cider apple cake and a celebration

This post is in honor of my favorite human on this planet. If you didn’t know already, that’s Rusty (my husband). I try to keep him out of the limelight, as he’s a bit of an introvert, but this post (and this recipe) are for him.

IMG_1631When we moved out of the rapidly growing, fast-paced Bay Area and up to a small town near the Olympic Mountains of  the Pacific Northwest, we had some very specific intentions. One of these intentions was (and still very much is) improved quality of life through a commitment to follow our passions. While Rusty was grateful for his career path in California and while he worked his ass off to get to where he was, he was not following his passion or his heart, and he took a huge leap in quitting his well-paying, admirable job so that we could move and follow up with our commitment to each other and to ourselves.

Quitting his job meant answering the questions again and again: “So what are you going to do for work when you guys move?” or “How’s the money situation going to work out?”. But never once did I see him waiver in his decision. Never once did I see his pride abate. Never once did I doubt his character or how right this decision was for both of us at that particular time in our lives. All that said, Rusty did an amazing job working to make our new house a home, learning and teaching me about how we could save money, building a garden, planting some heirloom apple trees, fixing old furniture to bring us comfort, creating a space where we could build community and entertain new friends, and all this while finding himself, listening to his heart, and learning what it was that would be the passion to drive him.

IMG_1668As most all of you know, we have since moved back to California, and have made a new home for ourselves in Santa Cruz, California. That being said, I’ve come back to this post with a new perspective and even more love for this man after a year of change, growth, and understanding. Whatever life throws at us, I know I can count on Rusty and his dedication to following his heart and to making mine full. It’s with that character that we decided to move back to California in a continued pursuit of choosing happiness (more on that HERE). As I opened this recipe to make it now, in the fall of 2016, I couldn’t help but update my thoughts as well, and while I haven’t changed much, I did want to express where we are now, make a few edits to this recipe (always perfecting) and reflect on this fall we are heading into.

I look at apples in a new way after spending a year so closely tied to the Finn River orchard, filled with wonderful people, sustainable practices, and delectable cider. Rusty spent almost a year working for this company, and through his time there he grew and so did they. It was a time we’ll never forget, filled with really hard work and a whole new respect for the land and the people who foster it.

Now, back in California as a whole different kind of Autumn comes into being, I feel some nostalgia for apples, missing the warmth of Finn River and our family there, but also a sense of joy for this fork in the road and the direction it’s led us. We are truly home now, and we wouldn’t change the path we took to get here for anything. img_3194

Rusty has truly found his passion (more on that to come down the road, once we’re both ready to share). We’ve found our people and community here, and while we don’t live down the road from an orchard, we do live moments away from the beach. And while most days the weather is warm and sunny, the leaves are still changing and this autumn brings a whole new kind of warmth of heart of being close to best friends and family and of choosing happy.

So here’s a freshly revised apple cake in honor of the man I love, made from the apples that are so plentifully in season with so much meaning behind them. These apples still came from a local orchard thanks to my friend Sam, who coaches with me at CrossFit Aptos. She lives with her family on a small orchard in the Santa Cruz Mountains. So cheers to choosing happy, whatever that might mean in the moment. It can be hard at first, but it’s worth the leap of faith and the potential major life changes that make us who we are.

Live rad, my friends!

Cider Apple Cake (GF)

  • Servings: 10
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print


  • 2 pastured eggs
  • 3/4 cup (12 TB grass fed butter)
  • 1.5 cups coconut sugar
  • 1 1/4 cup ottos cassava flour
  • 3/4 cup almond flour
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 3(ish) cups chopped apples*
  • OPTIONAL: 1/2 chopped walnuts

*I recommend that if you don’t have your own apple source, that you choose from the “bargain bin” at your local farmers market. Also, feel free to mix and match apple varieties!

You can also checkout THRIVE for many ingredients!


