Holiday Apple Bundt Cake (Vegan, Gluten-Free, Refined Sugar-Free, Nut-Free, Soy-Free)

[This Holiday Apple Bundt Cake will wow your guests and provide a great showpiece to your holiday dessert table! Just don’t tell anyone it’s vegan, refined sugar-free, gluten-free, dairy-free, egg free, soy-free*, nut-free* and yeast-free–they will never know! Suitable for Stage 3 and beyond on an anti-candida diet.]

Candida diet, gluten-free, Holiday Apple Bundt Cake recipe

[Photo credit: Celine Saki.]

It happens every year: in an instant, we seemingly switch from strolling for hours after dinner in our shorts and tank tops, bathed in the bright light and long shadows cast across the sidewalk, to donning our sweaters and jeans, evenings lit with a shimmery, orange-tinged glow that seems to dissipate and fall into pitch darkness within seconds. How I lament the end of summer!

Seems we shift our culinary allegiance just as quickly. It’s the blink of an eye between slurpy peaches and pineapple, melty bowls of ice cream topped with sliced strawberries or plates heaped with garden lettuce and basil, to suddenly embracing All Things Orange. Pumpkins, squashes, sweet potatoes and carrots dominate food blogs; food sharing sites buzz with images of porridge, Jack O’ Lanterns and cinnamon rolls; and leaves festoon the trees with shades of rust, crimson, mustard and tan. Suddenly, we’re all in love with autumn produce.

Whether or not you engage in trick or treating, or whether you gather with family and friends for Thanksgiving or Rosh Hashanah, there’s nothing quite as appealing as all the autumn desserts bursting with apples, pears, cranberries and the occasional persimmon. Whether it’s a pumpkin caramel swirl brownie, pumpkin fudge, apple-pumpkin crumble bars or sneaky butterscotch pudding, I love them all. I may hate the cooler nights and chilly mornings, but I can’t deny it: autumn is fabulous, and in so many ways.

This Holiday Apple Bundt Cake has a particular place in my heart, since it’s a renovated version of one of my mother’s old recipes that she baked every fall. My sisters and I used to clamor to help measure the flour, pour the oil and beat the eggs in anticipation of licking the bowl and beaters from the finished batter. We’d carefully peel, core and slice the apples, tossing them in brown sugar and cinnamon, then layer them meticulously within the walls of the bundt pan so that they’d remain encased in batter. The best part, of course, was cutting the domed pieces to reveal the apple treasure inside–and then eating them!

I first revamped the recipe back in 2008, creating a healthier version made with spelt and barley flours, sweetened with Sucanat and agave nectar. Perfectly delicious as it was, the recipe became off-limits for me when I switched to a diet free of gluten and high glycemic sweeteners. This iteration, which I crafted for inclusion in Naturally Sweet & Gluten-Free, still retains the moist, cinnamony interior bursting with apples as well as the tender golden cake enclosing the fruit. It’s just as enticing, without compromising my special diet. Since it’s also egg-free, dairy-free, soy-free and nut-free, I bet it will work for yours, too.

Isn’t autumn fabulous?

Healthy, gluten-free, sugar-free apple bundt cake recipe on

[Photo credit: Celine Saki.]

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  1. I love this time of year, even as I miss the longer days. I love what October smells like, and I KNOW I’d love this cake!

  2. This is a perfect recipe for fall. Love apples and this dessert sounds delish.

  3. Here in San Diego we haven’t quite moved from summer to fall and actually are having the hottest days of the year so far! With temps along the coast in the mid 90’s and no air conditioning lets just say it’s darn, darn hot. But oh what I would do for a slice of this cake! I just don’t want to turn the oven on to make it 😉

  4. happy fall – glad you have all things orange to comfort you as thw cold descends upon you, i am looking forward to spring after a cold winter. which is not to say I would not love this cake right now.

