It’s September and that means all the delicious fall food.

I received free samples of SPLENDA® Naturals Sugar & Stevia Blend mentioned in this post. By posting this recipe I am entering a recipe contest sponsored by SPLENDA® Sweetners and am eligible to win prizes associated with the contest. I was not compensated for my time. 

When I heard that the recipe contest through Recipe Redux for the month of September was in partnership with Splenda® Naturals Sugar and Stevia Blend, my mind immediately went to caramel and with caramel, what better than an apple. I have been hearing a lot lately about taking sides on team apple vs. team pumpkin. When it comes to fall flavors, I’m team give me all the apple and the pumpkin! What about you?

I made a similar vegan caramel for a chocolate cake a while back. While its a really good one, it’s also quite indulgent with a whopping one full cup of brown sugar. The great thing about Splenda® Naturals Sugar and Blend is that it’s made from only two non-GMO ingredients and has 50% less calories than traditional table sugar. The whole batch of caramel for this recipe only used one half cup of the blend but gives just as much sweetness as double that amount of traditional sugar.

The creamy vegan caramel cooks the slices of granny smith apples until they are tender, and the gluten free-cinnamon cake bakes to perfection. This recipe is sweet without being overly so, rich from the caramel, fresh from the pop of sliced apple, and cozy from the cinnamon and nutmeg folded into the cake.

The cake is easy to make, baking as a typical upside down cake, with the apples and caramel at the bottom and cinnamon-infused cake on top. After baking and cooling, you simply flip it over to reveal the delicious caramel apples.

I love this cake because it feels indulgent, yet is a lighter choice sure to please any dietary needs. It’s also really important to me to use quality ingredients and SPLENDA® Naturals Sugar & Stevia Blend has no artificial ingredients or added flavors. The sweet flavor comes comes from the Reb D part of the stevia leaf, one of the tastiest parts.

The lighter version of caramel I whipped up for this recipe tastes completely delicious with less calories and no bitter aftertaste. I plan to use the rest of my blend in all of my favorite fall baked goods when I would normally use traditional sugar -yes, both apple and pumpkin goodies.

Amazingly, I was not only able to lighten up the sugar and calories of this caramel cake, it’s also free of dairy and gluten. The caramel apple cake is so light, it’s practically a health food, right?

Kick off your fall baking with this vegan and gluten free Lightened Up Caramel Apple Cake.

5.0 from 1 reviews
Lightened Up Caramel Apple Cake (v + gf)
Recipe type: Dessert
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 8-10 slices
The perfect vegan and gluten free fall caramel apple cake with creamy caramel, fresh apples, and cinnamon cake lightened up with Splenda Naturals Sugar & Stevia Blend.
  • ½ c Splenda Naturals Sugar & Stevia Blend
  • 1 T water
  • Pinch of salt
  • ½ t vanilla extract
Apple Cake
  • 1⅔ c gluten free flour blend (I like Trader Joe's)
  • 1 t baking powder
  • 1 T cinnamon
  • ¼ t ground ginger
  • 2 T Splenda Naturals Sugar & Stevia Blend
  • 2 flax eggs (1 T ground flax + 3 T water)
  • 1 c non-dairy milk (I used almond)
  • 1 medium Granny Smith apple, halved and sliced thin
  1. To prepare the caramel, add the sugar and stevia blend and water to a small pot. Heat on low, never letting the caramel heat beyond a low simmer, stirring often. Cook the caramel until smooth, about 20 minutes. Allow to cool.
  2. While the caramel cools, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  3. To prepare the cake, mix the flax eggs and allow to sit until the flax mixture thickens (about 3 minutes). Add the sugar and milk, stir to incorporate. Add the flour blend, baking powder, cinnamon, and ground ginger, mix until combined and smooth.
  4. Spray or grease a round 8" round cake pan (I used coconut oil), and place the apple slices to fill the bottom of the pan. Pour the caramel over cooled caramel over the apple slices in the cake pan, then gently pour the cake batter on top of the caramel.
  5. Bake the cake at 350 for 35-40 minutes until the top (actually the bottom) is lightly browned.
  6. Allow the cake to cool for at least 25 minutes before flipping over to serve with the caramel apples on top.


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