Gluten-Free Spice Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

This easy Gluten-free Spice Cake is perfect for fall baking and the holidays! Moist and soft, flavored with lots of fall spices and topped with a generous layer of luscious cream cheese frosting, no one will believe it's gluten-free!

Gluten-Free Spice Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting easy dessert recipe
Gluten-Free Spice Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

Easy recipe for a crowd-pleasing Gluten-Free Spice Cake!

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At the request of so many of you, we made a Gluten-Free Spice Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting, and it is so simple and so delicious!

Moist, flavored with lots of cozy fall spices and topped with a generous layer of luscious cream cheese frosting, it is perfect for fall baking and the holidays!

My taste testers have been going crazy for it!

Gluten-Free Spice Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting easy dessert recipe

How to Make Gluten-Free Spice Cake

This recipe based partly on our reader favorite Best Carrot Cake Recipe and our Apple Spice Bread.

Like our carrot cake, the spice cake has great texture being incredibly moist and soft, has just the right amount of crumb and is topped with the same luscious cream cheese frosting.  Like the apple cake, the spice cake is packed with comforting fall flavors. And like both recipes, the spice cake batter comes together very quickly!

The combination makes for a wonderful fall cake perfect for cold days!

But the spice cake has neither carrots nor apples. It gets its moistness from olive oil, apple sauce and buttermilk (easy directions to make your own with regular or dairy-free milk).

Gluten-Free Spice Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting easy dessert recipe

 

Here’s what you’ll need:

Do not be afraid of the long list of ingredients – it is mostly spices and it is one of the quickest cakes to assemble!

gluten-free all purpose flour (with xanthan gum) (we used GFJules, affiliate link)

baking powder

baking soda

salt

cinnamon

all spice

nutmeg

ginger

cloves

brown sugar

olive oil or oil of choice

unsweetened apple sauce

vanilla extract

eggs

buttermilk or dairy-free buttermilk (easy directions to make your own in 10 minutes)

chopped walnuts, optional

Gluten-Free Spice Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting easy dessert recipe

If you are new to our website, you should know we are huge fans of GF Jules flour because it was the first gluten-free flour we discovered when my son was first diagnosed with celiac disease (over 13 years ago) that allowed us to make our favorite gluten-based recipes by simply substituting the flour.  We never looked back.

To learn more about why we love GFJules flour why we have used it for 13 years, and wanted to be an affiliate for the brand, click here.  Bonus: at the bottom of that post is a one-time use affiliate Discount Code.

And importantly, purchasing through an affiliate link does not change your cost at all.  It generates a small percentage of the sale for me, and purchasing through an affiliate link helps me fund this website and all the recipes I share, so thank you.

Back to the Gluten-Free Spice Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting…

Gluten-Free Spice Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting easy dessert recipe

Step by Step How to Make the Gluten-Free Spice Cake

The cake batter comes together in about 10 minutes and 5 simple steps:

  1. In a small bowl, add flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt and all the spices and mix to combine with a pastry cutter or fork. Set aside.
  2. In a large mixing bowl (we used our stand mixer), add brown sugar, olive oil and apple sauce and mix to combine.
  3. Then add in the eggs and vanilla mixing well to combine.
  4. Alternately add in the dry ingredients and buttermilk until well combined.
  5. Stir in walnuts if using

The batter will be smooth and thick but pourable.

Pour the batter into a prepared baking pan and bake!

I love to bake with parchment lined pan because I love to have the option to lift out the entire cake out of the pan to both frost it and slice it.

And you may have noticed, I chose to bake it in a 9×13 pan… I chose this rather than a layer cake to highlight the ease and simplicity of the cake.

It bakes into to a gorgeous deep brown color and your home will smell amazing while it bakes!

How to make the Cream Cheese Frosting

The slightly tangy cream cheese frosting is the perfect pairing to warm fall flavors of the cake.

The frosting is made with just 4  ingredients:

cream cheese

butter or dairy-free butter

powdered sugar

and vanilla.

All you do is mix the ingredients together and it is luscious!

The texture is smooth and super creamy, and the flavor is rich amazing– slightly tangy and just the right amount of sweet!

Gluten-Free Spice Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting easy dessert recipe

Let the cake cool fully, then frost the cake.

Because the frosting is so spreadable, it is easy to frost the cake without picking up any of the cake!

And you can frost it in the pan or take lift the parchment paper and cake out of the pan.

 

And just look at this texture!

The cake is so moist and soft, and has just the right amount of crumb.

The thick and creamy layer of frosting is the perfect pairing to the spiced cake.

So who’s making it?

Gluten-Free Spice Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting easy dessert recipe

 

For more cakes, click here.

For the Best Chocolate Cake with Chocolate Frosting, click here.

For the Best Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting, click here.

For Yellow Layer Cake with  Chocolate Buttercream Frosting, click here.

