The best kind of treat is a gluten free apple skillet cake with walnuts — a spiced treat best enjoyed with a hot cup of strong coffee and a good conversation.
This snacking cake isn't about mounds of frosting or overly sweet insides; instead it's a lightly sweetened cake that folds in fresh apples and nutty, toasted walnuts for a soul-warming treat.
Using cassava flour, this dessert is gluten free and paleo!
Ingredients needed for spiced apple cake with walnuts
— Apples: Of course! My favorite apples for baking are Braeburn and Granny Smith.
— Walnuts: Toasted, for extra nutty flavor. I love the flavor of nuts in my baked goods, but if you need this recipe to be nut free, simply omit them.
— Coconut sugar: My go-to sweetener. But you can substitute brown sugar if you'd like.
— Eggs: The best binder for baked goods!
— Coconut Oil/Ghee: Use either coconut oil or ghee as the fat for this recipe! You can also try melted butter if that's your thing.
— Cassava flour: This is my go-to gluten free flour! It can be used for almost any recipe, and I don't have to worry about working with a specific blend.
— Spices: You'll use a blend of cinnamon, nutmeg, and clove, as well as a bit of vanilla and (optionally) a touch of instant coffee.
And there you have it! Prepped with those ingredients, you're ready to make an apple skillet cake.
How to make an easy apple skillet cake
This little spiced apple cake couldn't be easier! All you need is one bowl and a whisk or large spatula, and you're well on your way to a slice of this spiced apple cake.
First, prepare your baking pan. I used a large 12" cast iron skillet for my cake, but you can certainly use a round or square cake pan if that's what you've got on hand.
Grease the pan with olive oil, coconut oil, or whatever fat you prefer. To further prevent sticking, I suggest cutting a round piece of parchment paper for the bottom of the pan as well — but you can skip this step if you prefer.
Next, in a large bowl, whisk the coconut sugar and eggs together until light and frothy. Don't worry; this is probaby the hardest part of the whole recipe!
Add in the remaining wet ingredients and spices, whisking until smooth. Add the cassava flour and baking powders, mixing until fully incorporated. Finally, toss in the chopped apples and walnuts and stir until just incorporated.
And with that, we're ready to bake! The batter will be very thick, so you'll likely have to use a spatula to spread it to the edges of the pan. Bake for 30-40 minutes, then let the cake cool before slicing.
This apple snack cake is best enjoyed with a hot cup of coffee and shared with a friend. Trust me on that!
What apples should I use for baking?
That's right — some apples are better for snacking and some are better for baking!
Still, some of my favorite apples for baking just happen to be my favorite all-around apples. When I just want apples, I almost always grab Braeburn and Granny Smith.
Here are a few good go-to apples for baking recipes like this gluten free apple snack cake:
- Granny Smith
- Haralson - I don't hear about this one a lot, so it may just be more popular in my region.
This isn't a comprehensive list by any means, but those four apples make great baked goods!
Should I peel the apples for this cake recipe?
Yes, I'd recommend peeling the apples this time!
Here's how I do it — I use an apple slicer to slice the apples into crescents. Then I use a paring knife to easily cut away the peel. From there, I chop up all the crescents into small chunks for the recipe.
If you have another method for peeling that apples that works for you, please share! I'm always open to new ideas.
Do I have to use a skillet or can I use a different pan?
I definitely love the ease of making this one-bowl apple cake in a skillet, but you can definitely use a round or square baking pan if you prefer.
Recommended sizes: 9"x9" square or 10" round.
Baking times may vary. Start checking at 30 minutes!
How to serve this one-bowl apple cake
As I said above, I LOVE a snacking cake like this with a cup of coffee! Hardly gets better than that.
However, if you're looking to jazz it up even further with some toppings, here are a few ideas:
- Cinnamon sugar
- Ice cream
- Whipped cream
- Caramel sauce
- Chocolate drizzle
- Nut butter
- Toasted walnuts
- Apple butter
How to store leftover apple cake
Store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.
Before serving leftovers, heat in the microwave for about 30 seconds.
More ways to use up fresh apples
If you're knee-deep in apples and need a few more ways to use them up, look no further! I've got go-tos like a simple Stovetop Apple Butter or Apple Walnut Bundt Cake.
Did you try this recipe? I'd love to hear what you think! Comment below or tag me on Instagram.Print
Packed with warm flavors, this gluten free apple skillet cake pairs perfectly with a hot cup of coffee and good conversation.
- ¾ cup coconut sugar
- 2 large eggs
- ⅓ cup coconut oil, ghee, or butter, melted
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
- ¼ teaspoon clove
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- ½ teaspoon instant coffee powder (optional)
- ¾ cup cassava flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- 1 medium apple, peeled, cored, and chopped into small ½-inch pieces
- ½ cup toasted walnuts, chopped
- Position an oven rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 350 degrees F. Grease a cast iron skillet or round cake pan. To prevent further sticking, place a round of parchment paper in the bottom of the skillet or pan.
- Whisk the coconut sugar and eggs together in a large bowl until it’s lighter in color and frothy. Add the coconut oil, vanilla extract, cinnamon, nutmeg, clove, salt, and instant coffee, whisking until completely incorporated and smooth. Add the cassava flour, baking powder, and baking soda, stirring until no dry flour remains. Fold in the apples and ¼ cup walnuts, stirring just until incorporated.
- Pour the batter into the prepared pan, using an offset spatula to smooth out the top and ensure the batter reaches the edges of the pan. Sprinkle with the remaining ¼ cup walnuts.
- Bake for 30 to 40 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Cool in the pan for 15 minutes. Run a knife around the edges of the pan to release the sides, then carefully turn the cake out onto a cooling rack. Slice into wedges and serve. Store in an airtight container for up to a week.
To toast the walnuts, spread them out on a baking sheet. Roast at 350 degrees F for 10 minutes.
Keywords: paleo, gluten free, snack cake, apple cake, apple snack cake, apples