This is the BEST apple cake I’ve ever made! My #1 tip for gluten-free apple cake – slice the apples really thinly. (Also use yogurt/oil for the right texture!)

I tested and re-tested this recipe to get it just right! I think one bite and you’ll agree- this is the ultimate gluten-free apple cake!

A whole apple cake on a counter top

There’s apple cake…and then there’s this apple cake!

One bite of this cake and you’ll see that the fresh, thinly sliced apples, spiced crumble topping, and vanilla glaze make it truly exceptional.

Something about the texture of the paper-thin, tart apples mixed evenly throughout the tender cake makes it unbeatable!

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This is one of my favorite gluten-free cakes to make in the fall, when apples are at their peak and I’m ready to warm my home with tasty, comforting treats.

Best of all, you can make this with any type of apples. Go apple picking as a family or simply head to the grocery store and choose the very best apples you can find. Then head home to make this easy gluten free cake recipe!

Add a scoop of vanilla ice cream for the ultimate indulgence!

A side view of a slice of apple cake

Why You’ll Love this Recipe

  • Easy to make
  • Made with simple ingredients
  • Classic fall flavors
  • Great for apple season
  • Can be made dairy-free

For more tried-and-true gluten-free cake recipes, try this gluten-free pumpkin cake, gluten-free banana cake, gluten-free carrot cake and gluten-free gingerbread cake.

If you love apples, you also might like these recipes for gluten-free apple crumble, gluten-free apple piegluten-free apple muffinsapple compote and gluten-free apple crisp!

Ingredients for the Cake

Here’s what you’ll need to make this gluten-free apple cake:

Apple cake ingredients on a counter top
  • Gluten-free flour: This gluten-free cake turns out best when you use a high-quality 1:1 gluten-free flour blend. Look for a gluten free all purpose flour blend that contains xanthan gum so the cake has the structure it needs. This is my favorite brand for this gluten-free apple cake recipe.
  • Oil: A neutral oil like vegetable oil adds richness and tenderness without weighing down the crumb of this gluten-free apple cake.
  • Vanilla: Use pure vanilla extract for the best results and that real vanilla flavor.
  • Sugar: I like to use Domino sugar for the best texture.
  • Eggs: For best results with this gluten-free apple cake, use large eggs and room temperature.
  • Apple: Any kind of apple will work for this cake! My favorites are Pink Lady, Honeycrisp or Granny Smith.
  • Yogurt: You can use whole milk yogurt, or I like to use Kite Hill Unsweetened Almond Milk Yogurt to make a dairy-free, gluten-free apple cake.
  • Baking soda/baking powder: I use a good amount in this recipe for the perfect rise.
  • Salt: Salt balances the sugar and enhances the flavor of the spices and apples.
  • Spices: Cinnamon and nutmeg are a match made in heaven!

Ingredients for the Crumble Topping

Here’s what you’ll need for the gluten-free apple cake crumble topping:

Apple cake crumble ingredients on a counter top
  • Brown sugar: Brown sugar adds sweetness and a touch of molasses, for the ultimate crumble flavor.
  • Butter: Butter is the basis of any crumble! I like to use unsalted real butter.
  • Cinnamon: Cinnamon adds a dose of fall flavor and compliments the apples perfectly.

How to Make Gluten-Free Apple Cake

  • Preheat the oven to 350F. Lightly grease an 8-inch cake pan with cooking spray.
Thinly sliced apples on a cutting board, and chopped apples on a cutting board
  • Use a mandoline slicer to create paper-thin slices of apples. (You can also do this with a knife and your best cutting skills.)
  • Chop the apples with a knife to create even smaller, thinner apple slices.

NOTE: How you cut the apples really matters in this cake! Big chunks of apple will cause the crumb to clump up, while grated apples will disappear into the cake. Very thinly slice is best!

