paleo grain free gluten free apple dump cake in a baking dish with a serving on a plateApple dump cake is one of those desserts that makes everyone ask for your recipe after the first bite. It’s also known for its ease of preparation – all you have to do is layer ingredients and top it with lots and lots of butter before baking.

Apple dump cake is traditionally made with incredibly sugary canned fruit and store bought cake mix. Instead of mixing the cake up with oil or butter and eggs, the fruit and cake mix are layered in a baking dish, and drizzled with a sea of melted butter all over the top.

Our updated take on this cake is most certainly an occasional treat, but made with fresh apples and a paleo-friendly dry mix, it’s a super speedy option for dessert. If you’d like to cut the carbs down, you can use a granulated monk fruit sweetener in lieu of the coconut sugar. And, if you’re short on time and you don’t want to make the dry mix below, you can use a paleo store bought mix, like the one from Simple Mills.

Top this off with your favorite ice cream, keto-friendly or not, and an optional quick caramel sauce (recipe included).

Let’s get started!

Gluten Free, Paleo Apple Dump Cake Recipe

Serves: 6

Time in the kitchen: 1 hour, including 45 minutes bake time

two servings of paleo apple dump cake on plates


  • 3.5 cups diced apples
  • 7 Tbsp. coconut sugar, divided
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1 cup almond flour
  • 1/4 cup tapioca starch
  • 1/2 Tbsp. coconut flour
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 5 Tbsp. melted salted butter

Optional Caramel:

  • 1/3 cup full fat coconut milk
  • 3 Tbsp. coconut sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • Pinch of saltpaleo gluten-free apple dump cake ingredients


Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Dice your apples in small pieces and toss them with 2 tablespoons of coconut sugar and the cinnamon.

In a bowl, combine the remaining coconut sugar, almond flour, tapioca starch, coconut flour and baking soda.

dry ingredients for paleo apple dump cake in a bowl


Grease a small baking dish and pour the apples into it. Smooth out the apple layer.

cinnamon and coconut sugar coated apples layered into a baking dish for apple dump cakeSprinkle the dry ingredients all over the apples.

layering dry ingredients over diced apples with coconut sugar and cinnamon for apple dump cakeSlowly pour the melted butter all over the top of the baking dish, trying to cover as much of the dry ingredients as you can.

pouring melted butter over ingredients for a paleo apple dump cake recipe

If it seems like a lot of butter, you’re doing it right.

Baking dish of paleo apple dump cake ready to go into the oven

Bake the dump cake at 350 degrees for 40-45 degrees, or until the top is golden.

finished paleo apple dump cake in the baking pan

To make the caramel sauce, combine the coconut milk, coconut sugar, vanilla and pinch of salt in a small saucepan over medium low heat.

Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer. Simmer, stirring occasionally, until the sauce thickens and can be coated with a spoon. Scoop the dump cake onto plates, drizzle the sauce on top and enjoy!

paleo caramel sauce drizzled over paleo apple dump cake

Nutrition Info (? of recipe, without caramel):

Calories: 314
Total Fat: 20g
Total Carbs: 34g
Net Carbs: 30g
Protein: 4g

Primal Kitchen Dijon Mustard

The post Apple Dump Cake Recipe – Gluten Free, Grain Free, Paleo appeared first on Mark’s Daily Apple.

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Research of the Week

Practicing self-control improves self-control.

Recent exposure to more common coronaviruses (like the common cold) seem to mitigate the severity of COVID-19.

There are six chronotypes, apparently.

Glucosamine may improve mortality similar to exercise.

Riboflavin should improve COVID-19 outcomes.

Tomato juice is good for menopause.

New Primal Blueprint Podcasts

Episode 458: Sharon Saylor: Host Elle Russ chats with Sharon Sayler, the “difficult people whisperer.”

Episode 459: GS Youngblood: Host Elle Russ welcomes GS Youngblood who teaches men to live and love from their masculine core.

Primal Health Coach Radio Episode 87: Laura and Erin chat with Nick Shaw, founder of Renaissance Periodization, and a master coach.

Primal Health Coach Radio Episode 88: Laura and Erin chat with Dr. Nick Henrikson, an MD who’s revolutionizing telemedicine.

Media, Schmedia

Imagine being a ten year old and finding this huge haul of ancient arrows.

Or these thousands upon thousands of prehistoric rock paintings.

Interesting Blog Posts

For the life of me I can’t find a local master to teach this to me.

Social Notes

How I’ll know it’s time to throw in the towel.

Everything Else

No thank you.

China may be building GMO super soldiers.

More LDL particles, fewer heart attacks and less death?

Things I’m Up to and Interested In

Tell your doctor: Quick overview of vitamin D and COVID-19.

I want to believe: 115 year old Ukrainian man yearns for return to Austro-Hungarian Empire, attributes long life to milk, cheese, and potatoes.

I buy it: More wine, cheese, and lamb are fine by me.

More simple tests like this please: Most effective way to screen for COVID might be a loss of smell test.

Does this explain the flush?: Niacin may have come from outer space.

Question I’m Asking

Are you ready for 2021?

Recipe Corner

Time Capsule

One year ago (Dec 4 – Dec 10)

Comment of the Week

“It’s your last time really alone (until baby moves out of the house) so enjoy these moments with your wife. Your days are about to get a lot busier and noisier. You won’t have time to yourself in the same way. Your priorities are about to shift to a new human so get as much of the “you time” banked now as you can. So watch all the movies, and read all the books on your list, take baths together, go for hikes, do a road trip, and anything else you alone love and that the two of you enjoy together. Build on the strength of your marriage. Create a haven for the 2 of you at home, go on dates when the baby is old enough for a sitter, etc.

