This easy keto apple cake is going to wow your guests and it's so healthy you could eat it for breakfast. It has a moist, fluffy crumb studded with apple pieces and it's topped with a sugar free cinnamon streusel layer. A keto coffee cake perfect for the colder season.
"A keto cake with real apples!" I hear you scream… yes, indeed!
I've tried all the faux low carb apple cake recipes with zucchini and apple cider vinegar over the years. They are okay, but let's be honest, they’re no real apple cake.
This gluten free, sugar free apple cake is filled with big bursts of flavourful apple pieces in every bite.
Serve it with keto custard for the ultimate comfort cake this autumn!
Ingredients for sugar free apple cake
Of course, this cake is not free of sugars because there's natural sugar in apples. When I say sugar free apple cake, I'm referring to the fact that there's no added sugars in this cake. I'm using gluten free, low carb flours and an erythritol based low carb sweetener instead, which makes this cake very low sugar and suitable for diabetics.
Let's look at the ingredients:
I used 400 grams (14 ounces) of dessert apples. It doesn't matter which type you choose - Granny Smith, Braeburn, Golden Delicious - they all work.
Only Bramley apples would require more sweetener as they are more tart. If you want to use Bramley, adjust the recipe accordingly.
I recommend peeling the apples. The hard bits from the skin interfere with the cake texture. Although if you like the idea of a VERY rustic cake texture, by all means, leave the skins on.
Sliced one apple to top the cake with and chop the rest - those pieces get mixed into the batter. The apples are mixed with lemon juice to prevent browning and sweetener.
Cake batter and streusel
This is a super easy, tasty batter! Here's what you need:
- Eggs - Should be large and room temperature
- Butter - Use unsalted. I melt it in the microwave, then cool it a few minutes
- Cream cheese
- Unsweetened almond milk
- Almond flour - I use ground almonds, which is equivalent to regular almond flour in the US. If you use super-fine almond flour, I would reduce the amount by 2 tablespoons.
- Coconut flour - Works so well in combination with almond flour. Ideally, always measure your low carb flours with digital scales. It's much more precise than cups.
- Sweetener - my go-to is a granulated erythritol monk fruit sweetener blend. Lakanto or SoNourished are good choices. Both white and golden sweeteners (which are brown sugar replacements) would be good in this cake. You could also use allulose or xylitol. When using xylitol, be aware it's toxic to dogs.
- Baking powder, vanilla and cinnamon
How to make a keto apple cake
Slice one apple and dice the rest.
Place them in a mixing bow. Squeeze over a little lemon juice to prevent browning and drain any excess to prevent sogginess. Stir in the sweetener and let the mix sit for 30 minutes to macerate.
In a large bowl using an electric mixer or in a food processor, beat the room temperature eggs until pale, fluffy and double in size. This takes about 2 minutes.
Add the sweetener, butter, cream cheese, almond milk and vanilla extract. Continue beating for another 1 minute.
Mix the almond flour, ¼ cup coconut flour, baking powder and cinnamon in a separate bowl. Then add to the wet ingredients and blend until you have a smooth batter.
Mix all ingredients in a separate bowl using a fork and set aside.
Separate the apple slices from the diced apple. Mix the chopped apples through the cake batter and fill the prepared springform cake pan (don't forget to line the bottom with parchment paper and grease the sides first!).
Arrange the apple slices on top in a single layer. Top off with the streusel mix.
Bake in the preheated oven on the middle shelf for 60-65 minutes or until a skewer inserted comes out free of dough.
Let the apple coffee cake cool completely before releasing and removing the springform. Grain free baked goods are very fragile when hot and firm up as they cool.
Recipe tips and substitutions
Don't let it burn: Almond flour cakes brown quicker than cakes made with wheat. Check the cake after 35-40 minutes oven time. If the top of the cake has browned sufficiently, loosely cover it with a piece of aluminium foil to prevent burning.
No coconut flour - To make this keto apple cake without coconut flour, replace it with 3 times the amount of almond flour.
Dairy free - For a dairy free keto apple cake, replace the butter with coconut oil and the cream cheese with coconut cream.
Nut free - Try a blend of sesame flour and sunflower seed flour in place of the almond flour.
Using different fruits - This cake would work well with berries, although I would leave the cinnamon out of the cake batter.
Using a different cake pan: You could use a rectangular pan if you prefer and even make a no sugar added cinnamon apple dump cake - where the apple mix is at the bottom, topped by the batter.
Yes, it depends on the amount. Apples contain a fair amount of carbs, that's why you might have heard that "apples are not keto". But here at Sugar Free Londoner we value common sense over the rulings of the keto police.
Keto is a metabolic state, not a food. And as long as you eat higher carb food in moderation, it can be part of a low carb diet and even a keto diet. This includes apples! I still make my unsweetened apple sauce every autumn, and we all love these low carb grain free apple cinnamon granola bars.
This keto apple cinnamon cake contains 400 grams of dessert apples - about 4 apples. Spread across 12 slices of cake, we're talking ¼ apple per portion. This way, you're getting all the apple flavour but at the same time each slice only has 6.5g net carbs.
We love serving sugar free apple cake with a simple homemade custard like this one. For a dairy free option, use my keto custard (just keep it on the stove until the mix thickens and coats the back of a spoon - skip the oven part).
Alternatively, serve with a dollop of keto whipped cream or a scoop of low carb vanilla ice cream.
Store in the fridge for up to 4 days or freeze for up to 3 months.
More keto coffee cake recipes
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This almond flour olive oil cake is rather sensational!
Tried this recipe? Give it a star rating below!
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Sugar Free Keto Apple Cakefrom Sugar Free Londoner
Note: The servings slider only changes the first amount in each line and not any subsequent amounts. Please make your own calculations where necessary. ***As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.
- 400 g / 14 oz apples 4 - 5 apples, 1 sliced, the rest diced
- squeeze of lemon
- ¼ cup granulated sweetener 50g, for macerating (soaking)
- 4 eggs large, room temperature
- ½ cup butter 114g, melted, then cooled
- ¼ cup cream cheese 60g
- ¼ cup almond milk 60 ml
- ½ cup granulated sweetener 100g, use up to ⅔ cup if you like a sweeter cake
- 2 cup almond flour 200g
- ¼ cup coconut flour 30g
- 2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 1 tablespoon cinnamon or more, to taste
- ¼ cup almond flour 25g
- ½ tablespoon coconut flour
- 1 tablespoon butter melted
- 1 tablespoon granulated sweetener
- ½ teaspoon cinnamon
- Place the apples in a mixing bowl. Squeeze over a little lemon juice to stop browning. Drain any excess to prevent sogginess. Mix the apples with the sweetener. Let it sit for 30 minutes to macerate. Discard any liquid.
- Preheat the oven to 180 C / 350F and line the bottom of a 20 cm / 8 inch round springform with parchment paper. Grease the sides with butter.
- In a large bowl using an electric mixer or in a food processor, beat the room temperature eggs until pale, fluffy and double in size. About 2 minutes.
- Add the sweetener, melted and cooled butter, cream cheese, almond milk and vanilla extract. Continue beating for another 1 minute.
- Mix the almond flour, coconut flour, baking powder and cinnamon in a separate bowl. Then add to the wet ingredients and blend until you have a smooth batter.
- Mix all ingredients in a separate bowl using a fork.
- Separate the apple slices from the diced apple. Mix the chopped apples through the cake batter and fill the springform. Arrange the apple slices on top in a single layer. Top off with the streusel mix.
- Bake in the preheated oven on the middle shelf for 60-65 minutes or until a skewer inserted comes out free of dough. Check after 35-40 minutes. If the top of the cake has browned sufficiently, loosely cover it with a piece of aluminium foil to prevent burning.
- Let the cake cool completely before releasing and removing the springform.
Have you tried using chayote as a replacement for apples?
No, it is very difficult to get here in the UK.
Have made this a few times now, but every time the cake falls apart when I unlock the spring on the cake tin. I wait at least 5 hours before I do this to ensure the cake is cold, but it still happens! Tastes great though so even though looks a mess, I can still eat it. Any ideas why this happens?
Provided the cake is cooked on the inside, the reason is likely because you have not greased the sides of the springform well enough. You need to grease them so the mix does not stick. And before releasing the springform, you need to run a knife around the edges as well. Then, open slowly.
I baked this cake this weekend. Excellent! I saved the recipe,
I will bake it more often.
Made this several times now. It is so delicious! And everybody loves this cake
It's in the oven... but 15 minute prep time is way off.. closer to an hour prep time, took me almost 15 minutes to prep the apples. Can't wait to eat it later !
How did it turn out?
Great that measures in metric as well as cups!
Although not made it yet.....
My husband isn’t a fan of fruit. Do you think I could just add sugar free chocolate chips?
Yes, of course, that would also work.
Hi! I made this recipe but switched the apples and used frozen raspberries and blueberries- it was amazing! Thank you! ❤️
That sounds delicious!
A neighbor had given me some Granny Smith apples which I don't really like so I found this recipe and it was perfect for us low sugar eaters. I am not a baker, but this came out great! I used 5 apples and I did muffins instead of a cake. It yielded 15 muffins. I buttered the muffin tins, baked them for 23 minutes and they were perfect. I upped the sugar in the cake batter to 2/3 cup. I found there wasn't enough topping for all the muffins so I just made more. I also sprinkled the top with chopped walnuts. Pretty easy to make and really delicious!
Thus cake is absolutely delicious! Tastes just like a regular cake. I made it as muffins, cooking for 25 minutes as you suggested and it was perfect. Recipe makes 12 large muffins.
Dairy free alternatives: Is it possible to replace the cream cheese with coconut cream or coconut yoghurt? And the butter with coconut oil? 🙂
Yes, I would go for the coconut yoghurt.
Thank you for this advice and for a lovely recipe 🙂
I made this over the weekend with quite a few amendments due to poor planning on my behalf.
Here’s what happened:
I used plain coconut yoghurt instead of cream cheese.
I also replaced the butter in the cake with coconut yoghurt (as I only had enough coconut oil for the streusel - whoops).
I used the left over juice from macerating the apples instead of almond milk.
Allulose was used as the sweetener (2/3 cup)
It turned out really well despite all the changes.
It did need a little extra time in the oven. Overall it was a huge hit, and my mother has requested a pear variation for her upcoming birthday.
Thank you so much for letting me know your tweaks!
Fab recipe…. Just wondering if I could half the apples and add nuts and seeds or would this recipe work without apple and just as a nut and seed cake cake please? Xx
Sure! The batter works with or without the apples. You could add anything you like.
Hello Katrin, I am from Portugal and I'll try one of your recipes for the first time. I wonder if I could use some sugar free apple pure as well. I thought maybe using a little bit of more coconut flour.
Thank you so much!
I'm sure you can change the recipe to include apple puree. You just have to keep to a similar ratio or wet and dry ingredients.
Would you recommend doubling the recipe if I'm going to be using a 9×13 baking dish instead of a springform? Do you figure I can count on baking for the same amount of time?
Also, do you use salted or unsalted butter for this recipe?
Hi Tina, doubling the recipe sounds about right. I think it may be a similar amount of time - it will depend on how thick or flat the cake is.
I always use unsalted butter in all recipes.
Can we make muffins using this recipe
Of course. I would bake them around 25 minutes, then test if they're done.
Hi, I don't understand what am I doing with the apples? I put on food processor or I cook them on the stove?
Hi Tanja, you don't cook the apples. You simply cut them into small pieces, then put them in a bowl with sweetener and let them sit for a while. After that, you add them to the cake batter.
Diana from New Zealand
Made this lovely apple cake yesterday. It was a huge hit with my family. I served it with low carb ice cream. Yummy!!! Thanks again Katrin for another great treat.
Made this cake yesterday and it was a big hit! I used Swerve sweetener adding a couple extra tablespoons of brown sugar Swerve to the batter for a little extra sweetness. I was very happy with how this cake turned out. I have had very good luck with all of your recipes I have tried.
I was wondering what your thoughts were on using less butter in recipes using almond flour? I was going to try cutting the amount of butter in half in recipes that call for 1/2 cup of butter. In recipes I have tried from other sources, I have found that the butter just settles to the bottom resulting in a greasy flavor/texture.
You could definitely try using less butter. Maybe replace it with something like yoghurt in cakes so they do not turn out dry?
Tried this recipe last night. It was delicious.
As always Katrin’s recipes did not disappoint!
That's so good to hear! Really glad you like the cake.
Would love to try this. Any suggestions to replace the almond milk?
You can use any milk you like - dairy milk, coconut milk, oat milk... I like to use the almond milk because it's lowest in carbs.
We do not have almond milk. Can I use lactose free, low sugar fat-free milk instead?
Yes, that should work just as well.
Debbie in TX
When making this recipe without coconut flour, you stated to "replace it with 3 times the amount of almond flour."
Since the recipe calls for 2 cups almond flour, this would mean 6 cups of almond flour for an 8-inch springform. Is this amount correct?
Thanks for the recipe -- it looks amazing!!
Hi Debbie, you would replace the 1/4 cup coconut flour with 3/4 cup almond flour. Plus the 2 cups almond flour you're already using as per recipe - 2 3/4 cup almond flour in total. I hope this makes it more clear 🙂 Keep in mind that if you're using super-fine almond flour, 2 1/2 cup in total may be sufficient.
This looks so good, can you recommend a sweetener that could be a good replacement for erythritol. I stopped keto baking because I get such a terrible cooling effect from it
You may like allulose. I find the taste is very similar to sugar.
Kathryn M Mccauley
Could I slice and freeze the cake? I am the only keto eater in my home.
Yes, this cake freezes well.
Hi, for the apple cake do you use eating apples or cooking apples, thanks Sue
I used eating apples - we call them dessert apples here.