Paleo Spice Cake with Maple Cream Frosting

This paleo spice cake with maple “cream cheese” frosting is an easy to make treat perfect for fall and Thanksgiving! Thanks to Bob’s Red Mill for making today’s post possible.

If you’ve tried and liked my paleo carrot cake cupcakes, you’re going to love this paleo spice cake! I exchanged the carrots for grated apples, added lots of autumn spices, a little coconut sugar, and 1.5x the recipe to fit an 8″x8″ pan.

The apples are in there just for moisture. I don’t recommend omitting them unless you want a dry cake (I’ve tried it, wanting to omit an extra step and ingredient). You can’t taste them at all, so use whatever type of apples you have.

At least I couldn’t taste them, but I used random sweet-tart apples I had laying around. If you use a sour apple like a Granny Smith, maybe you could taste them, but they’d fit right in! And make sure to use fresh apples and not old, mushy, dried-up apples (I’ve also tried that).

This paleo spice cake with maple cream cheese frosting is an easy to make treat perfect for fall and Thanksgiving! Grain-free, gluten-free and dairy-free.

I’ve made this cake with maple syrup but thought it was better with honey. It seemed a little sweeter plus you couldn’t taste the maple, anyway, and it didn’t seem like the best use of an expensive ingredient.

On top, I used my paleo and vegan maple cream cheese frosting. I just want to slather this on everything from October to Thanksgiving!

I also used it last year on my paleo pumpkin cake and Mr. T actually said he felt like I was wasting the frosting and that it needs to be eaten with a spoon rather than on top of a flavorful cake.

If you want something caramelly, try this paleo caramel sauce from Wicked Spatula!

Well I think that’s a nice plan and all, but it makes this paleo spice cake even more delicious! Do note that it yields a very, very thin layer of frosting. The pieces in the picture are from the very center of the cake and I think they just had more frosting than the other pieces.

You may want to 1.5x the frosting recipe (you can get the measurements in the original recipe linked to above) or even double it and eat whatever you have left over on apples or… with a spoon. :)

This easy paleo spice cake with maple cream cheese frosting is an easy to make treat perfect for fall and Thanksgiving! Grain-free, gluten-free and dairy-free.

You wouldn’t imagine how many questions I get asking if people can sub the coconut flour for something else. Or if they can use coconut flour instead of whatever flour I’ve used.

The answer’s always a big nope. Coconut flour is totally unique and absorbs so much more liquid than any other flour.

If you google coconut flour subs, you’ll find some suggestions but I really don’t recommend trying them. I’ve tried. I’ve tried them all. The result isn’t anything at all like the original recipe. At least in the recipes I’ve tried!

If you ever bake gluten-free, do yourself a favor and just get yourself some coconut flour.

This paleo spice cake recipe uses only 2 tablespoons of coconut flour but it’s necessary. You can’t use anything in it’s place and you just can’t omit it. I so wish it weren’t that way, because I know some people have coconut allergies. And if you don’t use it because you hate coconut, you can use it here because you absolutely can’t taste it in this recipe (and I believe the same is true for 90% of my coconut flour recipes!).

This delicious paleo spice cake with maple cream cheese frosting is an easy to make treat perfect for fall and Thanksgiving! Grain-free, gluten-free and dairy-free.

If you follow my blog, you know I love Bob’s Red Mill. And that I also live in Germany, where we don’t have their products. So I order a lot of flour from the US.

As someone who uses a ton of coconut flour, it would be a heck of a lot cheaper to just buy German coconut flour. It’s readily available here and it’s even pretty cheap when you buy it by the kilo.

I’ve tried maybe 6 different brands and I have to admit that I have 5 almost full bags of coconut flour in my cupboard. I give them a few tries, find that they’re too gritty and don’t absorb liquid as well, meaning my recipes don’t come out as intended and go back to Bob’s Red Mill.

Creating new recipes with coconut flour is already challenging enough. I definitely don’t need the added issue of grittiness! Bob’s Red Mill coconut flour is super fine and powdery and the other brands I’ve tried are definitely more textured and… not powdery.

Wondering what to do with coconut flour other than make this paleo spice cake? I’ve got about 50 coconut flour dessert recipes!

This easy and delicious paleo spice cake with maple cream cheese frosting is an easy to make treat perfect for fall and Thanksgiving! Grain-free, gluten-free and dairy-free.

But be warned! The texture of sweet treats that use just coconut flour as the sole flour is often kind of weird. So I rarely use it alone – I think it’s best when used in combination with almond flour or another type of flour.

