Gluten Free Apple Crisp Cake

Lately we have been getting the most delicious Vermont honeycrisp apples I have ever had. Literally every time I eat one I think it's the best apple I've ever tasted. They're sweet, juicy, and perfectly crunchy. So I knew I had to make an apple cake. I've never been a big fan of cakes with chunks though, and most of the apple cake recipes I found used chunks of apples. But then I had an idea, why not use a carrot cake recipe and substitute grated apple for the grated carrots! So I found a carrot cake recipe that looked promising, made a few modifications and it all turned out pretty darn good! The grated apple keeps it super moist and it's packed with that delicious honeycrisp flavor. You literally won't even know it's gluten free! I decided to add a layer of apple crisp topping in between each cake layer to bring in the crunchy texture and buttery, cinnamon flavor you get in an apple crisp. For frosting I settled on the same cinnamon cream cheese frosting I used for the sweet potato cake. This frosting is just perfect for fall and goes so well with fall flavors, tangy with a little bit of spice! Why gluten free? Both of my parents are gluten free and I made it for them!

Apple Cake Layers (adapted from

I used two 6" pans and then cut the layers in half to make 4 layers. You can also use larger pans, they will just make thinner layers.


1 cup canola oil

1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted

1 1/2 cups sugar

1 teaspoon salt

4 large eggs

2 teaspoons cinnamon

1 teaspoon nutmeg

2 cups gluten free flour blend*

2 teaspoons baking soda

3 cups grated apples

*I use a blend with white rice flour, potato starch, tapioca starch, and xanthan gum, you can also use regular all purpose flour if you don't want it to be gluten free!

Directions: 1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Spray and flour your pans. If you are making this gluten free, make sure you use gluten free flour for your pans too!

2. Beat canola oil, butter, and sugar well. Add the eggs one at time, beating after each until light and fluffy. Add the salt and spices and beat until combined.

3. Mix the flour and baking soda and stir in just until combined. Fold in the grated apples. Don't over mix at this point!

4. Fill your pans up to 2/3 full, if you're using 6" pans this might mean you'll have a little batter left over. I usually make a few cupcakes with it (they're perfect for an early taste test!). Bake the cakes until the center springs back when gently pressed. For 6" pans it took about 50 minutes. For larger, thinner layers it should be a little shorter.

5. Let cool about 10 minutes and then turn out onto cooling racks.

Crisp Topping


1 cup brown sugar

1 cup gluten free oats

3/4 cup gluten free flour

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 cup cold butter


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Mix the brown sugar, oats, flour, and cinnamon in a medium bowl. Add the cold butter and cut the butter in until it's evenly distributed. Spread the mixture on a baking sheet and bake until the edges are golden brown.

Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting (from

This recipe made enough for my 4 layer 6" cake.


1.5 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature

8 ounces cream cheese, room temperature

3.5 cups confectioner's sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 teaspoon cinnamon


1. Beat the butter until smooth. Add the cream cheese and beat until smooth and combined.

2. Add the confectioner's sugar one cup at a time, beating after each addition.

3. Add the vanilla and cinnamon and beat until combined.

Cake Assembly:

Put down your first cake layer. Spread a thin layer of frosting and then cover with a sprinkling of crisp topping. Place your next layer on top and fill in and smooth over the edge between it and the first layer. And repeat! Once you have all layers done smooth the frosting onto the sides of the cake and then gently press the crisp topping into it. I added some decorative apple slice to the top too!