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Hello! I’m Anjali. I’m a board certified health coach, author, wife, mom and food lover from the SF Bay area (now living in Seattle, WA!); with a passion for delicious food and a desire to make healthy eating easy, tasty and fun! Learn more about me here and stay for a while!

Anjali Shah

Healthy Gluten Free Apple Cake

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This gluten-free apple cake makes an excellent breakfast bake or dessert! It’s topped with a cinnamon oat crumble, and packed with warm spices, and sweet apples. A super easy recipe, that’s sure to be a crowd-pleaser. It also happens to be healthy, with only 4 grams of added sugar per serving!

easy healthy gluten free apple cake recipe on a plate

Apple crumbles are one of my favorite desserts: they’re seasonal, juicy, and I can’t get enough of that crumbly, crisp, spiced oat topping. Traditionally they’re pretty rich and high in sugar – which is great for a once-in-a-while treat! I wanted to create a twist on the traditional apple crumble — with all of the flavors of the original recipe, but slightly lightened up and free of refined sugar.

This delicious gluten-free apple cake recipe is made with a gluten-free flour blend and lightly sweetened with coconut sugar. My favorite part of this recipe is that it’s versatile! You can prepare it for a crowd for a special brunch, or enjoy it as a dessert during the autumn months. Gluten-free cakes are really perfect for all of your guests!

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This dish is cozy, comforting and one of the best healthy desserts I’ve ever had. The whole family will love it and you won’t be able to tell that there’s only 4 grams of added sugar per serving (the rest of the sweetness in this recipe comes from the fruit!)

This dish is so warm and hearty, and the natural sweetness of the apple works so well with the spiced warmth of the cinnamon. It’s a great holiday dessert option, or even to enjoy with your morning coffee or tea. And at under 236 calories per serving, it’s a healthy one too!

👩‍🍳 Why This Recipe Works

  • Gluten-Free
  • Refined Sugar Free
  • Simple Ingredients
  • Moist Cake
  • High in Fiber
  • Low in Sugar
  • Healthy Apple Cake recipe that tastes amazing!
  • Perfect cake for Rosh Hashanah
  • Great during apple season or any time of the year!

🥘 Ingredients

This simple cake recipe calls for basic ingredients easily found at most grocery stores (or in your pantry!) See the recipe card below for detailed instructions and nutrition information.

ingredients for easy healthy gluten free apple cake recipe

Dry Ingredients

Gluten-Free Flour Blend: There are many different gluten-free flour blends on the market. Use one that is a 1:1 baking mix which mimics all-purpose flour. Bob’s Red Mill gluten-free 1:1 is my favorite to work with. This will yield the best results for a fluffy and light bake. I haven’t tried this recipe with almond flour, coconut flour, or another gluten free flour, but if you do decide to use almond flour, make sure to mix it with other lighter gluten free flours along with xanthan gum so the cake isn’t too dense.

Coconut Sugar: This is unrefined sugar that is less processed than cane sugar, or brown sugar. This is already a low sugar apple cake, but you can cut the coconut sugar by half if you want to reduce the sugar even further.

Warm Spices: A combination of cinnamon and nutmeg make this a distinctly autumn dessert. You can also use pumpkin pie spice or an apple pie spice mix.

Oats: Used as a crumble topping on the cake.

Wet Ingredients

Large Apples: Peel and core fresh apples. There are many different types to choose from. I recommend using Honeycrisp, Granny Smith (tart apples), Braeburn, or Pink Lady apples.

Eggs: You’ll need 6 large eggs. This creates a very fluffy texture, and makes it almost like a breakfast bake! To make a vegan apple cake, use a vegan egg substitute.

Almond Milk: I choose to use unsweetened almond milk, but you can use regular milk or another dairy-free milk if you have a nut allergy.

Raisins: Add a touch more natural sweetness, and texture to this fresh apple cake.

Butter: For added moisture and fat. Bring the butter to room temperature. Use vegan butter for a dairy-free option.

🔪 Instructions

Preheat the oven to 356F/ 180C. Peel, remove the core and slice the apples into thin slices. Set aside in a large bowl.

cut apples in a mixing bowl

In a medium mixing bowl whisk together the flour, baking powder, 4 tbsp coconut sugar, eggs, almond milk and vanilla extract.

egg mixture in a mixing bowl

Cook The Apples: Heat a saucepan over medium heat. Add the apple slices, lemon juice, raisins, 1 tsp cinnamon, nutmeg, ¼ cup coconut sugar, and butter. Stir until the butter and sugar have melted and started to bubble. Continue to stir and cook for another 3 minutes. Remove from the heat.

raisins and fruit cooked in a pot

Prep Baking Dish: Spray a 10-inch x 7inch baking dish, cake pan, or springform pan with cooking spray. Add the apple mixture and spread evenly over the base of the baking dish. Top with the egg mixture to create a cake batter.

egg mixture added to apples in casserole dish

In a separate mixing bowl, mix together all of the streusel topping ingredients. Evenly sprinkle over the top of the cake.

oat crumble added to top of apple oat cake

Bake for 25 minutes or until cooked through. When cooked, remove from the oven and allow to cool before serving. Serve this gluten free apple spice cake topped with maple syrup, whipped cream, or even coconut yogurt.

baked healthy apple cake in a casserole dish

❓Recipe FAQs

Why Are Apples Good For You?

Apples are one of the most popular fruits. A touch sweet and have a great texture, whether raw or baked! The saying “an apple a day keeps the doctor away” really is true, since apples are packed with health benefits.

Here are a few:
1) Apples are a good source of fiber and vitamin C.
2) They also contain polyphenols, which may have numerous health benefits.
3) Apples promote heart health in several ways. They’re high in soluble fiber, which helps lower cholesterol. The type of fiber in apples feeds good bacteria and may also be the reason they protect against obesity and heart disease.
4) Eating apples is linked to a lower risk of type 2 diabetes. This is possibly due to their polyphenol antioxidant content.

How Do You Make A Healthy Apple Cake?

Here are some of the swaps we made to make this cake healthier:

1) Healthier grains: Instead of using all purpose flour, we used gluten free flour and oats – making this recipe packed with fiber.

2) Natural sweetness: We used more apples and raisins (which contain natural sugar) and less added sugar to keep this cake sweet without making it high in added sugar!

3) All natural ingredients: By using organic, wholesome ingredients, this recipe ends up being rich in vitamins B and C, essential amino acids, and antioxidants, so it’s a powerhouse of nutritional benefits!

What Are The Best Apples For Baking?

The best baking apples offer a balance of sweet and tart flavors as well as flesh that doesn’t break down in the oven.

I used Fuji Apples for this recipe, but traditional red apples (e.g. Jonathans or Jonagolds) would work great as well. Other apples that would hold up well in the oven include Honeycrisp, Granny Smith (for a less sweet option), Braeburn, or Pink Lady.

How Do You Serve this easy gluten free apple cake?

This gf apple cake is great served plain but is delicious topped with unsweetened whipped cream, or vanilla ice cream, and a drizzle of caramel sauce. It is also the perfect sweet treat when paired with frozen yogurt, or a drizzle of honey or maple syrup over the top.

If you decide to go the whipped cream route, top the cake while it’s still slightly warm so that some of the whipped cream melts into the cake – yum! This is also the perfect cake to serve with a cup of coffee or tea!

What’s the best way to store this gluten free apple cake recipe?

This cake is best stored in the refrigerator. Cover or transfer to an airtight container. It will keep for up to 4 days in the fridge.

To freeze, cut the cake into individual sized pieces, wrap each one in foil, and place in an airtight freezer safe container. It will keep in the freezer for up to 3 months. To enjoy from frozen, thaw in the fridge overnight, then heat in the microwave or in the oven at 350 degrees until warmed through.

💭 Expert Tips

  • Brown sugar can be used instead of coconut sugar if preferred, this will give the dish a deeper flavor.
  • For nut allergies substitute the almond milk with soy, low fat or full cream / whole milk.
  • This cake is great baked ahead of time, is easily frozen and defrosts well.
  • If you don’t need to make this gluten-free, you can use whole wheat flour instead fo the gluten free flour.
  • This apple oat cake has 15 grams of total sugar, but only 4 grams of added sugar. Here’s how it breaks down: about 7 grams of sugar comes from the apples and the other dry ingredients and 4 grams comes from the raisins. The remaining 4 grams is added sugar – which is quite low overall! To reduce the added sugar even more, you can reduce the amount of coconut sugar you use, and to reduce the total sugar you can cut both the amount of coconut sugar and raisins by half. 
easy healthy gluten free apple cake recipe on a plate

