This Gluten free apple cake is an incredibly creamy cake full of apple flavor! As a bonus, the recipe is completely foolproof. Anyone can make it...yet it has the taste of a fancy bakery cake! If you have been looking for that show-stopper cake, look no further than this delicious gluten free cake recipe.
When my husband saw this moist apple cake recipe in an article in the Wall Street Journal, he cut out the page from the newspaper and taped the recipe to my computer. Hmmm, he asked if I could make this wheat-free and Celiac safe. This is a big hint that he definitely wants me to make this.
(And if you love caramel and apples together, give this gluten free caramel apple cake recipe or this gluten free French apple cake recipe a try!) Mr. Fearless Dining is the master of subtlety.
The author had adapted a recipe by Aleksandra Crapanzano from "The Arrows Cookbook" by Clark and Frasier and Mark Gaier. (After tasting this cake, I plan to buy this cookbook. This cake is moist and creamy but has a slight crispiness to the top and edges that make it hard to resist.)
Click here to see all of the gluten free cakes on this blog. And, if you love apples as much as we do, I have lots of delicious gluten free apple desserts just waiting to be made!!
How to convert this apple cake recipe to gluten free
Converting recipes to gluten free can be a challenge. Each gluten free flour blend behaves differently when combined with certain ingredients. It is truly like a chemistry experiment!
Luckily, I found this apple cake recipe really easy to convert to gluten-free. I used this gluten free flour blend for this recipe. This brand of gluten free flour by Bob's Red Mill worked out perfectly. I have also made this recipe with Authentic Foods MultiBlend Gluten Free Flour mix.
This recipe has been one of my blog's most popular dessert recipes, and once you make it, you will easily understand why. I have updated it slightly to include a few new apple recipes on the blog. If you love fresh fruit in cakes, you may want to try this Gluten Free Plum Upside-Down Cake recipe too!
Are you ready to get started?
Recipe step-by-step directions:
Step 1: Add the dry ingredients and whisk to blend in a large bowl.
Step 2: Add the wet ingredients and mix well in a smaller bowl.
Step 3: Slice up your apples into thin slices. It is optional if you remove the peels.
Step 4: Pour your wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and mix until it is just barely mixed.
The gluten free cake batter for this cake is very creamy, and that is before adding the cream on top before it goes into the oven.
Step 5: Put the cake batter into a greased cake pan. Arrange the apples over the top and pour on the cream. Sprinkle the remaining sugar over the top.
Step 6: Bake the cake at 350º F for 45 minutes.
HINT: Although the cake didn't spill over the top of my pan, there were a few moments I was really worried. (And I HATE cleaning my oven!!) I really recommend making this cake in a springform pan!
If you use a springform pan, make sure to put a pan or aluminum foil under the springform pan. One reader noted that the cake batter can leak out of the springform pan.
If you love bakery-style cakes like this, try my Gluten Free Angel Food Cake recipe.
What are the best apples for baking?
I love to use a more tart apple for this gluten free apple cake recipe. Here are my favorite apple varieties:
- Granny Smith
These are by far the most flavorful apples for baking and all of my apple cake recipes with fresh apples use one of these apple varieties.
Tips and Recipe FAQ:
I have made this cake with King Arthur Measure for Measure Gluten Free Flour and Bob's Red Mill 1 to 1 Gluten Free Flour. If your gluten free flour blend doesn't contain Xanthan Gum, please do add 1 teaspoon to hold your cake together.
You have several cake pan options when you make this cake. I used a regular single-layer cake pan, but you can also use a sheet cake pan (for a rectangular-shaped cake), or a springform pan. (If you use a springform pan, you definitely want a pan underneath in case it leaks!)
If you are using medium-sized apples, one apple with the peel removed, de-cored, and chopped should equal 1 cup of apple. If you are using a small apple, the small apple should equal ½ cup of chopped apple.
This apple cake will last 2-3 days in your refrigerator...if your family doesn't eat it sooner!
This gluten free apple cake is naturally nut-free, but if you want to add chopped nuts, I recommend using pecans or walnuts.
I have not made this cake dairy-free, and I am not sure if it would work out using coconut milk and vegan butter. If you try it, please comment and let us know if it worked.
More delicious gluten free cakes:
- Want more apple cake? This Gluten Free Caramel Apple Cake adds thick and creamy caramel!
- This Gluten Free Orange Almond Flour Cake is perfect for dessert.
