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4.88 from 115 votes

If you loved French pastries before going gluten free, you are going to want to make this Gluten Free French Apple Cake recipe again and again! This easy French Cake recipe is buttery, yet crisp around the edges, and it melts in your mouth!

A French apple cake on a plate near the cake pan.

A photograph on Pinterest of a French Apple Cake recipe caught my eye. Following the link, I ended up at the most incredible blog, Hungry Rabbit. Check it out and pass it on to all your friends who can eat gluten. They will thank you for it!

I drooled. This apple cake recipe that Ken created is just that good. When Ken said I could create a gluten free version of his recipe, I was so excited to jump in and attempt it.

If you want to try different amazing gluten-free apple cake recipes, my Gluten Free Fool Proof Apple Cake and Gluten Free Caramel Apple Cake recipes are worth making!

After baking, I recommend dusting the gluten free French apple cake with powdered sugar. It’s a simple but elegant dessert that perfectly captures the comforting flavors of fall and winter in France.

Gluten Free French Apple Cake partially eaten sitting on a blue plate. A fork is holding a piece of the apple cake.

If you love apples as much as we do, check out ALL my yummy Gluten Free Apple recipes!

Why This Recipe is Great:

  1. This is the gluten-free recipe you make to impress your friends, or maybe you should keep it all to yourself :-). It truly is the best apple cake recipe.
  2. It tastes as if it came from an expensive French bakery.
  3. This cake is really easy to make.

This gluten free French apple cake recipe is the only apple cake recipe you will ever want to eat again!”

Lisa C, Pinterest reader
Top Pick
King Arthur, Measure for Measure Flour 3 lbs

This is one of my favorite gluten-free flour blends for cookies, cakes, pie crust, biscuits, and muffins! (Do not use this flour blend for yeast recipes.)

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Ingredient Notes:

Photos of the gf French apple cakes ingredients.
  • Gluten Free Flour Blend – I have tested this recipe with King Arthur Measure for Measure GF (pictured above) 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.
  • Sugar – I recommend white cane sugar. Coconut sugar will turn your cake brown.
  • Xanthan Gum – If your flour blend doesn’t have a binder, add one teaspoon of either xanthan or guar gum.
  • Baking Powder – Use aluminum-free baking powder.
  • Apples – Any variety will work. Be sure to peel your apples. See the Recipe FAQ for my list of the best apples for baking.
  • Butter – Use unsalted butter.
  • Eggs – Size large.
  • Milk – Use regular milk or non-dairy milk.
  • Vanilla Extract – Use pure vanilla extract.
  • Dark Rum – You can use this or rum extract.
  • Lemon Juice – Fresh is best, but bottled will work.

If you are new to cake baking, here is a good write-up of my favorite Kitchen Tools For Baking Cakes.

Tips For Sucess:

  • Do not overmix your batter. I do not recommend using a stand mixer because it will make your cake turn out dense.
  • Measure your flour with care. Too much flour can make your cake dry.
  • I recommend using either the spoon or the leveling method to measure your gluten-free flour. Spoon Method: You can also use a spoon to fill the measuring cup. Use a knife to level along the top to remove the extra flour. Leveling Method: Put the measuring scoop into the flour and fill. Do not pack the flour. Use a knife to scrape along the top to remove the extra flour.
  • Let the cake batter sit for 15 minutes so that the ground rice flour has a chance to soften.

If you love to bake, check out my best Gluten Free Baking Tips.

Recipe Step-By-Step Directions:

Whisked dry ingredients in a glass mixing bowl.

Preheat your oven to 350º F, and ensure the oven rack is in the middle position. Wash your apples and place them onto a cutting board. Use an apple peeler to remove the apple peels. Slice your apples thinly with a sharp knife

Step 1: Add all dry ingredients to a large mixing bowl and whisk to blend them.

Adding wet ingredients to a mixing bowl.

Step 2: Pour the wet ingredients into a mixing bowl. Use a wire whisk to combine.

A bowl with the wet ingredients poured into the dry ingredients.

Step 3: Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and gently stir to mix.

Stirring apple cake batter in a bowl.

Step 4: See the recipe card below to read how to cook your brown butter. Your batter will look like this as you stir the peeled and chopped apples.

My Pick
La Tourangelle, All Purpose Baking Spray, Gluten-Free, No Chemicals. Non-Stick.

Hands down this non-stick spray is amazing. It is totally inexpensive and it will save your gluten free cakes and muffins from sticking!

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A baking pan with apple cake batter in each cup.

Step 5: Add parchment paper circles to the bottom of each deep cake section. Add the gluten free apple cake batter to fill each section 3/4 full. Bake at 350º F for 25 minutes until done.

Note: The actual baking time will vary depending on the depth and size of your muffin pan or if you are making one large cake.

🔑 Sandi says: 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 must be baked longer.

Recipe FAQ:

How do you prevent the cakes from sticking to the pan?

Line each section of the muffin tin with parchment paper. Spray with cooking spray. This will help prevent sticking.

What are the best apples for desserts?

Although any apple will work in this cake recipe, it is best with tart apples like Pippin, Granny Smith, Braeburn, Honeycrisp, and Pink Lady.