Dry ingredients in a mixing bowl, and apples mixed into dry ingredients in the bowl
  • In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the gluten-free flour, baking powder, baking soda and sugar.
  • Add the sliced apple and stir briefly to combine.
Wet ingredients in a separate mixing bowl, and wet ingredients mixed into dry ingredients in a bowl
  • In a separate bowl, whisk together the eggs, vanilla, oil and yogurt until smooth.
  • Add the wet ingredients to dry ingredients and gently mix with a rubber spatula until combined.
Apple cake batter spread into a round pan, and crumb topping in a bowl
  1. Pour the batter into the prepared cake pan or springform pan. 
  2. Make the cinnamon topping by combining the cinnamon, sugar and butter. Mix together until lumpy and wet.
Crumb topping sprinkled over the cake batter in the round pan, and a baked apple cake
  • Sprinkle the butter and brown sugar mixture evenly over the top of the cake batter.
  • Bake cake for 30-35 minutes, until golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean.
  • Let the cake cool in the pan for 10-15 minutes, then transfer it to a wire rack to cool completely.
Apple cake glaze in a bowl, and glaze drizzled over a cake
  • Once the cake is fully cool, make the glaze. In a small bowl, mix together the powdered sugar and 1 tablespoon of milk. Stir until smooth. If the glaze is too thick, add an extra tablespoon of milk.
  • Drizzle the glaze over the cake. Slice and enjoy!
A spatula taking a slice of cake out of the apple cake

Storage Instructions

Store this gluten-free apple cake in an airtight container at room temperature, for 3-5 days.

A slice of apple cake with a fork

FAQs

What type of apples are best for apple cake?

Pink Lady, Honeycrisp, and Granny Smith apples are all fabulous choices for this gluten free apple cake recipe, but virtually any type of apple will work!

Do apples keep cake moist?

Yes, the juice from apples adds moisture to the cake and makes the cake taste fresher for a longer amount of time.

Can I just replace flour with gluten-free flour?

No, I don’t recommend just replacing the same amount of all-purpose flour with gluten-free flour. Gluten-free baking requires certain modifications to ensure the texture and structure is right. For this reason, it’s best to use a gluten-free cake recipe! (Like this recipe!)

Expert Tips & Tricks

  • Thinly sliced apples: For best results make sure you use my method for thinly slicing apples (pictured above!). If you don’t use a mandoline slicer you can very thinly slice the apples with a knife. Just don’t chop the apples, or you won’t get the same heavenly texture!
  • A mixture of oil/yogurt: This makes for a delicious crumb and texture! I use a mixture of oil/sour cream in many of my gluten-free cake recipes. Using yogurt or sour cream instead of butter makes a lighter crumb. Butterfat tends to make gluten-free cake clump up.
  • Make it dairy-free: You can easily make this cake dairy-free by using dairy-free yogurt and dairy-free milk in the glaze. (I like to use Kite Hill Unsweetened Almond Milk Yogurt.)
  • Type of apples: I love Pink Lady, Honeycrisp, or Granny Smith apples for this cake, but you can use any variety of apples: Yellow, green, or red apples all work! Pick your favorite!
A close up photo of apple cake

More Gluten-Free Recipes

I hope you love this recipe as much as we do! If you try this recipe, be sure to leave me a comment/rating below. I’d love to hear from you!

A close up photo of a slice of apple cake on a plate
5 from 14 votes

The BEST Gluten-Free Apple Cake

Prep Time 25 mins
Cook Time 35 mins
Total Time 1 hr
Servings 6 servings
This is the BEST apple cake I’ve ever made! My #1 tip for gluten-free apple cake – slice the apples really thinly. (Also use yogurt/oil for the right texture!)
I tested and re-tested this recipe to get it just right! I think one bite and you’ll agree- this is the ultimate gluten-free apple cake!

Ingredients

Dry Ingredients:

  • 1 ⅓ cups gluten-free 1:1 baking flour 210 grams
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ¾ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
  • ¾ cup granulated sugar 150 grams

Other Cake Ingredients:

  • 1 cup approximately 1 large red apple, very thinly sliced (see note)
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ½ cup vegetable oil 120 ml
  • ½ cup whole milk yogurt 120 ml (unsweetened dairy-free yogurt works too!)

