This gluten free apple cake is an incredibly creamy cake full of apple flavor!  If you have been looking for a show-stopper cake with bakery-quality flavors, look no further than this delicious gluten free apple kuchen.

A big apple cake on a plate next to an espresso.

When my husband saw an exciting recipe for an apple cake in the Wall Street Journal, he cut out the page from the newspaper and taped the recipe to my computer. He knows I love a challenge, so he asked if I could make this wheat-free and celiac-safe.

The author had adapted a recipe by Aleksandra Crapanzano from “The Arrows Cookbook” by Clark and Frasier and Mark Gaier. The cookbook isn’t gluten free, but some of the recipes look like they could convert to gluten free.

This recipe has been one of my blog’s most popular dessert recipes, and once you make it, you will quickly understand why. This cake is made with the flavor and texture of a German Apfelkuchen, aka a kuchen cake. I also have a delicious Gluten Free Peach Kuchen recipe if you love a custard-style cake.

And, if you love apples as much as we do, I have lots of delicious gluten free apple desserts just waiting to be made!!

Reader Rave

I am not a good cook. I expected this recipe to be way beyond my capabilities. To my amazement and joy, this beautiful apple cake turned out perfect. It looks great…I even took pics to send to my sister, and the taste is wonderful. Thank you so much for sharing your recipes and perfect, easy-to-follow instructions.” Paula P., Blog comment

Allergen Information:

This cake is gluten-free, nut-free, and soy-free. I have not tested any dairy-free alternatives in this recipe.

A mason jar filled with gluten free flour sitting on the counter.

Flour Blends Tested:

1. Authentic Foods Multiblend—This blend works really well in this recipe. I don’t have to let the flour blend rest in the batter.
2. Bob’s Red Mill 1:1 Blend—This blend also works well, but this flour blend does benefit from resting the batter for 15 minutes before baking the muffins. The rest allows the rice flour in this blend to soften, so you don’t have gritty muffins.

Ingredient Notes:

For the full list of ingredients and amounts, please go to the recipe card below.

  • Gluten Free Flour Blend – If your flour blend doesn’t have a binder like xanthan or guar gum added, add 3/4 teaspoon to your dry ingredients.
  • Sugar – I used cane sugar.
  • Baking Powder – Use aluminum-free baking powder.
  • Eggs – Size large.
  • Vanilla Extract – I recommend using pure vanilla extract.
  • Ground Cinnamon
  • Milk – Note I have not tested dairy-free alternatives.
  • Heavy Cream – Do not use half and half.
  • Butter – Unsalted butter.

Click here to see my gluten free cake recipes on this blog. I have so many fun cake recipes to try!

Tips For Sucess

1. I have tested a couple of types of apples in this apple cake recipe. One sweeter and one more tart. I really liked the tart apple as it gave some flavor depth to this cake.
2. I made this recipe in a cake pan, but I highly encourage using a 10″ springform pan. Because of the liquids in this cake, it can boil over a cake pan.

Are you ready to get started? You may also love this gluten free caramel apple cake recipe or this gluten free French apple cake recipe a try!

Step-By-Step Photos and Directions:

A bowl with whisked dry ingredients in it.

Step 1: Add the dry ingredients, including the flour, baking powder, salt, sugar, and ground cinnamon, and whisk to blend them in a large mixing bowl.

Whisking the wet ingredients in a glass mixing bowl.

Step 2: Add the wet ingredients, including the milk, eggs, melted butter, and vanilla extract, to a smaller bowl and mix well.

Sliced apples in a bowl.

Step 3: Slice up your apples into thin slices. It is optional if you prefer to remove the peels.

Cake batter in a glass bowl.

Step 4: Pour your wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and mix until it is just barely mixed.

📢 Sandi says: Every gluten-free flour blend has a different starch-to-grain ratio. The brand of gluten-free flour you use will affect the moisture of the batter. If your cake batter is too runny, add more flour, and if it is too thick, add more liquids.
Read Why Gluten-Free Flour Blends Vary to learn more about this.

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.

The apple cake batter in the pan with the sliced apples on top.

Step 5: Put the cake batter into a greased cake pan. Arrange the apples over the top and pour on the cream. I arranged my apples in a decorative circular pattern. Sprinkle the remaining sugar over the top.