For more tips on baking with coconut flour, check out this post: What Is It? Coconut Flour. I was happy to read that they agree with me – it’s definitely best to find a recipe that already calls for coconut flour rather than trying to sub it in for something else!

Thanks again to Bob’s Red Mill for sponsoring today’s post! They’ve also got a great collection of 8 Tried and True Coconut Flour Recipes. I can’t wait to try those Vanilla Almond Sugar Cookies! The texture on them looks amazing.

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

Rated 5.0 by 5 readers
Paleo Spice Cake with Maple Cream Frosting
  • Prep Time:
  • Cook Time:
  • Ready in:
  • Yield: 9 pieces


    For the cake:

  • 1 3/4 cups + 2 tablespoons (188 grams) Bob's Red Mill blanched almond flour
  • 3 tablespoons (24 grams) Bob's Red Mill coconut flour, sifted if lumpy
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon ground ginger
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cardamom
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 3 large eggs (50 grams each, out of shell), room temperature
  • 1/2 cup (113 grams) coconut oil, melted
  • 1/2 cup (160 grams) honey
  • 3 tablespoons (36 grams) coconut sugar
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup (110 grams) coarsely grated peeled apples
  • For the frosting (note that this makes a very thin layer):

  • 1 cup (132 grams) raw unsalted cashews, soaked1
  • 1/4 cup + 1/2 teaspoon (62 milliliters) maple syrup (I recommend using the darker Grade B kind like this so that the maple taste is more intense)
  • 2 teaspoons water
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • For the topping:

  • 1/3 batch (or more) maple candied walnuts made with pecans


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 °F (175 °C). Line an 8"x8" pan with a piece of parchment paper.
  2. In a medium bowl, mix together the dry ingredients (almond flour through allspice). Set this aside.
  3. In a large bowl, mix together the eggs, oil, honey, coconut sugar and vanilla.
  4. Add the dry mix to the wet and mix just until combined.
  5. Gently fold in the grated apples.
  6. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 20-22 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. Note that this cake is easy to over bake!
  7. While the cake is cooling, prepare the frosting.
  8. For the frosting:

  9. Drain the cashews and place all the ingredients in a high-speed blender jar (I don't think this would work in a food processor).
  10. Process on high speed for about 40 seconds or until totally smooth and no chunks remain.
  11. Add more lemon juice, vanilla and salt, if desired.
  12. Spread the frosting over the totally cooled cake. Refrigerate the frosted cake for up to 3 days. Top with maple pecans immediately before serving.


  1. To soak the cashews, place them in a large mug, small pot, or some kind of container that's safe to pour boiling water into. Pour enough boiling water over the cashews to cover them. Let them sit 1 1/2 to 2 hours.

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63 comments on “Paleo Spice Cake with Maple Cream Frosting” — Add one!

3 comments are awaiting moderation!

  • Angel says
    August 1, 2019 @ 4:02 pm

    I am new to Gluten free baking and it tasted amazing. I did have to sub the eggs for 3 flax eggs due to allergies and left out the cardamom because I don’t have any. It did have a little of a gritty texture and crumbly but my very picky mil liked her birthday cake.

    • Erin replies to Angel
      August 8, 2019 @ 7:15 pm

      I’m so glad that it worked out well with the flax eggs and that your MIL liked her birthday cake! :) Thanks so much for your review and sorry for my slow reply.

  • Elaine says
    October 13, 2018 @ 6:52 pm

    I can’t eat cashews. Can you use an alternative nut for the frosting?

    • Erin replies to Elaine
      October 14, 2018 @ 8:26 pm

      I haven’t found a good sub for cashews in this type of recipe. Sorry about that!

  • Very Ball says
    September 16, 2018 @ 6:05 pm

    Wow. This was wonderful. Made it for the paleos at a fall birthday celebration—including the honoree—to go with the regular birthday cake for the masses… it was so pretty and looked so scrumptious the regulars were eating it—and liking it! It’s going in my personal paleo favorites. Those candied nuts make a great stand alone snack. So easy. The whole cake really was, once you get past the cashew treatment—had some already soaked and ground in the freezer so it was really easy for me!

    • Erin replies to Very Ball
      September 17, 2018 @ 9:39 pm

      That’s great! I’m thrilled to hear that everyone enjoyed it, and not just the paleo people. :) It’s always so nice to hear that. Thanks a ton for your feedback! And what a great idea to freeze soaked cashews. Thanks for the tip!

