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Close up of a cut Apple and Cinnamon Cake with Salted Caramel Cream Cheese Buttercream
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5 from 2 votes

Apple and Cinnamon Cake with Salted Caramel Cream Cheese Buttercream {gluten-free}

A beautiful layered Apple and Cinnamon Cake with Salted Caramel Cream Cheese Buttercream. This gluten-free apple cake is wonderfully flavourful and the depth of buckwheat rounds out the warmth of the cinnamon, allspice, cloves and nutmeg. The luxurious cream cheese buttercream spiked with homemade salted caramel turns this cake into a real celebration.
Prep Time2 hrs
Cook Time1 hr 35 mins
Course: Cake
Cuisine: British
Servings: 16 people
Calories: 708kcal


  • 5-6 eating apples to achieve 300g sauce
  • 125 g buckwheat flour
  • 100 g sweet rice flour
  • 50 g potato starch
  • 1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
  • ¾ teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon ground allspice
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cloves
  • ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 170 g unsalted butter
  • 280 g soft light brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Salted Caramel

  • 125 g caster sugar
  • 150 ml double cream
  • 20 g unsalted butter
  • ¼ teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon bourbon vanilla extract

Salted Caramel Cream Cheese Buttercream

  • 450 g unsalted butter
  • 500 g icing sugar
  • 120 ml salted caramel
  • 300 g cream cheese

Decorative Apple Slices

  • 1 apple
  • ½ lemon
  • Water to cover


  • Pre-heat the oven to 180°C / 160°C fan / gas mark 4 and line and grease 2 x 20cm round baking tins.
  • Make the apple sauce by peeling, coring and dicing the apples. Place in a saucepan with a tablespoon or two of water and heat gently with the lid on. Stir every so often until the apples have broken down. You should be able to mix them into a pulp with a fork. You need 300g of sauce so weigh out the correct amount and set aside to cool.
  • Sift together the flours, bicarbonate of soda, baking powder, salt and spices in a large bowl and set aside.
  • Cream the butter and sugar for 5-10 minutes in a food mixer or handheld beater until light and fluffy.
  • Add the eggs, one at a time, to the creamed butter and sugar and mix in well. Then add the vanilla extract.
  • Add the flour mixture alternately with the apple sauce, adding the flour in three additions and the apple sauce in two (begin and end with the flour), scrape down the sides of the bowls as needed and mix until just combined.
  • Divide between the two cake tins.
  • Bake for 25 minutes, then remove from the oven and cool on a wire rack completely before filling and covering with the buttercream.

Salted Caramel

  • Tip the sugar into a small saucepan and heat on a medium temperature until the sugar melts. Do not touch with a spoon but you can encourage the melting by swirling the actual saucepan around occasionally if you like.
  • Stir in the double cream and butter carefully and be prepared for it to bubble up furiously, the caramel may harden slightly but just keep on stirring the bubbly mixture until the cream, butter and sugar are smooth.
  • Add the vanilla extract and salt, stir in quickly and remove from the heat.
  • Pour the caramel directly into a glass jar, seal and place in the fridge to chill thoroughly before using.

Salted Caramel Cream Cheese Buttercream

  • Cream the butter until soft then add the icing sugar and mix for about 10 minutes until very light and fluffy.
  • Scoop in the cream cheese and chilled salted caramel and mix in thoroughly.

Decorative Apple Slices

  • Pre-heat oven to 160°C/ 140°C fan / gas mark 3.
  • Fill a medium sized bowl ¾ of the way with water. Squeeze in the juice of ½ lemon and stir.
  • Cut the apple very thinly across the core. Don’t bother to peel or core.
  • Place all the apple slices in the lemon water for 5 minutes which helps to avoid apple browning.
  • Dry the apple slices thoroughly on kitchen towel then place on a parchment lined baking tray.
  • Place in the oven for 1 hour, turning the apples over halfway.
  • Turn the heat off the oven and leave the apples inside to cool.
  • Assembly
  • Generously sandwich the buttercream between the two apple sponges and cover the sides and top. Decorate with the apple slices.


Apple Sauce – Choose a sweeter apple rather than a cooking apple. I love Cox Apples but Pink Ladies or Braeburns are also delicious here.
How long your apples take to break down depends on the type of apple you are using. Cox Apples are quite soft so only take about 10 minutes to cook through.
Unsalted Butter – At room temperature means the butter will dent if you press into it gently. How long your butter takes to get to room temperature depends on the warmth of your kitchen.
Eggs – I always use medium. I recommend both breaking them into a separate bowl one at a time and before adding them to the batter. This is in case you have a bad egg. They are rare but they do happen. Or a double yolker which would mess with your quantities. Adding them to the batter one at a time gives more air to your cake.
Adding the flour and the apple sauce – I recommend adding in thirds alternately. This ensures even mixing into the batter.
Salted Caramel – do make it the day before if you can as it really benefits from a decent amount of chill time so the caramel can thicken. Otherwise it adds too much liquid to the buttercream. If you are running short on time, place in the freezer for 30 minutes to cool very quickly.
Storage – This cake is best eaten at room temperature but you should store it in the fridge to avoid spoiling the buttercream. Just remove from the fridge 1 hour before you want to serve it. It keeps in the fridge for 3-4 days.
Decorative Apple Slices – The method given here is the quick method which is perfect for cake decoration as it leaves them a little malleable. They only keep for about 3-4 days. You can make the day before or whilst your cake sponges are cooling.


Calories: 708kcal | Carbohydrates: 80g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 43g | Saturated Fat: 27g | Cholesterol: 140mg | Sodium: 263mg | Potassium: 251mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 64g | Vitamin A: 1456IU | Vitamin C: 5mg | Calcium: 71mg | Iron: 1mg