As Norwegian as apple cake

Celebrate autumn—and Norway’s Apple Day—with this delicious gluten-free dessert

Photo: Kristine Ofstad Apples make this gluten-free cake crisp and moist.

Photo: Kristine Ofstad
Apples make this gluten-free cake crisp and moist.

Kristine Ofstad
The Gluten Free Lifesaver

It’s autumn in Norway, and for the first time in many years I am able to enjoy it!

Autumn is possibly my favorite season, one I sorely missed during my time in Australia. Sure, who doesn’t love sun and salty water! But when the tree tops are on fire with golden leaves, and the earth offers up an abundance of gorgeous fruits and vegetables… well, at that point I want nothing more than to be back home in Scandinavia.

These days I blissfully loaf around on the chilly hardwood floors in my woolen slippers, tightly hugging a blanket and a huge cup of hot tea on my “way to work.” I don’t have to loaf very far, mind you; my workplace is at the top of the stairs in my own home.

My house is 100 years old and has stood the test of not only time but also countless hardy Norwegian seasons. It has seen blizzards, scourging sun, and many an autumn storm. It still does its job with quiet brilliance, shielding me from the elements while allowing me an incredible feeling of being part of the breathtaking Scandinavian nature just outside my window.

Apples are a big part of the Norwegian diet. Not only because they are gloriously nutrient-rich and delicious but probably also because it’s one of the few fruits that thrive in our contrasting climate. In autumn, apples are everywhere and in everything. We even have an “apple day” where we celebrate the Norwegian varieties by baking cakes and handing out crates of them in schools.

Apple Cake is as Norwegian as Apple Pie is American. It’s such a widely appreciated and much-loved cake, that I dare say it must be a staple in every family.

This is one gluten-free cake that will never be dull! The sweet and sour juice from the crisp, fresh apples provide all the moisture this cake needs. The apples also perfectly balance the sugar and butter, so the cake feels light and fresh, bite after bite.

You can add several layers of apple, depending on how moist you’d like the apple cake to be, and you can serve it with luscious vanilla ice cream, unsweetened whipped cream, or even just icing sugar.

No matter how you serve this cake, I can promise you that it will be an instant favorite!

Photo: Kristine Ofstad

Photo: Kristine Ofstad

Gluten-Free Norwegian Apple Cake
3-4 organic or local apples, peel on (sour apples work really well)
1 tbsp. cinnamon
200 grams (14 tbsps.) room temperature butter (or dairy-free substitute—not spreadable)
150 grams (2/3 cup) sugar
150 grams (1 1/2 cups) gluten-free cake flour
5 medium organic eggs
2 tsps. baking powder
icing sugar for decoration

Tip: Double this recipe to fill an oven tray.

Preheat your oven to 180 C or 355 F. Grease or line a cake tin or bundt tin. Tip: Use ground rice in the tin to prevent the cake from sticking.

Wash and cut the apples into thin slices/wedges, and place these on the bottom of your cake tin. Sprinkle with cinnamon.

Whip the sugar and butter until it is white and fluffy. Add one egg at a time while whisking on low speed. Make sure each egg is well mixed through before adding the next.

Mix the flour and baking powder well, before sifting it gradually into the batter. Keep whisking on low speed throughout.

Spread half of the mixture on top of the apples, and place more apples on top. Sprinkle more cinnamon over the second layer of apples, and finish with the last of the batter. Tip: If you are using a shallow baking tin or oven tray, start with the batter and place the apples on top.

Bake in the center of the oven for 45 minutes, or until the apple cake is cooked through. Tip: Poke the cake with a skewer at the 35-minute mark to see if the skewer comes out clean. If so, the apple cake is ready!

Let the apple cake cool down for a few minutes inside the cake tin before tipping it out onto a cooling rack. If you chose to bake it in an oven tray, you don’t have to tip it out. Alternatively, if you lined the oven tray, you can lift the cake out.

Serve the gluten-free apple cake while it is still lukewarm. It freezes well and only needs a quick re-heat in the microwave before serving to regain that fresh-baked flavor!

Article and recipe originally published at

Kristine Ofstad is a Norwegian-born gluten-free food blogger, recipe developer, and food photographer. Her recipes and photography are a vivid fusion of her Scandinavian roots and her international presence, and her passion for food is only surpassed by her dedication to the gluten-free community. She has made her blog, The Gluten Free Lifesaver (, or på norsk at, a vibrant and renowned lifestyle tool for thousands of readers across the world!

This article also appeared in the Oct. 21, 2016, issue of The Norwegian American. To subscribe, visit SUBSCRIBE or call us at (206) 784-4617.

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The Norwegian American is North America's oldest and only Norwegian newspaper, published since May 17, 1889.