Holiday Bundt Cake

I’ve talked before about my absolute adoration I had for my paternal grandmother. Like many girls, my grandmother was my rock. She picked me up from school every half-day Monday for wonderful lunch dates with her retired girlfriends, afternoon matinees, and trips to the mall. She hosted me for sleep-overs at least once a month. She taught me how to crochet, let me sneak coffee and gave me the love of baking.

It’s been almost 2 years since she passed, and I still think of her almost everyday. This weekend I went over to her home, still owned by my grandfather, and was fortunate enough to pick up quite a few of her kitchen items. The minute I saw her gorgeous bundt pan and antique milk glass cake stand I knew I needed do something special with it to remember her.

Her husband, my grandfather, has his 95th birthday tomorrow – December 7th. My sister and dad had their birthdays on Monday, December 3rd. So on Tuesday we hosted a dinner party for them all. We made a big spread of paleo goodness, and topped off the evening with this lovely surprise bundt cake.

When my dad said to my grandfather, That’s just the kind of cake mom would make, you like that, Dad? and he replied, mouth full, with Oh, yeah. It’s good. I got tears in my eyes. I was so proud to do the memory of her justice.

That said, I give you this recipe with love.

This isn’t just any paleo cake recipe. It’s a thoughtfully prepared recipe made to emulate the perfection my grandmother mastered with bundt cakes. It has the perfectly crispy outer layer and the almost gooey, moist, dense center. It is a perfect cake to impress and has a lovely seasonal quality.

Eat this cake knowing that not only is it filled with joyous memories, but that the actual making of it established more wonderful memories – by my dear own Finian helping me. Since baking a cake is difficult one-armed (if you  haven’t heard yet, I hairline fractured my clavicle last week), he was a spectacular helper. I especially love the photo of him with his face smooshed into the mixer, saying to me “When is it going to be ready?!”

Holiday Bundt Cake
White Chocolate, Pistachio and Apples


  • 2 medium apples, (not peeled) grated and strained
  • 1 1/2 C white chocolate chips (this brand is dairy-free, we used this one) but chunks of our paleo white chocolate would be even better!
  • 1 1/4 C roasted and salted pistachios (we used whole but pieces is fine)


  1. ♥ Grease your pan and pre-heat your oven to 325
  2. ♥ Sift together dry ingredients
  3. ♥ In a separate bowl, beat your wet ingredients until well combined
  4. ♥ Mix dry ingredients and apples into wet until fully incorporated
  5. ♥ Fold in one cup each (reserving remaining for topping) nuts and white chocolate
  6. ♥ Pour batter into greased bundt pan, smoothing the top
  7. Bake for about 1 hour, until knife comes out clean
  8. Cool for 20 – 30 minutes, then turn out onto plate
  9. Heat extra white chocolate (over double boiler or in a microwave) on low until able to be drizzled on top of cake
  10. ♥ While melting chocolate, chop remaining pistachios
  11. ♥ Drizzle chocolate on top of cake and sprinkle with pistachios
  12. Will keep up to several days at room temperature, would likely freeze well

The most important part about removing the cake from the pan is letting it cool. Like seriously. I know it smells good. I know you tasted the batter and are dying for a slice. But if you remove that pan before the cake is cooled it won’t have a chance to retract a bit from the pan, and it will stick when you try to pop it out. So, wait 20-30 minutes. Trust me, it’ll be worth the wait.

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  • bonnie

    Trying this for Christmas!

  • A

    This presentation is stunning! Yum!

  • rebecca

    That looks awesome! What else did you make for the dinner?

    • smoked pork shoulder, faux-potato salad, a spinach salad with pancetta and sweet potato biscuits.

  • Jan’s Sushi Bar

    Stacy, what a lovely story – and what lovely photos! You should submit them to Foodgawker and Tastespotting, they’re just stunning. The cake looks just delicious; I’ve been craving something cake-like. This will just fit the bill.

    • Thank you! We’re hoping its our first successful submission 😉

  • Thank you! Your story writing made me tear up…my Grandma has been gone almost six years…and how I wish I could talk baking with her again. I’m planning to make this for Christmas as Jesus’ birthday cake. My boys will enjoy helping too! Love that pic of Finian on the mixer! 🙂

  • Aya Yassin

    I can`t wait to try this! looks amazing!
    just one question! if I use almond meal instead of almond flour, would it ruin the whole texture?