For Lemon Olive Oil Cake, click here.

For more Fall recipes, click here.

For Pumpkin Pie Bars, click here.

For Pecan Bars, click here.

For Apple Cinnamon Muffins, click here.

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Recipe

 

Gluten-Free Spice Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting easy dessert recipe
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4.50 from 8 votes

Gluten-Free Spice Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

This easy Gluten-free Spice Cake is perfect for fall baking and the holidays! Moist, soft, flavored with lots of cozy fall spices and topped with a generous layer of luscious cream cheese frosting, no one will believe it's gluten-free!
Prep Time20 minutes
Cook Time40 minutes
Total Time1 hour
Course: Cake, Dessert, Holiday Baking
Cuisine: Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free Optional, Nut-Free optional
Keyword: easy gluten-free cake recipe, gluten-free spice cake, gluten-free spice cake cream cheese frosting, gluten-free fall dessert recipe
Servings: 15 -20 slices
Author: Healthy Gluten-free Family

Ingredients

Gluten-Free Spice Cake

  • 2 cups gluten-free all purpose flour with xanthan gum we use GF Jules
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon all spice
  • ½ teaspoon nutmeg
  • ¼ teaspoon ginger
  • 1/8 - ¼ teaspoon cloves, depending on tastes
  • cup brown sugar, packed
  • 1 cup olive oil or oil of choice
  • 1 scant cup apple sauce scant means just under, not overfilled
  • 4 large eggs, room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 2/3 cup buttermilk or dairy-free buttermilk to make: add 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar to a liquid measuring cup, then add enough milk or dairy-free milk to make 2/3 cup total; let sit 10 minutes
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts omit if nut-free

Cream Cheese Frosting

  • 1 8oz cream cheese or dairy-free cream cheese, room temperature
  • ½ cup butter or dairy-free butter room temperature equivalent to 1 stick butter
  • 1 lb powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Instructions

Gluten-Free Spice Cake

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and line a 9x13 pan with parchment paper or grease and flour. Set aside.
  • Combine flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, all spice, ginger and cloves in a bowl with a pastry cutter or fork. Set aside.
  • In a large mixing bowl, add brown sugar, olive oil and apple sauce and mix to combine. We used an electric stand mixer.
  • Add eggs and vanilla and mix to combine.
  • Alternately add flour mixture and buttermilk to the mixing bowl: Start with flour adding about 1/3 of it and mixing on low to combine, add buttermilk mixing to combine, then flour, then the remaining buttermilk and last of the flour; and mix until it is well combined.
  • Add nuts if using and mix to just combine.
  • Pour batter into the prepared pan and bake 40 minutes in total: 30 mins uncovered, 10 covered, or until a tooth pick comes out of the center clean. The edges will also pull away from the pan. Let cool completely before frosting.

Cream Cheese Frosting

  • Add all the frosting ingredients to a large mixing bowl and starting on low speed mix to combine. Once the powdered sugar is mixed in, increase speed to medium and mix for 1-2 minutes until well combined and creamy.
  • Spread evenly on baked and cooled cake. Enjoy!
  • Store in the refrigerator, covered with wax paper and/ or foil for several days. Let sit at room temperature before serving.
Tried this recipe?Mention @healthyGFfamily or tag #healthyGFfamily!

15 thoughts on “Gluten-Free Spice Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

  1. Looks great but we have an anaphylactic egg allergy in our house as well as gluten, ALL nuts/seeds. I think this contains too many eggs to replace successfully – what do you think?

    1. Hi. I would agree that an egg replacer wouldn’t work for this one. In my experience, an egg replacer works great for 1 egg, sometimes works for 2 but more than that is tricky. One idea… what if cut the recipe in half and made it as cupcakes? I can’t be certain how much batter you would have but you can see if it rises and tastes good? I would cut baking time to probably 20-30 minutes.

  2. 5 stars
    Thank you, been gluten intolerant for 2yrs and have been missing so many treats. Been a hard road to learn how to bake GF. Spice cake a big fav of mine, this is the best recipe, it had all the flavours, soft, fluffy, it took me to a very happy place, and is soooo yummy. Thank you ❤

    1. So happy you love the cake! It is a new favorite of ours too! And happy that you found the recipe easy after struggling to bake gf. Let me know if there are any other treats you have been missing and I can send you recipe links to other easy recipes.

  3. 5 stars
    So moist, and a perfectly balanced blend of spices. An excellent recipe, both cake and frosting. Writing it in my keepsake recipe journal…it’s that good.

  4. Looks delicious! Can another flour substitute for the gluten free if I don’t have gluten free right now and want to make this today?

  5. Can carrots be added to make it a carrot cake? If so how much? I know you have a carrot cake recipe but I like this spice cake with the applesauce.

  6. 5 stars
    I have a question about the powdered sugar it says 1 lb. Do you mean 1 cup of powdered sugar.

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