary school student were generally a tetra pack (frozen so it was still cold at lunch in this Aussie heat), carrot sticks, cheese cut into cubes, an apple or banana and a sandwich. I think the sandwiches were mostly ham sandwiches, but I honestly don't remember. Having a Mum who ran her own wholesale cake company in Perth did have it's perks though and once a week (after year 3) I'd get to choose a piece of leftover cake to take on Friday's. There was Lumberjack, Carrot, Mud, Coffee & Walnut... the list goes on.
I reckon if Mum had made this cake when I was a child I'd have picked it on Friday mornings. This gluten and dairy free Apple Loaf Cake is not too sweet, with a chewy crumb and is laced with spices, plus it's so very, very easy to make. Whisk dry. Whisk wet. Combine. Bake. Eat. Seriously, you don't can't get much better than that! Personally I like it, being the eater of dairy that I am, slathered with a bit of butter. Yum. I chose to use Brookfarm's delicious macadamia oil in this recipe, however a light olive or vegetable oil works just as well and is necessary for most nut free schools. But, don't keep this apple loaf confined yo your kids lunchboxes (why should they have all the fun?), take a piece to work or bake them as cupcakes and top with a little cinnamon icing...
What was your childhood lunchbox treat? Or what do you put in your children's lunchbox as a treat now?
Apple Loaf Cake, Dairy & Gluten Free
Makes 1 Loaf.
*Nut free if you choose a nut free oil
230g gluten free plain flour
1tsp bi-carb soda
1tsp gluten free baking powder
1/2tsp mixed spice
3 1/2tsp cinnamon
260g apple puree
100g raw castor sugar
1/2cup (125ml) golden syrup
1/3cup (80ml) macadamia oil (I used Brookfarm, but you can use a light olive oil or vegetable oil here too)
1 apple, grated, juices squeezed out.
Preheat oven to 175degrees Celsius. Line a loaf tin with baking paper.
Whisk dry ingredients in a large bowl.
Whisk wet ingredients in a bowl to combine. Pour into dry mix with the grated apple and stir to combine. Pour into the prepared tin and bake for 45-50minutes in the middle rack of your oven.
Cool for 5minutes in tin before turning out to cool completely. Cut into thick 2cm slices and serve (lashings of butter optional). Best eaten within 2-3days.