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  • Writer's pictureGutsy Baker

Upside Down Honey Apple Cake (Gluten Free, No Refined Sugar, Vegan Friendly)

This upside down honey apple cake is perfect for apple season. It is a gluten free honey cake baked over thinly sliced Honeycrisp apples, drizzled with more honey! It's the perfectly moist and dense cake for afternoon tea, with a scoop of vanilla ice cream or I like to enjoy it for breakfast! Because who doesn't like baked apples.

an overhead view of an apple upside down cake


1. The perfect fall dessert (that includes a layer of soft sweet baked apples).

2. Gluten free, no refined sugar, dairy free and can be made vegan! Just swap the honey for maple syrup.

3. Easy to make. Can enjoy as a tea cake, a dessert or as a breakfast cake!

4. Honey and apple are a match made in heaven.

a slice of an apple cake next to a cup of honey

Please note this post contains Amazon affiliate links



I have only tested this recipe with gluten free flour, I use Bob's. No other flours have been tested yet so I can't give recommendations for a swap here.

Avocado oil may be replaced with any other liquid (unsaturated) oil. Avocado oil is the healthier option, I avoid vegetable and seed oils.

I used plain greek yogurt, but thick dairy free yogurt or sour cream will work.

Coconut sugar can be replaced with brown sugar. This just for lining the pan to lay the apples on top.

a slice of apple cake on a plate

HOW TO MAKE GLUTEN FREE UPSIDE DOWN APPLE CAKE (see recipe card below for full recipe and instructions)

  1. Prepare a round 8" cake pan with a piece of parchment at the bottom.

  2. Add together dry ingredients. Add together wet ingredients, then whisk together.

  3. Cut apples into thin slices and arrange them in groups to cover the bottom of the pan.

  4. Pour and spread batter evenly over the apples.

  5. Bake for 30-35 minutes until top browns and toothpick comes out clean.

  6. Cool for 20 minutes, then flip over onto a cooling rack and peel back parchment.

  7. Slice up and enjoy warm or chilled!

See video on how I make and assembled!


What type of apples to use?

Use a firm crisp apple so they do not get mushy. I prefer Honeycrisp or Pink Lady. They are also sweeter, so will caramelize with the coconut sugar during baking!

Can I replace the apples?

You can use pears! They would be so good in this recipe. Peaches may work, too.

Can gluten free upside down apple cake also be vegan?

Yes! Replace the honey with maple syrup and use a dairy free yogurt. I like Cocojune since it's thick like greek yogurt.

Why did the cake bake uneven?

This will be fine once you flip it upside down. Sometimes the juices from the apples will cause the cake to bubble and weigh down one or more areas.

How to store gluten free apple cake?

Store at room temperature, covered but not airtight, for 2 days (48 hours), then transfer to fridge in an airtight container for up to 7 days. You may also store directly in the fridge. It will dry out a bit in the fridge so I suggest to microwave for 10-15 seconds to warm it up!

overhead view of slices of apple cake on plates


- Slice apples thin!! They will layer easier and will be cooked fully.

- Cover the entire bottom pan with apples, leaving no pan visible. You may use an apple slice or two as patchwork to cover up any holes. This ensures the batter will not leak through and under the apples.

- This cake was tested 7 times, I do not suggest making any substitutions unless noted in this post. As written is the perfect ratio to create the best texture.

- This cake is more dense due to the moisture of the apples below. If this cake was baked on its own without apples, it would be lighter and less dense. This is with all upside down cakes. Just as a note! I love the texture.

If you have any more questions or comments, leave them for me in the comment box below! And be sure to rate the recipe on the recipe card and tag me @gutsy_baker of all your creations on IG!


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