I’m 53 and my youngest is 23 and all of our 4 kids live far away at the moment. My regrets are the moments I might have missed when the kids were around and I was busy or working or whatever. Try to really be there as much as you emotionally can for the magic of kids that happens in the mundane moments.”

-Well said, Julian. Really, the whole comment section is a treasure trove of parenting advice.


The post Weekly Link Love — Edition 110 appeared first on Mark’s Daily Apple.

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woman looking out the windowThis whole year has felt like a continuous cycle of repetitiveness. Wake up, brush teeth, put on a clean-ish shirt, and begin the day. It’s become so monotonous that most of the time, you don’t really need to think about what you’re doing, you just do it. You’re on total autopilot. And before you know it, you’re scarfing down a low-fat muffin or skipping your workout entirely because your next Zoom call is about to start — even though you had loose aspirations of having this be the week you got up early to exercise or set aside time for a solid protein-packed breakfast before work.

When you’re stuck on autopilot, you’re not consciously aware of your choices. As adults, we make an average of 35,000 decisions each day. And research shows that 96% of people admit to making most of them with zero thought.‘>2 Your mind strives to take the path of least resistance to conserve resources. It also craves routine. Because, generally speaking, not knowing what’s going to happen next is stressful.

When you don’t have to think about how to do your to-dos, it’s a much easier request of your body and brain. You do the same thing over and over again, staying neatly tucked inside your comfort zone and you don’t have to put in extra effort or feel the effects of added stress or uncertainty.

That’s why, if you’ve been continually beating yourself up about why you can’t seem to lose the weight or get in shape, your comfort zone could be to blame. There’s too much uncertainty! And really, I’d argue that 2020 has given us more than our fair share of that feeling already.

But uncertainty does have its benefits.

According to research from Yale, it signals the brain to kickstart new learning capabilities. In this study, monkeys were taught to press various targets – each with their own reward system.‘>4

Stress and gut bacteria.

Studies have shown that stress reduces the number of Lactobacillus species in the gut and tends to increase the growth of and colonization by pathogenic species—changes that correlate to many of the negative stress-related alterations to gut health and function.‘>6

Stress and irritable bowel syndrome.

I had IBS for many years, and it coincided not just with all the grains I was eating but also the high levels of stress (training and professional/social) I was enduring. In fact, I always noticed that periods of high stress or heavy training were triggers for flareups. That was supposedly all in my imagination, but the actual evidence shows that I was right.

If you look at the common symptoms of IBS—how it presents in a human gut—it’s a laundry list of stress-related gut alterations. You’ve got leaky gut. You’ve got imbalanced gut bacteria. You’ve got supernatural gut motility (when you gotta go, you gotta go).‘>8

What, besides “reduce stress,” can you do to improve or maintain your gut health in times of stress?

Eat well and don’t neglect prebiotic fiber.

People go back and forth on fiber. Is it essential? Is it useless? Is it actually harmful, as the carnivores claim? I’ve been in this game for many years, and while I don’t think there’s any one answer that will satisfy everyone, I do have an answer relevant for today’s topic.

At the very least, prebiotic fiber is conditionally useful—and one of the conditions that render prebiotics helpful is chronic stress. Prebiotic fiber feeds your good gut bacteria (and sometimes bad, if you’ve got bad living there, but that’s another story for another time) who in turn produce short chain fatty acids like butyrate that have been shown to counter some of the stress-induced effects on gut health and function. In one study, researchers found that increasing prebiotic fiber in a mouse’s diet improved their resilience to stress and improved stress-induced leaky gut, suggesting that the two are linked.‘>10 The best way to optimize melatonin status is to follow all the prescriptions described in my sleep hygiene post: getting morning and afternoon natural light, spending as much time outside as you can, reducing artificial light after dark, getting a bedtime routine, eating healthy food, and sticking to your bedtime sleep schedule. But that can be tough, as often the source of your stress will also be throwing your sleep schedule off. Supplemental melatonin can help here.

Supplement for stress.

I’m a ball of stress. Or rather, I was a ball of stress for much of my life. That’s probably why so many of my diet and lifestyle recommendations are geared toward high-stress individuals—I was trying to fix my own issues and quickly realized that I wasn’t alone, that many others could benefit from the same stuff. My issue was my stress was multifold. I was subjecting my body to incredible amounts of physical training stress that never seemed to end. I was balancing that with perpetual entrepreneurialism. I never sat still, always had something I should be doing. There was never a moment to take a breath. As soon as things let up, I was preparing for the next challenge, the next workout, the next test.

That hasn’t stopped—though it has slowed down, and I’ve gotten better at dealing with the stress. Many of my stress solutions have nothing to do with supplementation. Instead, they’re related to the food I eat, the exercise I do (or, more accurately, don’t do anymore), the overt stress reduction techniques I practice. But there is room for a supplement called Adaptogenic Calm, which I created to help elite athletes (like my former self and those I worked with) handle the oxidative stress load of training. Stress often is fungible, and psychological stress and training-related stress operate along similar pathways and thus have similar solutions.

Take probiotics for stress.

Remember how stress lays waste to the Lactobacillus species normally residing in our guts? Animal studies show that reintroducing some of them through probiotic supplementation can mitigate and even counter some of the stress-induced alterations to gut function, such as leaky gut and hampered motility.

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