  5. Oh, this looks so delicious! It looks so moist and yummy! And apple picking season starts here this weekend! 🙂

  6. Its already fall in TO? It was an overwhelming 30 degrees – 41 felt, on monday and it only cooled down to a 25-27 felt today in Montreal… I can’t WAIT to pull out my cardigan! LOL. Im not an extreme weather gal – I hate when its too warm or too cold. Fall is the best it gets for me. Cool enough to sleep properly during the night (neither hot nor frozen) and warm enough to walk around in a light sweater during the day. I wish there was a place where it was 21C all year round!
    That said, I also love everything apple and pumpkin!
    Looking forward to trying your bundt cake soon! 🙂

  7. How is this refined-sugar free? It contains more than a cup of coconut sugar/coconut nectar.

    • Sara, coconut sugar/nectar is considered unrefined. White sugar, regular brown sugar, beet sugar and cane sugar (unless it says, “unrefined”) are considered refined. These are common uses of the term–unless I’m missing something?

  8. I love family recipes, especially when they bring back fond memories. How great that you could covert it to fit your current diet. The best part of this recipe is that you can still lick the batter spoon without worrying about raw eggs.

  9. This cake looks so autumn-y and delicious!! I don’t mind shifting my culinary allegiance when it looks like this 😉

  10. I’m definitely going to make this cake this fall!!! Yum! But where in the recipe do you add the stevia? I’m assuming since it’s such a small amount it can be omitted??

    • Jessica, thanks for pointing out that omission! It depends which form of stevia you’re using. If the liquid, add it to the bowl of liquid ingredients. If using the powder, add it to the bowl with the flours. I just updated the recipe to make that clear! 🙂

  11. Recipe sounds so yummy..!!! is the xanthum gum used as a thickener??? if so, is arrowroot powder ok???
    thanks so much

    • Thanks, Donna! Glad you like it. The xanthan gum is a binder that’s used in gluten-free recipes. Without it, the final cake tends to be very (very) crumbly, and won’t hold together well. I’ve never tried anything else (like arrowroot), so not sure it would work.

  12. I have a cake recipe very similar,and am going to try this one – delicious with cream (can use coconut cream for dairy free) whipped with maple syrup and bits of candied ginger. However, it was 108 degrees F in CA this week – not baking weather yet!

  13. Hi Ricki,
    Can I substitute maple syrup for the coconut nectar?

  14. Any all purpose gluten free work?

    • Hi Debbie, It should be okay, but I can’t guarantee that any AP flour will work, simply because I haven’t tested them all. I’d look for one that has a mix of grains, beans and starches as well if you want to achieve a similar result. Hope that helps!

  15. I also love fall! Can’t wait to go apple picking and try this.

  16. Hi Ricki.

    This looks amazing. It’s making me yearn for the Holidays and cool weather. Can you believe it was near 108 degrees here in Northern California last week! Oh fall..where are you!!!!!!!!!!! I’ve never made a bunt cake…so this will be my first. My family is crazy about anything with apples. And I know this will go over well. I have to tell you, I still make so many recipes from your cookbook. My kids LOVE your ginger cookies and I make them once or twice a month. They are so easy. I make snacks for my kids each week for school and that recipe is on my list. Also, I make your chocolate buttercream frosting all the time! It’s the only chocolate frosting I make. I like to ask my friends and family if they can detect what’s in there…they NEVER guess sweet potato – ever! It’s so delicious.

    I will share my pictures of your cake on FB after I make it…when it cools down here and feels more like fall!

    Hope all is great with you!


    P.S. I finally watched the final season of Mad Men this summer. What a show!

  17. Hi Ricki,
    I don’t own a bundt pan and would like to not have to purchase one to try this recipe. What type of pan can be substituted?

    • Hi Kathy, You could probably use a tube pan if you have one of those. I can’t vouch for transferring this to a 9×13 (rectangular) or something similar, as I’ve never tried it that way. In a pinch, I’d say it’s worth trying. Let me know if you give it a go, and how it turns out!


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