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Have you ever tried a cake that instantly transports you to fall – the tastes reminding you of crisp cool air, leaves crunching under your feet, and juicy apples? This dessert does that! It features juicy grated apples and a cinnamon coconut sugar swirl. So good! Paleo, gluten-free and perfect for any fall occasion. (It's also a Stage 2 AIP Reintro for almonds and eggs)
Fall is hands down my favorite season. The air gets crisp, the leaves change to brilliant beautiful colors, I get to wear BOOTS again (hooray!!), there are tons of fun craft ideas to make and I have a perfect excuse to bake up a storm.
And while one of my favorite past times is no longer a regular viable option for me (drinking Starbucks Pumpkin Spice Lattes), there is still plenty of fall fun to go around.
This Cinnamon Apple Cake is something I've been baking for years. First I made it via a Williams-Sonoma book that I have and I used to make it with regular wheat flour and tons of sugar.
But for the last 10 years or so I've made my “Paleoized” version (which means I use grain-free flours and a LOT less sugar) of this and it still totally says fall to me.
Please don't scared off by the large number of steps in this recipe. I like to be pretty thorough in my descriptions as to not leave any room for questions. The prep of this should take you around 20 minutes, maybe 30 if you are moving slowly or bopping around to some tunes while setting this up.
I have an Instant Pot version of this apple cake as well if you're into cooking everything in that magical device 🙂
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Cinnamon Apple Cake Recipe
If you make this apple cake, I'd love to hear how it turned out! Either comment below or share a pic on Instagram and tag me @thrivingonpaleo!
Cinnamon Apple Cake (Paleo, Gluten-free, AIP Stage 2 Reintro)
- 2-3 Apples
- 1 tbs Cinnamon
- 1/4 cup Coconut Sugar
- 3 tbs Coconut Flour
- 2.5 cups Almond Flour
- 1/2 tsp Salt
- 1.5 tsp Baking Soda
- 3 Eggs
- 1/2 cup Honey
- 2 tsp Vanilla Extract
- 2/3 cup Coconut Oil (melted)
- 1/3 cup Coconut Cream (the solid part from a refrigerated can of coconut milk)
- Preheat the oven to 350° F. Generously grease (with coconut oil) and flour (with almond flour) a fixed-bottom tube pan or a bundt pan.
- Make the cinnamon sugar by mixing the cinnamon and coconut sugar together in a small bowl. Set aside.
- Using the large holes on a box grater, shred the apples onto a piece of parchment paper. (I'm lazy so I don't peel the apples first but you certainly could)
- Place the shredded apples into a measuring cup and continue until you have 2 cups.
- Transfer the shredded apples to a small bowl and toss with 3 tbs of the cinnamon sugar mixture. Let sit for 15 minutes to let the apples absorb the flavor and to release some of their juices.
- In a medium sized mixing bowl, whisk together the almond flour, coconut flour, baking soda, and salt. Make sure no clumps remain.
- In a large mixing bowl using a hand mixer, or using a stand mixer, mix the eggs and honey together for about 2-3 minutes until the mixture is a pale yellow.
- Add the vanilla extract and then with the mixer running, slowly pour in the coconut oil.
- Add the dry ingredients in 2 equal additions, mixing each until incorporated.
- Add the coconut cream and mix until the white streaks disappear.
- Set a fine-mesh sieve over a bowl and put the apples in it. Gently squeeze the apples a bit to release more of the moisture. You don't want to wring them dry like a sponge, but enough that anything easily given up comes out.
- Fold the apple mixture into the batter.
- Evenly pour about 2/3 of the batter into the prepared cake pan. Sprinkle half of the remaining cinnamon sugar over the surface of the batter.
- Pour the rest of the batter into the pan, spreading it out to make an even layer. It may not completely cover the sugar layer. Sprinkle the remaining cinnamon sugar on the surface.
- Bake for 45 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.
- Let the cake cool on a wire cooling rack for 10 minutes, then run a butter knife around any area that touches the pan to gently dislodge the cake from the sides. Then invert a plate over the cake pan and turn both the pan and the plate over together. Lift the pan off of the cake and let cool completely before serving.
Can egg replacer be used? Also, a gluten free all purpose flour? And I don’t have a bundt pan, so what’s an alternative?
I made a few adjustments to reduce the calories and it came out fantastic. I’m sure the original recipe would have been even more awesome. Used Bob’s Red Mill Paleo baking mix, reduced coconut oil to 2 Tbsp, added 1/2 c of applesauce, and used swerve instead of honey (I know not paleo but we tolerate it for our occasional treat). Thanks for the backbone of a great recipe!
I just made this cake for Rosh Hashana and it came out perfectly. I used a 10 inch bundt pan but I think next time I’ll try an 8 inch one for a taller cake.
I’m so glad you liked it! If you do wind up making it with an 8-inch pan let me know how it works out as I’ve never tried it. Others may want to know that info too!
I made this cake for Rosh Hashanah and I am so impressed with it! I followed the recipe and it came out perfectly! Delicious, moist, nutty—the apples melt into the cake. I will be making this again!
I’m so glad you liked it! I have an apple tree full of almost-ripe apples and am just biding my time until I can make it 🙂
This sounds really good. But we are watching our carbs. So, do you know the nutrition value of recipe?
Hi Linda – Sorry, unfortunately I’m not really sure. But between the 2 sugars and the apples I’d imagine it’s not a low carb treat. You could replace the sugars with one of the low-carb sweeteners but I’ve never had them so I can’t make a recommendation on how to do that.
I do not have coconut milk full fat. I have some regular coconut milk that fat won’t separate from. Could I use a mix of that and more coconut butter? Or what about using some almond butter or some sort of oil?
Hi Toby – Do you happen to have apple sauce? You could use a few tbs of that and maybe 1/4 cup coconut milk. Or yeah, maybe a mix of coconut milk and some softened coconut butter mixed together really well. The original recipe from Williams-Sonoma called for yogurt, so you just want something kind of thick that won’t water it down too much but that will thin out the batter slightly (if you even have coconut milk yogurt you could use that). Let me know what you wind up doing and how it turns out!
Im making a gluten free cake for my coworker. It is not done, however it smells delicious. I did modify the recipe a little, only because I did not have coconut flour or coconut sugar. I used Trader Joes gluten free flour as a substitute for the coconut flour. Unfortunately I only had white sugar so I tried to use as little as possible as topping and center. I did use 3 tbsp for the apple mix.
I also used a different pan. Size smaller than 9 x 13 but bigger than 8″ cake. I also sliced an apple and put a design on top of cake and sprinkled with pecans. Just came out of the oven. Looks and smells delicious but we haven’t seen the judge or jury yet…..Thank you for these recipes for us glutens!
You’ll have to let me know how it came out! Sounds wonderful to sprinkle it with pecans, what a great idea!
That is such a pretty cake!
Thanks so much Alyssa!
What kind of apples do you suggest?
I’d suggest a sweeter variety, like Braeburn or Honeycrisp. I actually just made the cake with Jonagolds too and they worked really well too. I probably wouldn’t use a Granny Smith or something tart like that, but that’s just me.
I cannot believe that this cake is grain-free, it is abosuletly beautiful! It looks so moist and delicious! I need to make it ASAP!
Thanks so much Bethany! I hope you enjoy it 🙂
Hi Michele, Thanks for this recipe! Can I make an AIP version by substituting the almond flour for something like Tigernut flour?
I’ve never tried it so I can’t say definitively if it would or wouldn’t work. I don’t always find the best of luck subbing tigernut for almond 1:1, plus there’s a lot of eggs to have to substitute for, but if you do try it be sure to please let me know how it comes out!