Gluten Free Apple Spice Cake

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Apple picking season is in full swing over here in our part of the country. I have been in the kitchen canning some of my favorite apple recipes over the course of the last week. Gluten free Apple spice cake topped with cinnamon buttercream is my big reward to myself after a week of hard work!

One slice of gluten free apple spice cake sitting on a light blue round plate. There is a white table cloth in the foreground and the background is nearly black, but you can see the cake sitting behind it.

Honestly though, does anything taste more like fall than apple spice cake and homemade apple cider? (I am not a pumpkin spice person. Mainly because I don’t drink coffee I suppose.)

I love putting that little bit of homemade applesauce that was left in the bottom of the bowl to use with this gluten free apple spice cake recipe. Of course, you can use store bought applesauce too, but we love, like love love, homemade applesauce in this house. Also a diced fresh honeycrisp apple in the cake contains the perfect amount of sweetness. Not to mention, it doesn’t get too mushy like some other apple can.

Ingredients for Gluten Free Apple Spice Cake

4 Eggs

1 Cup of sugar

1 Cup of melted coconut oil

1 Teaspoon of vanilla

1 Cup of applesauce

2 Cups of flour – I love using the brand Namaste’s gluten free all-purpose flour for this recipe!

1 Cup of brown sugar

2 Teaspoons of baking powder

1 Teaspoon of baking soda

1 1/2 Teaspoons of cinnamon

1/2 Teaspoon of nutmeg

1/2 Teaspoon of salt

1 Apple peeled and diced (I love using honeycrisp apples for this recipe!)

two layers of baked gluten free apple spice cake sitting on stacked wire cooling racks.

Cinnamon Buttercream Ingredients

1 Cup of softened butter

4 Cups of powdered Sugar

1 Tablespoon of cinnamon

2-3 Tablespoons of milk or cream

1 Tablespoon of vanilla

Dairy Free Cinnamon Buttercream Ingredients

If you are dairy free, you can still make this delicious frosting! Here are the ingredients you need to use

  • 1 cup of softened vegan butter – I like to use Country Crock’s Plant butter
  • 4 cups of powdered sugar
  • 1 tablespoon of cinnamon
  • 2-3 tablespoons of dairy free milk – if you happen to have canned goat milk on hand, it works beautifully as a cream for frosting!
  • 1 tablespoon of vanilla

Gluten Free Apple Spice Cake Directions:

Step 1: Preheat the oven and prepare your pans

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Then prepare two 9 inch cake pans lined with parchment paper and cooking spray. (you could also wipe them down with olive oil instead of cooking spray)

Step 2: Beat the Eggs

Crack four eggs into your mixing bowl and beat on high for around a minute. Then, slowly add one cup of sugar. Continue to beat the eggs on high for another 3-5 minutes before turning the mixer off. You want it to become thick and fluffy.

Step 3: Finish mixing the gluten free apple spice cake’s wet ingredients

Add one cup of melted coconut oil, 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract, and 1 cup of applesauce to the mixing bowl. Afterward, turn the mixer to low and mix until just combined.

Step 4: Mix the dry ingredients for the gluten free apple spice cake

In a clean large bowl, stir together 2 cups of flour, 1 cup of brown sugar, 2 teaspoons of baking powder, 1 teaspoon of baking soda, 1 1/2 teaspoons of cinnamon, 1/2 teaspoon of nutmeg, and 1/2 teaspoon of salt. Next, stir the ingredients well to ensure that there are no clumps in your dry ingredients.

All the dry ingredients for the cake in a large glass bowl before they have been mixed together.

Step 5: Combine the wet and dry ingredients

Add your wet ingredients to your dry ingredients. Then, gently fold them together with a spatula. Treat the batter like a sponge cake batter to preserve the fluffiness of the wet ingredients. Consequently, using a sponge cake method helps your gluten free apple spice cake to be fluffy and not dense.

Step 6: Dice an Apple

Peel and dice one large apple. You can use whatever kind you have on hand, but in my opinion, honeycrisp is the perfect apple for this recipe. Gently fold the diced apple into the batter.

Step 7: Pour and bake the gluten free apple spice cake

Pour the apple spice cake batter evenly into the two prepared cake pans. Then bake the cakes for 35-40 minutes until they are golden brown. Test with a sharp knife in the center of the apple spice cake to check if it is done.

Step 8: Cool the gluten free apple spice cake

Cool the cakes in their pans on a wire rack for around 15 minutes. Once 15 minutes has passed, remove the gluten free apple spice cakes from their pans. Allow them to continue cooling on the racks for at least an hour before frosting.

Two layers of gluten free apple spice on stacked wire cooling racks.

Cinnamon Buttercream Frosting Directions

Using an electric mixer, cream together 1 cup of softened butter and two cups of powdered sugar. Then turn the mixer off and add the third cup of powdered sugar. Cream the frosting a second time. Lastly, add 1 more cup of powdered sugar, milk/cream, vanilla, and cinnamon. Mix on medium to high speed until completely combined and creamy.

cinnamon buttercream frosting in a stainless steal mixing bowl with a paddle attachment.