For the Cinnamon Topping:

  • cup brown sugar 70 grams
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon butter melted
  • Pinch of salt

For the Glaze:

  • cup powdered sugar 40 grams
  • 1 –2 tablespoons milk

Instructions 

  • Preheat the oven to 350F. Lightly grease an 8-inch cake pan with cooking spray.
  • In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients. Add the sliced apple and stir briefly to combine.
  • In a separate bowl, whisk together the eggs, vanilla, oil and yogurt until smooth.
  • Add the wet ingredients to dry ingredients and gently mix with a rubber spatula until combined. Pour the batter into the prepared cake pan.
  • Make the cinnamon topping by combining the cinnamon, sugar and butter. Mix together until lumpy and wet. Sprinkle the mixture evenly over the top of the cake batter.
  • Bake cake for 30-35 minutes, until golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean. Let the cake cool in the pan for 10-15 minutes, then transfer it to a wire rack to cool completely.
  • Once the cake is fully cool, make the glaze. In a small bowl, mix together the powdered sugar and 1 tablespoon of milk. Stir until smooth. If the glaze is too thick, add an extra tablespoon of milk. Drizzle the glaze over the cake. Slice and enjoy!

Notes

RECIPE NOTES
  • Thinly sliced apples: For best results make sure you use my method for thinly slicing apples (pictured above!). If you don’t use a mandoline slicer you can very thinly slice the apples with a knife. Just don’t chop the apples, or you won’t get the same heavenly texture!
  • A mixture of oil/yogurt: This makes for a delicious crumb and texture! I use a mixture of oil/sour cream in many of my gluten-free cake recipes. Using yogurt or sour cream instead of butter makes a lighter crumb. Butterfat tends to make gluten-free cake clump up.
  • Make it dairy-free: You can easily make this cake dairy-free by using dairy-free yogurt and dairy-free milk in the glaze. (I like to use Kite Hill Unsweetened Almond Milk Yogurt.)
  • Type of apples: I love Pink Lady, Honeycrisp, or Granny Smith apples for this cake, but you can use any variety of apples: Yellow, green, or red apples all work! Pick your favorite!

Nutrition

Calories: 331kcal | Carbohydrates: 63g | Protein: 7g | Fat: 7g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 2g | Trans Fat: 0.1g | Cholesterol: 62mg | Sodium: 437mg | Potassium: 305mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 45g | Vitamin A: 159IU | Vitamin C: 0.1mg | Calcium: 119mg | Iron: 2mg

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Hi, I’m Erin!

BS Food Science,

MS Nutrition

I believe you can make amazing, gluten-free food with everyday ingredients that everyone will enjoy. I’m here to share my tried-and-true recipes with you!

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Comments

  1. 5 stars
    I used sour cream in my recipe instead of yogurt (simply because that’s what I had), and I added some pecans and walnuts to the crumble topping. I made a double recipe for a dinner with a couple friends – a full 9×13 in. cake pan – and three quarters of it were gone because people went back for thirds! Definitely holding on to this one!

    1. Hooray! I’m so glad it turned out for you. Great to know the cake worked well doubled in a 9×13 pan. Thanks for the comment!

  2. 5 stars
    I made that cake, and my husband and I absolutely loved it!! It’s nice and moist, definitely more Apples next time, cause when the cake has risen, the sliced apples disappeared love this recipe!!

  3. 5 stars
    What pan did everyone use for this recipe? Did you use a springform pan? I made this very recently and when I transferred it to the wire rack, it completely fell apart!

  4. 5 stars
    Absolutely amazing! I made this and I honestly can’t believe it’s gluten free! If I hadn’t made it and just tasted it, I would’ve never guessed that it’s gluten free. It has a light and fluffy crumb and it’s not too sweet. I will definitely make it again! Thank you!

  5. 5 stars
    This cake was devoured by my husband. The only thing I would do next time, is to add more apples. I definitely recommend this receipe!

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