Tender Gluten Free Apple Cake

Tender Gluten Free Apple Cake

This gluten free apple cake is positively packed with fork-tender apple chunks, the cake delicate and tender from being baked along with them.

Tender Gluten Free Apple Cake

There are few things more comforting than a still-warm slice of cinnamon-rich apple cake, packed with tender chunks of apples. It needs no dollop of whipped cream, no scoop of vanilla ice cream, to delight, especially if your friends and family are lucky enough to be served a slice the same day it was baked, the whole house still fragrant with its baking.

Tender Gluten Free Apple Cake, Step by Step

Similar in ingredient proportions to a French apple cake, this much simpler apple cake is baked right in a standard cake pan rather than a springform pan. This recipe somehow still manages to deliver a cake with a custardy texture inside, but with a lovely, buttery browned crust.

Tender Gluten Free Apple Cake

Have you been lucky enough to spend a day picking apples at an orchard this year, leaving you with the apple over-abundance you promised yourself you’d avoid but never seem to? This year, it seems we won’t make it to the orchard 😔, so I’m just picking out the very best apples at the grocery store and baking like I mean it.🍎

Like this recipe?

Prep time: Cook time: Yield: 1 9-inch cake


1 1/2 pounds baking apples (about 3 large apples), peeled, cored and diced (a mix of Empire, Gala, and green apples works really well)

1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice

1 cup + 2 tablespoons (158 g) all purpose gluten free flour (I used Better Batter)

1/2 teaspoon xanthan gum (omit if your blend already contains it)

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

1/8 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg

10 tablespoons (140 g) unsalted butter, melted and cooled

1 cup (200 g) granulated sugar

2 eggs (100 g, weighed out of shell) at room temperature, beaten

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract


  • Preheat your oven to 325°F. Grease well a 9-inch round cake pan, and set it aside. Place the diced apples in a large bowl, and toss with 1 teaspoon of the ground cinnamon and the lemon juice, then set the bowl aside.

  • In a separate medium-sized bowl, place the flour, xanthan gum, baking powder, salt, remaining 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon and nutmeg, and whisk to combine well, then set aside. In a separate large bowl with a hand mixer or the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter until light and fluffy. Add the sugar, then the eggs and vanilla, beating to combine well after each addition. Add the dry ingredients in two batches, beating until just combined after each addition. The batter will be thick but light. Scrape about two-thirds of the cake batter into the bowl of apples, and mix to coat all of the apples in the batter. It will be very chunky.

  • Scrape the remaining one-third of the cake batter into the prepared cake pan and spread into an even layer with a moistened spatula. Scrape the chunky apple-packed cake batter into the pan on top of the base layer of batter, and spread again into an even layer with a moistened spatula.

  • Cover the pan tightly with aluminum foil, and place in the center of the preheated oven. Bake for 20 minutes. Remove the foil cover from the pan and return to the oven to bake until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out with no more than a few moist crumbs attached (about another 20 minutes). Remove from the oven and allow to cool in the pan for 10 minutes before carefully transferring to a wire rack for about 15 minutes before slicing and serving while still warm.



P.S. Which Gluten Free on a Shoestring cookbooks do you have? There’s at least one cookbook that’s perfect for everyone, and your support means the world to me!

Comments are closed.

  • Lesley Westlake
    October 26, 2015 at 1:36 PM

    Love your recipes on face book so far only made peanut butter and apple cookies and apple and plum crumble.
    Next time I’m near a big book shop im going to see if got your book other wise try Amazon UK.
    I notice you use better batter but cant buy in UK
    Would like to try your bubble up pizza can you tell me if I can use any gluten free bread flour.

  • Sarah Abegglen Robertson
    October 26, 2015 at 2:18 AM

    Love your cookbooks – mine are getting dog-eared from so much use!

    I’ve noticed in a lot of your more recent recipes that you’re using Better Batter instead of your own flour recipe from your books. I have a canister of “your” flour always at the ready, since many of my fam’s favorites from your earlier books recommend that flour mix pretty often. We also keep lots of your pastry flour on hand, so that biscuits take mere minutes!

    I have nothing against Better Batter, but this was something I’ve noticed and just thought I’d ask…



    • October 26, 2015 at 10:22 AM

      Hi, Sarah, thanks so much for the kind words about the cookbooks! I’m afraid I’m not really sure what you’re asking about the flour. In any recipe in which I state that I have used Better Batter, you can always use my mock Better Batter blend. The flour recipe that I recommend most in my books is that mock Better Batter. It is interchangeable with Better Batter itself. Hope that helps!

    • Sarah Abegglen Robertson
      October 26, 2015 at 12:38 PM

      Excellent – thanks!

  • Faith
    October 24, 2015 at 9:01 AM

    I was wondering about how the butter should be. It says to melt and cool it-which made mine liquid even after cooling, but then says to cream it. Not sure how to “cream” melted butter. Should it be liquid or just softened? It came out like the picture, but I tried a new brand of flour and was not thrilled. It turned out very dry/crumbly texture. Not sure what went wrong. I’ll try again sometime with a different flour blend and see what happens.

    • October 26, 2015 at 10:21 AM

      Once the butter has cooled, it will mostly resolidify, Faith, and can be beaten until creamy. It sounds like your texture issue is due to your flour blend, which was likely not properly balanced and not made with superfine rice flour. All flour blends are far from created equal!

      • Faith
        October 26, 2015 at 2:13 PM

        Thanks for the follow up-I’ll let the butter just “chill-out” for a while longer next time!

  • Katrina
    October 21, 2015 at 11:41 PM

    It’s like apple brownies! So gooooood.

  • youngbaker2002
    October 21, 2015 at 2:44 PM

    no orchard this year? ah i bet your missing that. glad that you are still going to do all of your amazing apple recipes still!

    • October 26, 2015 at 10:22 AM

      Missing it terribly, Mena!

  • eddi
    October 20, 2015 at 1:42 PM

    I just finished making this cake. It is a little runny but edible and hopefully delicious. I didn’t have a 9 inch pan so I used an eight probably should have baked it longer. I made the apple dump cake last week and everybody loved it except for me. but then I remembered I didn’t like dump cake before hahaha. I am fairly new to having to eat gluten free and I don’t know why but baking this way stresses me out so bad.

    • October 20, 2015 at 3:40 PM

      Eddi, using an 8-inch pan, everything is more compact and will definitely take longer to bake. Any change to a recipe will cause a corresponding change in the result.

      • eddi
        October 20, 2015 at 6:54 PM

        Learning the hard way! We just ate some and it is delicious! Next time will be perfect! Thank you for all I’m learning 💟

  • Pamela F
    October 19, 2015 at 12:16 PM

    My dining room table is covered with over 15 varieties of apples that I got last week from my cousin’s orchard. Think I’ll make one of these tonight as a special treat for my family, as my youngest son just got home after house sitting for 5 days. Thanks, Nicole for all the recipe development and sharing you do. You make my family very happy.

    • October 20, 2015 at 3:41 PM

      Wow, Pamela. That’s a lot of apples! Thank you for the kind words. I’m so glad to help!

  • Tracy Sockriter
    October 19, 2015 at 10:48 AM

    I have some apples that need attention. This looks like a good place to put them. Thank you for all your yummy recipes.

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