    • Can’t be sure, as we never tried it. The texture would be coarser, but it would still likely be delicious.

  • Shirley @ gfe

    So beautiful, Stacy … all of it. My paternal grandmother was the one I adored, too. She had stopped baking by the time I was baking, but she adored a good cake (Bundt cake, pound cake, you name it). I still miss her, too, although she’s been gone a long time now. I can still see her, hear her voice, see her in action … Thanks for the memories and the recipe, Stacy. I love that Finian helped you with such a special recipe. I hope you are healing well, dear!

    • Thank you Shirley. Your comments are always just right and so heartfelt. Glad you stopped by <3

  • Kiwianagirl

    The women at my Crossfit box have a brunch once a month; we are pretty strict about we eat so to take this cake today was just enough of a “treat” to make us feel as if we were indulging in the most decadent way. It was delicious, thank you so much for the recipe. I have forwarded your blog to so many of my friends as an inspiration to them, and to also subtly say ‘no excuses”.

  • Ann

    I made a test cake this weekend before trying this out for Christmas. It was excellent. Next time I will make my own white chocolate though. Thanks!

  • Ivy

    A beautiful story and cake. I don’t know much about a paleo diet, but does it mean that this recipe is gluten free? If not, what are the problem ingredients? Thanks!

    • This recipe is gluten-free. In fact it’s grain-free! Paleo is grain, dairy, legume and refined sugar-free. There’s info on our menus above, 101 is a good place to start 🙂

  • Emily

    Yay! My two oldest had a verrrry long day of UIL competition (one still isn’t home at almost 9PM) and I wanted a good, comforting meal on the table when they got home. I made a big pot of cold-busting chicken soup and this cake! I used coconut oil (didn’t have lard, don’t use butter or palm shortening) and left the white chocolate out (some of the kids don’t like it, the punks) and it was delicious and made the house smell like the holidays. Thank you for a wonderful recipe!

    • Awesome, so glad it worked out! I think a coconut concentrate/maple glaze would be good too 🙂

      • Emily

        Ooh. I may have to make something like that just to drizzle over the (very few) remaining pieces! I have one son who doesn’t like coconut, either (sigh…what a problem child 😉 but nothing wrong with dressing up everybody else’s!

  • Gwen B.

    Let me start by saying this was absolutely delicious!!! We enjoyed it Christmas morning and everyone absolutely loved it- including my picky Executive Chef husband ( S. A. D. repetoire professionally). I do need to tell you that I almost cried my eyes out when I allowed it to cool as directions said and the top half of the bundt stayed in my bundt pan! I was so upset! I really made an effort to get all components out and stack the cake. Wrapped extremely tightly and allowed to chill overnight. I drizzled the white chocolate the next morning trying to hide the mess. This cake was the ugliest absolutely delicious mess I’ve ever served on Christmas. Any guests who laughed at the terrible presentation prompltly retracted their judgement when they tasted it with oohs and ahhs. I guess I need to really research how to get this released from my pan better- good quality pan, well greased, etc. Still very worth making and thank you whole heartedly for sharing the recipe for Christmas.

    • Sorry about that, ours released nicely so maybe it’s the pan? More coconut oil is always the answer 🙂 Good luck and glad it was tasty nonetheless!

  • Lori M.

    The mere description of your relationship with your grandmother makes me want to try this recipe! My grannies (who lived only a mile apart) each had a special place in my heart– especially my Grandma Betty, whose specialty was biscuits and chocolate gravy. Thanks for sharing your memories–and this recipe– with us! 🙂

  • Jennifer @thepaleoprize

    I made this bundt cake for my own Christmas festivities, and it was an absolute hit! It is a lovely cake. Thank you so very much for the recipe and all that you do. 🙂

  • Claudia

    Oh wow! I made this yesterday and it released from the pan like a dream (I use a silicone pan). Even my old, pre-paleo Bundt cakes didn’t look this good 🙂 I subbed extra dark chocolate (85%) for the white chocolate which probably makes it less sweet than yours, but all the spices made up for that brilliantly. Thanks for sharing this recipe!

  • Gwen B.

