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Dec 17, 2011 05:25 AM

Dairy-Free Glaze for Silver Palate Chunky Apple Walnut Cake?

Hi all - I have a niece who's allergic to dairy, and I'd like to make this cake for her, because it's one of the most delicious I know, and because it's dairy-free . . . except for the glaze, which has butter and heavy cream. Specifically, the glaze calls for:

4 T sweet butter
2T brown sugar
6 T granulated sugar
3 T Calvados or applejack
2 T fresh orange juice
2 T heavy cream

The cake itself is very rich and moist (on account of the whopping 1.5 c. of veg oil and, oh yeah, the apples) . . . so wondering if I could just omit the dairy from glaze and maybe add a little more Calvados/applejack? I haven't worked w/butter substitutes, but wonder if they contain too much water to work well here.



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  1. I'd skip the glaze and just sprinkle a little cinnamon sugar on top, or a dusting of powdered sugar.

    1. You’ve probably already made that cake for your niece, but if you ever need a dairy-free glaze in the future, I find that canned, unsweetened coconut milk can be substituted for cream (or half and half), at least in small amounts. I too love that Chunky Apple Walnut Cake from The Silver Palate Cookbook, and I made a gorgeous version recently with this glaze:

      Dairy-Free Apple Cider Glaze
      4 T. margarine
      2 T. brown sugar

      6 T. granulated sugar

      4 T. apple cider

      2 T. fresh orange juice
      2 T. unsweetened, canned coconut milk
      2 tsp. vanilla

      Melt the margarine in small saucepan and stir in both sugars. Add everything else but the vanilla, stir, and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat slightly and cook for about 4 minutes, until the glaze begins to thicken. Remove from heat and stir in the vanilla.

      Pour the warm glaze over the cake. If you’re spooning it over the individual slices, reheat the glaze briefly in the microwave before serving.

      (I’ve also substituted apple cider and vanilla for the Calvados. I’m sure it’s better with the expensive stuff, but this was still delicious!)

      2 Replies
      1. re: GFHappyPlace

        You know what? I haven't - and your glaze looks perfect. Question - the coconut milk isn't too coconutty? I guess w/only 2T and those other ingredients, it just adds a richness? Thank you so much! She's in boarding school and there are certain nights each month when people can send up desserts - I'm going to get on this!


        1. re: gansu girl

          Good question. I really didn't notice a coconut taste at all and no one at the party where I served it said anything. The prominent flavors were still apples, cinnamon, and walnuts. I'm guessing you're right that it's too small of an amount to stand out. My only tiny disappointment, and it was truly tiny, was that the original glaze imparts a caramel flavor, and this one made with margarine didn't. But it was still wet, sweet, and delicious. As for your niece, care packages from family are the best! How lucky she is!

      2. I like a simple citrus juice confectioners sugar glaze.

        4 Replies
        1. re: magiesmom

          Ooh, that sounds good too. I was thinking of making some blueberry muffins this morning, and that might be the perfect topping. Great suggestion!

          I see I can attach a photo (I'm a newbie at posting on Chowhound), so I'm attaching a picture of the Chunky Apple Walnut Cake with the Apple Cider Glaze.

          1. re: magiesmom

            +1 on citrus juice w/confectioners

            1. re: magiesmom

              Nthing that. A simple citrus / confectioners sugar glaze tends to go really well with apple / spice cakes. You can add a little citrus zest too if you like.

              You can also use soy milk as the liquid for a glaze.

            2. i'd personally like something a little tangy... i'd use Better than Cream Cheese mixed with a little Earth Balance, powdered sugar, vanilla, lemon juice, and a little unsweetened almond, rice or soy milk to thin it to the consistency you desire :)