This keto apple cake is a one-bowl cake recipe that makes the most of this time of year- when we're creeping toward the close of summer but not quite into fall yet. With shreds of zucchini, bits of sweet apple and a generous amount of cinnamon, this almond flour apple cake leans into upcoming autumn where we crave all things cozy and sweet and seasonal.
Keto apple cake and these keto chocolate zucchini muffins have graced our snack routine over the past few weeks. (If you're looking for more low-carb zucchini recipes and a few ways to use up an abundance of the squash, try this low-carb chicken shawarma plate and harissa chicken thighs with roasted vegetables.)
This keto apple cake recipe has a light apple flavor, a tender crumb and can be enjoyed with the creamy cinnamon frosting for more of a dressed-up apple zucchini cake, or served plain if you'd like it to be a healthier apple zucchini bread.
- quick to come together and only requires 15 minutes of prep
- a delicious and tender almond flour apple cake that is entirely dairy free (frosting can easily be made with non-dairy cream cheese)
- versatile- serve it for dessert or skip the frosting and enjoy it for breakfast
You'll need a simple mix of your basic low-carb baking essentials for this keto and gluten-free apple cake recipe, including almond flour and coconut flour. It doesn't have a whole lot of apple in it which keeps the sugar/carb count low, but it does have just enough to give the cake a sweet, fall vibe, especially when paired with classic fall spices like cinnamon and nutmeg. It's sort of like these keto cinnamon muffins, but more tender and with a hint of apple.
To make the keto apple cake, you will need:
- Apple and zucchini. Go with either sweet or tart- I love Honeycrisp apples but a Granny Smith would work well too.
- Low-carb and gluten-free flours. Almond flour and coconut flour combine to make a really nice cake texture.
- Granulated monk fruit sweetener. While any granulated monk fruit/erythritol blend will do, I really like the light, caramel-like flavor of Lakanto Golden (affiliate).
- Spices. Nutmeg and cinnamon.
- Baking essentials. Salt, baking powder, baking soda, eggs and vanilla.
- Coconut oil, olive oil or butter. You can use any of these options in this recipe. For non-dairy, my favorite is olive oil since it makes the cake extra tender. If dairy isn't an issue, make this keto apple cake with butter for an even better flavor.
- Non-dairy milk. Your choice- I've made it with coconut cream or a thinner, non-dairy milk like almond milk or macadamia milk. All work well, just make sure it is unsweetened.
- Apple cider vinegar. You'll only need a teaspoon but it's an essential ingredient. The acid from the vinegar reacts with the baking soda/powder and helps this cake rise. Lemon juice will work too.
For the optional cinnamon cream cheese frosting:
- Cream cheese. If you're dairy-free, use a vegan cream cheese (my favorite is Kite Hill). Make sure the cream cheese is softened and at room temperature.
- Butter, vegan butter or coconut cream. This helps lighten up the cream cheese and also adds a nice flavor to the frosting. It also needs to be softened.
- Powdered monk fruit sweetener. I've made it with this powdered sweetener or this ultra-fine/powdered Baking Sweetener (affiliate).
- Vanilla and cinnamon. For delicious, cream cheese frosting flavor!
keto apple cake recipe
To make this keto apple cake, you'll need one bowl, a square, 9-inch cake pan, and parchment paper. The paper helps the cake easily release from the pan and it makes the process smooth and easy.
Here's how to make an almond flour apple cake:
- Grate the zucchini and chop the apple. Use the small side of the box grater for extra fine pieces. Spread the zucchini around on a plate and sprinkle a little salt on top. Let it sit while you prep the rest of the ingredients. Cut the apple (peeled or unpeeled) into really small cubes.
- Make the keto apple cake batter. Mix all of the dry ingredients in one bowl, make a well, then add the wet ingredients.
- Fold in the zucchini and apple. Place the zucchini shreds in a clean kitchen cloth or paper towels, then squeeze out as much water as you can. You should have about ⅓ heaping cup of shredded, loosely-packed zucchini. Fold it into the cake batter and then fold in the apples.
- Bake the keto apple cake. Pour the batter into the pan and bake for 33-37 minutes or until done.
- Frost. Use an electric mixer to mix the frosting ingredients. Once the cake has cooled completely, spread the frosting on top and sprinkle on more cinnamon (optional).
tips and frequently asked questions
- If using coconut oil for this keto apple cake, make sure your eggs and non-dairy milk are at room temperature. If they're too cold, they could re-solidify the melted coconut oil and add oil lumps to the batter. (Tip: take the chill off eggs by setting them in a bowl of tap-warm water for 5-10 minutes).
- Make sure to squeeze the water out of the zucchini, otherwise all of that moisture will seep out into your cake batter as it bakes and the texture won't be right (it's already a really moist cake as-is).
