A quickly disappearing dessert or snack, this Gluten-Free Spiced Apple Cake is low on fuss, sugar, and calories, but big on satisfaction and fall flavor. This cake is also naturally dairy-free.
This recipe post was originally published on November 19, 2019. It was updated with new recipe tips and photos on July 29, 2020.
Tender, moist, naturally sweet, and warmly spiced, this Gluten-Free Spiced Apple Cake is simple to make, totally family-friendly, and loaded with fresh apples! See my notes below on the best apples to use in this cake.
This apple cake is large and is perfect for fall potlucks, Sunday dinners, or after school snacks. Whichever way you serve it, it's likely to be gobbled up quickly!
I've been all about those blender dessert recipes lately, and this Gluten-Free & Dairy-Free Apple Blender Cake is no exception.
"What??" you may be asking. "Dessert recipes in a BLENDER?"
I know, not the first time I've confused someone with what I'm doing.
And I'm not even talking about mousses here. I'm talking about 100% legit baked good recipes you can make in a blender.
That's right, the type of recipes where you dump all the ingredients in a blender, run it, possibly stir in a few quick add-ins, and then pour into a pan before baking!
'Cause why not make all of our lives easier?! It's a great way to make delicately textured gluten-free baked goods. Blending up oats with the rest of the ingredients equals an oat flour that rivals (and is cheaper than) any gluten-free flour blend.
Also, in the case of this gluten-free apple cake, don't even bother peeling or dicing more than half of your apples. Leave the hard work up to the blender and then grab your book, a cup of tea or wine, and relax while your oven does the rest of the work for you.
This Gluten-Free Apple Cake Is...
- Reduced sugar
- Full of whole grains
- Lower calorie
- Warmly spiced
- A one-bowl recipe
- Perfect in fall or early winter
- Packed with fresh apples
- Full of whole grains
- A delicious snack
- A cozy breakfast
- A crave-worthy dessert
- .... and everything else in between
Make every part of these shorter fall days sweeter with a cozy & delicious, yet healthier baked good you can feel good about.
- Unsweetened almond (or other nut) milk -- dairy milk should work fine, too, but it will no longer be dairy-free. Just make sure you're using unsweetened milk!
- Coconut oil -- use raw and virgin coconut oil for the best flavor
- Unsweetened applesauce -- the sauce adds moisture and natural sweetness to the cake
- Large eggs -- these bind the cake together
- Fresh apples -- the sweeter and firmer, the better! See my notes below on my preferred type
- Dark brown sugar -- light brown sugar also works in a pinch. Dark brown adds a memorable depth of flavor to the cake, however, and is totally worth finding it
- Cinnamon & nutmeg -- two classic fall spices that warm up the cake and complement all that amazing apple flavor!
- Old fashioned oats -- quick-cooking oats or steel-cut oats don't work in this recipe. Use certified gluten-free oats to keep this cake free of any gluten
- Salt, baking soda, & baking powder -- salt brings out all the flavors in the cake and baking soda and powder make the cake rise
What apples are best for this cake?
My favorite apples for this cake are Fuji apples! They're also usually relatively easy to find here in the United States, too.
Braeburn, Pink Lady, and Honeycrisp apples will also work in this recipe if you can't find Fuji, however. As long as your apples are tart, sweet, and crunchy, they should work just fine in this recipe.
Do you need to peel the apples for this recipe?
No, you do not need to peel your apples for this recipe. You can peel them if you don't like the peel, but the peel won't detract from the look or flavor of the cake.
I usually don't peel the apples that I blend up in the batter but I will peel the apples that I cut up and stir in into the batter before baking. Experiment with your favorite way to prepare the apples for this cake!
How do you make gluten-free apple cake?
We'll make this apple cake in a few simple steps:
- Preheat the oven -- to 350 degrees Fahreneheit and grease your 8 x 13" baking pan with non-stick spray or coconut oil .
- Blend up the batter -- add the almond milk, coconut oil, applesauce, eggs, vanilla, dark brown sugar, spices, salt, baking soda and powder, 3 cups of the oats, salt, and 3 of the cored apples in that order into the blender. Blend the batter for 1-1.5 minutes, or until the batter is smooth and creamy.
- Stir in the oats -- remove the blender pitcher from the stand and mix the remaining cup of oats into the batter until combined.
- Make the streusel -- in a medium-sized bowl, mix together all the streusel ingredients with a fork until pebble size chunks of streusel form.
- Assemble the cake -- pour the cake batter into the greased cake pan. Evenly sprinkle the streusel over the batter.
- Bake the cake -- pop the cake in the oven and bake for 40-42minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean.
- Cool the cake and serve -- remove the cake from the oven and place it on a wire rack. Let it cool for 15-20 minutes and serve warm with ice cream or let it cool entirely and serve it at room temperature. Either way, enjoy!
Can you make baked goods with a blender?
Yes! You definitely can make baked goods with a blender. Check out my list of blender dessert recipes below. In all of them, simply add the ingredients to a blender and run in order to make your batter.
You can't make every dessert in a blender. Some recipes call for creaming butter or other non-blender techniques, but these recipes are perfect for the ease and low-maintenance clean up of a blender.
Can you make gluten-free apple muffins with this recipe?
Yes, you can make gluten-free apple muffins with this recipe. Just make the batter as directed and pour the batter by ⅔ cup fulls into a greased or lined muffin pan.
Then, sprinkle the muffins with streusel and bake the muffins for 23-26 minutes, or until they are baked through and a knife inserted into the center comes out clean.
Can you make this recipe without a blender?
Though I really wish you could make this recipe without a blender, you do need it to blend up the apples into the batter.
How or when do you serve this apple cake?
This apple cake is good almost any time you want to eat it 😉, however, here are some of my favorite ways to serve it:
- After school (or work!) snacks
- Post workout refueling
- Evening treats
- Powdered sugar
- Coconut oil
- Whipped cream
- Vanilla yogurt
- Vanilla or cinnamon ice cream
Can you freeze leftover cake?
Yes, you can freeze this leftover cake, no problem! Just wrap it up in an airtight and freezer-safe container and this cake will last for up to 2 months in the freezer.
Pro-tip: cut the cake up into squares before freezing it so you can grab individual pieces of cake as you wish!
Can you halve or double this recipe?
Yes, you can do either.
To halve this recipe, divide all the ingredients by two and follow the recipe instructions as listed. Pour the batter into an 8 x 8" baking pan instead of an 8 x 13", however, and bake the cake for 28-32 minutes, or until the cake is cooked through and a knife inserted into the center comes out clean.
To double this recipe, simply create this recipe twice, pouring the batter into two different 8 x 13" baking pans and baking as directed.
Tools needed to make this cake:
- Vitamix Blender, or other high-speed blender
- Measuring cups and spoons
- Medium-sized mixing bowl
- Silicone spatula or scraper
- Cutting board
- Chef knife
- Vegetable peeler
- 9 x 13" baking pan
More fall recipes:
- Instant Pot Apple Butter
- Gluten-Free Pumpkin Spice Blender Muffins
- Gluten-Free Blender Pancakes (No Flour or Bananas!)
Other healthier baking recipes you might like:
- Oatmeal Raisin Chocolate Chip Cookies
- Oat Protein Breakfast Cookies
- Lemon Poke Cake
- Gluten-Free Zucchini Bread
- Gluten-Free Peach Cobbler
- Chocolate Peanut Butter Swirled Banana Bread
- EASY Peanut Butter Bacon Dog Treats
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