Caramel Apple Cake (gluten-free, whole grain options)

This caramel apple cake is full of cinnamon and apples and is topped off with a simple salted caramel frosting. With gluten-free and 100% whole grain options.

I posted this caramel apple cake over on My Baking Addiction the other day and thought twice before posting it over here. I don’t think MBA’s audience is all too interested in healthier sweet treats and I try to keep that in mind when developing those recipes. So this isn’t healthy in any shape or form. No need to send me nasty emails about it, though. ;)

Caramel Apple Cake {gluten-free, whole grain options}

There’s actually more sugar than flour in there. Yup. You could reduce it by a little and I’m pretty sure it’d still be plenty sweet and moist. There’s also a ton of oil. If you want, I think that could be reduced by a tablespoon or two. But I wouldn’t go cutting it in half!

Only as I’m writing this did I think about using half applesauce / half oil. That sounds like it could work and obviously the cake wouldn’t be hurt by the addition of more apple flavor.

The cake is actually a lot moister than you can tell just by looking at the pictures. I’m not quite sure why that is. Lighting? My photography skills? Who knows.

Caramel Apple Cake {gluten-free and whole grain options}

You can use whole wheat flour, a blend of gluten-free flours (listed in the recipe) or even all-purpose flour in this caramel apple cake. I’ve tested them all! I probably wouldn’t recommend whole spelt unless you reduce the oil by a tablespoon or so. The cake itself is dairy-free but the frosting isn’t.

The frosting is the same one I used in my caramel apple cheesecake bars. It’s so easy! I don’t like complicated caramel recipes because really – I’m destined to ruin it. If you’re a capable caramel maker, I bet this cake would be awesome together with some vanilla ice cream.

Caramel Apple Cake {whole grain and gluten-free options}

I hope everyone has a great Thanksgiving. :) If you haven’t entered my KoMo grain mill or pick-your-own German chocolate giveaways, be sure to do that as they end on Sunday night!

Caramel Apple Cake (gluten-free, 100% whole grain, options)

Rated 5.0 by 2 readers
Caramel Apple Cake (gluten-free, whole grain options)
  • Prep Time:
  • Cook Time:
  • Ready in:
  • Yield: 12-16 slices


    For the cake:

  • 1 3/4 cups (219 grams) whole wheat flour, white whole wheat flour, or all-purpose flour or a gluten-free flour blend1
  • 1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon, divided
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup (200 grams) brown sugar or coconut sugar
  • 3/4 cup (150 grams) + 1 tablespoon granulated or raw sugar, divided
  • 1 cup (225 grams) oil (I used melted refined coconut oil)
  • 3 large eggs, room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 3 1/3 cups (367 grams) peeled and diced apples (from about 3 1/2 medium apples)
  • For the caramel frosting:

  • 1/2 cup (113 grams) unsalted butter
  • 1 cup (200 grams) brown sugar or coconut sugar
  • 2/3 cup (158 milliliters) whipping cream
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/4-1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 cups (165 grams) powdered sugar


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 °F. Line a 9" x 13" baking pan with a piece of parchment paper or alternatively spray the pan with baking spray.
  2. In a medium mixing bowl, stir together the flour, 1 tablespoon cinnamon, nutmeg, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
  3. In a large mixing bowl, stir together the brown sugar, granulated sugar, oil, eggs and vanilla until thoroughly combined. Add in the flour mixture and mix just until well combined.
  4. Place the apples in a small bowl and sprinkle the remaining 1 tablespoon granulated sugar and 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon over the apples. Stir to coat the apples in the cinnamon sugar. Fold the apples into the batter.
  5. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 33-40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let cool completely before frosting.
  6. Prepare the frosting. Melt the butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Stir in the brown sugar and whipping cream. Once the mixture starts bubbling, stop stirring. Let the mixture come to a full boil and boil for 1 minute without stirring. Remove the pan from the heat. Stir in the vanilla, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and gradually add the powdered sugar. Whisk until the powdered sugar is fully incorporated and no lumps of sugar remain. Add the remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt, if desired. Once the cake has cooled, spread the frosting over the top and refrigerate any leftovers for up to 4 days. Let come to room temperature before serving.


  1. Although this doesn't yield 1 3/4 cups flour, this is what worked for me:
    • 1 cup (140 grams) rice flour
    • 1/3 cup (51 grams) potato flour
    • 2 tablespoons + 2 teaspoons (20 grams) tapioca flour
    • 1/2 teaspoon xanthan gum

Source: My post on My Baking Addiction – Caramel Apple Cake

Recipe by  |

Pin post on Pinterest Share post on Facebook Share post on Twitter Share post on Google+

48 comments on “Caramel Apple Cake (gluten-free, whole grain options)” — Add one!

Comments? I’d love to hear from you!

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked with *


Comments are moderated. If you don’t see your comment immediately, don’t panic… it went through! Thank you so much for taking time to leave feedback!

Please help others by rating the recipe: