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!
Who misses French pastries? I know that I do! How long has it been since you could enjoy such a treat? It never occurred to me that I could bake something yummy that would take me back to those days.
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 right in and attempt it.
If you want to try different amazing gluten-free apple cake recipes, my Gluten Free Fool Proof Apple Cake and my Gluten Free Caramel Apple Cake recipes are worth making!
What is a French Apple Cake?
A French apple cake, also known as "Gateau aux pommes," is a classic dessert that features tender, cinnamon-spiced apples that are 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.
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.
If you love apples as much as we do, check out ALL of my yummy Gluten Free Apple recipes!
Why This Recipe is Great:
- 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.
- It tastes as if it came from an expensive French bakery.
- 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
GF French Apple Cake 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.
- To measure your gluten free flour, I recommend using either the spoon method or leveling method. 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 flours have a chance to soften.
If you love to bake, check out all of my best Gluten Free Baking Tips.
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.)
Recipe Step-By-Step Directions:
Preheat your oven to 350º F and be sure that 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
Step 2: Pour the wet ingredients into a
Step 3: Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and gently stir to mix.
Step 4: See the recipe card below to read how to cook your apples in the brown butter. Your batter will look like as you stir in the peeled and chopped apples.
Hands down this non-stick spray is amazing. It is totally inexpensive and it will save your gluten free cakes and muffins from sticking!
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 ¾ full. Bake at 350 degrees 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 needs to baked longer.
Line each section of the muffin tin with parchment paper. Spray with cooking spray. This will help prevent sticking.
Although any apple will work in this cake recipe, it is best with tart apples like Pippin, Granny Smith, Braeburn, Honeycrisp, and Pink Lady.
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.
If you are new to gluten free, I have a lot of free gluten free resources to help you learn how to navigate gluten free living. It includes information on how to go gluten free, dining safely in restaurants, and more.
More European Gluten Free Dessert Recipes:
- These Gluten Free Cream Puffs are as close to the real thing as possible.
- If you love Danish, this Gluten Free Cheese Danish is really good.
- This recipe takes some time to make, but these Gluten Free Flaky Pastries are worth it!
- My Italian Gluten Free Tiramisu recipe is another delicious European dessert you should try!
Gluten Free French Apple Cakes
- 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
- 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 ½ 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.
- 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.
- Starchy flour blends may need more or less liquid than the blends I tested.
- If your gluten free blend doesn't contain xanthan or guar gum, add one teaspoon.
- Let your cake batter sit for 15 minutes so the grit can soften.
- Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator.
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.
This post was updated with new pictures and a video from a 2015 post.
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Dear sandi. What is the substitute for rum please.what kind of other liquid I can use the recipe thanks
Hi Sobia, you can use a rum extract (find it near the vanilla extract in your grocery store). You can also skip it if you can't find it. Thank you.
If I use Bobs gluten free is there still a need for the Xantham gum?
Hi Susie, it depends which Bobs you mean. The light blue bag 1 to 1 blend already has xanthan gum, so there is no need to add more. The red bag I would not use because it has bean flour which will make baked goods bitter.
Can I substitute gluten free flour with almond flour?
Hi Michelle, I haven't tested this recipe with almond flour. My caramel apple cake recipe uses almond flour. I will link it here for you: https://www.fearlessdining.com/gluten-free-caramel-apple-cake/
Delicious recipe, definitely going to share this with my friends!
I am so glad you liked it Thea, thank you 🙂
Do I need to replace the 4 oz of rum with some other liquid with the gluten free flour?
I have the recipe ready to make...then I thought of taking 4 oz of liquid out.
Gluten free baking is itchy.
Hi Sandi, you could add a tiny bit of liquid, just go by the batter and compare to my pictures.