Apple cake may not seem like a summer recipe, but these apples came from the Lodi tree in the front yard, which was absolutely laden with fruit this year.  Lodi’s are an early-producing variety and they are great for cooking, with a thin skin and a tart flavor.  If you don’t just happen to have a bunch of apples dropping into your front yard, Granny Smith apples would be a good substitute. I also used some homemade, Lodi applesauce in the batter–any unsweetened applesauce will work as a substitute.  This is a classic “upside down cake,” with the topping baked on the bottom and then inverted to the top onto your serving dish and the topping is quite drool-worthy.

Caramel Apple Cake (grain free)

I used coconut sugar and butter for the gooey topping, but you could substitute coconut oil for the butter if you don’t do well with dairy.  If you haven’t tried coconut sugar I highly recommend the flavor, which is toasty and caramel-y, and a great cup-for-cup substitute for brown sugar.  Note that since my apples were fairly small, I listed apple amounts in terms of sliced cups–but you could use a little less or a little more with no problems.

Caramel Apple Cake (grain free)
Recipe type: Dessert
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 6
  • 1/4 cup butter, melted
  • 1/4 cup coconut sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • about 3 cups sliced apples
  • 1/4 cup coconut flour
  • 1/4 cup almond flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • pinch of salt
  • 1/4 cup coconut sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 4 eggs
  • 1/4 cup butter, melted
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened applesauce
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Pour the 1/4 cup of melted butter into an 8-inch, round cake pan, and make sure the bottom and the sides of the pan are well-coated with the butter. You want some excess on the bottom for the caramel topping.
  2. Stir together 1/4 cup coconut sugar with the cinnamon, and sprinkle it evenly over the bottom of the buttered cake pan. Top with the apple slices.
  3. In a medium mixing bowl, stir together the coconut flour, almond flour, baking powder, salt, and remaining 1/4 cup coconut sugar. Make sure to break up any lumps in the coconut flour. Stir in the vanilla, eggs, remaining 1/4 cup of melted butter, and applesauce. The batter will be fairly thick. Spread the batter over the top of the apples, and bake the cake for 35 minutes, or until the center feels "set" and the top is golden. At sea level this may take longer, so check it at 30 minutes and add time as needed.
  4. Let the cake cool for about ten minutes. Run a sharp knife around the edge of the cake pan. Place your serving dish on top of the cake pan and flip it over to invert the cake. This is great served warm.

 Caramel Apple Cake (grain free)

While I thought this was best warm, it was also pretty great served cold for breakfast.  I will definitely be making this until the apples run out.

Thanks for reading,


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  1. Well I’m drooling for sure! Just the way I like to see an apple cake look…with obvious nice slices of apple, and the caramelly topping is so beckoning!

    1. Thank you, Bonnie–I am a sucker for gooey toppings…

  2. This looks great! I am addicted to caramel apples!
    I, too, have been using a lot of coconut sugar in my baking. I’ve been trying to “healthify” recipes so I don’t feel guilty baking frequently. I look forward to trying the coconut flour,
    My daughter is gluten sensitive and my friend’s daughter (with Fibromyalgia) gets really sick if she has gluten. Then, of course, there are those who have Celiac. I’ve been making a gluten free fruit crisp for most occasions since last Thanksgiving, so everyone at a gathering can have dessert.. People were thrilled when I brought some to the last bbq we attended! I just used gluten free oatmeal and King Arthur’s gluten free flour mix in the topping.

    1. Lisa, I have started to really enjoy working with coconut flour but it definitely takes some adjustments–it soaks up a lot more liquid than you think it will, and it produces a moister end product. I am a fan of the King Arthur’s gluten free mix!

  3. A couple of years ago my mother bought a “pink dogwood” tree for her small yard in Houston. A couple of years later her tree was laden with little pink apples, in the early summer, in Texas. This was a surprise to all of us. She now has some of those apples left and is looking for different ways to use them. I will pass your address onto her so she can enjoy your cake. She might have to improvise a bit, but apple pies have gotten boring for her.

    1. This would definitely work with crabapples–and I have used those for little tarts, too. Crabapples can be pretty great, depending on the variety.

  4. Looking at this makes me cant wait until apple season. So yummy looking!

  5. This is a delicious looking apple cake! Almond and coconut flavors go so well with apples that I bet no one misses the regular flour! I have a few recipes using coconut flour that we enjoy, but I find it a tricky substance to experiment with. I do better using recipes like this where someone else has already figured it out! 🙂 Thanks!

  6. I have an apple tree in my backyard and I’m thinking this would be a great way to use up some of those little suckers! I am sensitive to dairy, so I will use coconut oil in the topping, as you mentioned. I’m assuming that I could use it in the cake, as well? I’m very excited to make this!

    1. Hi Leah: Yes! You can definitely do a direct swap with coconut oil, and it will still work really well.

  7. I made this today. Ohmyyummy. Will definitely make again 🙂

    1. So happy you liked it! I just got some apples from the farmers’ market, so I need to make one again.

  8. I made this recipe last night. It was super easy to whip together and the flavors were delicious. My cake portion came out with a spongy texture though. Not sure if I need more than 1/4c Almond flour next time. I used a springform pan which made the flip part a breeze. Oh and I also used a vanilla bean because I ran out of the extract. Thank you for the recipe!

    1. Laurie, the vanilla bean would be even better! I find that anything with coconut flour ends with some of that “spongy” texture you mention, and you could definitely increase the almond flour and shouldn’t have a problem.

  9. I used Xylitol instead of coconut sugar, came out so good!

  10. Made this the other day and will continue to make it until the recipe is committed to memory because I would eat it in a box, with a fox, in the rain, on the train, here or there, everywhere! ? Thank you!

    1. This is officially my favorite comment, ever! Thanks, Yazmin.

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