  • Lisa Mair says
    October 30, 2017 @ 8:18 pm

    Hi! Can you use a vegan egg substitute instead of eggs? Thanks!

    • Erin replies to Lisa Mair
      October 30, 2017 @ 9:07 pm

      Hi there! I think I tried (I’m not positive because I made it so many times before posting) and wasn’t successful. 3 eggs is a lot to sub in a paleo recipe like this. Sorry about that. :(

      • Lisa Mair replies to Erin
        November 6, 2017 @ 4:05 am

        Thank you for replying! I thought that might be the case. But this looks so good, I might to give it a try anyway. I’ll let you know if I have any success.

        • Erin replies to Lisa Mair
          November 7, 2017 @ 8:35 am

          Sounds great! Thanks a bunch and good luck. :)

  • Leigh Ann Newman says
    October 21, 2017 @ 4:39 am

    Hi! Just made this as cupcakes and they are delicious. Did you have any idea what the nutritional information is on the cake without the frosting?

    • Erin replies to Leigh Ann Newman
      October 22, 2017 @ 9:29 pm

      Hi there! I’m so happy you enjoyed them. :) I don’t have that info but you can copy and paste the recipe here for the nutritional profile, if you’d like. Thanks for your feedback!

  • Katelyn says
    October 11, 2017 @ 2:21 am

    Do you add any liquid from the soaked cashews into th mixture, or do you need to drain the cashews? Looks delicious. Can’t wait to try it.

    • Katelyn replies to Katelyn
      October 11, 2017 @ 2:22 am

      Never mind! Guess I didn’t read far enough haha.

    • Erin replies to Katelyn
      October 11, 2017 @ 8:21 pm

      I hope you’ll enjoy the cake! I’d love to hear how it comes out.

  • Paula - bell'alimento says
    October 9, 2017 @ 7:52 pm

    Spice cake is so underrated. This looks amazing and hello maple cream frosting!

  • sam
    October 6, 2017 @ 1:13 pm

    Hey Erin…! this is one of my favorite recipe…and your paleo spice cake looks so yummy and beautiful, Thanks for sharing…!

    • Erin replies to sam
      October 8, 2017 @ 12:12 pm

      So happy you liked it! Thanks for your comment. :)

  • Jodelle says
    October 5, 2017 @ 7:14 pm

    Would like to bake this as donuts for family this weekend. Has anybody else tried this? Any idea how long to bake?

    • Erin replies to Jodelle
      October 6, 2017 @ 9:11 pm

      I haven’t tried it but I’d love to hear how they come out! Donuts usually take a LOT less time. I’d probably start checking around 6 minutes just to be safe (but it depends on the size of the donut molds and how full you fill them).

  • eat good 4 life says
    October 5, 2017 @ 2:20 pm

    This looks plain terrific. Exactly what I need as a sweet treat today. I need to get baking over the weekend.

  • Francesca
    October 5, 2017 @ 4:40 am

    Really nice balance of spices. It tastes like fall! First time I try a cashew frosting. Tasty, even my sons liked it! I had it for breakfast.Very filling but in a healthy way. I will be making this again. I doubled the icing but it would have been enough with the thin layer as the cake was very moist and good even by itself. Thank you for a very nice fall cake and to make me realized that cardamon adds a little something to the mix of spices!

    • Erin replies to Francesca
      October 5, 2017 @ 6:36 am

      You ate the frosting for breakfast? I love your style. I do the same. :D And isn’t cardamom nice?! It’s so rarely used and I have no idea why. It’s so good! I’m very happy to hear that you enjoyed the cake. Thanks so much for your comment. :)

  • Sharon @ What the Fork says
    October 5, 2017 @ 1:38 am

    Oh my goodness! I think I might be addicted to this cake just looking at your photos!

  • Kris says
    October 4, 2017 @ 10:12 pm

    Yum. This is perfect for this time of year!

  • Terri | Love and Confections says
    October 4, 2017 @ 4:37 pm

    This cake looks gorgeous. I love maple frosting, and candied pecans are my favorite fall snack. This is definitely going on my holiday bake list!

  • Jenny
    October 4, 2017 @ 3:34 pm

    This recipe is a keeper! We eat grain free, with 5 kids…They were thrilled with this cake! They love the cashew frosting on it. Personally, I think the cake is delicious with out the frosting… Thank you for such a great recipe!

    • Erin replies to Jenny
      October 5, 2017 @ 6:32 am

      You’re welcome! And thank you for your comment. :) I’m so happy that you and your kids enjoyed it! And awesome that you’re happy with the cake without the frosting. It just felt so naked to me without it. ;)

  • Angie | Big Bear's Wife says
    October 4, 2017 @ 11:35 am

    I am so in love with the frosting and the topping for this cake! It looks perfect!

