Winter is for chocolate, summer is for fruit, spring is for citrus and fall is for apples! Ok, it’s also for pumpkin, but right now my mind is on all the farmer’s market apples I’ve been picking up each week. They’re at their peak here in Maryland right now, so it was the perfect time to bring out the Gluten Free Apple Cider Cake recipe.
I’ve been making this harvest-style cake for years now, and it’s definitely a family favorite. A cross between carrot cake and apple cake, it’s made with all kinds of yummy fall flavors that combine just beautifully together.
The addition of bubbly hard apple cider helps to make this otherwise dense cake lighter, and full of fruit flavor.
Gluten Free Apple Cider Cake in 9×13 pan with a dash of cinnamon on top.
Some of my favorite gluten free hard ciders are from Ace Ciders, but check out my complete gluten free alcohol post for more hard cider choices. Ace even has a pumpkin cider that elevates this gluten free apple cider cake to full-on fall flavor!
Even if you don’t like to drink them, they’re a great ingredient addition for recipes like this, or even for gluten free bread! Its natural sweetness, effervescence and a touch of sour make it an ingredient you shouldn’t overlook.
Of course, feel free to use non-alcoholic sparkling apple cider instead.
The sour cream frosting for me is definitely the piece de resistance, but you could skip it (as my husband did when he couldn’t wait for me to frost it!) or use another frosting that you know and love.
Hubby couldn’t wait for me to frost the cake, but now he can attest to the fact that this cake is delish even without the frosting!
Come to think of it, cream cheese frosting is also super yum on this cake, so it’s a toss-up for me which is the better topper. Both my sour cream frosting and cream cheese frosting can be made with vegan/dairy-free substitutes as I outline in my article on the best dairy-free products.
And speaking of substitutes, if you’re looking to make this gluten free apple cider cake vegan/egg-free, check out my article on the best egg substitutes. Stick to commercial egg substitutes here, as adding banana or applesauce instead will make this cake too moist and heavy.
For fun, I also toss in raisins or orange sweetened dried cranberries for the full-on fall flavor bonanza, but you decide which you prefer or skip it entirely.
Gluten free apple cider cake batter in pan before baking.
The batter for this cake is quite thick, so don’t be put off by that. Spread evenly in the pan and bake with confidence when you’re baking with my gfJules Gluten Free All Purpose Flour! The toothpick test (a toothpick inserted into the center should come out clean, but not wet, and may have dry crumbs) will show when it’s done.
Gluten free apple cider cake after baking.
I usually bake this cake in a 9×13 pan and it makes a great cake cut into squares for serving, but feel free to bake as cupcakes or in a bundt pan instead.
Baking times will need adjusting, so start at 15 minutes for cupcakes and test with a toothpick; bundt cakes generally take less time than sheet cakes, but it all depends on the size pan you’re using.
I hope you love this recipe as much as we do!
8 Tbs. butter or non-dairy substitute (e.g. Earth Balance® Buttery Sticks)
2/3 cup granulated cane sugar
3 eggs (see article on vegan egg substitutes, if needed)
1 1/4 cup chopped, peeled carrots
3/4 cup chopped, peeled apples
1/2 cup cranberries or raisins
1/2 cup grated coconut
2/3 cup gluten free hard Apple Cider (carbonated)
2 1/2 cup (337 grams) gfJules Gluten Free All Purpose Flour
1/2 tsp. baking soda
2 tsp. baking powder
2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
Preheat oven to 350º F (static) or 325º F (convection).
Butter a 9 x 13 inch baking pan.
In a large food processor, chop the apples and carrots. Mix together in a bowl with the raisins and coconut and set aside.
Cream the butter and the sugar until light and fluffy, approximately 3 minutes. Add eggs and blend until incorporated. Stir in the carrot-fruit mixture.
In a separate bowl, whisk gfJules Flour with other dry ingredients.
Gradually stir in the gfJules Flour-dry ingredient mixture, alternating with hard apple cider. Stir just until incorporated.
Scoop the thick batter into the prepared pan and use a rubber spatula to smooth the top. Bake in the preheated oven for 25 – 30 minutes, just until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean or with dry crumbs attached.
When cooled, frost with Sour Cream Frosting or Cream Cheese Frosting.
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