Gluten Free Apple Cider Cake

Gluten Free Apple Cider Cake

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.

gluten free apple cider cake OH

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 pan

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.

gluten free apple cider cake with piece missing

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.

gluten free apple cider cake bite

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.

gluten free apple cider cake v

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 before baking

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.

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.

gluten free apple cider cake slice with cloves

gluten free apple cider cake slice with cloves

Gluten Free Apple Cider Cake

Yield: Serves 12
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes

Bursting with fall flavors, this gluten free apple cider cake is a cross between carrot cake and apple cake, with the additions of coconut, cranberries and yummy autumnal spices!


  • 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.

Recommended Products

As a member of Amazon Associates and other affiliate programs, I may earn a small amount from qualifying purchases; this amount goes to fund this blog and does not cost you anything additional.

I hope you love this recipe as much as we do!

Pin this recipe to save it for later!

gluten free apple cider cake with sour cream frosting | gfJules

Gluten Free, Vegan Apple Cider Cake by gfJules is bursting with Fall flavor

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

The maximum upload file size: 1 MB.
You can upload: image.
Links to YouTube, Facebook, Twitter and other services inserted in the comment text will be automatically embedded.

20 thoughts on “Gluten Free Apple Cider Cake

    • Hi Camille, by regular flour, do you mean wheat flour? If so, yes, you can use wheat flour instead. You may want to use slightly less liquid though, so I would suggest adding 1/3 – 1/4 cup less liquid at first and then seeing how the batter behaves to see if you need to add the rest. Enjoy!

  1. Just pulled the cake out of the oven and our house smells divine. This will be one dessert I’ll serve for Thanksgiving. I made it in a bundt pan and I plan on splitting the cake in half so that I can frost with a cream cheese frosting after it cools. I can’t wait to try it! Thanks for your wonderful recipes. Now I’ll tackle the pull-apart dinner rolls, as they are delicious!

    • Just made two batches of the pull apart rolls for tomorrow. This Apple Cider Cake would definitely be a welcome addition to the Thanksgiving table as well. Glad you’re enjoying some very happy baking!

  2. That’s right up my alley. I’ve been making this following similar recipe for years now. Once I tried it, it really was an addiction (or perhaps “obsession”). All of the ingredients really work together and create a cake that tastes like heaven. Not only is it delicious, it looks pretty and inviting. I’m planning to make this cake in a couple of days and invite our neighbors in for a cup of tea. Gonna follow your recipe this time. I love the addition of cranberries and coconut. I’ve never even thought of adding these. It sounds like a good idea.
    Thank you so much for sharing this with us. Got so much inspiration. Look forward to your new ideas. Keep it up!
    p.s. For anyone who might think it’s difficult, give it a try!

  3. Looks scrumptious and screams fall! I LOVE apples and spice cake and cannot wait to make this. I haven’t been into pumpkin much last year or this year but my love for apples has only grown (blaming pregnancy and now postpartum changes)!

  4. What substitution did you make to replace so this would be vegan? I would think using 3 flax eggs would change the flavor and texture a lot.

    • Hi Shi, this is a very fruit-heavy recipe, so you’re going to need something to help give it support and not weigh it down. Have a look at my recommended vegan egg substitutes and pick a couple to use together in this recipe. Flax egg could be one, but probably a gluten free commercial egg replacer for the other two eggs needing replaced would work best.

    • Andrea – I’ve heard from other readers that they have tried this cake using regular apple cider and it’s turned out great! Regarding the sugar, this cake might just hold its own without sugar, although the texture will be slightly different. I’d love to know how it turns out if you try it. Thanks! :)

  5. Jules – I am excited to try this recipe for Thanksgiving! Quick question though. I couldn’t find Samuel Smith’s apple cider – but I have Martinelli’s Sparkling Cider. Should that work instead? It is basically carbonated apple juice… just wanted to check with you before I screwed up the cake. :) Thanks!

    • Jenny – that sounds like a great solution! The keys are carbonation and apple flavor, so that ought to do it. Look for the Sam Smith’s for another time though — it’s mighty tasty! Happy Holiday!!