  • preheat oven to 350F and put your butter in a baking pan to melt (and butter your baking dish at the same time)
  • beat eggs in a large bowl until sooth
  • add in the remaining ingredients and mix well
  • fold in your apples
  • scrape batter into your baking dish and smooth it out
  • bake for 45-50 minutes or until toothpick comes out smooth*

*I like to bake it on the shorter end so that it’s a bit gooey and buttery and delicious, but Rusty likes it more cake-like, and this cake is for him, so 50 minutes it is!

heading to ceremony

I’d love to hear your thoughts on this one! I’d also love to hear YOUR stories about following your hearts and the forks in the road that you led you to where you are today. 

♡ Laura



By | 2016-10-11T15:11:46-08:00 October 10th, 2016|A Little Sweet Tooth, Health, Recipes|15 Comments


  1. Tom September 21, 2015 at 11:09 am - Reply

    Very sweet. My wife and I just hit 26 years ourselves and I still love her apples. 😉 We were just up in PR looking at property the past couple of weekends and partook of several of the ciders Rusty is learning to make. It’s a beautiful area.

    • Laura Bruner September 21, 2015 at 12:59 pm - Reply

      Thank you, Tom! I love hearing stories of long lasting love. If you end up moving up here, I hope to see you guys (perhaps at Finnriver) sometime!

  2. Lisa Bradrick September 23, 2015 at 7:54 pm - Reply

    Love this!

  3. Melisa September 25, 2015 at 5:24 am - Reply

    What size pan do you use? This looks great!

    • Laura Bruner September 26, 2015 at 2:11 pm - Reply

      Hey Melisa! Sorry about that. I used a 7×10 pan.

  4. Melisa September 26, 2015 at 11:55 am - Reply

    What size pan did you use? Thanks

    • Laura Bruner September 26, 2015 at 2:12 pm - Reply

      7×10! Sorry for the delay. Anything around that size will work!

      • Melisa September 27, 2015 at 8:21 am - Reply

        I made it this morning in a 9 inch springform pan since I don’t have a 7X9 pan. I cut the sugar to 1 1/2 cups and baked it for 50 minutes. I can’t tell you how good this cake is!! My 18 year old son had seconds, of course! Thank you so much for the recipe! I posted a photo of it on your Facebook page, since I don’t know how to post a photo here! Thanks again!

        • Laura Bruner September 27, 2015 at 10:51 am - Reply

          So glad you enjoyed it! This made my day. Thank you, Melisa! Happy cake eating

  5. Melisa September 27, 2015 at 8:22 am - Reply

    oops, I meant I don’t have a 7X10 pan, Sorry

  6. James October 4, 2015 at 3:26 pm - Reply

    Hello: I may have the dumbest question, but on the ingredients list, it says 3/4th cup butter. Then, in the directions, it says to melt the butter down to butter the pan. Is that the same butter, or is the 3/4 cup of butter intended to be mixed in with the other ingredients, and then additional butter is meant to grease the pan? Again, sorry. I take instructions extremely literally.

    • Laura Bruner October 4, 2015 at 4:19 pm - Reply

      Hi James! Sorry for the lack of clarity. The 3/4 cup is for the recipe. I just like to melt it in the baking dish so that it’s greased and ready to go when the battery is ready. Let me know if you have more questions. Happy to help!

  7. winter cider sangria | Radical Roots December 27, 2015 at 3:59 pm - Reply

    […] getting too tipsy, I’ve created a delicious seasonal cider sangria featuring my favorite Finnriver cider! These bubbles are brought to you by a combination of organic cranberry rose hip cider, […]

  8. Melisa January 20, 2016 at 7:31 am - Reply

    I absolutely LOVE this cake and so does my family. I only use one cup of coconut sugar and it is delicious! Thanks for the great recipe!

    • Laura Bruner January 20, 2016 at 1:40 pm - Reply

      Hi Melisa! I love that you’ve tweaked the recipe to meet your taste and that the reduced sugar works well. I’ll have to give that a shot. Thanks for the kind note! So happy you guys are enjoying it. Cheers!

Leave A Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.