- Need a fancy cake? This Gluten Free Raspberry Vanilla Bundt Cake is a pretty dessert to serve. Nobody will know it is gluten free.
- This British dessert, Gluten Free Strawberry Lemon Bakewell, is fun to make.
- Many also love this simple Gluten Free Apple Cider Cake.
Sandra G wrote that she used President's Choice All Purpose Gluten Free Flour and broiled the top of the cake for 2 minutes to brown the top and caramelize the sugars on top.
Gluten Free Creamy Apple Cake
- 2 cups gluten free flour blend * see note
- 1 ½ cup cups sugar reserve ¼ cup to sprinkle on top of the cake before baking
- 8 tablespoons butter softened
- 3 large eggs
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- ⅛ teaspoon salt
- ¾ cup whole milk * see note
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 3 apples medium size, peels removed and sliced thinly
- ¾ cup heavy cream
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- Preheat the oven to 350º F.
- Spray a 10 inch cake pan with coconut oil.
- Line the bottom of the cake pan with parchment paper. I recommend using a springform pan. Be sure to wrap the outside bottom in foil to prevent leaks in the oven.
- In a large bowl, add sugar, vanilla, and butter and mix 3-5 minutes.
- Beat in the eggs one at a time.
- Sift together the flours, cinnamon, baking powder and salt.
- Gradually add the flour mixture to the bowl, mixing on low, alternating between milk and flours.
- Pour the batter into the cake pan.
- Add the sliced apples on top.
- Pour the cream on top of the apples.
- Sprinkle the remaining ¼ cup sugar on top of the cake.
- Place the springform pan on a baking sheet, or wrap the bottom in tin foil just in case there is a leak in your springform pan! Bake for 45 minutes.
- Remove from the oven and place on a cooling rack.
- I have tested this recipe with King Arthur Measure for Measure GF and Bob's Red Mill 1 to 1 GF blend. That doesn't mean others will not work, I just have not tested other flours.
- Xanthan Gum - If your gluten free flour blend doesn’t contain xanthan gum or guar gum, please add 1 teaspoon.
- I used milk but other dairy-free kinds of milk will work but I do not recommend canned coconut milk.
- This cake will keep up to 4 days in an air-tight container, or up to 4 months in the freezer.
Please know that every gluten free flour blend has a different starch to grain ratio. If you use a blend I didn't test, you may need to adjust your moisture levels in your baked goods.
Nutritional information is an estimate provided to you as a courtesy. You should calculate the actual nutritional information with the products and brands you are using with your preferred nutritional calculator.
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(*This post was updated from an older Sept 2018 post.)
Are used a springform pan. Cooked at 350° for 60 minutes. Center of cake was still not cooked at 45 minutes. Everybody’s oven is different I guess. Love your recipes! Can’t wait to taste this one tonight after dinner.
Hi Gail, that is interesting it needed longer to bake. It could be the oven, how dense the flour blend was, or a combination. I am glad you were able to bake it longer.
The baking time was way off for me. It looked to be done at 45 mins. So I pulled it out of the oven. When I cut into the cake to serve the entire middle of the cake was not done.
Hi Gretchen, I haven't heard of this issue. What size cake pan did you use?
I used 1 cup of Schaer C ( cake mix, basically cornstarch), 1 cup of rice flour + 1 flat teaspoon Xanthan, and instead of a 10" pan I used my 9" square pan, and it worked a treat! Thanks for the lovely recipe. By the way I read that there was a very similar cake in an old German cookbook from 1890 or so, where the applecake with cream topping was called " Mannheim Apple cake".
I am so glad you found a good gluten free flour blend to bake with. Thank you for coming back to let me know how much you enjoyed my cake recipe.
I don't use gluten free mixes as I cannot use potato starch/flour which is in all of them. I use almond and/or coconut flour. Would these work? Thanks! Karen
I have not tested almond and coconut flour in this recipe and I don't think they would work in this recipe. Coconut flour absorbs liquids very differently than regular flour blends. If you are avoiding potato starch, why not make a flour blend of two equal parts of sorghum and brown rice flour, then add in one part arrowroot or tapioca starch?
It was fabulous. Thank you so much. Ally from San Diego CA
You are so welcome Ally. Please do stay safe in So Cal. I keep seeing it in the news.
I'm really feeling your recipes girl! Can't wait for orchard season. I'm going to pick some fresh Johnnies and whip up this mouth watering specimen.
I love you can go get apples fresh like that!!