Gluten-Free Caramel Apple Snack Cake

We didn’t have a large apple crop this year, but we have enough to make a couple of batches of applesauce and enjoy tart apples in our desserts. Our pear harvest is quite small this year as some animal(s) ate most of them the day before we planned on picking them. I know that I don’t have enough to can pears this year, but hope to be able to make a few baked treats later this week once the pears have finished ripening. For now, I am having fun with apples.

Use a tart apple to balance the sweetness of the caramel. I used a Granny Smith apple because that is what grows in my backyard, but any tart apple will do.

After the batter has been poured into the cake pan, drop the caramel onto the batter by the spoonful. Run a knife through the caramel to make swirls in the batter.

I used homemade applesauce that has cinnamon and spices in it. If you use plain applesauce add 1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice. If you do not have any, you can make pumpkin pie spice from spices you already have in your cupboard.

Gluten-Free Caramel Apple Snack Cake
Recipe type: Dessert
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 12
  • ¼ butter, softened (I used Earth Balance to make this dairy free)
  • ½ cup apple sauce
  • 1½ cups brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • ¾ cup white rice flour
  • ¾ cup tapioca flour
  • ½ cup potato starch
  • 1 teaspoon xanthan gum
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 medium apple, peeled and diced
  • ½ cup pecans, chopped
  • 1 cup caramel sauce ( Here is an Easy Homemade Caramel Sauce Recipe and an Easy Dairy-Free Caramel Sauce Recipe)
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 13 x 9 baking pan.
  2. In a large bowl, combine the butter, applesauce, and brown sugar. Stir in eggs
  3. In a small bowl, combine rice flour, tapioca flour, potato starch, xathan gum, baking powder, and salt.
  4. Add the flour mixture to the wet ingredients and blend together.
  5. Stir the apple and pecans into the batter.
  6. Pour batter into a greased 13x9 baking pan.
  7. Drop caramel by the spoonful onto the batter. Run a knife through the caramel to make swirls in the batter.
  8. Bake at 350 degrees for 35 minutes or until an inserted knife comes out clean.


My family tried to convince me that the addition of apples made this a coffee cake and I should let them eat it for breakfast. I am trying to hold my ground and make a point by calling it a “snack cake”.


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