  • Anna @ Crunchy Creamy Sweet says
    October 3, 2017 @ 9:59 pm

    This cake looks absolutely delicious and the frosting sounds dreamy!

  • Jennifer says
    October 3, 2017 @ 6:18 pm

    The perfect cake for Thanksgiving! I love using Bob’s Red Mill flours to bake with! :)

    • Erin replies to Jennifer
      October 5, 2017 @ 6:36 am

      Same! They’re the best. :)

  • Abeer says
    October 3, 2017 @ 5:47 pm

    I love everything about this dessert!

  • Lola says
    October 3, 2017 @ 4:06 pm

    I can’t eat apples or pears. Could I use pumpkin or sweet potato instead?

    • Erin replies to Lola
      October 3, 2017 @ 7:27 pm

      Pumpkin isn’t the same texture at all as grated apples so that wouldn’t work and I fear that sweet potato isn’t nearly as moist as apples, so I don’t think that’d work, either. I think finely grated carrots would work but I haven’t tried it!

  • Christine says
    October 3, 2017 @ 2:15 pm

    Dear Erin, this cake looks so good! I will definitely try it soon. I hope that you are doing well and I know how hard the last few weeks can be- you just want to “finish” it all. Get some sleep in advance! 😉 Crossing my fingers and wishing you all the best, Christine
    P.S.: I haven’t tried Bob’s Red Mill but it sounds very good. I’ve been using the products available here- always organic- and they were okay for me.

    • Erin replies to Christine
      October 3, 2017 @ 3:25 pm

      Hi Christine! You are so right – I’m very much ready to be finished. :) And sleep… well, I think I’ll be well-prepared for what’s to come. I’ve already been sleep-deprived for 8 months. ;) That’s great that the German flours work out for you! I guess you don’t really notice a difference unless you bake the same recipe (especially cookies!) with the German flours and then Bob’s Red Mill. At the same time. Then you can really see a difference. Thanks for your comment!

  • carrie @ frugal foodie mama says
    October 3, 2017 @ 1:27 pm

    What a perfect cake for fall! :) It looks perfect.

  • Patti
    October 3, 2017 @ 12:32 pm

    Hi Erin,
    Is it possible to use mapel syrup in place of the honey.? This looks and sound so good can’t wait to make it.

    • Erin replies to Patti
      October 3, 2017 @ 3:22 pm

      Hi there! Yes but please read the paragraph after the first photo for more details. :) Hope you’ll enjoy it! I’d love to hear how it comes out.

  • Patricia @ Grab a Plate says
    October 3, 2017 @ 4:30 am

    These look really great! I can’t wait to try the frosting — mmmm!

  • Charlotte Moore
    October 3, 2017 @ 3:01 am

    I have never used a flour that is like coconut flour. Such small amounts require so many eggs. I never try a recipe with it if the eggs and liquid seem small. It takes lots of liquid.

    This cake looks as moist as any cake I have seen made with wheat flour.

    • Erin replies to Charlotte Moore
      October 3, 2017 @ 3:26 pm

      Thanks! And it’s weird stuff, isn’t it? I’m a big fan of mixing it with almond flour, which cuts down on the number of eggs needed, which cuts down on the weird eggy texture a lot of paleo sweets have. :)

  • Amanda says
    October 3, 2017 @ 2:44 am

    I’m totally wow’ed by this recipe and these photos… that frosting looks so heavenly!!

  • Julie says
    October 3, 2017 @ 2:06 am

    This sounds lovely. Can you tell me how much chopped apples to add please? Can only see grated apples listed unless I’m missing it. :)

    • Erin replies to Julie
      October 3, 2017 @ 3:20 pm

      Thanks! There aren’t any chopped apples in the recipe, just grated. Sorry for the confusion! Hope you’ll like the cake. :)

  • Jen says
    October 3, 2017 @ 12:09 am

    I always know I’m getting a good product with Bob’s Red Mill. This cake just looks so moist and delicious!

    • Erin replies to Jen
      October 3, 2017 @ 3:27 pm

      So true! And it really is. :)

  • Sandy@RE says
    October 2, 2017 @ 10:14 pm

    We love Bob’s coconut flour. And this recipe … perfect for FALL!

  • Julia says
    October 2, 2017 @ 7:16 pm

    I love Bob’s Red Mill and that frosting sounds so tasty!


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