Gluten Free Apple Cake

Butter or spray (for the pan)

1 cup canola, or other neutral-flavored oil

5 eggs

¼ cup orange juice

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

12.75 oz (or 320 grams) gluten free baking flour PLUS ¾ teaspoon xanthan gum if there is none already in your flour mixture

1 cup granulated sugar

¾ cup brown sugar

1 ½ tablespoon baking powder

½ teaspoon salt

4 baking apples (Golden Delicious, Cortland, Baldwin, Mutsu, Northern Spy, Opalescent, Rhode Island Greening, Rome Beauty, Spigold), peeled, cored, and thinly sliced

1 tablespoon ground cinnamon mixed with 5 tablespoons granulated sugar

Confectioners’ sugar (for sprinkling and decorating)

Preheat the oven to 350º. Butter or spray a 10-inch tube pan Line the bottom with a piece of wax or parchment paper cut to fit it

  1. In an electric mixer, combine the oil, eggs, orange juice, and vanilla. Beat for one minute
  2. Add the flour, 1 cup of sugar, brown sugar, baking powder, and salt. Beat for two minutes, pausing to scrape down the sides of the bowl
  3. Spoon one-third of the batter into the pan (barely a layer). Smooth the batter with a metal palette knife or spatula. Gently press half the apples into the batter (you’ll probable have to overlap the layers. This is fine).
  4. Sprinkle with half (3 tablespoons) of the cinnamon-sugar mixture, and add one-third more batter, and the remaining apples.
  5. Sprinkle on 1 tablespoon of the remaining cinnamon-sugar. Cover with the remaining batter, smooth the top (it may not cover the apples; that’s OK), and sprinkle with the remaining 2 tablespoons of cinnamon-sugar. 
  6. Bake the cake for 60 to 70 minutes or until the top is firm and a skewer inserted into the cake comes out clean. Transfer to a wire rack to cool
  7. With a knife, gently cut around the inside and outside edges of the cake to release it from the pan. Remove the wax paper from the bottom of the cake. Turn the cake out onto a plate. Set another plate on top and invert again so the cake is right-side up. Sprinkle with confectioners’ sugar before serving


  • The flour is measured by weight to accommodate the differences between different brands of gluten free baking flour
  • The cake batter is dense, so you have to be careful when you spread it.  This is especially true with the 2nd and 3rd additions of the batter, as you want to avoid moving around the 2 layers of sliced apples.  A metal spreader works better than a rubber spatula, as the batter often sticks to the rubber one.
  • It might look like there’s not much batter for a cake, but it does ride quite a bit while baking.
  • This may look like a lot of steps, but it’s really not.  Once you make it, you’ll see how simple it is.

Adapted from “The Way We Cook”