- How do I make my gluten free cake more moist? Almond flour and coconut flour are both dense, gluten-free flours to work with. However, you won't have to worry about this keto and gluten-free apple cake being too dry. Shredded zucchini, oil/butter and the non-dairy milk all work together to keep this almond flour apple cake incredibly moist.
- Can you use almond flour in cake? Almond flour gives cakes a really tender crumb and is one of the easiest gluten-free and keto-friendly flour substitutes to bake with. Many of my cake recipes (like carrot cake and keto lemon pound cake) call for almond flour, sometimes with a mix of coconut flour for texture reasons.
- How to store keto apple cake: Store in the cake pan or on a plate, covered. If it is frosted, place the cake in the refrigerator- it'll keep up to 1 week. If it's not frosted, you can store at room temperature for up to 5 days.
I'm kicking off fall baking with this keto apple cake recipe and I hope you enjoy it too! It has just enough apple that makes it feel like extra special (especially on a low-carb or keto diet), but you can certainly omit it and turn this into a keto zucchini cake if you choose. Happy baking!
more keto zucchini recipes
- Keto chocolate zucchini muffins
- Low-carb zucchini gratin
- Air fryer zucchini tots (can also use an oven)
- Keto zucchini bread
keto apple cake
- ½ large zucchini, grated small (you will need a heaping ⅓ cup shredded and squeezed zucchini)
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1-½ cups almond flour
- ¼ cup coconut flour
- ⅓ cup granulated monk fruit sweetener (preferably Lakanto Golden)
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1-½ teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 3 eggs, at room temperature
- ¼ cup olive oil (or melted butter or coconut oil)
- 3 tablespoons coconut cream (or unsweetened non-dairy milk of choice)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
- ¾- 1 cup chopped apple, any variety, peeled or unpeeled
cinnamon cream cheese frosting
- 4 ounces cream cheese or vegan cream cheese, softened
- 2 tablespoons salted butter, softened (optional- omit if dairy free)
- ¼ cup powdered monk fruit sweetener (plus more to taste)
- ½ teaspoon cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon vanilla
- 1-3 tablespoons coconut cream
keto apple cake
- Preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease the bottom/sides of a 9-inch square baking pan and fit it with parchment paper.
- Grate about ½ a large zucchini (I use the small side of box grater) and spread the shredded squash in a thin layer on a plate or baking sheet. Sprinkle it with the salt. Let it sit while you prepare the cake batter.
- In a large mixing bowl, combine the almond flour, coconut flour, monk fruit sweetener, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon and nutmeg. Whisk the dry ingredients together to break up any clumps. Form a well in the center.
- Crack the eggs into the well. Add the oil (or melted butter), coconut cream, vanilla, and apple cider vinegar. Whisk the wet ingredients together in the center, then work your way out, incorporating the dry ingredients. Mix just until the cake batter is well combined.
- Place the shredded zucchini in a clean dish cloth or paper towels, then squeeze out as much water as you can.
- Measure out ⅓ heaping cup of loosely-packed grated zucchini. Add it to the cake batter along with the apple cubes and gently fold it in.
- Pour the cake batter into the cake pan. Bake at 350°F for 33-37 minutes or until done (test the center with a toothpick). Remove from the oven and let it cool completely.
cinnamon cream cheese frosting
- Combine the softened cream cheese and butter (if using) in a mixing bowl. With an electric mixer, beat the two ingredients together until smooth.
- Add the powdered monk fruit sweetener, cinnamon, and vanilla. Mix to combine, then add 1-3 tablespoons of the coconut cream. Only add coconut cream until the frosting reaches desired consistency - firm, but light enough to easily spread.
- Once the cake has cooled completely, spread the frosting over the top. Garnish with a sprinkle of cinnamon, then slice/serve.
If using coconut oil, make sure your eggs and coconut cream/non-dairy milk are at room temperature. If they're too cold, they could re-solidify the melted coconut oil and add oil lumps to the batter. (Tip: take the chill off eggs by setting them in a bowl of tap-warm water for 5-10 minutes).
Any unsweetened, non-dairy milk can be used instead of coconut cream. My favorites are unsweetened almond milk or macadamia milk.
Let the cake cool in the pan for at least 10 minutes before gently lifting it out (use the parchment paper to lift). Transfer it to a wire rack to cool completely before frosting.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 12 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 148Total Fat: 13gSaturated Fat: 7gTrans Fat: 0gCholesterol: 71mgSodium: 55mgCarbohydrates: 5gNet Carbohydrates: 3gFiber: 2gSugar: 2gProtein: 3g
This nutritional information is approximate and is provided for convenience as a courtesy.