Step 6: Bake the cake at 350º F for 45-50 minutes. The actual baking time may vary depending on the size and depth of the baking pan you use.

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 could leak from the springform pan.

A slice of gluten free apple cake on a small white plate.
No Fail Apple Cake

If you love fresh fruit in cakes, you may want to try this Gluten Free Plum Upside-Down Cake recipe too! 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
  • Jonagold
  • Braeburn
  • Gala
  • Gravenstein

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.

Frequently Asked Questions:

How many chopped apples make a cup?

If you are using medium-sized apples, one apple with the peel removed, decored and chopped should equal 1 cup of apple. If you are using a small apple, the small apple should equal 1/2  cup of chopped apple.

Can you add chopped nuts?

This gluten free apple cake is naturally nut-free, but if you want to add chopped nuts, I recommend using pecans or walnuts.

How do you store this gluten free apple cake?

This apple cake will last 2-3 days in your refrigerator. If your family doesn’t eat it sooner, store it in an airtight container!

Reader Adaptations:

A reader, Sandra G sent in this photo of her apple cake with several pieces cut out.

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.

More Delicious Gluten Free Cake Recipes:

Love This Recipe?

If you made and enjoyed this recipe, I would be incredibly grateful if you could leave a comment below. Please include which flour blend you used. This will help others know this recipe is delicious. Thank you!

un-sliced gluten free apple cake on a white cake plate

Gluten Free Creamy Apple Cake

Sandi Gaertner
This delicious Gluten Free Creamy Apple Cake tastes like it was made in a professional bakery! If you love kuchen, a German cake, this cake is made in a very similar way.
4.87 from 72 votes
gluten free allergy icon
nut free allergen icon
soy free allergy icon
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 5 minutes
Course Gluten Free Cake Recipes, Gluten Free Dessert Recipes
Cuisine American
Servings 14 slices
Calories 285 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 2 cups gluten free flour blend * see note
  • 1 ½ cup cane sugar reserve 1/4 cup to sprinkle on top of the cake before baking
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder Use aluminum-free.
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • teaspoon salt
  • ¾ cup whole milk * see note
  • 3 large eggs
  • 8 tablespoons unsalted butter softened
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 3 apples medium size, peels removed and sliced thinly

Top of the Cake Before Baking:

  • ¾ cup heavy cream

Instructions
 

  • Preheat the oven to 350º F.
  • Spray a 10 inch cake pan with coconut oil or a gluten free baking spray. Wash and slice your apples in thin slices. Peeling the apples is optional.
  • If you are using a cake pan, 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, milk, and butter and mix 3-5 minutes.
  • Beat in the eggs one at a time.
  • Sift together the flours, cinnamon, baking powder and salt.
  • Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and mix until the cake batter is just barely mixed.
  • Pour the batter into the cake pan.
  • Add the sliced apples on top. I arranged my apple slices in a circular pattern.
  • Pour the cream on top of the apples.
  • Sprinkle the remaining 1/4 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 45-50 minutes. The actual baking time can vary depending on the size of pan you use.
  • Remove from the oven and place on a cooling rack.

Notes

  1. 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.
  2. Xanthan Gum – If your gluten free flour blend doesn’t contain xanthan gum or guar gum, please add 3/4 teaspoon.
  3. I used milk, but other dairy-free kinds of milk may work.  I do not recommend canned coconut milk. I have not tested this recipe with dairy-free ingredients.
  4. This cake will keep up to 4 days in an airtight container or up to 4 months in the freezer.

SPECIAL NOTE

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.

Nutrition

Serving: 1sliceCalories: 285kcalCarbohydrates: 41gProtein: 4gFat: 13gSaturated Fat: 8gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 71mgSodium: 103mgPotassium: 143mgFiber: 3gSugar: 27gVitamin A: 481IUVitamin C: 2mgCalcium: 70mgIron: 1mg
Tried this Recipe? Pin it for Later!Mention @FearlessDining or tag #FearlessDining!

Nutrition Disclaimer

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.

This post was updated from an older Sept 2018 post with more recipe details.

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4.87 from 72 votes (56 ratings without comment)

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Recipe Rating




128 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    Tried this recipe tonight as my daughter who has Celiac is visiting tomorrow.
    Looks beautiful but decided to check the ingredients and I forgot the bak8ng powder. Guess I’ll see how it came out without it.

