I love all things apples and this simple Gluten Free Applesauce Cake with Buckwheat Flour and topped Spiced Cream Cheese Frosting is the perfect fall cake. This cake is made with the addition of some buckwheat flour which gives it a nutty and earthy flavor.
This simple cake can be baked in a 8x8 pan but also be baked in a 9x13 pan which results in a less tall cake. You can also bake it in two 8" cake rounds and turn it into a layered cake. And of course, you can also turn them into muffins.
Recipe Ingredient Notes
Gluten Free Flour: I have tested this recipe successfully with my own gluten free flour blend, Bob's Red Mill 1-1, and King Arthur Measure for Measure.
Buckwheat Flour: Buckwheat is a gluten-free flour made from the seeds of the Fagopyrum esculentum plant, which is related to rhubarb and sorrel. It is darker in color with an earthy flavor. I use Arrowhead Mills Organic Buckwheat flour in my baking. Make sure to purchase buckwheat flour and not buckwheat groats (unless you have your own flour mill)
Oil: This cake is oil-based. For my baking, I use Grapeseed Oil (which has a neutral taste)
Applesauce: Make sure to use unsweetened apple sauce without any added flavorings. I do NOT recommend replacing all the oil with apple sauce.
What is Buckwheat?
Buckwheat flour is made from the groats (seeds) of the Fagopyrum esculentum plant, which is related to rhubarb and sorrel. It has been cultivated for thousands of years and is often referred to as an ancient grain. Like amaranth and quinoa, buckwheat is considered a "pseudocereal," (the category name for seeds from non-grass plants).
Buckwheat flour is nutty and earthy, some even describe it to have a hint of umami. If you have never tried buckwheat flour before, this recipe for Gluten Free Applesauce Cake is a great way to give it a try. Don't be tempted to use all buckwheat flour - you will be "rewarded" with a very dry, crumbly mess.
How to make Cinnamon Spiced Cream Cheese Frosting
For this cake, I chose a cinnamon-spiced cream cheese frosting. Please make sure the butter and the cream cheese are at room temperature. I always use full-fat cream cheese but lower-fat cream cheese should work fine here.
- Using a hand mixer or stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat cream cheese and butter until smooth.
- Add your cinnamon, salt and half of the powdered sugar and mix until smooth. Add the rest of the powdered sugar and vanilla and mix fluffy. This will take around 2 minutes.
- Cream Cheese Frosting can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days
- You may freeze cream cheese frosting for up to 3 months. When you are ready to use it, please thaw it at room temperature and re-whip it until light and fluffy again.
Frequently asked questions for Gluten Free Applesauce Cake
Can I make this cake without Buckwheat Flour?
Yes, please replace the 75g of buckwheat flour with gluten free flour.
Can I add nuts or dried fruit to this cake?
This cake would be lovely with some chopped nuts such as walnuts or pecans. As for dried fruit, I would recommend some rum/bourbon-soaked raisins.
Can I bake this cake in a different pan?
If you do not have an 8x8 pan, you may also use a 9x13 pan. Please be advised the cake will the less tall and bake faster. I recommend checking it around 25 minutes. As for muffins, this batter should make enough for 12 cupcakes. I would bake them at 350F for 22-24 minutes.
How should I store my Gluten Free Applesauce Cake?
I recommend storing it in an airtight container in your refrigerator for up to 5 days. Please allow for it to come to room temperature before serving.
Baking in grams
I share my recipes in grams and by weight since baking by weight is the most accurate way to bake. Digital Scales are very affordable and very affordable. You can purchase them on Amazon for less than a set of measuring cups. Measuring cups are very inaccurate and can cause significant errors when it comes to gluten-free baking or baking in general. Especially since I bake with gluten-free flours which weigh differently than “regular” flours. I do provide some ingredients like spices and leavening agents in measuring spoons. To learn more about Baking with a digital scale, make sure to check out my post about Baking by weight.
Note about Ovens and Oven Temperatures
All my recipes are tested and developed with a conventional oven. I always bake my baked goods on the rack placed in the MIDDLE of my oven. This way the heat coming from the bottom will not burn my baked goods.
If you are baking with convection (fan-forced), please adjust the recipes accordingly. Be also prepared that the convection oven can cause your baked goods to dry out quickly and still be raw inside. Be aware that it takes at least 15-20 minutes for a standard American Oven to be fully preheated. I highly recommend investing in an Oven Thermometer.
Substitutions and Modifications
Any dietary or ingredient modifications/substitutions to this recipe may alter the end result in appearance and taste. I test my recipes several times as published in this post and The Gluten Free Austrian Blog is not responsible for the outcome of any recipe you find on our website.
For the Gluten Free Applesauce Cake
- 75 grams gluten free Buckwheat Flour
- 295 grams gluten free multi purpose flour
- 1 ½ teaspoons baking soda
- ½ teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon (4 grams) kosher salt
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger
- ¼ teaspoon finely ground black pepper
- ¼ teaspoon ground allspice
- 2 large eggs, at room temperature
- 100g neutral oil (such as grapeseed oil)
- 400 g unsweetened applesauce
- 150 g light brown sugar
- 60 g granulated white sugar
For the Cream Cheese Frosting
- 170 grams cream cheese, softened
- 85 grams unsalted butter, room temperature
- 350 grams powdered sugar (depending on how sweet you like your frosting)
- 1 ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- pinch of kosher salt
- Dried Apple Chips, chopped nuts....
How to make Gluten Free Applesauce Cake
- Preheat the oven to 350°F.
- Line an 8x8 cake pan with parchment paper and set it aside. Make sure to leave some overhang so the cake can easily be removed from the pan.
- Sift together gluten-free flour, buckwheat flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and spices.
- In a separate bowl whisk together eggs, oil, applesauce, and both sugars until smooth.
- Add the wet ingredients to your dry ingredients and mix with a spatula until fully combined.
- Add the batter to your prepared pan and smooth out with an offset knife or a spoon.
- Bake at 350F for 40-45 minutes. The center of the cake will spring back when touched and a toothpick inserted in the middle should come out clean. If you have a digital thermometer, the internal temperature of the cake should be above 200F
- Allow the cake to cool for 10 minutes in the pan before removing it from the cake pan. Allow for it to cool completely on a cooling rack before frosting
How to make Cream Cheese Frosting
- Mix together room temperature butter and cream cheese until light and fluffy.
- Start out by adding 150 grams of powdered sugar and mix until combined.
- Add the remaining powdered sugar (remember you can always add more if you would like your frosting to be sweeter), cinnamon, salt, vanilla, and mix until combined.
How to assemble your Gluten Free Applesauce Cake
- Make sure your cake is fully cooled
- Place on a serving plate.
- Top with a generous heap of Cream Cheese Frosting and spread over the top of the cake.
- Top with dried apple chips, toasted nuts, or enjoy just as is!
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 400
Calories are a guestimate and randomly generated.