This Easy Gluten Free Apple Cake with Applesauce is super easy and quick to make and packed with Fall and Winter flavours. Perfect for breakfast, afternoon tea or dessert, this simple one-bowl Apple Cake with Gluten-Free Flour is a delicious spiced cake to enjoy when you can’t eat gluten!
Why we love this recipe
This super easy Apple Tea Cake is a Gluten-Free version of my Easy French Apple Cake. It uses the same simple ingredients to create this delicious Fall and Winter Cake, but is completely gluten-free!
This Apple Spice Cake is the perfect sweet treat for afternoon tea or dessert. Just like my Apple Loaf Cake, Puff Pastry Apple Tartlets and French Apple Tart, this recipe is packed with fruits. You will find apples both inside the cake batter with applesauce and over the cake with thinly sliced fresh apples.
It is made in one bowl only and only requires about 15 minutes of prep time. Perfect when you don’t want to spend too much time in the kitchen or are looking for a quick sweet bite!
This Gluten Free French Apple Cake is made from simple pantry ingredients:
- Gluten-Free Flour: I used a simple Plain / All-Purpose Gluten-Free Flour Mix you can easily find at the supermarket.
- Butter: unsalted, melted and cooled down. Can be replaced with a flavour-neutral oil like Canola Oil to make this cake dairy-free as well.
- Eggs: they need to be at room temperature
- Brown Sugar: my favourite type of sugar to associate with Apple and Cinnamon; it will give a delicious slightly caramelised flavour to the cake!
- Baking Powder (& Salt): make sure you use Gluten-Free Baking Powder, as not all baking powder are gluten-free.
- Applesauce: I personally prefer to use a homemade applesauce to control the level of sweetness, but you can use a store-bought one too. Make sure to use a smooth applesauce, with preferably not too much added sugar.
- Cinnamon: because what else but cinnamon to go with apples!? You can also add any of your favourite spices like ground ginger, allspice, nutmeg,…
- Apples: depending on the size of your apples, you might need 2 or 3 to top the cake. I used relatively large apples and ended up needing only 2 to cover the cake. I used Pink Lady Apples for this recipe, but see the FAQ below for more suitable apple varieties.
Optional: I topped the cake with a handful of Flaked Almond too for a bit of a crunch and finished it with some Icing Sugar.
How to make this Gluten Free Applesauce Cake
This Gluten Free Apple Cake is extremely easy to make; all you need is one bowl and a whisk!
- First, preheat your oven on 180’C / 350’F. Line a 22 cm / 9 inch Springform Pan with baking paper or grease it well.
- Core and cut the Apples into thin slices. You can peel the apples or not – it’s up to you. Set aside. – photo 1
- In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the Eggs and Brown Sugar for 2 to 3 minutes or until very bubbly. The longer you whisk it, the more air you incorporate into the batter and the lighter the crumb will be – photo 2 & 3
- Add the Applesauce and Melted Butter (back at room temperature). Whisk until combined. – photo 4
- Sift in the Dry Ingredients: GF Flour, Baking Powder, Salt and Cinnamon (it is very important for the flour to be sifted here to avoid any lumps!). – photo 5
- Whisk just until combine and stop as soon as you cannot see any powders/dry ingredients. It is very important not to over-mix the batter at this point. – photo 6
- Directly transfer the batter into the Springform Pan. If needed, use a small spatula or the back of a spoon to spread it out to the edges of the pan and smooth out the top. – photo 7
- Place the Apples Slices over the cake and gently press them into the batter. They should still stick out a bit as the cake will rise in the oven, but they should easily stand on their own. You can really create any pattern you want with the apples here! – photo 8.
- Optional: sprinkle with some Flaked Almonds for an extra crunch.
- Bake for 40 to 45 minutes, or until the a skewer (or the tip of a small knife) comes out clean. Leave to cool down completely before removing from the pan. The cake will be rather delicate when still warm so try not to move it around too much until cool.
Before serving, dust with some Icing or Powdered Sugar to finish the cake if wanted.
Tips to make this recipe
- Don’t forget to grease your Springform Pan, or line it with Baking Paper. The cake will be rather fragile when it comes out of the oven so you don’t want it to stick to the pan.
- Make sure all the ingredients are at room temperature – especially the melted Butter and the Eggs. It will make combining them much easier and avoid any splitting/curdling/lumps in the batter.
