This apple cider layer cake is just bursting with apple flavor! The cake batter is filled with apple cider while sweet apple butter separates the cake layers. The entire dessert is then topped with a cashew caramel frosting for a decadent Fall treat. The recipe is SCD, paleo, gluten free, grain free, dairy free, and refined sugar free.
Crisp mornings, leaves gently floating toward the ground, big blankets, cozy sweaters, apple picking, and fresh apple cider. All of these things conjure up images, at least for me, of a beautiful fall day.
I, however, live in Florida so my fall consists of oppressive humidity, mosquitos that won't go away, and an air conditioner that's constantly running!
This cake is about the closest thing to fall I've had so far this season! It's a deliciously moist two layer almond four spice cake made with a healthy splash of apple cider.
The layers are separated by the most amazing apple butter filling before being topped with a creamy cashew caramel frosting!
The cake does need a bit of planning since the apple butter and caramel need to be made ahead, but it's completely worth it!
Apple butter and salted caramel sauce
As mentioned above, there are two components to this recipe that I highly suggest you make ahead of time.
The first is the Apple Butter which cooks for about 12 hours in a slow cooker and can be made up to 3 days ahead of the cake.
The second is the Salted Caramel Sauce which needs some time to cool, so I suggest making it the day before.
Spiced apple cider cake ingredients
Almond Flour - Blanched finely ground almond four is best for this recipe although finely ground cashew flour should also work.
Apple Cider - The only ingredient listed on the container should be apples and the liquid should look a bit cloudy.
Coconut Oil - Olive oil can be used instead.
Before beginning, make sure all the ingredients are at room temperature.
In a large bowl whisk together the almond flour, salt, baking soda, and spices (photo 1).
Use a separate bowl to whisk together the wet ingredients, then pour the wet ingredients into the bowl with the flour mixture (photo 2). Mix until well combined (photo 3). The batter will be on the thicker side.
Evenly distribute the batter between two 6 inch round cake pans that have been greased and lined with parchment paper (photo 4).
Use a knife or spatula to smooth the tops and give the cake pans a few taps on the counter to release any air bubbles.
Place the cakes to bake on the center rack of a 325F preheated oven for 30 to 40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cakes comes out clean and the tops are firm to the touch with just the tiniest bit of give.
After 10 minutes, turn the cakes out onto a cooling rack and allow to cool completely before assembling and frosting.
Cashew Caramel Frosting
In a medium saucepan, bring water to a rolling boil over high heat. Add raw cashews, cover, and remove from the heat. Allow the cashews to soak for two hours.
Strain and rinse the cashews with fresh water (photo 1). Blend the cashews, salted caramel sauce, and vanilla extract until smooth (photos 2 and 3). Be sure to use the tamper to help move and blend the mixture.
If needed, add water or apple cider a tablespoon at a time to help with blending, but don't add too much or the frosting will be too watery.
Flip one of the cooled cakes upside down and place it in the center of a plate or cake stand. Spread a thin layer of frosting over the top, then pipe a barrier along the edge of the cake (photo 4). This will prevent the filling from escaping!
Spread about half a cup of apple butter in the center of the cake. Flip the second cooled cake upside down and place it on top of the filling.
Frost the sides and top of the cake using as much or as little of the frosting as you'd like. Spread another half cup of apple butter on top of the cake and decorate as desired!
I used fresh apple slices and cinnamon sticks but feel free to get creative! I hope you enjoy!
More gluten free fall desserts you'll love!
If you’ve made this recipe, be sure to leave a comment and star rating below! This is the best way you can help support me and my blog!
Did you know I have a YouTube channel! SUBSCRIBE to watch all of my recipe videos!
Apple Cider Layer Cake
Apple Butter Filling
- 1 cup apple butter, see notes below for link to recipe
Cashew Caramel Frosting
- 2 cups raw cashews
- 1 cup salted caramel sauce, see notes below for link to recipe
- 1 Tablespoon vanilla extract
- 3 cups blanched finely ground almond flour
- 1 Tablespoon ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1 teaspoon allspice
- 2 large eggs, at room temperature
- ½ cup apple cider
- ½ cup honey
- 2 Tablespoons melted coconut oil
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- ½ teaspoon lemon juice
Apple Butter Filling
- IMPORTANT! The apple butter takes 12 hours to make in a slow cooker and needs to be made at least one day prior to assembling the cake. There is a link in the notes section below to the recipe.
Cashew Caramel Frosting
- IMPORTANT! The salted caramel sauce can be made the same day as the frosting but will need ample time to cool in the refrigerator. Alternatively, the caramel can be made 2 to 3 days prior to making the frosting.
- Bring 4 cups of water to a boil over high heat. Add the cashews to the water, cover the pot with a lid and turn off the heat. Allow the cashews to soak for at least 2 hours.
- Strain the cashews and rinse with clean water. Blend the cashews, caramel sauce, and vanilla extract until smooth.
- Use a tamper to help facilitate blending and stop to scrape down the sides of the jar as needed. If needed, add either water or apple cider 1 tablespoon at a time to help with blending. Just take care not to add too much liquid or the frosting will become to watery.
- Preheat oven to 325F. Grease two 6-inch round cake pans and line the bottoms with parchment paper. Set aside.
- In a large bowl whisk together the almond flour, cinnamon, salt, baking soda, ginger, nutmeg, and allspice.
- In a separate bowl, whisk together the eggs, honey, apple cider, coconut oil, vanilla extract, and lemon juice.
- Pour the wet ingredients into the almond flour mixture and mix until well combined. The batter will be a bit thick.
- Evenly distribute the batter between the prepared cake pans and smooth down the tops. Give the pans a few taps on the counter to release air bubbles and then place on the middle rack of the oven.
- Bake for 30 to 40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cakes comes out clean.
- Allow the cakes to rest for 10 minutes before turning them out onto a cooling rack to cool completely.
- Flip one of the cooled cakes upside down and place it in the center of a plate or cake stand. Spread a thin layer of frosting over the top, then pipe a barrier along the edge of the cake.
- Spread about ½ cup of apple butter in the center. Flip the other cake upside down and place it on top of the filling.
- Spread the remaining frosting on the sides and top of the cake. Spread the remaining ½ cup of apple butter on top of the cake and decorate as desired.
- APPLE BUTTER RECIPE
- SALTED CARAMEL SAUCE RECIPE
- Store the cake covered in the refrigerator for 3 to 4 days.