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📋 Recipe Card

easy healthy gluten free apple cake recipe on a plate
Print Recipe
5 from 5 votes

Easy Gluten-Free Apple Cake Recipe

This easy, healthy gluten free apple cake makes an excellent breakfast bake or dessert! It's topped with a cinnamon oat crumble, and packed with warm spices, and sweet apples.
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time25 mins
Total Time35 mins
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Diet: Gluten Free, Vegan, Vegetarian
Servings: 12 servings
Calories: 236kcal
Author: Anjali Shah

Ingredients

  • 4 large apples I used Fuji Apples
  • 1 cup gluten-free flour blend
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 4 tbsp coconut sugar
  • 6 eggs or vegan egg replacer
  • cups unsweetened almond milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • ½ lemon juiced
  • ½ cup raisins chopped
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp nutmeg
  • ¼ cup coconut sugar
  • ½ cup butter or vegan butter

Topping

  • 2 tbsp coconut sugar
  • ½ tsp cinnamon
  • 4 tbsp gluten free oats

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 360 degrees F / 180 degrees C.
  • Peel, remove the core and slice the apples. Set aside.
  • In a medium mixing bowl whisk together the flour, baking powder, 4 tbsp coconut sugar, eggs, almond milk, and vanilla extract.
  • Heat a saucepan over medium heat. Add the sliced apples, lemon juice, raisins, 1 tsp cinnamon, nutmeg, ¼ cup coconut sugar, and butter. Stir until the butter and sugar have melted and started to bubble. Continue to stir and cook for another 3 minutes.
  • Remove from the heat.
  • Spray a 10 inch x 7 inch baking dish with spray oil. Add the apple mixture and spread evenly over the base of the baking dish. Top with the egg mixture.
  • In a small bowl mix together all of the topping ingredients. Evenly sprinkle over the apple bake.
  • Bake for 25 minutes or until cooked through.
  • When cooked, remove from the oven and allow to cool before serving. Serve topped with maple syrup, whipped cream, coconut yogurt, or even your favorite nut butter.

Video

Notes

  • If you don’t need to make this gluten-free, you can use whole wheat flour instead fo the gluten free flour.  
  • Brown sugar can be used instead of coconut sugar if preferred, this will give the dish a deeper flavor.
  • For nut allergies substitute the almond milk with soy, low fat, or full cream milk.
  • This breakfast bake is great baked ahead of time, is easily frozen, and defrosts well.
  • This recipe has 15 grams of total sugar, but only 4 grams of added sugar. Here’s how it breaks down: about 7 grams of sugar comes from the apples and the other dry ingredients and 4 grams comes from the raisins. The remaining 4 grams is added sugar – which is quite low overall! To reduce the added sugar even more, you can reduce the amount of coconut sugar you use, and to reduce the total sugar you can cut both the amount of coconut sugar and raisins by half. 

Nutrition

Serving: 1slice | Calories: 236kcal | Carbohydrates: 33g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 11g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 3g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 102mg | Sodium: 161mg | Potassium: 211mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 15g

Posted In…

Dessert ·

Indulge your sweet tooth with some of my lightened-up treats. From gluten-free brownies to fruity crumbles, there’s something for everyone.

Be sure to check out holiday favorites like my healthy pumpkin pie!

12 responses to “Healthy Gluten Free Apple Cake”

  1. My sister-in-law recently went gluten-free and I have been looking for some yummy treats to make her. This is perfect!5 stars

  2. Always looking for healthier alternatives to delicious desserts and this one did not disappoint! Very tasty and easy to make! Will definitely be making again.5 stars

  3. Hi Anjali I’m super excited to try this recipe! I’m not much of a baker, but I love trying new things! May I ask what the purpose of the apple juice is? Is it to create moisture, so the exterior of the apples don’t burn/ dry out? Thanks in advance!

    • Hi Jes! I can’t wait for you to try this! To your question – yup that’s exactly right — to create moisture when baking! And to add a little bit of sweetness to the dish!

      • Hi Anjali I don’t see anywhere you added apple juice in the ingredients or instructions. I’m a little confused.

      • Hi Anne! Sorry for the confusion! I actually updated and modified this recipe recently and removed the apple juice from the ingredients list. The comment you’re responding to is an old one associated with the old recipe! Hope that clears things up!

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