How do you store French apple cake?

Store the cake in an airtight container in the refrigerator. The gluten free apple cakes will keep fresh for up to 4 days. You can also easily freeze these cakes in a zip-style freezer bag.

What is a French Apple Cake?

A French apple cake, or “Gateau aux pommes,” is a classic dessert with tender, cinnamon-spiced apples baked into a buttery cake batter. The cake is typically made with simple, wholesome ingredients like flour (gluten free in our case), sugar, eggs, butter, and milk.

A top view of a French apple cake on a small white plate.

You may also love this 3-Ingredient Gluten Free Dump Cake recipe.

More European Gluten Free Dessert Recipes:

Gluten Free French Apple Cakes

Sandi Gaertner
You are going to love this classic gluten free French apple cakes recipe. One of the most popular apple recipes on my blog!
Love this recipe?Give it a star rating!
4.88 from 115 votes
gluten free allergy icon
nut free allergen icon
soy free allergy icon
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Course Gluten Free Cake Recipes, Gluten Free Dessert Recipes
Cuisine American
Servings 12 servings/6 cakes
Calories 235 kcal

*As an Amazon Associate, I earn a small commission from qualifying purchases.

Ingredients
  

  • 3 large pink lady apples peeled and sliced thinly
  • 1 cup gluten free flour blend * see note
  • 1 cup organic white sugar plus one tablespoon of sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder aluminum free
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 9 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 3 large eggs
  • ¾ cup whole milk or non-dairy milk
  • 4 tablespoons dark rum or 1 tsp. rum extract
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Instructions
 

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Be sure to place the oven rack in the middle position in your oven.
  • Spray either a 9 inch cake pan or a pan with 6 three inch cake sections with coconut oil. (This pan often sold as a Jumbo muffin pan.)
  • Cut parchment paper to line the bottom of the pan(s) and spray bottom with non-stick spray.
  • In a small sauce pan, cook butter on low heat until slightly browned. (About 5 minutes) Stir often.
  • Remove from heat and allow to cool for 10 minutes.
  • In a small sauce pan, add two inches of water and apple slices. Cook apple slices on low heat until they soften. Keep an eye on them so they don't get mushy.
  • Drain water from apples, toss with 1 tablespoon of the dark rum and lemon juice, and let cool.
  • In a large mixing bowl, whisk together gluten free flour, xanthan gum, baking powder, and sugar.
  • In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together eggs, milk, browned butter, vanilla, and remaining three tablespoons of dark rum.
  • Pour wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and blend carefully.
  • Gently fold in apples.
  • Pour into pan(s).
  • Sprinkle 1/2 teaspoon of sugar onto each mini cake (or 1 tablespoon of sugar onto a whole cake.)
  • Bake for 30-45 minutes, depending on pan size. Less time is needed if you are baking 6 three inch cakes.
  • Remove from oven and let cakes cool on a cooling rack.
  • Enjoy while warm.

Video

Notes

  1. I have also tested the recipe with Bob’s 1 to 1 Gluten Free Blend and King Arthur Gluten Free Measure for Measure. Other blends may work. I have not tested others.
  2. Starchy flour blends may need more or less liquid than the blends I tested.
  3. If your gluten free blend doesn’t contain xanthan or guar gum, add one teaspoon.
  4. Let your cake batter sit for 15 minutes so the grit can soften.
  5. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

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: 1mini cakeCalories: 235kcalCarbohydrates: 31gProtein: 3gFat: 11gSaturated Fat: 6gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 0.3gCholesterol: 65mgSodium: 121mgPotassium: 158mgFiber: 2gSugar: 23gVitamin A: 371IUVitamin C: 2mgCalcium: 66mgIron: 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 with new pictures and a video from a 2015 post.

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96 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    Hi! I just made the Gliten Free French Apple Cake and it is absolutely delicious! I have done work in France for the past 34 years where I go twice a year and you sure capture the flavors of the French Bakeries! I do have a question. When using Bob’s Red Mill 1 to 1 gluten free flour should we still add the xantham gum? I used it but my cupcakes look a lot bigger than the ones in your picture. Thanks!

    1. I am thrilled you liked my recipe :-). Thank you so much for your note. If your gluten free flour blend has Xanthan Gum, you don’t need to add any additional. Take care, Sandi

  2. Hi! I’m fairly new to baking in general, especially gluten free baking. Is there something that I can substitute for the rum? I was wanting to make this for thanksgiving breakfast, but I have a family member who’s recently stopped drinking & I don’t want to tempt them any! (Altho I know the alcohol is cooked out, there will still be the flavor.) thanks!!

  3. 5 stars
    These little apple cakes are so gorgeous and they look elegant. Just perfect for a fancy dinner party! It’s always fun to recreate familiar and favourite tastes with twists and I’m glad you were able to do it for this recipe.

    1. My daughter just asked me to make these for her birthday party because they are so good…hoping that means your son will love them too 🙂

  4. 5 stars
    Well done, your cakes look amazing, baking gluten free treats is quite tricky I’ve found and have so far only managed pancakes!

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