Paleo Apple Cake (gluten-free, dairy-free, grain-free)

This paleo apple cake is super moist, full of fall flavor and made with a blend of almond and coconut flours for the best texture. Topped off with an amazing caramel fudge frosting!

I absolutely love this time of year. And I love that there are apple trees all around our apartment and around town that are free to be picked.

This means we’ve got a lot of apples sitting around. Apples that are just waiting to be baked into something delicious!

So far, I’ve made my Swedish apple pie, this gluten-free apple crisp and I’m excited to try this overnight baked apple oatmeal recipe.

This paleo apple cake is super moist, flavorful and made with a blend of almond and coconut flours for the best texture. With caramel fudge frosting.

But this paleo apple cake was the first thing I made this lovely apple season! It’s super moist and loaded with cinnamon. The first time I made it, it wasn’t apple-y enough for me so there’s some grated apples in there for extra apple flavor.

The frosting’s pretty amazing. Because the caramel fudge candy I posted recently is so ridiculously delicious, I just made a bigger batch of that to pour over the cake. And I think it was a very good decision. :D

Before I tried that, I looked at other paleo caramel frosting recipes and they were too complicated. Like making caramel first and then using that as an ingredient in the frosting recipe.

This delicious paleo apple cake is super moist, flavorful and made with a blend of almond and coconut flours for the best texture. With caramel fudge frosting.

I really doubt that any regular frosting recipe could be more delicious than the one in this recipe plus it’s the easiest way so I consider it a win-win! The “frosting” on this paleo apple cake is kind of like a cross between fudge and caramel.

If you want something more frosting-like, try the maple cream frosting I used for my paleo pumpkin cake. It would be perfect on this cake!

If apple isn’t your thing and you’re already loving all things pumpkin, this paleo vegan pumpkin pie, these paleo pumpkin muffins, or these gluten-free pumpkin cupcakes are some of my reader favorites! Mine, too.

This amazing paleo apple cake is super moist, flavorful and made with a blend of almond and coconut flours for the best texture. With caramel fudge frosting.

Questions about this paleo apple cake?

If you have questions about the frosting, please check out the questions section at the bottom of my caramel fudge candy recipe.

  • What can I use instead of almond flour / coconut flour? You could use another type of nut flour or meal for the almond flour but there’s no sub for coconut flour and you unfortunately can’t just omit it. It absorbs much more liquid than other types of flour.

    If you want to use a gluten-free 1-to-1 baking flour or whole wheat flour, you have to try my caramel apple cake!

  • What can I use instead of eggs? I’ve tried making this cake vegan several times with chia eggs and an egg replacer. I wasn’t successful.

    Grain-free cake recipes like this one can sometimes be finicky when it comes to subbing the eggs.

  • This amazing paleo apple cake is super moist, flavorful and made with a blend of almond and coconut flours for the best texture. With caramel fudge frosting.

  • Do I have to use grated apples? Yes. It adds sweetness and moisture. The cake is too dry without it (in my opinion!).

  • Can I use a different sweetener? I’ve tried this apple cake with honey and maple syrup. Another liquid sweetener would probably work.

    If you want, you can omit the coconut sugar or sub with it another granulated sweetener. I think the cake is better with the extra sweetness, though. :)

This amazingly delicious paleo apple cake is super moist, flavorful and made with a blend of almond and coconut flours for the best texture. With caramel fudge frosting.

Paleo Apple Cake (gluten-free, dairy-free, grain-free)

Rated 5.0 by 4 readers
Paleo Apple Cake (gluten-free, dairy-free, grain-free)
  • Prep Time:
  • Cook Time:
  • Ready in:
  • Yield: 16 slices


    For the cake:

  • 1 3/4 cups + 2 tablespoons (188 grams) almond flour
  • 3 tablespoons + 2 1/4 teaspoons (30 grams) coconut flour, sifted if lumpy
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 3 large eggs (50 grams each, out of shell), room temperature
  • 7 1/2 tablespoons (105 grams) coconut oil, melted
  • 1/2 cup (160 grams) maple syrup or honey
  • 3 tablespoons (36 grams) coconut sugar
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup (120 grams) coarsely grated peeled apples
  • 1 3/4 cups (220 grams) Granny Smith apple chunks (about 1/4")
  • For the frosting:

  • 2/3 cup (160 milliliters) maple syrup
  • 7 tablespoons (112 grams) cashew butter
  • 1/3 cup (75 grams) coconut oil
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/8 - 1/4 teaspoon salt if your cashew butter is unsalted
  • For decoration:

