This vegan apple cake is soft, moist, and packed with apple pieces. It’s an easy, one-bowl recipe made with seven simple ingredients.

You won’t believe how soft, moist and easy this cake is. We love it so much that we even made a whole-wheat one and one filled with our mouthwatering vegan custard.

vegan apple cake

Check out our best plant-based dessert recipes!

There are many ways to make vegan apple cake, and each country has its style and recipe. Here, we make one inspired by our favorite Italian apple cake. It’s a family recipe and one of our favorite apple desserts.

You can enjoy this apple cake for breakfast (that’s what Italians do), as an afternoon snack, as a dessert, with ice cream, or drizzled with our vegan custard.

The cake is easy to put together, soft, moist, and made with fresh apple chunks. It’ll take you 10 minutes to prepare.

The thing is, you won’t need fancy vegan ingredients to make this cake taste delicious. Instead, we developed it so that you can make it with a few everyday pantry staples.

We add a layer of apple slices on top to prevent the moisture from escaping the cake while it bakes. The apples on top look beautiful and taste delicious.

We love this apple cake so much that we even made a version filled with our vegan custard for extra moisture and deliciousness.

And for the more health-conscious, we prepared one with whole-wheat flour, which tastes wholesome and delicious too.

slice of vega apple cake with custard
Custard filled apple cake without cinnamon.

Ingredients

ingredients for vegan apple cake
You can make our apple cake with all-purpose flour, whole wheat flour, or half all-purpose and half whole wheat.

Apples

Use any apples you have at hand. However, keep in mind that sweeter apples will make a sweeter cake.

Flour

The first time you make this vegan apple cake recipe, we recommend using all-purpose flour. The cake turns out light, moist, soft, and irresistible.

However, we tested the recipe with wholewheat flour, spelt flour, and even 50% all-purpose and 50% wholewheat. In all cases, the cake turned out delicious. You can also make it with a gluten-free flour mix for cakes.

Sugar

White or brown sugar, both work. You can even use coconut sugar, although that’s slightly less sweet, and you’ll need about 25% more to achieve the same sweetness.

Non-dairy milk

We used unsweetened soy milk. You can substitute almond milk, oat milk, cashew, and other milk from nuts for soy milk.

Oil

For the best-tasting apple cake, we recommend using a neutral vegetable oil such as canola or sunflower oils. Refined oils are best for cakes because you can’t taste them.

You can substitute water, unsweetened applesauce, vegan butter, vegan yogurt, or vegan buttermilk for oil.

Cinnamon

Cinnamon is optional. We think it tastes delicious with apples, however, it does color the cake brown a bit. If you prefer to make an apple cake that is not brown, but sandy colored, then substitute a tablespoon of vanilla extract for cinnamon.

Other spices that work well with apple cake are grated nutmeg and ground ginger, although these will make the recipe less Italian.

Baking powder

Baking powder makes the cake rise and keeps it light and airy.

Powdered sugar

Powdered sugar or icing sugar is an optional ingredient. My grandma used to sprinkle it on top of the cake before serving it to make it look pretty, so I still do that. But that’s entirely optional.

baked vegan apple cake

Instructions

Use a springform pan – the one that opens on the side – or a cake pan with a diameter from 8.5 to 9 inches / 21 to 23 cm. We use 8.5 inches/21 cm in the video.

If you have a different size pan check out the chapter below, “how to scale this recipe.”

As a first step, oil the sides of your pan and dust them with flour. Next, line the bottom with parchment paper. It will prevent the cake from sticking. Then preheat the oven to 360°F or 180°C.

springform pan with parchment paper

To a medium bowl, add the wet ingredients: plant milkoil, and sugar. Whisk till the ingredients are well mixed.

wet ingredients in a mixing bowl

Next, with a fine mesh sieve, sift in the dry ingredients: flour, baking powder, cinnamon (optional), and a pinch of salt.

Cinnamon note: cinnamon will make your apple cake brown. If you don’t want that, substitute one tablespoon of vanilla extract for the cinnamon.

Tip: sifting the flours is a simple step that helps you make the cake lighter.

sifting the dry ingredients

Whisk with a hand mixer for a few seconds till you have a smooth and thick cake batter. Do not over-mix, or the cake will turn out gummy.

