If you love caramel apples, this moist and delicious gluten-free caramel apple cake will become your favorite apple recipe. Gooey caramel and fresh apple flavors combine into this easy-to-make gluten free caramel apple cake! Nobody will know this cake is gluten-free!

A slice of caramel apple cake with caramel being drizzled over the top.

Fall is almost here, and I am so excited to get fresh organic apples again. This easy gluten free caramel apple cake recipe will help you use those yummy apples. This easy apple cake with caramel is one of my favorites because it is full of caramel flavor! I bake the caramel topping right into the cake, caramelizing the flavors with the apples.

Do you like to bake or cook with apples, or do you prefer to eat them raw? My family is so fast, so I must be quick if I want to cook with apples. My teens love crisp apples, and this big bag will disappear in a few days. If you love different kinds of apple cake, you will want to try all of my delicious Gluten Free Cake Recipes!

Lucky for me, my family loves to eat cake. There are a few delicious apple cakes here on the blog, including Gluten Free French Apple Cakes and this Fool-Proof Gluten Free Apple Cake.  Both cakes are incredible and full of apples…but it was time for me to make something a little different.

Made this yesterday and it is delicious!! I did make as directed and used Cup4cup gf flour. It rose beautifully and smelled heavenly! Next time I will add more apples and nuts. Love the caramel and apple combination. Can’t wait to try your other recipes. Just to let you know, I served to non gf friends and they loved it and didn’t know.”

karen m., blog comment

Allergen Information:

This simple apple cake is gluten-free, oat-free, and soy-free.

If you prefer a nut-free version, substitute 1/2 cup additional gluten-free flour blend and omit the almond flour. You can make this cake dairy-free as well. Substitute 2/3 cup coconut oil instead of butter. For dairy-free caramel, check out this delicious dairy-free caramel recipe. I used dairy-free almond milk in this recipe, but you can also use flax milk.

What Apples Are Best For Baking?

Apples are starting to appear in our Campbell farmer’s market, and I bought a big bag of Gravenstein apples. These apples are crisp and slightly tart, which really adds a lot of apple flavor to baking. You can use any apples in this recipe, but try for one of the more tart varieties.

  • Pink Ladies
  • Granny Smith
  • Jonagold

If your family loves apples as much as mine does you must also try my new Gluten Free Apple Bundt Cake recipe!

Photos of the caramel apple cake ingredients.

Ingredients Notes:

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

  • Gluten Free Flour Blend – I tested this recipe using Bob’s Red Mill 1 to 1 Gluten Free Flour Blend and King Arthur’s Measure for Measure Gluten Free Blend. That doesn’t mean others will not work; I have not tested other flours.
  • Baking Powder – Use aluminum-free baking powder.
  • Caramel – You can use jarred caramel like the one I bought at Trader Joe’s, or you can make a homemade caramel sauce.
  • Brown Sugar – You can also use coconut sugar if you prefer a lower glycemic sweetener.
  • Eggs – Use size large.
  • Butter – Use unsalted butter.
  • Non-Dairy Milk – Any non-dairy milk or regular dairy milk is fine.
  • Almond Flour – I highly suggest using almond flour and not almond meal. Almond meal is more coarse and will make your cake grainy.
  • Vanilla Bean Paste – You can also use pure vanilla extract. Do not use imitation.
  • Apples – It is optional whether you want to peel the apples.

You will also love these easy gluten free apple crumble bars!

Step-By-Step Photos and Directions:

Apple cake steps 1 and 2 photos.

Step 1: Add your dry ingredients, including the sugar, to a large mixing bowl and whisk to blend them together.

Step 2: Add the wet ingredients and whisk to blend in a smaller bowl. I recommend partially melting the butter so it mixes into the batter well.

Looking closely at the egg photo above, you can see the tiny vanilla beans in this vanilla paste. Most grocery stores carry vanilla bean paste, but you can also use pure vanilla extract.

Apple cake photos of steps 3 and 4.

Step 3: Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and add the chopped apple pieces.

Step 4: Mix the two gently until just barely mixed. Overmixing will make this cake denser. You want to keep your cake light and fluffy. Your batter will look like the photo above.

A caramel apple cake ready to bake.

Step 5: Spray an 8×8 baking pan with gluten-free baking spray. After pouring the batter into the pan, spread it out evenly so it is flat on top. Pour the caramel over the top.

Step 6: Bake at 350º F for 35 minutes. The caramel then bakes into this cake, and that caramel flavor seeps deep into the cake. To test for doneness, insert a toothpick into the center of the cake. If the toothpick comes out clean, it is done baking. If you see batter or crumbs, the cake needs to bake longer.

An 8x8 pan with the baked cake.

Frequently Asked Questions:

How do you know when the cake is baked?

To test whether this cake is baked, insert a toothpick into the center of the apple cake. If the toothpick comes back clean, the cake is ready. If you see batter or crumbs on the toothpick, it needs to bake a bit longer.

Can you use vanilla extract instead of paste?

You can definitely use vanilla extract if you can’t find the vanilla paste. You can also use vanilla beans.

How long will this cake keep fresh?

This apple cake will keep fresh in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. You must keep it in a sealed container so it doesn’t dry out.

A slice of cake before drizzling the caramel on it.

If you love apples as much as we do, give one of these gluten free apple recipes a try!

More Gluten Free Desserts to Try:

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!

Gluten Free Caramel Apple Cake

Sandi Gaertner
One of my very favorites, this gluten free caramel apple cake is so easy to make!
4.74 from 68 votes
gluten free allergy icon
soy free allergy icon
vegetarian icon
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Course Gluten Free Cake Recipes, Gluten Free Dessert Recipes
Cuisine American
Servings 8 slices
Calories 447 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 2 cups gluten free flour blend * see note
  • 1 cup almond flour * see note
  • ¾ cup brown sugar * see note
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ½ cup butter melted
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup chopped apples
  • cups almond milk
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste
  • ½ cup caramel I used Trader Joe’s jar of caramel

Instructions
 

  • Preheat the oven to 350º F.
  • Spray an 8×8 baking pan with coconut oil.
  • In a medium bowl, add all wet ingredients and blend.
  • In a large bowl, add all dry ingredients and whisk. (*Note, if your gluten free flour blend doesn’t contain xanthan gum, add 1 teaspoon.)
  • Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and add the apples.
  • Mix until just barely mixed. This light blending will help to keep your cake light and fluffy.
  • Pour the batter into a baking dish and then drizzle caramel on top.
  • Bake for 25 minutes, or until done. See tips to know if the cake is done baking below
  • Allow to cool.

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. If your gluten free flour blend doesn’t contain xanthan gum or guar gum, please add 1 teaspoon.
  3. I highly suggest using almond flour and not almond meal. Almond meal is more coarse and will make your cake grainy.
  4. I used bottled coconut milk (refrigerator case in grocery stores) but other dairy-free kinds of milk or regular milk will work. I do not recommend canned coconut milk
  5. To test for doneness, insert a toothpick into the center of the cake. If the toothpick comes out clean, it is done baking. If you see batter or crumbs, the cake needs to bake longer.
  6. Please make sure you check the ingredients of any caramel you use if you are not making it from scratch. Caramel color is often a phrase for something that contains gluten.

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: 1gCalories: 447kcalCarbohydrates: 60gProtein: 8gFat: 22gSaturated Fat: 8gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 72mgSodium: 260mgPotassium: 196mgFiber: 5gSugar: 33gVitamin A: 429IUVitamin C: 1mgCalcium: 168mgIron: 2mg
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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.

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4.74 from 68 votes (63 ratings without comment)

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78 Comments

  1. Hi! This cake sounds so yummy! Would like to bring it for thanksgiving this year. Do you know if it travels well? I would have to make it one or even two days before plus a 4 hour car ride…

    1. Hi Robin, I honestly don’t know. I have yet to have this cake last more than an hour because my family pounces! If you try it, please stop back and let us know how it worked.

    1. Hi Ava, honestly, I don’t know how it would work. I didn’t think to try it. I assume it would be delicious with a gooey caramel middle. If you try it, can you please come back and let us know how it turned out? Thank you!

  2. 5 stars
    Just made this and guess who used hazelnut flour instead of almond? Oops! All the Bob Red Mill bags I have look alike! Luckily the cake looks and smells beautiful. I’m crossing my fingers that it has moisture!

    1. Hi Stephanie, I am not sure how deep your pan is, but I think doubling the recipe would be more than enough. Thank you so much for your note 🙂

  3. I’m excited to make this for Halloween! Should you use gluten free flour with xantham gum added or without?

    1. Hi Christine, Thank you for writing. You definitely want to use a gluten free blend with xanthan gum. My favorite is Bob’s Red Mill 1 to 1 Gluten free flour blend. It really bakes up lighter than some other blends. (Also note, some blends have milk powder, which could affect this recipe.)

    1. Hi Katrina, Almond flour and coconut flour do not substitute well for each other. Coconut flour absorbs a ton of liquid, almond flour is already moist. I would substitute 1/2 the almond flour quantity with gluten free flour blend. So in this recipe, instead of 1 cup almond flour, I would try 1/2 cup additional gluten free flour blend. Take care and thank you for writing.

    1. Hi Celine, I only put the caramel on top. The flavor seeps into the cake while it cooks. Have a great morning 🙂 Sandi

    1. Hi Josi, I am not sure about chickpea flour. It would drastically change the taste of this cake. I would say if you try the oat flour, you will need to adjust the liquids because it absorbs more liquid. It will be an experiment :-). Please write back and let us know if the oat flour works, and what you did. I am sure that information would benefit a lot of readers. Thank you so much.

    1. I haven’t Cheryl, but I like how you think!! If you try this, can you please come back and comment so other readers can benefit? Thank you so much!

      1. I definitely will! We made the cake today and it was amazing! We used a butterscotch caramel for the top and everyone went nuts. We will be doing muffins next time. I will let you know!

    1. Hi Lisa, Thank you for your note. Almond flour is gluten free. The two brands I love that are certified gluten free are Anthony’s and Honeyville. If you use a non-certified brand, you need to make sure it isn’t processed on shared equipment with wheat. I made this recipe in a 7×7 baking pan.

    1. Hi Steff, that is a great question. Cake doesn’t last very long in our house so I haven’t been able to test that. I would assume it would freeze well going by the ingredients. If you try freezing it, can you please drop another comment? I am sure other readers have the same question. Thank you 🙂

  4. This recipe sounds delicious! However I wondered if there is a dairy free caramel recipe you know of? I know a lot of recipes call for condensed milk or coconut milk but I’m lactose intolerant and extremely sensitive to coconut milk. Thank you 🙂

      1. There is also a caramel sauce made with dates that is fabulous…try the datelady.com…really words cannot describe how good this is!

      2. That sounds incredible too Elizabeth. Thank you for sharing the information with my readers so others can enjoy dairy free options 🙂

  5. This looks so delicious. I can’t wait to make it! Do you think this would still turn out well if the almond flour was replaced with the same amount of gluten free flour?

    1. Hi Dini, Almond flour and gluten free flour behave differently in baking, so using equal amounts to substitute would make this cake very dry. I would sub 1/4 cup of gluten free flour for the almond flour.

      1. Hi Christy, I don’t think you should substitute coconut flour for almond flour. Almond flour doesn’t absorb very much liquid and coconut flour is the opposite, it needs a ton of liquid to work correctly in a recipe.

      2. I forgot to mention, if you want it to be gluten free, you can just add more gluten free flour instead of the almond flour.