Gluten-free Applesauce Cake made with whole grain oat flour and almond flour and topped with a maple cream cheese frosting. Gluten-free and refined sugar-free.
I've come to like the word "snack cake." It seems to allow for the more accurate moments in which we all would like a little piece of cake.
If you want a healthy gluten-free recipe with wholesome ingredients, this apple cake recipe is for you.
Why you'll love this recipe
- A blend of almond and oat flour keeps this gluten-free with a great texture.
- Unsweetened applesauce adds a natural sweetness that makes this guilt-free at any time of day.
- One-bowl recipe
- Simple ingredients for a simple cake!
Ingredients and substitutions
Here are a few quick notes about the ingredients in this recipe. You can see a complete ingredient list and instructions in the recipe card below.
Coconut Oil - this fat adds moisture while making the apple spice cake itself dairy-free. Olive oil can be used as a substitute if necessary. A vegan melted butter would work here as well.
Almond Flour - Adds a nuttiness and nice crumb and combined with oat flour makes the best texture. I would recommend avoiding almond meal as it can make the texture dense.
Almond flour is great in this apple mug cake!
Spices - I chose a mixture of traditional "warm" spices that make this recipe taste and feel like fall. A combination of cinnamon, allspice, and nutmeg makes the batter smell heavenly.
Dairy-Free Cream Cheese - Something about a maple syrup-infused cream cheese frosting pairs so well on this cake! The result is a creamy, lightly sweetened frosting.
Maple Syrup and Coconut Sugar - Keeps this healthy applesauce cake refined sugar-free! Honey can be used in place of the maple syrup.
Before you start: Preheat oven, then spray and line a square baking pan with parchment. Make sure this overhangs on all sides for easy removal.
Step 1: In a medium bowl, combine wet ingredients and whisk well to combine. Add dry ingredients and stir until the batter is evenly combined.
Step 2: Transfer to the prepared baking pan. Smooth the batter into an even layer and gently shake it to remove any bubbles.
Step 3: Bake for 28-35 minutes, test the center of the cake for doneness with a toothpick. Place the pan on a wire rack to cool.
Step 4: Clean out your bowl (no need for a separate bowl!) and combine frosting ingredients. Using an electric mixer, beat until the mixture is smooth and creamy. Frost and sprinkle with additional cinnamon if desired.
- Wash your bowl well from making the batter (raw egg!) and then use it to make the frosting.
- Make sure the cream cheese is left out at room temperature for a bit to make it easier to whip.
- Lining the pan with overhanging parchment means you can remove the entire cooled gluten-free applesauce cake for easy cutting. This way you can make nice neat slices!
Store any leftover apple cake in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 3-5 days.
This recipe is gluten-free. If you are dairy-free, use a cream cheese substitute or keep the frosting off entirely.
The cake is still a great snack even without frosting! Keep in mind it does contain tree nuts though with the almond flour.
You will want to use either a stand or hand mixer to achieve the best light and fluffy texture. A whisk might work with time and elbow grease, but it won't be easy.
Applesauce adds moisture, and natural sweetness, and can act as a binder in egg-free baked goods.
More gluten-free cake recipes
Love this recipe? Please consider leaving a 5-star 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟rating on the recipe card below and let me know what you think in the comments!
Applesauce Snack Cake
- 1 cup unsweetened applesauce
- ¼ cup melted coconut oil cooled
- 1 large egg
- ½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- ½ cup (60g) almond flour
- ½ cup (51g) gluten-free oat flour
- ½ cup (66g) coconut sugar
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- ¼ teaspoon baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon allspice
- pinch of nutmeg
Maple Cream Cheese Frosting
- 8 ounces cream cheese or dairy-free cream cheese
- ½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 2-3 tablespoons maple syrup more to taste
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Spray an 8x8 pan with cooking spraying and line with two pieces of parchment paper, one in each direction to create flaps.
- In a large bowl, combine applesauce, coconut oil, egg, and vanilla extract. Whisk until incorporated.
- Add almond flour, oat flour, coconut sugar, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, allspice, and nutmeg. Stir until batter is evenly combined. Transfer to prepared pan.
- Smooth batter into an even layer with a rubber spatula, shake gently from to help even. Bake for 28-35 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean. Place pan on a wire rack until cool.
- While the cake cools, clean out your bowl with soap and water (raw egg!) and combine frosting ingredients. Using an electric mixer, beat until mixture is smooth and creamy. Add more maple syrup if you desire a sweeter frosting.
- Frost cake and sprinkle with additional cinnamon if desired. Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator.