Grain free apple cinnamon loaf

 This Grain free apple cinnamon loaf is everything I love about Autumn all wrapped up in one delicious and cosy loaf- some spice, some sweetness, lots of golden brown hues and the a wonderful accompany to a hot cup of tea outside. 

Boy am I glad to finally off load this recipe on to the blog! Of course I needed to birth it here in Autumn (apple season) but I also needed to get it off my chest after so, so many recipe tests. Some recipes work almost straight away, while others you slave away at for weeks trying to achieve the perfect result. At times I almost gave up but I am so glad I didn’t because I did succeed! An apple loaf that is light and fluffy, moist, spiced, a bit sweet and just with a beautiful crumb BUT made with grains or gluten. Phew- it is here. 

Grain free apple cinnamon loafBackground to the grain free apple cinnamon loaf

Initially I developed a spiced apple cake way back in 2019. At the time I was pregnant with my first daughter and relied on taste testers to get me through- the though of eating anything sweet was truely off putting. Since then, we’ve made the cake countless times and it was always on my blogging to-do list.

Fast forward to 2023 and I decided it was finally time to publish this thing, but did a bit of research first. There were now so many spiced apple cakes that were similar (this was a vegan version) I didn’t really see the point in adding another. I loved the cake so much though, and wanted to tweak it to be a bit more unique. 

Grain free apple cinnamon loaf

  • Initially I trialled this as a maple syrup sweetened loaf, but I didn’t like etc flavours and textures, and didn’t think it was worth pursuing.
  • On the second test I added a more carrot-cake spice mix, but it over powered the apples and just wasn’t nice. I also added in extra apple, and the loaf way too dense. 
  • Test 3 I trialled with cassava flour, and while the loaf was more airy and light the cassava flour over powered the apples. 
  • On my 4th recipe test I experimented with different ratios of flour and added in milk- this was still a complete fail, and went to the compost bin.
  • The 5th test I introduced buckwheat flour- the loaf way light and airy, but so dry and crumbly, and I dint like the buckwheat flavour in there at all. 
  • Test 6 I decided to do a classic grain free version using almond meal and tapioca flour. The flavour was so much better, but the final loaf was still too dense and wet. I also trialled sour cream in this loaf, but I didn’t see any expected benefits. 
  • Trial 7 I added in coconut flour to absorb some extra liquid, but without affecting the taste too much. coconut flour goes along way, and the 2 Tbsp made a lot of difference. the loaf still wasn’t perfect though. 
  • The final loaf- test 8, I reduced the amount of apple and swapped sour cream for an extra egg (to keep the ingredient list shorter). The grain free apple cinnamon loaf was now everything it should be- light, fluffy, moist, spiced and sweet. 

Grain free apple cinnamon loaf

Grain free apple cinnamon loaf

Grain free apple loafIngredients 

  • Almond meal or flour– my go-to for grain free baking, it is widely available and has a great flavour and texture. I have not tested this recipe with any other flour, sorry. 
  • Tapioca or arrowroot flour– either of these starches work on balance out the almond meal (making it lighter and fluffier) and give a bit of chew to the texture. 
  • Coconut flour. A little coconut flour goes along way! Coconut flour absorbs ALOT of liquid, which was needed in this recipe to counteract the fruit. I do not recommend any substitutions, though you can omit is (just expect a left fluffy loaf). 
  • Ground cinnamon, baking powder and salt– the usuals 
  • Fresh, room temperature eggs. Eggs are really important in this recipe, and I don’t advise substituting them. They help the loaf rise and be light and airy, but also give structure to our Grain free apple cinnamon loaf.
  • Coconut sugar
  • Grass-fed butter. Salted or unsalted, you pick. I have teamed up with WESTGOLD butter to create this recipe, because their New Zealand Grass-fed butter is my all time favourite. Grass-fed butter gives the grain free apple bread the best flavour and adds wonderful fat soluble vitamins. Butter is one of the worlds original superfoods and in my household we eat it as much as we can!
  • Grated apple. Any apple will do but I prefer to use a juicy, flavoursome red apple variety. 

Grain free apple cinnamon loaf ingredients

Why I choose Westgold butter

I have teamed up with WESTGOLD butter to create this recipe, because their New Zealand Grass-fed butter is my all time favourite. Grass-fed cows produce milk (and butter) with the best flavour and adds wonderful fat soluble vitamins. Butter is one of the worlds original superfoods and in my household we eat it as much as we can. 

If you have ever visited the West Coast of New Zealand you’ll know its green year round. The lush green grass is available means cows can be given a grass-fed diet for all seasons, and the result speaks for itself. Westgold New Zealand dairy just hits different- its so creamy and flavoursome, and we are the biggest fans at my house. Plus, despite living in Australia my parents are from New Zealand and NZ dairy has always been a must for us. 

Grain free apple cinnamon loaf

Grain free apple cinnamon loafServing suggestions

Truely, this grain free apple cinnamon loaf is good enough to eat just as is- its packed full of flavour and I love it plain- but you also might consider;

  • Warming it up and serving with butter and a cup of tea/coffee
  • Topped with labneh frosting (see this recipe here) or sliced and spread with labneh and a sprinkle of chopped nuts 
  • with a dollop of double cream (tried and tested- SO good)
  • Turn it into cake and top with a simple drizzle or cream cheese frosting

Grain free apple cinnamon loaf

Grain free apple cinnamon loafFrequently asked questions

  • How do I turn this grain free apple cinnamon loaf into a muffin?

Easy! This recipe works well for a 12 hole muffin tray, and muffins can be baked for 20-25 minutes at 180 C (350F). This has been tried and tested. 

  • Can I replace coconut sugar for maple syrup.

No, I would not attempt this. As this is a grain free loaf that already has a lot of wet ingredients the maple syrup will most like result in your apple loaf being much less fluffy and light, and it may sink in the middle. If you want to try this recipe with maple syrup I would try it with the muffin version, but note I have not personally tested this. 

  • What can I use instead of arrowroot flour? 

Tapioca flour of corn flour should work interchangeably here. I have not tried either but I think both would work. 

  • Can I make this into a cake instead? 

Yes, I think that would work fine if you used a 15cm (6 inch ) – 18cm (7 inch) round tin, but baking times may vary. 

Grain free apple cinnamon loaf

Grain free apple cinnamon loaf

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We hope you love these grain free apple cinnamon loaf as much as we do! If you make them we would love a review below, as it helps others find this recipe too. If you have any questions we always endeavour to get back to you quickly. Happy baking x

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Grain free apple cinnamon loaf

Grain free apple cinnamon loaf

5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star 5 from 3 reviews
  • Author: Panaceas Pantry
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
  • Yield: 12 slices 1x
  • Category: Snacks
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: Australian
  • Diet: Gluten Free

Description

 This Grain free apple cinnamon loaf is everything I love about Autumn all wrapped up in one delicious and cosy loaf- some spice, some sweetness, lots of golden brown hues and the a wonderful accompany to a hot cup of tea outside. 


Ingredients

Scale

Optional topping

  • 1 apple, sliced into thin wedges
  • Handful sliced almonds
  • Olive oil or maple syrup, to drizzle

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 160 C (320F). Line a standard loaf tin and line with baking paper. Set aside. As this recipe takes over 1 hour to cook it is best to know your oven temperature- you can test this with a store-bought oven thermometer. If your oven is hotter than 160C (320F) you will have an un-cooked centre.
  2. Add butter to a small saucepan and melt gently over low heat. Turn off heat and set aside to cool for 5 minutes.
  3. Sift almond meal, arrowroot, coconut flour, baking powder, salt and cinnamon into a large mixing bowl and mix until uniform. Set aside.
  4. In a second bowl, add eggs, grated apple, vanilla, the melted and cooled butter and coconut sugar. Mix well, then pour this wet mix into the dry mix and gently fold to combine. It is best to take your time and mix gently- this will ensure you get a light and fluffy apple loaf. You want it mixed properly, but gently. Mix until all the dry pockets of flour have gone then gently transfer to your prepared loaf tin. The batter will be very thick- this is normal, don’t worry- just use a clean spoon to even it out. Add optional sliced apple and almonds, then lightly drizzle with oil or maple syrup.
  5. Bake for 1 hour 10 minutes to 1 hour 15 minutes, or until cooked through when tested with a skewer. Allow to cool for 10 minutes in the pan before gently transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.

Store in the pantry (uncovered) for up to 3 days, or in an airtight container in the fridge. If you want to freeze this loaf I recommend leaving the apple off of the top for best results.


Notes

To make muffins; I have trialled this with muffins. This recipe makes 12 muffins, and you can bake them at 180 C (350 F) for 20-25 minutes.

16 Comments
  1. I would love to try your original vegan version, if you still have it. I love apple baked goods but eggs don’t sit well with me. This loaf looks delightful!

  2. Absolutely delicious, moist apple cake and so easy to make.
    Five stars from my husband and his work colleagues.






  3. Im excited to go for this recipe ? What would you do for apple slice when bake in muffin tin?All grated in it? Or chopped dice as not to given much wetness?

  4. Oh sorry ” the slice apple”was optional for topping! This means whole 180g grated apple into muffins ver. Please delete comments from me! I will leave the comment once I bake it;)

  5. Since discovering this recipe 3 weeks ago I’ve made it 4… ok several times, the only problem is it keeps vanishing and I have to make more. My husband and 2 year old are equally obsessed. So, so delicious! Thanks Jade!






    1. Oh this is just so lovely- thank you Bonny. I love this recipe and am so glad you and your fam do too.

  6. Can I use a gluten free flour blend instead? Not sure if the amount would need to be adjusted, possibly less than the total the original recipe requires?

    1. Hi Erika. I’ve not tried a GF flour blend, but if you try it let me know. I’d love to know which brand you used too. The recipe should be fairly forgiving with a GF blend, but as you mentioned less would probably be needed as GF blends would absorb more liquid than my blend. Hope that helps!

  7. Hi Jade! Would this recipe work if I used oil or vegan block butter instead of dairy butter? My family and I don’t eat dairy 🙁

    1. Heya Olivia,

      Yes! I’ve actually made this very successfully with olive oil, but you could use vegan butter too. The version with olive oil is delicious!

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