Quick and Easy Gluten Free Apple “Dump” Cake

Quick and Easy Gluten Free Apple “Dump” Cake

The ridiculously easy, delightfully delicious gluten free apple dump cake does have a terribly unfortunate name. So-called because all you do is “dump” the ingredients into a pan and pop it in the oven, it’s the very essence of quick & easy—whether you use my make-your-own gluten free vanilla cake mix recipe or an actual off-the-shelf boxed gluten free vanilla cake mix.

Quick and Easy Gluten Free Apple "Dump" Cake

Since it’s apple season, we’ll pile in the chopped apples and add plenty of cinnamon and nutmeg. That’s pretty much all it takes to make your house smell like an autumn dream come true!

Quick and Easy Gluten Free Apple "Dump" Cake

The method for making this gorgeous, simple cake is just a little bit different than, say, my blueberry dump cake.

Quick and Easy Gluten Free Apple "Dump" Cake, Step by Step

Here, we have to make sure that the chopped apples are perfectly tender, but without turning to mush. The secret’s in raising the oven temperature a bit to 350°F, tossing the fruit with a bit of the cake mix, and covering the baking dish tightly with aluminum foil for the first half hour of baking time. That allows the apples plenty of time and steam to cook perfectly, and the bit of flour helps keep the apples from releasing too much thin liquid that is more likely to burn. It works!

Quick and Easy Gluten Free Apple "Dump" Cake

The only part that might take you a few minutes of prep (but no more than 10 minutes—really!) is peeling, coring and chopping the apples. I like to use a simple apple corer (aff. link) to remove the cores first, then a basic vegetable peeler (aff. link) to remove the peel. Then a rough chop of the apples, and you’re ready to go. Start with large apples if you can, since they’re easy to core and peel.

You can even prepare the cake ahead of time, cover with plastic wrap and store it, unbaked, in the refrigerator for up to 2 days before baking. The apples will turn brown, but it doesn’t matter one bit as we’ll expect them to brown in the oven.

Like this recipe?

Prep time: Cook time: Yield: 1 cake


3 cups (about 600 g) peeled, cored and chopped baking apples (Cortlandt, Granny Smith, Empire, Gala and Braeburn are all excellent) (from about 4 large apples)

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon, plus more for sprinkling

1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg

16 ounces gluten free vanilla cake mix

9 tablespoons (126 g) unsalted butter, chilled

1/2 cup (4 fluid ounces) buttermilk (or milk), chilled

Whipped cream, for serving


  • Preheat your oven to 350°F. Grease a 9-inch x 12-inch (or 9-inch square) baking dish, and scatter the chopped apples in an even layer in the bottom. Add the ground cinnamon, grated nutmeg, and 2 tablespoons of the cake mix, and toss to coat. Spread the apples into an even layer, and set the dish aside.

  • Place the remaining cake mix in a large bowl. Using a standard grater, grate the chilled butter into the cake mix and, using your clean hands, toss to coat the butter in the cake mix. Break up the lumps that form in the grated butter until the mixture is uniform and looks like very coarse sand. Scatter the butter and cake mix mixture in an even layer on top of the chopped apples. Pour the chilled buttermilk evenly over the top. Sprinkle the top of the cake very lightly with ground cinnamon.

  • Cover the baking dish tightly with aluminum foil, place it in the center of the preheated oven and bake for 25 minutes. Remove the foil, return the cake the oven and bake until the apples are tender and the top is puffed and lightly golden brown (about another 15 minutes for the 9-inch x 12-inch pan, 20+ minutes minutes for the 9-inch square pan). Remove from the oven and allow to cool in the pan for 10 minutes before serving with a dollop of whipped cream and a very light sprinkling of ground cinnamon.

  • Adapted from my recipe for Gluten Free Blueberry “Dump” Cake.



P.S. If you haven’t yet, please order up your copy of Gluten Free Classic Snacks! Your support keeps the blog running, and it means the world to me.

Comments are closed.

  • Al Lenander
    October 15, 2015 at 12:14 PM

    I made this last night with fresh apples that we picked this past weekend. It is delicious!!! I added a tiny bit of brown sugar on the apples before adding the flour mixture. To balance out the added sugar I served with completely unsweetened fresh whipped cream. I will be making this again for sure.

  • Karen Kelly
    October 12, 2015 at 10:43 AM

    I love how you can make anything gluten free; even a “dump” cake. I have so many honeycrisp apples to use and this looks like the perfect recipe. Thanks!

  • Stephanie
    October 11, 2015 at 1:40 PM

    I love all of your “mix” recipes however I need to replace the xanthum gum with something else. What else do you recommend? I can’t use guar gum either!

    • Al Lenander
      October 14, 2015 at 7:04 PM

      Have you ever tried using psyllium husk? I know that it helps create a more open and airy texture in yeasted breads, but can be trick in recipes with less moisture, as water helps it bind more effectively… In general baked goods, 1t xanthan gum = 2t psyllium powder. Worth a shot? FYI for drop cookies 1t xanthan gum = 5t psyllium powder. For more info check out Americas’s Test Kitchen.

      • Stephanie
        October 14, 2015 at 7:17 PM

        Thanks Al! I have not tried that so it sounds like a good idea to me. I will check out the info on there and see what I find. Thanks again!

  • Sherri
    October 9, 2015 at 9:11 AM

    Which book is the original cut out cookie recipe in? ( the one you mentioned in a comment that would be sturdier for decorating)
    Thank you,

    • youngbaker2002
      October 10, 2015 at 1:07 PM

      maybe your talking about the soft frosted sugar cookie recipe (which is here on the blog). though i don’t see that she mentioned them here, she did mention them in the text for the cream cheese cutout cookie recipe which she just posted.

      hope that that helps you find what you were looking for Sherri!

  • Amanda
    October 8, 2015 at 2:59 PM

    Made this recipe today and it was great! First time I’d used fresh grated nutmeg too…it smelled so good in my kitchen!

  • Cindy Bowen
    October 8, 2015 at 6:24 AM

    Instead of cake mix can I use gf baking mix? Thx

  • BJ
    October 7, 2015 at 6:28 PM

    LOVE LOVE LOVE your recipes!! I absolutely love bread but gluten doesn’t love me-who knew?! I bought your bread book and love what I’ve done so far…i feel like a mad scientist when i create your flour blends-so good! Tomorrow is the bread making day and I’m excited as I love making bread! (I also have your first GF cookbook)I hope you know that for families like mine who have health issues like diabetes and thyroid disease your recipes make our lives better. Thank you for all the work you put into this website and cookbooks.

    Okay enough gushing….Hugs!

  • Jennifer S.
    October 7, 2015 at 4:59 PM


  • youngbaker2002
    October 7, 2015 at 2:20 PM

    oh my gosh, apple season is my favorite time here on the blog, second only to Christmas cookie season of course! will have to try this recipe very soon!

    • October 7, 2015 at 2:56 PM

      You know what, Mena, I think it’s mine too! 😍

  • Kristina
    October 7, 2015 at 11:13 AM

    We are dairy free as well at our house. Would coconut or almond milk work in place of buttermilk?

    • October 7, 2015 at 2:56 PM

      My preferred milk substitute for regular milk is always unsweetened almond milk, but you still have the issue of the butter in this recipe. You can try using Spectrum nonhydrogenated vegetable shortening instead of butter, but I haven’t tested any substitutions so you’ll have to experiment!

      • Kristina
        October 9, 2015 at 8:53 AM

        I am going to take a chance and try the recipe with my coconut oil butter and coconut/almond blend milk😊

        • Melissa Mouriz Redon
          October 12, 2015 at 8:51 AM

          Kristina, Did you try it yet? If so how did it work? Was just thinking of trying the same thing.

        • Kristina
          October 13, 2015 at 12:11 PM

          Yes I did! It turned out delicious! I would have posted a picture, but my little family of four ate the whole thing in one sitting😊 We decided it was the closest thing to the flavor of apple fritters we have had in years.

  • Elisabeth
    October 7, 2015 at 10:09 AM

    Nicole, do you add xanthem gum to Better Batter?

    • October 7, 2015 at 2:55 PM

      Hi, Elisabeth, Better Batter has xanthan gum in the blend already, so you don’t add it as indicated in the recipe. You can always just read the ingredients list of a blend to see if it has xanthan gum!

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