Please, do not get through fall without making this gluten free apple cake! It's the perfect combination of cinnamon, apple and nutmeg flavors on the inside, but then it's topped with brown sugar frosting and pecan pralines which gives it the best sweet and crunchy finish.
Make it for an Oktoberfest party, make it for dessert to share with friends or family. Or eat the entire cake yourself (no judgement here!). But...it is a pretty large cake and is so pretty and slices so nicely to share with others. With how easy and delicious it is to make, you will be a gluten free baking rock-star in no time.
What kind of apples to use in gluten free apple cake
For this gluten free apple cake, think of using apples on the sweet side. I used Gala's because that's what I had. Something like a Granny Smith is too tart. Other ideas of great apples to use are Fuji, Honeycrisp, Gala and Ambrosia.
As with a lot of gluten free cakes that require adding fruit or vegetables, the smaller you can cut them the better. It took me a while to learn that when perfecting my Gluten Free Carrot Cake Recipe.
For this cake think small, diced cubes. Like the size of a pea or slightly larger. We lack that magical ingredient called gluten which holds everything together. When you use chunks that are too large (and will not be dissolved in the batter) it's hard for the batter to stay connected together and your final result will be a crumby mess.
But don't worry! You will still have delicious apple chunks in your cake.
What kind of gluten free flour to use in this apple cake
What kind of cake pan to use for apple cake
I used a 10-inch bundt pan. Please note the size of your pan, as this will increase or decrease your baking time.
I like to generously coat my pan with cooking spray, because there is nothing worse that a cake half stuck in your pan and half on your platter!
Other cakes you might enjoy...
If you made this recipe would you please share a comment below, share a picture on Instagram or Pinterest, join our Facebook group, or sign up for email updates below so you never miss a new recipe! I'd love to see your pictures!
Gluten Free Apple Cake with Brown Sugar and Pecan Praline Frosting
- 3 cups (450 grams) gluten free flour blend
- 3 teaspoon guar or xanthan gum (omit if in gf flour blend)
- 3 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- ¾ cup white granulated sugar
- 1 cup packed light brown sugar
- 1 cup canola or vegetable oil
- 3 large eggs
- 2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ½ cup sour cream (can substitute plain Greek yogurt)
- 3 medium apples, peeled, cored, and finely diced
- ½ cup coarsely chopped pecans
- 2 Tbs white granulated sugar
Brown Sugar Frosting
- ½ cup brown sugar
- ¼ cup unsalted butter
- 3 Tbs milk (preferably heavy cream)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- Preheat oven to 325° F. Prepare a 10 inch bundt pan by generously coating with cooking spray. Set aside.
- In a medium bowl, sift gluten free flour, guar or xanthan gum (omit if already in your flour blend), cinnamon, nutmeg, salt and baking soda. Set aside.
- In a large mixing bowl, combine oil and sugar. Add eggs and vanilla extract and stir until combined. Combine in sour cream until most clumps are gone. Gently stir in apples.
- Pour flour mixture into apple mixture and combine until all flour is mixed in. Your batter should be slightly thick, but runny enough to pour into pan.
- Pour batter into prepared bundt pan and gently shake the pan to distribute the batter evenly.
- Bake for 60-65 minutes. The cake will be slightly risen above the pan with a dark golden color and an inserted toothpick will come out clean. Remove from oven and allow to cool for 20-30 minutes before removing from pan.
- When ready to remove from pan, gently slide a knife around all edges of the cake, both on the inside ring and on the outer edges. Using a cooling rack or platter, flip the cake out (I like to turn the rack upside down on top of the bundt pan, and then flip it over so the cake falls out). Allow cake to cool completely before frosting so the frosting doesn't run off cake.
- While the cake is cooling, place chopped nuts and sugar in a medium skillet over medium to low heat. As the sugar heats it will begin to melt. Keep watch over this process as once it starts it goes quickly! Use a spatula to keep stirring the nuts so they can be coated with the sugar as it dissolves. Once ¾ of the sugar has dissolved, turn off heat and placed the nuts on a plate to cool completely. After it cools, break the pieces apart.
Brown Sugar Frosting
- In a small saucepan, bring brown sugar, unsalted butter and milk to a boil for 1 minute. Turn off heat and add vanilla, powdered sugar and ground cinnamon. Whisk until all clumps are gone. Allow to cool for 3-4 minutes, watching and stirring occasionally, for the frosting to thicken slightly. You want it runny enough to pour over the cake, but thick enough that it will stick and not run off.
- Pour this mixture over the cake. Work quickly as it will settle fast, trying not to go back over where you already poured (it won't be smooth). If you pour directly over the top, it should slide down the sides and middle. Immediately top with pecan pralines as the frosting will set quickly.
- Slice and serve. Keep any leftovers in an airtight container.
The cake portion was modified from the great Sally's Baking Addiction. The frosting recipe was modified from Food Network (If you're looking for the original recipe, I CANNOT find it! I know this is where I adapted it from. I wanted to give them credit!)
Hey there! Just As Good Gluten Free LLC participates in the Amazon Associates Program, which mean many outgoing links on Just As Good Gluten Free are affiliate links. After clicking on a link, I may receive a small percentage of the sale for referring you, which comes at no extra cost to you. This allows me to continue creating gluten free recipes for you! Many thanks - Amy