Gluten-Free Apple Cake (Paleo)

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This gluten-free apple cake is the best apple cake recipe ever! It’s an easy, healthy paleo dessert that’s made without refined sugar and bursting with cozy fall flavors.

overhead view of a paleo gluten-free apple cake


Fall is my favorite season. While I definitely enjoy summer, I am always ready for the cooler temperatures, scarves, boots, and all the fall recipes – including this Gluten-Free Apple Cake!

This paleo, gluten-free apple cake recipe comes together in no time and is packed full of nutritious ingredients! Eat it for breakfast, eat it for brunch, serve it warm for dessert smothered with some Paleo Vanilla Ice cream.  You really can’t go wrong.

This Paleo apple cake is irresistible! It’s perfectly sweet, seriously moist, and bursting at the seams with bits of apple goodness!

Front view of a piece of paleo gluten-free apple cake on a plate with a bite taken out of it

Gluten-Free Apple Cake: Ingredients & Substitutions

As always it is best to follow this gluten-free Paleo Cake recipe as it’s written, but here are a few potential substitutions!

  • Tapioca Flour.  Arrowroot powder is an acceptable substitute for tapioca flour! You can also use corn starch but it’s not paleo.
  • Coconut oil. Butter is a super yummy (but not dairy-free) substitute for coconut oil! Ghee is also a great substitution!
  • Coconut sugar. Any granulated sugar works great in this recipe, just be sure it complies with your dietary needs.
  • Pecans. I have used walnuts with delicious results as well!
front view of a paleo gluten-free apple cake before being sliced

How to make Gluten-Free Apple Cake

  1. Finely dice the apples. This will ensure that the apples in the cake are fully baked (and not hard and crunchy)
  2. No Peeling Required. Since peeling is unnecessary, this best Apple Cake recipe is SUPER easy to make. I love that keeping the skin on the apples adds nutrition and fiber to this fabulous fall dessert!
  3. Making the topping. I know I say that the topping is optional, but really the sweet and salty crunch of the pecans is SO good I don’t recommend skipping it! I use a nut chopper to finely chop the pecans, but you can use a knife and cutting board if you don’t have one of those!
  4. Let it cool before removing from the cake pan. Please be sure to give this gluten-free apple cake recipe plenty of time to cool in the cake pan. This ensures that it will hold it’s shape and not fall apart when it’s removed from the pan.
overhead view of a collage of six pictures showing the steps in making this paleo gluten-free apple cake recipe

Serve

Serve this healthy apple cake warm with a scoop of paleo vanilla ice cream or homemade whipped cream!

Store

Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up 5-7 days.

Overhead view of a paleo gluten-free apple cake with one slice cut from it, resting on a pie server ready to be pulled off the serving platter

Recipe FAQs

What are the best apples for baking this recipe? 

Any who. I believe the absolute best apples for baking are Pink Lady apples. They are a little sweet, and a little tart, and absolutely perfect in this Gluten-Free Apple Cake recipe! Some suggestions include (but are not limited to):
Pink Lady Apples. Must mention again because they’re my favorite!
Honey Crisp Apples. These are a sweeter variety, but super crisp with amazing flavor.
Granny smith. The traditional tart baking apple! They hold up well and add a nice little sour kick to the recipe!
Jazz apples and Gala apples. These varieties are very similar. They are great for baking but are mostly sweet with little (if any) sour taste!

Front view of a slice of gluten-free apple cake on a plate with a bite taken out of it sitting on a fork next to the piece of cake

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Gluten-Free Apple Cake (Paleo)

Laura
This gluten-free apple cake is the best apple cake recipe ever! It's an easy, healthy paleo dessert that’s made without refined sugar and bursting with cozy fall flavors.
4.98 from 46 votes
Course Breakfast, Dessert, Snack
Cuisine American
Servings 9 Slices of Cake
Calories 216
Prep Time5 minutes
Cook Time30 minutes
Total Time35 minutes

Ingredients 
 

Cake:

Topping:

Instructions 

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 9" round cake pan, set aside.
  • In a small bowl, mix together almond flour, tapioca flour, baking soda, salt, and ½ tsp of cinnamon; set aside.
  • In a large bowl, mix together melted coconut oil, coconut sugar.
  • Mix in egg and and vanilla until well combined.
  • Add the flour mixture and stir until just combined.
  • Stir in the apples, pour into prepared pan.
  • Sprinkle pecans on top.
  • In a cup or small bowl, stir together the remaining cinnamon and sugar; sprinkle over pecans.
  • Bake for 25 to 30 minutes in preheated oven until the cake springs back when lightly touched and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
  • Let the cake cool completely on a wire rack. Then slice and enjoy.

Video

Notes

Ingredient Substitutions

  • Tapioca Flour.  Arrowroot powder is an acceptable substitute for tapioca flour! You can also use corn starch but it’s not paleo.
  • Coconut oil. Butter is a super yummy (but not dairy-free) substitute for coconut oil! Ghee is also a great substitution!
  • Coconut sugar. Any granulated sugar works great in this recipe, just be sure it complies with your dietary needs.
  • Pecans. I have used walnuts with delicious results as well!

Serve

Serve this healthy apple cake warm with a scoop of paleo vanilla ice cream or homemade whipped cream!

Store

Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up 5-7 days.

Nutrition

Serving: 1slice | Calories: 216kcal | Carbohydrates: 18g | Protein: 3.7g | Fat: 15.4g | Saturated Fat: 6.6g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.8g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1.5g | Cholesterol: 20mg | Sodium: 195mg | Potassium: 43mg | Fiber: 2.2g | Sugar: 14.6g | Vitamin A: 45IU | Vitamin C: 1.7mg | Calcium: 37mg | Iron: 0.8mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Did you enjoy this recipe? Have a question? Leave a comment below!

More delicious apple recipes: 

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Recipe Rating




81 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    I’ve been making this cake for several years on repeat with huge success and everyone loving it. Only thing I do different is grating the apples instead of cutting then

  2. 5 stars
    This gluten free apple cake is now the 3rd recipe I’ve tried from joyfoodsunshine website. I put my apples in a little food chopper and probably got them ‘diced’ a little too much as my cake may be a tad too moist! But it’s very good! I was diagnosed with celiac one year ago. And I have a big sweet tooth so I was skeptical on no refined sugar, I will say it’s not quite as sweet as I’m used to and the flours and coconut sugar is new to me to taste and use but I think once I get used to it instead of refined I will love your recipes even more! Thank you for having so many gluten free recipes for us!

  3. 5 stars
    Loved this cake! It is so good and easy to make! The paleo banana bread is also wonderful. Thank you for so many good recipes.

  4. I made this recipe yesterday and it was so delicious! I could eat the entire cake in one sitting. I did use 2 eggs as the mix was to stiff to stir in the apples and it worked great.

  5. 5 stars
    Made as is is delicious! I was trying to replicate an apple cake my mom used to make, so I doubled the recipe and added an egg- I did also added a little freshly grated nutmeg. it was perfect The nut topping was not part of the original recipe, but I kept that since it took things over the top!

  6. 5 stars
    So delicious. I was craving apple something as September crept in. Served with a caramel ice cream over warm cake. Thank You

  7. 5 stars
    FInally. A truly DELICIOUS paleo cake!! I doubled the recipe, and used walnuts as I was out of pecans. I have tons of apples left to use so am going to make another double batch tomorrow and freeze it. The husband even said he could eat this regularly! Thank you, thank you!!

  8. Hi all, what can I substitute for Tapioca flour.. my cupboard is not exactly as it use to be so I also do not have any corn starch… I can handle the substitute if it’s not paleo; no problem. Thanks. I really want to make this today!