  • 1/2-1 cup chopped and roasted walnuts or pecans


  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C). Line an 8"x8" pan with a sheet of parchment paper.
  2. In a medium bowl, mix together the dry ingredients (almond flour through nutmeg). Set this aside.
  3. In a large bowl, mix together the eggs, oil, maple syrup, and vanilla.
  4. Add the dry mix to the wet and mix just until combined.
  5. Gently fold in the grated apples and then the chopped apples.
  6. Pour the batter into the pan and bake for 20-24 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. Let cool completely before frosting.
  7. In a small saucepan, mix together the maple syrup, cashew butter and coconut oil over medium heat. Add salt, if using (starting off with 1/8 teaspoon and adding more, if needed). At first it might not appear to come together well but be patient.
  8. Stirring constantly, bring to a boil and while continuing to stir constantly, boil for about 2 minutes. It should have thickened a bit and become glossy. If it hasn't, boil for up to another minute. If you use a heavy bottom pan, you may need to boil it a little longer. Stir in the vanilla until well combined.
  9. Let cool about 5-10 minutes and then pour over the cooled cake. Top with chopped nuts, if desired.
  10. Store the frosted cake in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.

Recipe by  |

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

33 comments on “Paleo Apple Cake (gluten-free, dairy-free, grain-free)” — Add one!

1 comment is awaiting moderation!

  • Elizabeth says
    September 27, 2020 @ 11:32 pm

    This looks delicious and I would love to make it – but I don’t see a link to just print out the recipe. I tried hitting print and I got 18 pages worth of printing, all with pictures of eggs and the included ads.
    There must be a way for me to print out this delicious looking recipe but I just don’t see it. Help!

    • Erin replies to Elizabeth
      October 2, 2020 @ 2:48 pm

      I’m so sorry for just now seeing your question! The print button is in the recipe box. There’s a square picture in the recipe box, with hearts above it and below there’s a printer icon and it says Print. Also, if you ever come across a page that doesn’t have a print button, you can copy and paste the text into a word document and print that way. :) I hope that helps!

  • Kelly says
    February 4, 2019 @ 9:37 pm

    I’m wishing for this tasty cake for Valentine’s Day. Looks amazing!

    • Erin replies to Kelly
      February 10, 2019 @ 1:06 pm

      I hope you’ll get it! ;)

  • jenna urben says
    January 26, 2019 @ 10:28 pm

    Love that you used coconut sugar! I’ve been trying to find more ways to use it :) These look so delish, perfect for parties!

    • Erin replies to jenna urben
      January 28, 2019 @ 8:32 pm

      There are so many great uses for it!

      • Carike replies to Erin
        June 27, 2019 @ 7:53 pm

        I can’t see at what stage you add the coconut sugar? Both times I made it I forgot and then just add in the end. Can I also leave the coconut sugar out?? As there is plenty of sweetness from honey/syrup?

        • Erin replies to Carike
          July 3, 2019 @ 8:40 pm

          I’m sorry for just now seeing your question! You add it right after the maple syrup or honey. Thanks for pointing that out! I’ve fixed it. If the cake is sweet enough for you, you can leave it out.

  • Jules Shepard says
    January 11, 2019 @ 5:53 pm

    This looks delicious and seriously the only thing I’m missing is cashew butter! I know this will be a crowd pleaser – YUM!

    • Erin replies to Jules Shepard
      January 14, 2019 @ 12:50 pm

      It sure is! Hope you’ll get to give it a try. :)

  • Sarah says
    November 22, 2018 @ 4:25 am

    This looks simply amazing! Craving all things apple and cannot wait to make this as soon.

    • Erin replies to Sarah
      November 25, 2018 @ 8:00 pm

      Thanks so much! :)

  • Kristina says
    November 4, 2018 @ 12:16 am

    I followed the recipe but the middle didn’t want to set up. I had to add another ten or so mins just to get it to firm up enough, but it still sort of collapsed. Any suggestions on getting it to set up better in the middle?

    • Erin replies to Kristina
      November 6, 2018 @ 8:07 pm

      Did you make any subs or any kind of changes at all to the recipe? What kind of pan did you use? Was it by any chance a dark, almost black one or a glass pan? Are you sure your oven isn’t running too hot? I’ve never had this cake collapse (I’ve made it several times) so I’m not sure what else could have caused that! I’ve had this issue when using loaf pans but not an 8″x8″. I hope it was at least tasty. :)

      • Kristina replies to Erin
        November 6, 2018 @ 8:39 pm

        No substitutes and baked in a sqare 8×8 metal pan (light color), and oven works fine. I think it only collapsed because of the added weight of the frosting, but the middle would not firm up and was still all jiggly before I added extra time. A friend suggested it could be the almond flour – do you use the extra-fine almond flour for baking? It was definitely tasty so will need to try again, maybe with the extra-fine flour.