Tips on How to Frost a Cake

Frosting a cake can be tricky! Thankfully though, this gluten free apple spice cake has a beautiful structure so it is nice and friendly to frost. Nonetheless, I have learned a few tricks over the years of frosting crumbly gluten free cakes that I am going to share with you.

two layers of gluten free apple spice cake with frosting inbetween and on top of them. They are sitting on a crystal cake platter on a round wood slice on a whit able cloth. The cake is on the right side of the image.
  1. Use a piping bag. If you don’t have a piping bag, dont worry. You can cut a small hole in a corner of a zip lock bag to make your own piping bag. When you pipe frosting onto the cake you are less likely to pull cake up while spreading out the frosting.
  2. Don’t spoon your frosting into the piping bag! Of course, now you may be asking, “Well how do I get the frosting into the bag?” Lay down a large rectangle of plastic wrap on the counter. Scoop your frosting onto it and then roll up your frosting to create a log. Fold one end over and cut the other end off. Now you can easily and mess free place your frosting into the bag!
  3. Use a dollup of frosting to “glue” your gluten fre apple spice cake to the cake platter. Now it won’t move around while you are trying to frost it.
  4. Pipe frosting onto the sides and then smooth it out with a knife.
  5. Clean your frosting knife frequently. It’ll keep your platter cleaner and prevent frosting globs that might pull up your cake.

Grocery Shopping Tips

Undoubtedly, not all gluten free flours are the same. If you look at the ingredients list, then you will find that they are all quite different. As a result, some are better for baking, some are better for cooking, and some should really only be used for frying.

For baking, I love the Namaste Gluten Free Flour because it is non-GMO, free from the top 9 allergens, and Kosher. You can typically find it at higher-end grocery stores. If it is not available in your area, you can also buy it online on their website or over on amazon.

Coconut oil works beautifully in this recipe. However, you always want to pay attention to how you are using coconut oil and what temperature you are heating it to. You can use unrefined or virgin coconut oil up to temperatures of 350 degrees. Any higher than that and you should use refined coconut oil. Check out Nutiva’s 5 things you need to know about coconut oil to learn more.

Gluten Free Apple Spice Cake Video

Gluten Free Apple Spice Cake Recipe

Gluten Free Apple Spice Cake

gluten free apple spice cake frosted with cinnamon buttercream frosting on a crystal platter. The platter is sitting on a round wood slice on a white tablecloth. The cake is in the upper left corner.

This moist, and flavorful apple spice cake will surprise everyone when you tell them it is gluten free! It captures the flavors of fall perfectly.

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes 35 seconds
Additional Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 50 minutes 35 seconds

Ingredients

Gluten Free Apple Spice Cake

  • 4 Eggs
  • 1 Cup of Sugar
  • 1 Cup of Melted Coconut Oil
  • 1 Teaspoon of Vanilla
  • 1 Cup of Applesauce
  • 2 Cups of Gluten Free All-Purpose Flour
  • 1 Cup of Brown Sugar
  • 2 Teaspoons of Baking Powder
  • 1 Teaspoon of Baking Soda
  • 1 1/2 Teaspoons of Cinnamon
  • 1/2 Teaspoon of Nutmeg
  • 1/2 Teaspoon of Salt
  • 1 Diced Apple

Cinnamon Buttercream Frosting

  • 1 Cup of Softened Butter
  • 4 Cups of Powdered Sugar
  • 2-3 Tablespoons of Milk or Cream
  • 1 Tablespoon of Vanilla
  • 1 Tablespoon of Cinnamon

Instructions

Gluten Free Apple Spice Cake

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease and line two 9-in cake pans with parchment paper.
  2. Beat 4 eggs on high for 1 minute. Continue mixing on high and slowly add 1 cup of sugar. Beat for another 3-5 minutes until it is thick and fluffy.
  3. Add 1 cup of melted coconut oil, 1 teaspoon of vanilla, and 1 cup of applesauce. Mix on low until just combined.
  4. In a large bowl, stir together 2 cups of flour, 1 cup of brown sugar, 2 teaspoons of baking powder, 1 teaspoon of baking soda, 1 1/2 teaspoons of cinnamon, 1/2 teaspoon of nutmeg, and 1/2 teaspoon of salt.
  5. Fold the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients with a spatula. Treat the batter like a sponge cake. Do not use the mixer to do this step.
  6. Peel and dice one large apple and gently fold it into the batter.
  7. Pour the batter evenly between the two pans and bake for 35-40 minutes until golden brown.
  8. Cool the cakes in the pans on wire racks for 15 minutes. After 15 minutes, remove the cakes from the pans and allow them to cool for at least an hour before icing.

Cinnamon Buttercream Frosting

  1. Cream 1 cup of softened butter with two cups of powdered sugar.
  2. With the mixer turned off, add the third cup of powdered sugar. Mix again until fully combined.
  3. With the mixer turned off, add the last cup of powdered sugar, 2-3 tablespoons of milk or cream, 1 tablespoon of vanilla, and 1 tablespoon of cinnamon. Cream until completely combined.


Notes

To make this recipe dairy free, replace the butter in the icing with vegan butter like Country Crock's Plant Butter and the milk or cream with a dairy free alternative. I like to use canned goat milk in the frosting.

For the gluten free flour, I suggest using the brand Namaste. I enjoy using their gluten free all-purpose flour when baking. It gives the cakes a wonderful structure, texture, and taste.

Pin it for Later

Text on top and three pictures below of the apple spice cake

Other Desert Recipes

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Simple Dairy-Free Chocolate Pudding

Leave a Comment

I hope you enjoy this recipe! Leave a comment and/or rating down below. Let me know what your favorite ways are to bring the taste of fall into your kitchen.

gluten free apple spice cake with a slice missing sitting on a crystal platter on a round wooden slice. There is a white table cloth on the table. In the foreground is a cake server, a fork, and a light blue cake plate with a slice of cake on it.

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