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!
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.
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.
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.
- 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. :)
Paleo Apple Cake (gluten-free, dairy-free, grain-free)
- Prep Time:
- Cook Time:
- Ready in:
- Yield: 16 slices
- 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")
- 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
- 1/2-1 cup chopped and roasted walnuts or pecans
For the cake:
For the frosting:
- Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C). Line an 8"x8" pan with a sheet of parchment paper.
- In a medium bowl, mix together the dry ingredients (almond flour through nutmeg). Set this aside.
- In a large bowl, mix together the eggs, oil, maple syrup, and vanilla.
- Add the dry mix to the wet and mix just until combined.
- Gently fold in the grated apples and then the chopped apples.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Let cool about 5-10 minutes and then pour over the cooled cake. Top with chopped nuts, if desired.
- Store the frosted cake in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.