Gluten-Free Applesauce Cake with Cinnamon Crumb Topping

We were craving an apple dessert. Something worthy of afternoon tea. Or a hot pot of freshly brewed coffee. So I decided to bake a cake. Because trying to wrestle gluten-free pie dough for an apple pie just seemed too fussy. Too complicated. Though in all honesty, that isn't the whole, unvarnished truth. The whole, unvarnished truth is, Yours Truly is more of a cake person than a pie person. And if it is coffee cake we're talking about, even better. Crumb topping? Yes, please. Cinnamon? You know it. We debated whether or not to add chopped nuts to the cake topping (you totally could!). Though we were mightily tempted, we decided to keep it a classic, simple crumb.

Gluten-Free Applesauce Cake with Cinnamon Crumb Topping


1 cup sorghum flour
1 cup potato starch (not potato flour)
1/2 cup hazelnut, chestnut or almond flour
1 1/3 cup light brown sugar
2 teaspoons gelatin or 1 teaspoon xanthan gum
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon allspice
1 teaspoon ginger
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
3 organic free-range eggs, beaten
1/2 cup coconut oil or vegetable oil
1 tablespoon bourbon vanilla extract
1 cup organic applesauce

For the topping:

1/3 cup light brown sugar
3 tablespoons sorghum flour
3 tablespoons organic coconut oil
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon


1. Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Line a 9-inch deep cake pan or baking dish with a piece of parchment paper.

2. In a large mixing bowl, whisk to combine the dry ingredients: sorghum flour, potato starch, hazelnut flour, brown sugar, xanthan gum, sea salt, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, allspice, ginger, and nutmeg.

3. Add in the eggs, oil, and vanilla extract. Beat to combine.

4. Add in the applesauce and beat by hand to mix the batter.

5. Scoop the batter into the prepared cake pan and smooth it out to the edges.

6. Make the topping combining the brown sugar, sorghum flour, coconut oil, and cinnamon. Mix with a fork until sandy textured. Spread the crumb topping on the batter. Lightly press down.

7. Bake in the center of the oven for 40 minutes, then loosely tent a piece of foil over the top to prevent the topping from over-browning. Bake for 10 to 15 minutes more, until the center of the cake is firm and a wooden pick inserted in the middle emerges clean.

8. Cool the cake on a wire rack. Delicious and fragrant with spices served warm. Careful- it will be a bit fragile when warm.

Additional Info:

Yield: 10-12 slices

This lovely cinnamon-spiced cake may be baked the night before, cooled, and wrapped for the next morning. Slice, wrap in foil, and freeze uneaten cake slices in a freezer bag.

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