- The more you whisk your Eggs and Sugar, the more air you are incorporating into the batter and the lighter the cake will be. I recommend whisking them for at least 2 to 3 minutes for the best results.
- Make sure to use a Gluten-Free Flour mix that contains a thickener like xanthan gum or guar gum that is used to replace the effect of the gluten in the flour. You cannot use a gluten-free flour like rice flour or coconut flour instead of a gluten-free flour mix here.
- Always sift your dry ingredients to avoid any lumps – especially when using gluten-free flour.
- Be quick after adding the Gluten Free Flour to the batter; I have found that gluten-free flour thickens and sets much more quickly than regular flour, so it will be hard to transfer the batter into the pan if you wait too long.
- Don’t over-mix the batter after adding the dry ingredients, they need to be just incorporated. If you whisk it for too long, it will result in a tough, crumbly cake.
- Add some Flaked Almonds over the cake before baking it for a simple added crunch.
I highly recommend using a pre-made gluten-free flour mix that will normally contain a thickener like xanthan gum or guar gum to replace the effect of the gluten. Without it, the cake will not bind properly and be extremely crumbly.
You cannot replace the gluten-free flour mix with 100% of a flour that has no gluten in it like Rice Flour or Coconut Flour.
Yes, simply replace the Butter with a neutral-flavoured Oil like Canola Oil.
I used Pink Lady Apples, but you could use any variety of apples that will cook well yet keep their shape when baked. The type of apple you use will change the flavour of the cake depending on if you use a naturally sweeter or more tart apple.
In addition to the Pink Lady, you can also use: Granny Smith, Jonagold, Honeycrisp, Braeburn, Mutsu/Crispin or Winesap for example.
Read more about choosing the right type of apple for baking here.
This cake can be kept at room temperature, well covered or in an air-tight container for 2 to 3 days. It will last longer in the fridge but will tend to become dry much more quickly, so I personally prefer to keep it at room temperature.
I do not recommend freezing the cake.
More Gluten Free Recipes
- Chocolate Peanut Butter Balls
- Gluten-Free Blueberry Cake from It’s Not Complicated Recipes
- Chocolate Cornflake Cakes
- French Buckwheat Crepes
- Vegan & Gluten-Free Banana Bread
- Strawberry Almond Cake
- Banana Buckwheat Pancakes
- 3 Ingredients Almond Cookies
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Easy Gluten Free Apple Cake
- 120 gr (1/2 cup) Unsalted Butter – melted
- 3 Apples – (you might only need 2 if using large apples)
- 2 Eggs
- 100 gr (1/2 cup) Light Brown Sugar
- 200 ml (3/4 cup + 1 tablesp.) Smooth Applesauce – preferably unsweetened
- 200 gr Plain / AP Gluten-Free Flour – (*)
- 1 1/2 teasp. Gluten-Free Baking Powder
- 1 pinch Salt
- 1/2 teasp. Ground Cinnamon – or more to taste
- Flaked Almonds to taste, optional
- Preheat your oven on 180'C/350'F and line a 22cm / 9 inch Springform Pan with Baking Paper (or grease it well).
- Melt the butter in the microwave and set aside to cool down.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the Eggs and Brown Sugar for 2 to 3 minutes or until very foamy and bubbly.
- Whisk in the Applesauce and Melted Butter until smooth.
- Sift in the Gluten-Free Flour, Baking Powder, Salt and Ground Cinnamon. Quickly mix until combined, making sure not to over-work the batter (see note 2).
- Directly tranfer the batter into the pan (see note 3). If needed, use a small spatula to spread it and smooth out the top.
- Place the sliced apples over the cake batter and genlty press them in. Optionally, sprinkle the cake with some Flaked Almonds.
- Bake for 40 to 45 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean. Leave to cool down completely before taking out of the pan.
- Optional: dust with a little bit of Icing Sugar before serving.
- Depending on the size of your apples, you might only need 2 instead of 3 to cover the cake. If using small apples, you will need 3; with large apples you might only need 2. You can peel the apples too if preferred.
- Don’t forget to sift the dry ingredients, especially the gluten-free flour that can have lumps in it. It is also very important to not over-mix the batter once the flour has been added to avoid getting a tough, chewy cake.
- Gluten-Free Flour tends to absorb the liquids quite quickly and thicken very fast, so it is essential to transfer the batter into the pan directly after having mixed in the flour.