This gluten free apple cake with pecan filling is the perfect autumn/ winter coffee cake! That’s not to say you can’t make it during other seasons. All the ingredients you need are available year-round. And the flavor, despite being rich, is not too heavy.
To make the cake gluten free, I used oat flour. I like baking with oat flour whenever I’m making gluten free goodies. The biggest reason being that it tastes nice. I find it tastes the most similar to regular flour, with a hint of a nutty aroma. On the other hand, all the gluten free flour mixes I tried from grocery stores taste like beans, which take away from the flavor of your baked items.
Another reason I like baking with oat flour is that it’s quite nutritious. It is a great source of complex carbohydrates, proteins, and minerals such as iron, magnesium, zinc, and more.
Note: Oats are naturally gluten free, however, sometimes they can get contaminated during processing or packaging. If you cannot tolerate gluten, I recommend you buy oats and oat flour that are certified gluten free.
Since it’s so comforting and nutritious, this cake also makes a great snack to bring to work. The recipe is fool-proof and easy to whip together on a Sunday evening. But do keep in mind that there are 3 steps to baking this cake.
Firstly you need to place the sugar, apple slices and butter on the bottom of the cake pan. Bake them for 5-10 minutes to caramelize the sugar. Then you let it cool at room temperature while you prepare the batter.
Once you have your batter, the second step is to pour half of it over the caramelized apples. Bake for 20 minutes.
And thirdly, add the filling and the second half of the batter. Bake for another 20 minutes.
It seems like there are a lot of steps, but overall it only takes about 1 hour to prepare and bake this cake. It’s really not too bad for a two layer cake.
I made this cake in a cake pan of 23 cm (9 inch) diameter. Please note the baking time will differ if you use another size of cake pan. You will know the cake is done when you insert a toothpick in the center and it comes out clean.
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Here’s the recipe for the gluten free apple cake with pecan filling:
Gluten Free Apple Cake with Pecan Filling
For the cake:
- 1 ½ cups (150 g/ 5 ¼ oz.) oat flour
- ½ cup (100 g/ 3 ½ oz.) granulated sugar
- 6 large eggs, room temperature
- ¼ stick (30 g/ 1 oz.) unsalted butter, finely diced
- 4 tsp. canola oil
- 2 medium apples, peeled and thickly sliced
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
- ¼ tsp. salt
- 2 tbsp. canola oil for greasing the baking pan
- 6 tbsp. granulated sugar, to be sprinkled on the baking pan
For the filling:
- ¼ stick (30 g/ 1 oz.) unsalted butter
- 2 medium apples, peeled and cubed
- 60 g (2 oz.) pecans, chopped
- 2 tbsp. brown sugar
- 2 tsp. ground cinnamon
For the filling:
- In a small pot over medium heat, place the brown sugar, cubed apples, pecans, cinnamon, and butter. Stir them well until the sugar is completely dissolved (a few minutes). Set aside to cool.
For the cake:
- Preheat oven to 180°C (350°F).
- Sprinkle the cake pan with the 6 tbsp. granulated sugar. Make sure the sugar is evenly distributed. Place the two sliced apples over the granulated sugar in the bottom of the cake pan. Sprinkle the diced butter. Place the cake pan into the pre-heated oven for 5-10 minutes, until the sugar is melted. Take the pan out of the oven and let it cool.
- Separate the eggs and place the whites into a large bowl and the yolks into a medium bowl. Beat the whites to a stiff peak.
- Add the granulated sugar to the yolks and beat them until creamy and double in volume. Add the vanilla extract and salt, and whisk. With a spatula, gently fold the yolk mixture into the whites. Add the flour in two steps, gently mixing with a spatula after each addition. Drizzle the oil and mix gently.
- Grease the sides of the cake pan. Pour half the batter into the cake pan and bake in the preheated oven for 20 minutes. Take it out of the oven and evenly distribute the filling. Do it gently, without pressing on the cake. Pour the second half of the batter and return to the oven for another 20 minutes.
- Once baked, take it out of the oven and let it cool the cake pan for 10 minutes. Flip the cake onto a cooling rack and let it cool to room temperature.