This incredible Gluten-free Apple coffee cake is sweet and crumbly with layers of gluten-free cake, fresh sliced apples, and streusel. The first bite is a totally magical show-stopping experience that whisks the world away and plunges you into a sea of cinnamon apple bliss.
With an extra drizzle of glaze, this dessert goes from amazing to wow, making it the perfect holiday breakfast or afternoon coffee treat. Serve it with coffee, eat it for dessert, or bring it to a potluck -- no one will know it’s gluten-free, dairy-free, and paleo!
This paleo apple coffee cake is perfect for fall when the Honeycrisp apples are big and in season! It's also a great coffee cake recipe year-round since apples are always available. Try it with peaches, plums, or other seasonal fruits.
Why you’ll love this Gluten-Free Apple Crumb Cake:
- equal layers of cake, sliced apples, and streusel
- only 11 ingredients
- reminiscent of an apple cinnamon roll
- amazing mouthfeel -- soft cake, juicy apples, crisp streusel, melt-in-your-mouth glaze… YUM.
This recipe needs only 11 ingredients. Note that some of the cake ingredients are repeated in the streusel topping, so the list may appear longer than it really is.
- coconut oil
- coconut sugar
- vanilla extract
- full fat coconut milk
Fruit and Streusel
- sliced apples
- cassava flour (or gluten-free 1-to-1 flour)
- coconut sugar
- coconut oil
Optional glaze: confectioners sugar and dairy-free milk
See the recipe card for quantities.
A note on apples: I love using large Honeycrisp apples when they are in season in the Fall in North America. Otherwise, I often make this recipe with whatever variety I have on hand. If you need apple recommendations, I recommend checking out this fun post from Bon Appetit magazine on 6 Best Apples for Baking.
Prep: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and grease a 9 x 13 inch baking dish.
Wet Ingredients: Add wet ingredients to a large mixing bowl. Mix thoroughly with a whisk.
Dry Ingredients: In a separate bowl, add dry ingredients and mix well.
Make the batter: Add the dry ingredient mixture to the bowl of wet ingredients in ½ cup increments, mixing as you go.
Cake Layer: Pour the batter into the baking dish and smooth to evenly cover the dish.
Apple Layer: Evenly distribute the apple slices across the top of the batter.
Make the streusel topping: In a clean mixing bowl, add all ingredients for streusel topping and mix well with a fork.
Streusel Layer: Sprinkle the crumb topping evenly over the apples, breaking up large clumps with your fingers. Note that I used white sugar when I ran out of coconut sugar but recommend using all coconut sugar or brown sugar.
Bake: Bake for 35-40 minutes or until the topping is lightly crisp and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Allow to cool for 10 minutes before cutting in. Drizzle with glaze for an extra special treat!
Hint: For optimum streusel crumb, use melted (but not hot) coconut oil. Mix the ingredients together with a fork then crumble it over the cake with your fingers. Break up any large chunks but still keep it chunky for crispy texture and variety!
- Gluten-Free 1-to-1 Flour - instead of cassava flour, you can use gluten-free 1-to-1 flour. I tested this recipe with both and there was no difference in texture or flavor. I used Bob’s Red Mill 1-to-1 Gluten-Free Flour and Otto’s Cassava Flour.
- Brown Sugar - if you don’t have coconut sugar, brown sugar works well too.
- Paleo - this recipe is paleo as written. You must use coconut sugar and cassava flour for it to qualify as a Paleo coffee cake.
- Peach Coffee Cake - replace the sliced apples with sliced peaches
- Plum Coffee Cake - replace the sliced apples with pitted sliced plums
- Strawberry Rhubarb Coffee Cake - see the exact measurements of strawberry and rhubarb needed for this recipe in my Gluten Free Rhubarb Cake recipe on this website
Store this Gluten-Free Apple Coffee Cake in an airtight container or covered at room temperature for up to 1 day. Or store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.
To freeze, cut into individual servings and freeze in a refrigerator-friendly airtight container for up to 6 months.
Cut the apple into slices about ⅛ inch thick so they still have some bite after baking. This texture is much better than diced apples or apples cut too thinly. I see many recipes recommending super thin slices or dicing -- the apples cook down too much and you may as well use applesauce!
I don’t recommend substituting white sugar for coconut sugar, but brown sugar works well in its place. It’s important that the sugar adds a rich caramel-y flavor after baking for the best taste, and the darker sugars do this wonderfully!
Other Gluten-Free Baking Recipes you'll love:
- Gluten Free Rhubarb Cake with strawberries and streusel
- Best Bakery-Style Gluten Free Chocolate Muffins
- Healthy Gluten-Free Pumpkin Muffins with almond flour
- Vegan Blueberry Lemon Muffins
- The BEST Soft Almond Flour Chocolate Chip Cookies
Coffee cake and crumb cake are the same thing. Both names refer to a cake with a streusel topping, sometimes called a crumb topping.
Coffee cakes do not have any coffee in the ingredients. They are called coffee cakes because they are often enjoyed with a cup of coffee.
Coffee cake is the American/English version of the German KaffeeKuchen. They are called coffee cakes because they are often enjoyed with an afternoon coffee. There is no coffee in the cake ingredients -- it is named for how it is enjoyed rather than what is in it.
Coffee cakes can be eaten with your afternoon coffee, for brunch, as an after-school/work treat, or as a dessert. They are also commonly brought to afternoon potlucks. As their name suggests, the most traditional time to eat a coffee cake is with a cup of coffee.
Wishing you a truly magical first bite!