Old Fashioned Apple Cake (gluten-free and dairy-free)

Old Fashioned Apple Cake

No, my grandmother did not make this apple cake recipe, and no I’m not Jewish, but hot damn this is a scrumptious take on the infamous Smitten Kitchen version. Of course I did my normal spin on “how to make it healthy” by swapping out flours, reducing the oil, and using coconut sugar instead of the white stuff. In fact it’s my first attempt using this new gluten-free flour mix that’s more “whole-grain” vs. nut based.

What’s the flour combo?

When I make gluten-free baked goods, I like to keep my flour mixture simple and hearty without adding tapioca starches, xanthum gum, or other ingredients that seem foreign. While I normally use almond flour as my base, it does contain more calories than “whole-grain” flours, so I came up with a happy blend of three that maintains a moist and fluffy texture.

For this recipe, I used part almond flour, with millet flour (a protein, rich ancient grain) and oat flour (ground up oats).

Old Fashioned Apple Cake
Old Fashioned Apple Cake

So, is it really gluten-free?

Gluten is simply a protein that exists in the endosperm of the wheat grain. Oats do not contain gluten, but they are often processed near wheat so the majority of what you’ll find is NOT gluten-free.

This recipe CAN be gluten-free if you purchase “gluten-free” oats (or “gluten-free” oat flour). Do a search in your local market, or on Amazon.com, and you should be able to find “gluten-free” oats/flour. The good ol’ Bob’s Redmill definitely has it!

How I “healthified” the recipe

For me, I LOVE sweet treats, but I HATE feeling like crap if I eat something that is sugar-loaded. The belly bloat and lethargy do NOTHING for the schedule that I keep. So instead of depriving myself of the good stuff, I “healthify” it. Sometimes it works. And sometimes it doesn’t. For this recipe, it works :)

Here’s exactly what I swapped from Smitten Kitchen’s version:

  • Apples stayed the same.
  • Cinnamon stayed the same.
  • Removed 5 tablespoons of sugar in the apple mixture.
  • Swapped 2 ¾ cup regular flour for a mix of almond, millet, and oat flour.
  • Baking powder stayed the same.
  • Added baking soda for extra lift.
  • Reduced the salt by half (used ½ teaspoon sea salt instead of 1 teaspoon regular salt).
  • Used 3 tablespoons coconut oil instead of 1 cup of vegetable oil.
  • Added 1 cup of applesauce since I reduced the oil.
  • Used 1 cup of coconut sugar instead of 2 cups of regular sugar.
  • Used 2 teaspoons of vanilla.
  • Eggs stayed the same.
  • Added an optional crumble recipe to the top for crunch and a final sprinkle of sweet.


Old Fashioned Apple Cake
Old Fashioned Apple Cake
Old Fashioned Apple Cake
Old Fashioned Apple Cake
Old Fashioned Apple Cake
Old Fashioned Apple Cake
Old Fashioned Apple Cake
Old Fashioned Apple Cake
Old Fashioned Apple Cake
Old Fashioned Apple Cake
Old Fashioned Apple Cake
Old Fashioned Apple Cake
Old Fashioned Apple Cake
Old Fashioned Apple Cake
Old Fashioned Apple Cake

Crumble Ingredients (optional)

⅓ cup coconut flour
4 teaspoons coconut oil, melted
1 teaspoon maple syrup
2 teaspoons coconut sugar
⅓ cup chopped walnuts

Cake Ingredients

6 sweet-tart apples (i.e. – Pink Lady or Honey Crisp)
1 tablespoon cinnamon
1 ½ cup oat flour
¾ cup almond flour
½ cup millet flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
½  teaspoon sea salt
1 cup applesauce
3 tablespoons coconut oil, melted
4 eggs
1 cup coconut sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla

Crumble Steps
  1. Mix melted coconut oil, maple syrup, and sugar together.
  2. Add coconut flour and mix with a fork until it reaches a crumble texture.
  3. Add walnuts and mix one more time.
Cake Steps
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and position a rack in the middle of the oven.
  2. Grease a tube pan with coconut oil. (NOTE: you can also use a round springform pan, bread pans, or a large rectangle baking pan).
  3. Wash, core and cut apples into ½” chunks. (TIP: slice apples as normal and cut each slice into fourths to make the chunks.) Add 1 tablespoon cinnamon, mix, and set aside.
  4. In a medium bowl, sift oat flour, millet flour, almond flour, baking soda, baking powder, and sea salt. Set aside.
  5. In a large bowl, whisk applesauce, melted coconut oil, eggs, coconut sugar, and vanilla.
  6. Pour the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients and mix until well incorporated, but do not overmix.
  7. Pour half of the batter into the tube pan, then layer with ½ of the apple chunks. Pour the remaining batter on top of it and add one last layer of the remaining apples. Place in the oven and bake for 1 hour.
  8. Follow the steps above to make the crumble. Set aside.
  9. Evenly spread the crumble over the partially baked cake and bake for another 20 minutes or until a butter knife comes out clean.

Serves 12

Enjoy this HOMEMADE Applesauce
Easy Applesauce Recipe





Organic vs. Regular Apples – does it matter?

Why organic apples?






Kale. All Day. Err Day.

If you like this post, checkout more nutritious and healthy living tips in our latest interactive book, Kale. All Day. Err Day. It’s enhanced and interactive for a super fun, learning experience. It’s filled with a great story all about kale, how-to videos, and recipes for the busy and the hungry. Did we mention, it’s FREE…for a limited time. Hurry – check it out here. (New book coming late 2016…)


Kale. All Day. Err Day. | Wake the Wolves


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Written By


Stephanie Wong

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  • Oana

    Oats are NOT gluten free. Don’t label things gluten free that aren’t.

    • stephanie

      Hi Oana — Thanks so much for your note. Oats can be gluten free. It really depends on the facility it was processed in. Most oats are processed in factories or farms where they are highly exposed to other grains with gluten, but there are a few manufacturers that isolate the oats during the packaging process (like Bob’s Redmill Gluten Free Oats found here: http://www.bobsredmill.com/gluten-free-rolled-oats.html). Have you tried these?

  • Rebecca

    It’s great that, here in Australia, more places are stocking gluten free oats. Perfect for my gluten intolerant daughter. I look forward to trying your recipe!

  • Joanne Weber

    I just found your website and I am enjoying all the valuable information. I look forward to trying this apple cake and other recipes! So nice that I can feed my family well without sacrificing great taste!

    • http://wakethewolves.com/ Wake the Wolves

      Hi Joanne — sorry for the late response. THANK YOU so much for the sweet note. It’s super yummy. Have you tried it? Do you like (or not)? Any changes you’d make? We’d love your feedback!

  • Rox Val

    Hello!! this recipe sounds delish,,, can I substitute the millet flour for an other one easier to find??

    • http://wakethewolves.com/ Wake the Wolves

      Hi Rox! I haven’t tried swapping Millet flour for anything else, but…I have an idea. You could try Garbanzo bean flour (or chickpea flour). Is that easier to find? This brand (Bob’s Redmill) might be easier to find: http://www.bobsredmill.com/

      hope that helps…a bit!

  • http://wakethewolves.com/ Wake the Wolves

    Hi Jess — great question. We haven’t ran our recipes through a recipe calculator, but there are tons out there.

    Normally, we don’t promote a ton of calorie counting (instead more focus on clean ingredients), HOWEVER we say it is super helpful to get a gauge on new foods OR if you just have no idea how much you are eating. We started our journey that way, and eventually tapered off once we had a better understanding of our food. For this recipe, the ingredients are pretty clean and simple. If weight loss is a goal, it’s best consumed (as is most sweet treats) on active days OR during a time right after activity. Hope that helps…a bit.

    If we had a bit more time, we think the macronutrient breakdown would be a helpful addition to add to our website. Thanks for the inspiration! We just may try to integrate it soon.