        • Erin replies to Kristina
          November 8, 2018 @ 7:36 pm

          Hmm. I’ve used both extra-fine and regular almond flour but didn’t notice a difference with this recipe. I’ve noticed a difference in the final results with cookies, but not with cakes. But it’s worth a try! Sorry I can’t be more helpful.

  • Julie says
    October 10, 2018 @ 12:41 am

    This cake is DELISH! Wish it made a 13×9. Was also wondering about the measuring amounts. 1 3/4 C almond flour is only 2 T away from 2 C. Much easier to measure. So is 7 1/2 T of coconut oil. (1/2 C). I just rounded everything up and it turned out fantastic. (3/8 of a t of salt???) Just seems a bit odd to me. lol But I do LOVE the cake!

    • Erin replies to Julie
      October 10, 2018 @ 8:49 pm

      I’m so happy you enjoyed it! You could double the recipe and that’d likely work well in a 13″x9″. :) I use grams when measuring and tested this recipe 10+ times to get it just how I wanted it. Hence the measurements. ;) Thanks for your comment!

  • susie says
    September 24, 2018 @ 10:59 pm

    I made this cake this weekend and we do love it, especially the addition of the delicious frosting. BUT, one concern I have is what is the best way to remove pieces of the frosted cake? I find that after it is refrigerated it is difficult to remove a piece without it breaking into pieces. It is super moist and the parchment gets quite soggy. Any suggestions?

    • Erin replies to susie
      September 26, 2018 @ 10:11 am

      Hi! I’m happy you like it. :) You mean the cake breaks into pieces or the parchment paper? I’ve had the soggy parchment paper problem with different brands and just switched (but I live in Germany so what brand I use isn’t helpful). I can’t think of a very good solution. :/ Just cutting it into pieces and then refrigerating, which definitely isn’t very convenient. You could also oil the pan instead of using paper (if that’s what the problem was). Sorry I can’t give you a better answer!

  • Jana says
    September 22, 2018 @ 3:51 pm

    Will almond butter work in place of cashew butter? I can’t have cashews. And thanks for no sugar substitutes! Can’t do those either and both maple syrup and coconut sugar have their own health benefits. This looks amazing!

    • Erin replies to Jana
      September 22, 2018 @ 8:56 pm

      You can! :) I took this from the questions section of the frosting post: “What can I use instead of cashew butter? I’ve made this with peanut butter (for a non-paleo version), almond butter and sunflower seed butter for a nut-free version. If you use almond butter, it won’t taste caramel-like at all. But it’ll still be yummy (although I think some added cinnamon would be a good idea!).” I hope you’ll enjoy the cake! I’d love to hear how it comes out.

  • Erin | Dinners,Dishes and Dessert
    September 19, 2018 @ 5:19 pm

    Love this apple cake! Craving for this!

  • Kimberly says
    September 19, 2018 @ 1:26 am

    WOW, that looks incredible, I can’t wait to try it!

  • Anna
    September 18, 2018 @ 7:36 pm

    I am swooning over the frosting in this cake! Wish I had a slice right now!

  • Catalina
    September 18, 2018 @ 9:31 am

    Will be great to have this Apple Cake on hand this week! Yum!

  • Brittany Audra @ Audra's Appetite says
    September 18, 2018 @ 3:36 am

    Love how much apples are packed into this cake! Good reminder on the Swedish apple pie; I’ve been meaning to make that! :)

  • Demeter says
    September 17, 2018 @ 7:35 pm

    Wow, this sounds so perfect for fall! That “frosting” is making me drool!

  • Natalie
    September 17, 2018 @ 5:34 am

    I love apple cakes! This cake looks so delicious and moist! Perfect for the season!

  • Charlotte Moore says
    September 17, 2018 @ 5:17 am

    Oh yes, apple recipes for me. Never ready for pumpkin until late Oct. or Nov. It looks yummy! Wish it was low carb. HA!!

    • Erin replies to Charlotte Moore
      September 17, 2018 @ 9:35 pm

      I’m sorry it’s not low-carb! It seems like it’s what everyone wants these days but low-carb sweeteners and me don’t get along. :(

  • Diane Gregory says
    September 17, 2018 @ 3:19 am

    If we could use granulated lakanto (monk fruit or erithrytol) it would be better than maple and honey that have too much sugar and carbs. I love your attempt at better health baking.

    • Erin replies to Diane Gregory
      September 17, 2018 @ 9:35 pm

      Low-carb sweeteners (at least all I’ve tried, including monk fruit and erythritol) give me digestive issues so I can’t use them. Sorry. :(


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: