1½ cups all-purpose flour*
¾ cup sugar
¾ teaspoon baking soda
1 tablespoon chia seeds (soaked in 6 tablespoons)
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
¼ teaspoon salt
½ cup canola oil
¼ cup water
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 tablespoon white or apple cider vinegar
3 apples, peeled and thinly sliced
Powdered sugar for serving
*For a gluten-free alternative, substitute gluten-free all-purpose flour plus ¾ teaspoon xanthan gum
Preheat the oven to 350°F/ 185°C. Lightly grease a 9-inch round pan and line with parchment paper. Grease again.
In small bowl, soak chia seeds in 6 tablespoons water.
In a large bowl, whisk flour, sugar, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt. In a separate bowl, whisk oil, water, vanilla, and vinegar. Pour wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and mix with a large spoon until just combined. Do not overmix. Add jello like chia seed concoction. Batter will be very thick, but the apples will release moisture as they bake.
Arrange some of the apples in a circular pattern to cover most of the bottom of the prepared cake pan. Then gently fold in the remaining apples into the batter. Spoon the bat- ter into the pan, being careful not to disrupt the apple pat- tern on the bottom. Use a spatula or your fingertips to pat it evenly into the pan.
Bake for 40 to 45 minutes, or until the center is set and the cake is lightly browned on top. Rotate the cake halfway through baking time.
Once cooled, run a knife around the edges to loosen the cake, and gently unmold so that the apple design is on top. Peel off the parchment paper. Dust with powdered sugar and serve.