Gluten-Free Caramel Cake

A richly flavored, tender gluten-free caramel cake made with coconut sugar.

Gluten-free caramel cake

Gluten-Free Caramel Cake

So-good caramel cake that is a bit less sweet and riffed off a favorite recipe? Yes, please! This is one of my old beloveds, recently adapted to my “new” way of baking. When possible I’ll be going through some of my most-made recipes on this site and updating them to be gluten and refined-sugar free. This lovely caramel cake is one of those: beautiful in its simplicity — dense, richly flavored, and capped with a squidgy, dark coconut sugar-infused caramel sauce.

The flours called for in this recipe include almond, oat and tapioca. Tapioca is a nice starch here as it balances the denseness of the almond flour (see below for substitution options). The almond and oat flours bring moisture and a slightly sweet flavor that plays beautifully off the caramel topping (made with coconut sugar and heavy cream; you could use coconut milk in place of the cream if you want even more coconut flavor).

Ooooh, we’ve had a cold snap here in Northern California for the past week! Lots of hot coffee and slices of cake have been the perfect way to get through it. Spring is on the horizon though … then I’ll serve this cake with loads of fresh strawberries. So good.

Til next time – N x

The original recipe is here if you would prefer to give it a try.

What You’ll Need for Gluten-Free Caramel Cake

  • Oat flour: A delicious and versatile gluten-free flour
  • Almond flour: Use almond flour rather than almond meal
  • Tapioca flour: Brings binding and lightness to gluten-free bakes
  • Baking powder and baking soda
  • Pure vanilla extract
  • Buttermilk
  • Eggs
  • Butter
  • Sugar or maple sugar
  • Coconut sugar
  • Heavy cream

Tips for Success

  • Bring ingredients to room temperature before using
  • Have a candy thermometer handy for the glaze
  • You can use cane sugar and brown sugar in place of the maple sugar and coconut sugar
  • See the “Notes” section following the recipe for substitution suggestions

How to Store

Store cake, well-covered in the fridge, for 3 days.

Gluten-Free Caramel Cake

Nicole Spiridakis
This is a classic vanilla cake updated with gluten-free flours and natural sweeteners, elevated to something special by the dark caramel topping.
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Resting time 1 hour
Total Time 2 hours 10 minutes
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Servings 10 servings


  • Candy thermometer


For Cake

  • ½ cup unsalted butter at room temperature
  • ½ cup maple sugar or sugar
  • ¼ cup coconut sugar or brown sugar
  • 3 large eggs at room temperature
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup buttermilk well shaken
  • 1 ¼ cup/140 g almond flour
  • ¾ cup/85 g gluten-free oat flour
  • ½ cup/85 g tapioca flour
  • 1 ½ tsp baking powder
  • ¾ tsp baking soda
  • ½ tsp fine sea salt

For Caramel Glaze

  • cup heavy cream
  • ½ cup coconut sugar or brown sugar
  • Pinch sea salt
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract


Make Cake

  • Preheat oven to 350°F with rack in middle. Butter an 8-inch square cake pan and line with a square of parchment paper.
  • In a medium bowl, sift together flours, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
  • In a large bowl, beat butter and sugar with an electric mixer at medium speed until pale and fluffy, then beat in vanilla. Add eggs 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. At low speed, beat in buttermilk until just combined. Add flour mixture, mixing until just incorporated.
  • Spread batter evenly in cake pan, then rap pan on counter several times to eliminate air bubbles. Let rest for 10-15 minutes if possible. Bake until golden and a toothpick inserted in the center of cake comes out clean, 35 to 40 minutes. Cool in pan on a rack 10 minutes, then run a knife around edge of pan. Invert onto rack and discard parchment, then cool completely, about 1 hour.

Make Glaze

  • Bring cream, coconut sugar, and a pinch of salt to a boil in a 1 1/2-quart heavy saucepan over medium heat, stirring until sugar has dissolved. Boil until glaze registers 210 to 212°F on a candy thermometer, about 12 to 14 minutes, then stir in vanilla.
  • Put rack with cooled cake in a shallow baking pan and pour hot glaze over top of cake, allowing it to run down sides. Cool until glaze is set, about 30 minutes.
  • Cake may be stored, well-covered in the fridge for 3 days.


Swap tiger nut or another nut flour for the almond flour, sorghum flour for the oat, and cornstarch or arrowroot for the tapioca starch. Try sucanat in place of the sugars or just use granulated sugar.
Keyword gluten-free

Join the Conversation

  1. Lovely caramel cake. Perfect for next weekend. Thank you.

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