This Gluten-Free Vegan Apple Upside Down Cake is the perfect way to welcome in the new season! A fluffy sponge topped with cinnamon-infused, caramelised apples.
This cake was inspired by both this Fig Upside Down Cake and these Salted Caramel Pudding Pots. I've fused the sticky, caramelised perfection of an upside down cake with the tartness of seasonal apples and the indulgent yet addictive flavour of salted caramel.
I used my favourite sponge recipe for the base of this cake - it's moist and fluffy and provides a great base for the apples. I love the recipe as it's very versatile, comes together in one bowl and requires very simple ingredients.
I used cooking apples, but you can use whatever apples you like. The apples definitely turn out much better when you cook them first before putting the cake in the oven. Although this may sound a bit annoying, the extra step is definitely worth it as it ensures the apples will be melt-in-your-mouth tender instead of unpleasantly crunchy. And, your kitchen will smell amazing so your nostrils will thank you if nothing else!
I create the salted caramel flavour using coconut oil, coconut sugar, and a pinch of good-quality sea salt. The coconut sugar not only makes a magically refined sugar free caramel sauce, but also adds the most gorgeous toffee-like flavour. I also added cinnamon for a warm and toasty aroma and vanilla for some extra fragrance.
If you're into fruity desserts, you might also like my:
- Lemon Blueberry Cake
- Cherry Bakewell Cake
- Black Forest Cake
- Fig Upside Down Cake
- Lemon Drizzle Cake
- Pear Dark Chocolate Pudding
- Raspberry Dark Chocolate Blondies
If you try out this recipe or anything else from my blog, I’d really love to hear any feedback! Please give it a rating, leave a comment, or tag a photo #rhiansrecipes on Instagram! Thank you.
Helpful tools to make this Gluten-Free Vegan Apple Upside Down Cake:
glass mixing bowl
18cm / 7 inch springform baking tin
Gluten-Free Vegan Apple Upside Down Cake
For the salted caramel apples:
- 1 tablespoon coconut oil (or sub coconut butter)
- 5 tablespoons coconut sugar
- 3 tablespoons unsweetened almond milk (or any other plant-based milk)
- 3 cooking apples, cored, peeled and diced (or sub any other type of apple if you prefer)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- Pinch of sea salt, to taste
For the sponge:
- 60 g (¼ cup) coconut oil (or sub olive or vegetable oil)
- 200 ml (⅘ cup) unsweetened almond milk (or any other plant-based milk)
- 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar (ensure gluten-free if necessary)
- 8 tablespoons maple syrup (or sub any other sweetener)
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- Pinch of salt
- 150 g (1 ¼ cup) ground almonds* (almond meal)
- 150 g (1 ¼ cup) gluten-free flour blend (or sub plain flour if not gluten-free)
- 2 heaped teaspoons baking power (ensure gluten-free if necessary)
- ¼ teaspoon bicarbonate of soda (baking soda)
For the salted caramel apples:
- Heat up the coconut oil in a pan
- Add the coconut sugar and cook for about a minute until coconut sugar has melted
- Add the milk, apples, vanilla, cinnamon and salt
- Leave to cook on a low heat, stirring occasionally, for about 10 minutes until slightly softened
For the sponge:
- Preheat oven to 180 degrees Celsius (350 degrees Fahrenheit)
- Lay out the cooked apples along the bottom of a greased baking tin lined with baking paper (I used a 7inch/18cm springform baking tin)
- Place the coconut oil in a large bowl and melt over a saucepan of boiling water or in the microwave (skip this step if using any other oil)
- Once melted, add the milk to the same bowl along with the vinegar, maple syrup, vanilla, salt and ground almonds
- Sift in the flour, baking powder and bicarbonate of soda
- Mix well, adding a tiny splash more milk if it’s looking too dry
- Transfer the mixture into the baking tin, making sure all the apples are completely covered by the batter
- Bake in oven for around 30 minutes until risen and golden brown and an inserted skewer comes out clean
- Once out the oven, leave to cool in the tin and once completely cool, turn out onto a plate or cake stand by placing the plate or cake stand upside down on top of the baking tin then quickly flip it over
- Tastes best when fresh but keeps covered in the fridge for up to a few days
Disclosure: This posts contains affiliate links to Amazon. If you purchase any of these products, a small percentage will come to me with no extra cost to you! This income will go towards the running of this blog – thank you.
Love the caramelised apples, coconut sugar is delicious!