    STILL hearing from the family about how good this recipe was at Christmas, so last night I made it again, skipped the white chocolate and scooped it into 21 (1/3 Cup batter each) silicone muffin molds and baked them @350 for 25 minutes. Viola! Grain free apple spice muffins to be individually wrapped & frozen for school/ work morning breakfasts on the go.They taste great, they’re so easy to get out of the molds and I’m a hero at home, thanks to your recipe! Thank you for the gift that keeps giving!

  • Janet

    I made this last night and had a similar problem to Gwen B. I also could not get the white chocolate to get to a point where it would drizzle. It only melted enough to make it the consistency of buttercream frosting. I had originally intended to take it to a party tonight but it was such a mess, I decided to just bring it in to work. I knew the Neanderthals I work with wouldn’t care what it looked like. By 8:30am it was 2/3 gone. By 10am, it was completely gone and I had to go rescue my empty serving tray from the garbage. When I put it out in the break room, I put a note on it:

    Apples, Pistachio and White Chocolate
    (looks a mess but tastes great)

    I didn’t say who had put out or the fact that it was grain free. Obviously, it didn’t matter to them. Good thing I had a piece before I brought it to work, otherwise I would have no idea how it tasted.

    • I would definitely have warmed it a bit more to get more of that drizzle consistency, might also be if you’re using a brand with soy lecithin maybe that’s an impact? Glad it was still yummy!

      • Janet

        I had it on the double boiler for quite some time with no success. I had this happen to me before with another brand (I was using Whole Foods 365 white chocolate chunks). The last time I had to melt white chocolate, it never got beyond that thick buttercream consistency and eventually just seized up all together.

        So, I made another stab at it this afternoon (fortunately I had some time before the party tonight–I’m nothing if not persistent). Since I had to go pick up some more apples, I stopped by the bakery department of Whole Foods and asked their pastry chef for advice. She said chocolate can be temperamental and they have had similar experiences. She suggested a better grade of chocolate that came from Belgium. It, too, had soy lecithin (I’ve yet to find a white chocolate locally that doesn’t have it). It worked like a charm. Melted into a nice runny consistency in short order.

        The cake came out better this time, too. I let the pan rest on a wire rack in the refrigerator for the allotted time. It still had a couple of small spots where it stuck to the pan (I would have let it go longer but I had to leave for the party). Fortunately, it was small enough that by the time I drizzled the chocolate and sprinkled the pistachios on top, no one was the wiser.

        I was able to get a quick photo of it with my cell phone:

  • Jen

    I’ve never made a bundt cake or been much of a Betty Crocker in general, so I figured if I was going to make this for Thanksgiving, I’d better do a trial run! I only did 1/3 cup of the white chocolate chips inside the cake, but it was still very tasty – sweet, but not too sweet, and the spices made it quite flavorful. I was feeding my husband bites from my plate while he watched a game, and he kept opening up for another before I even got one myself! 😉 Very good, and I was surprised at how well it came out of the mold.

    Next time I’ll try the white chocolate recipe you had tagged above… just didn’t have time tonight. Do you think the cake would be good with some shredded coconut mixed in?

    Thanks for posting this!!

    • We think the coconut might be a bit much, but if you are a big fan of coconut, go for it and make sure to comment to let us know how it turns out! We always appreciate feedback about substitutions and additions! <3

  • Sarah

    Would coconut oil work instead of the lard, palm shortening or butter? This cake looks beautiful and would like to make it for Christmas! 🙂

  • Ellen Seeley

    I made this for our Christmas Eve dessert and it was- boom – awesome! So incredibly good, that everyone praised it…including my staunchly non-Paleo dad. Thanks a million for this gem!

  • Julie

    I’m making this recipe as cupcakes. Any idea how long they’ll need to bake? Thanks!

  • Kymberley Kruger

    This has been on my ‘must make’ list for a loooong time, and today I finally made it. Actually I made 10, because I used a mini bundt tin which worked perfectly and made fantastic single-serve portions! I didn’t have any white chocolate but used raw organic salted caramel chocolate instead (Lordy!!!! https://lovingearth.net/products/126/salted-caramel-chocolate-raw-organic) and it was SUPERB!! I could barely wait for everything to cool/set/whatever so I could taste it! What a winner of a recipe!! Thank you so much – this is definitely on my ‘must make again’ list 🙂