  2. 5 stars
    I am not a good cook. I expected this recipe to be way beyond my capabilities. To my amazement and joy, this beautiful apple cake turned out perfect. It looks great…I even
    took pics to send to my sister, and the taste is wonderful.
    Thankyou so much for sharing your recipes and perfect, easy to follow instructions.

    1. I am so glad you loved this apple cake. It is one of the original recipes on my blog…I think back then I called it fool proof, because even I could make it look pretty. Thank you!

  3. A key ingredient was left out of the direction. I see 3/4 cup milk in the list but not when it was supposed to be added in. So unfortunately, I added it at the end with the heavy cream. It pretty much leaked out of my pan. Thankfully, I put it on a tray. I did have to soak it up a few times so it wouldn’t spill over into my oven.

      1. I had the same question. Milk was only listed in the ingredients but not in the instructions. Thankfully I caught it and added to the batter before pouring into the pan. Fingers crossed it works! I’m making this brunch in the morning and have no time to figure out something else since it’s 9:30pm.

    1. I had a similar situation. As a new baker with ADD, it really helps when all ingredients are in the recipe instructions.

      1. As I update recipes, I am trying to add the ingredients to the directions. It is hard to do this to 700+ recipes all at once, but hopefully I will get to them all.

  4. 5 stars
    Yet again your recipes are top-notch! This took longer than an hour to bake through, as other commenters have noted, but it is amazing, moist, the creamy apple topping is like a built-in frosting. Thanks so much for this recipe!

  5. 5 stars
    Hi Sandi. I made this creamy apple cake today. Flavor and texture came out great but I was doubtful at the beginning. When I saw that the batter did not look like yours, I added 2 more tablespoons of the DIY flour. I believe the cake baked like it was supposed to, in my opinion but should the cake have absorbed most of the cream?
    Also, should we be adding 1 tsp of XG per EACH cup of GF flour? (I made your DIY with only 1 T of psyllium husk, like your directions say if we intend to use XG.)
    I only added 1 tsp, as per your directions in this recipe though. I thought at first that the batter felt too goopy, but it did bake like a ‘regular’ cake. Is this normal, for the batter to look ‘goopy’, when using XG?

    1. Hi Mary, Adding more flour is the right thing to do. I haven’t tested the DIY Flour in this cake yet, so it is good you went by the photos. The cake should absorb the cream. If you use xanthan gum, you shouldn’t need psyllium husk. If you used both, that may be why the batter was a bit goopy. If you want to use xanthan gum, you should omit the psyllium husk from the DIY blend.

  6. I am so glad I just discovered your website! I really, really appreciate that you tell us what exact brand of GF flour you have tried with each recipe. I can tell that makes a big difference, since all GF flour blends are not created equal.
    I will be trying this Creamy Apple Cake soon, but would like to know why you don’t recommend the canned coconut milk. I have been using this kind of coconut milk for other baking and haven’t noticed any problems. I just make sure to mix up the cream solid with the milk. P.S. I just made your French Apple Cake and it is delish! Perfect texture and flavor. I would not have tried it if you hadn’t told us you had tried it with BRM 1:1 GF flour blend.

    1. Hi Mary, I am glad you found my site too :-). As for canned coconut milk, I find it reacts with some flour blends, making the baked goods a bit gummy. Gluten free is such a big chemistry experiment that I found it easier to advise not to use it in certain recipes, like this creamy cake. I am so glad you tried the French apple cakes. That is one of my husband’s favorites.

      1. 5 stars
        Thanks for the reply, Sandi. Since I can’t have dairy, what can I sub for the coconut milk that I would have used for the whole milk and the heavy cream for the creamy apple cake?
        BTW, for the French Apple cake, I baked in a regular 9 inch cake pan. I used a 6 oz container (1/2 cup) of regular (not Greek) yogurt and added 1/4 cup of canned coconut milk to make the 3/4 cup required. And the flour blend was Bob’s 1:1. I did remember to let batter set for about 15 min and it made all the difference! I still remember how delish it was. 🙂

      2. Hi Mary, you can use another plant-based milk. As for the heavy cream, So Delicious and Silk both make dairy-free heavy cream. I am really glad you loved the French Apple Cakes!

  7. 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.

    1. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 5 stars
    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”.

  10. 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

    1. 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?

  11. 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.