Apple Pie Cupcake or Apple Spice Teacakes - gluten free, dairy free, egg free, nut free, vegan
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
This recipe can be made two ways - as a cupcake or teacakes (omitting the frosting and caramelized apples) or both depending on how sweet you like your dessert. Apple spice cake with a bit of apple pie flavor fused together into a cupcake with a cinnamon vanilla buttercream topped with maple syrup caramelized apples or teacakes with the same apple spice moist cake without the toppings. The cakes freeze well (without frosting) in a tightly sealed container up to 2 months.
Recipe type: Dessert
Cuisine: Adapted recipe from Martha Stewart’s Apple Spice Cake
Serves: 24
  • For the cake:
  • Flour Blend (total 3¼ cup blend, I use Bob's red Mill GF flours):
  • (173 g) 1¼ cup white rice flour
  • (138 g) 1 cup brown rice flour
  • ( 29 g) ½ cup tapioca starch
  • ( 57g) ½ cup coconut flour
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ground allspice
  • 1½ teaspoon ground ginger
  • ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 2 teaspoons aluminum free baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon aluminum free baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • (108 grams) 8 tablespoons canned chickpea liquid (also known as aquafaba), room temperature
  • ¼ teaspoon powdered agar agar (sold online or health food stores)
  • 1½ cup cane sugar
  • 4 oz Earth Balance soy free buttery spread, softened
  • ¼ c coconut nectar or agave
  • 1½ cups applesauce
  • ½ cup coconut milk
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • For the frosting:
  • Note: This will make enough for 12 cupcakes only. Recipe doubles or triples well.
  • ¾ cup earth balance soy free buttery spread (measured in a dry measuring cup)
  • 3½ cups powdered sugar, sifted (I use wholesome brand made with tapioca starch and also animal free, suitable for vegans)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste, or pure vanilla extract (Nielsen-Massey, Frontier, or Simply Organic are gluten free)
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 2-3 tablespoons coconut milk
  • For the caramelized apple topping:
  • 2 medium apples, peeled, cored and diced (I used granny smith and pink lady for some tartness)
  • 1 tablespoon earth balance non-dairy buttery soy free spread
  • 3 teaspoons evaporated cane sugar
  • ¼ cup pure maple syrup, grade B or coconut nectar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • pinch of kosher salt
  • splash of calvados (apple liqueur)
  • Note: This will make enough for 12 cupcakes, with a teaspoon-full on each cupcake.
  1. Preparation:
  2. For the cake part:
  3. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (166 C)
  4. Measure flours and combine with all the spices, baking powder, baking soda, and kosher salt in a medium bowl. In a small bowl, combine canned chickpea liquid and agar agar. Set aside. *It will not thicken up, but more as a xanthan gum substitute to help bind the flours.* In a stand mixer set on medium speed, cream the butter and sugar for 2-3 minutes until well blended. Add coconut nectar, then applesauce until just combined. Add canned chickpea liquid. Reduce to medium-low and add the flour blend, continue to mix until just combined. Do not over mix otherwise it will incorporate too much air and create sunken cupcakes. It will look light and airy, which is what we want for a light, moist cake.
  5. Bake for 30-35 minutes, or until golden brown and a toothpick comes out clean.
  6. For the cupcakes: Let it cool for 15 minutes before transferring onto a cooling rack. Serve immediately. Will stay refrigerated for up to 4 days uncovered. Do not leave out at room temperature over 3 hours in hot climate weather as it will soften up too much to hold shape.
  7. For the teacakes: Let it cool 20 minutes, then cut around the mini bundt style cake edges (to dislodge from the pan) with a dull knife. Invert onto a cooling rack. Sift powdered sugar on top once completely cooled. Store at room temperature for 2 days or lightly cover and refrigerate for up to 4 days.
  8. For the frosting:
  9. Cream the “butter” for 2 minutes on medium speed then increase to high speed for another 3-4 minutes until it looks as pictured below, then again reduce down to medium speed and add vanilla bean paste, powdered sugar, cinnamon and coconut milk. It will appear less thick than standard buttercream, which is normal. Refrigerate for at least an hour before transferring into a pastry bag set with an open star tip (I used a large one) then pipe and refrigerate while making the caramelized apple topping.
  10. For the caramelized apple topping:
  11. In a small (4 cup) saucepan set on medium heat, melt earth balance with cane sugar. When melted, add diced apples and toss to combine well. Add maple syrup, cinnamon, kosher salt and a splash of calvados. Stir once then let cook for 20 minutes, or until it has reduced a little more than half and the apples are very soft. There should be a few tablespoons of liquid remaining. *If not add more maple syrup and cook for another 3 minutes or so.
  12. Some Notes:
  13. I measured out the flours so that the results will be consistent every time. Baking with egg free substitutes can sometimes create crumbly cakes that fall apart if the flour weight is not correct (or the canned chickpea liquid) or the ratio of protein to starches is off. If you do not have a scale yet I encourage you to get one if you plan on baking more often. They are relatively inexpensive and sold online or home accessories shops like Bed Bath Beyond.
  14. My homemade applesauce is very chunky (will post the recipe soon). When using store-bought, look for a chunky style applesauce and drain any remaining liquid.
  15. You can leave the calvados out if you like, but it really brings out that “apple pie” flavor and the alcohol burns off so it’s safe for children to eat.
  16. These also freeze well in a freezer safe container (cupcake with frosting on top) for up to a month. Thaw in the refrigerator. Caramelized apples also freeze well in a separate container, then leave out at room temperature to thaw completely before garnishing cupcakes.
  17. Teacakes also freeze well without powdered sugar, if needed. We ate half a dozen in 10 minutes so I didn’t actually freeze these but considering the recipe I am confident it will freeze well, as always in a freezer safe container and a good 2-ply of shrink wrap to ensure none of that frost condensation comes near them.
  18. I will be trying this recipe as a large bundt cake this season with a cinnamon spice confectioner glaze and will update the recipe if all goes well, or not.
Recipe by From Jessica's Kitchen at