You can also stir the batter with a whisk or a silicon spatula.

mixing the cake batter with hand mixer

Add small apple pieces from 2 apples (about 11 ounces or 300 grams). Apples should be cored and seeds removed. You can keep the peel on.

chopped apples

Fold in with a spatula until the apple pieces are well incorporated into the batter, then pour it into the cake tin.

apple cake batter in cake pan

Cover the top of the cake with thin apple slices in a circular pattern, overlapping the slices a bit. Finally, sprinkle the apples with 2 tbsp of sugar.

sprinkled sugar on apple slices

Bake the cake at 360°F or 180°C for 55 minutes to 1 hour on the center rack of the oven.

Take out of the oven and let cool down for about 1 hour. Then sprinkle with some powdered sugar if you want.

Tip: bake on a baking rack, not on a baking tray, because the tray will get too hot and might overcook the base of the cake.

sliced vegan apple cake
Apple cake without cinnamon has a sandy color.
Apple cake with cinnamon
Apple cake with cinnamon has a brown color.

Variations

Extra moist apple cake with plant-based yogurt

If you’d like an even more moist apple cake, you can replace some plant milk with plant-based yogurt (like soy yogurt or coconut yogurt).

In this case, we recommend adding 2/3 cup (160 grams) of plant yogurt and ½ cup (120 grams) of plant milk.

Apple Cake with Custard Filling

You get all the comfort of a traditional apple cake and the surprise effect of a delicious custard filling.

First, make the custard following our recipe for vegan custard. Then after you pour the cake batter into the cake pan, pour 3/4 of the custard you get from our vegan curstard recipe.

pouring custard in the apple cake batter

With a knife or a skewer, swirl the custard around the batter. Don’t mix it too much.

Then cover the top of the cake with thin apple slices in a circular pattern, overlapping the slices a bit.

stirring the custard in the batter

Sprinkle the apples with 2 tbsp of sugar, and bake the cake at 360°F or 180°C for 55 minutes to 1 hour.

a slice of custard-filled vegan apple cake

Storage

Store vegan apple cake leftovers out of the fridge, at room temperature, for three days, covered in a cake container or in a plastic bag to keep it soft and moist.

It is essential to limit airflow to the cake to preserve its softness.

If you want to reheat the cake, you can do so in a preheated oven for 5-7 minutes to make it softer.

Even after several days, when you reheat the cake, it will still be as soft and warm as when you prepared it.

How to scale this recipe

How to scale the ingredients

Easy! We calculated the scaling number for you. First, pick the pan size you want to use for your cake, then multiply all the ingredients in our recipe box at the bottom of the page by the scaling number in this table.

Pan sizeScaling Number
4-inch pan (10 cm)0.22
5-inch pan (13 cm)0.31
6-inch pan (15 cm)0.44
7-inch pan (18 cm)0.60
8-inch pan (20 cm)0.79
9-inch pan (23 cm)1
10-inch pan (25 cm)1.23
pan size and scaling number

How do I know if my cake is fully baked?

Depending on the type of oven, type of milk, and type of flour, your cake will take more or less time to cook than ours.

For this reason, when baking any cake, you should always check the cake’s core with a clean toothpick or skewer before you take your cake out of the oven.

To do that, insert the toothpick or the skewer into the center of the cake. If the toothpick comes out clean and dry, your cake is ready. If the toothpick comes out wet, bake for a few more minutes, then check again.

vegan apple cake sliced off
Apple cake without cinnamon.

Tips

  • Do not over-mix. Over-mixing will result in a heavy, gummy cake. If you want your vegan apple cake light and fluffy, then mix till the ingredients are incorporated and no more.
  • Try to be fast. From the moment you add baking powder to the cake batter, try to finish the cake and bake it as fast as you can. This is because the baking powder starts working as soon as it touches the cake batter, and if you leave it out for too long without baking, you’ll lose some of its leavening power.
  • Sift the flour while adding it to the mix. Sifting will break down any lumps and help you incorporate air into the cake. In turn, your cake will be lighter and fluffier. You can sift with a regular kitchen sieve.
  • Do not open the oven. At least during the first 30 minutes of baking, your cake might deflate.

Questions

Can I make apple cake gluten-free?

Yes, replace all-purpose flour with a gluten-free one, like a gluten-free all-purpose baking mix.

Is vegan apple cake healthy?

If you want a healthier vegan apple cake, we suggest you replace all-purpose flour with whole-wheat flour and reduce the sugar amount.

Vegan cakes are already healthier than regular cakes as they don’t contain eggs or butter and are dairy-free.

Can I make an apple cake with no oil?

Yes. Just follow our recipe and replace the oil with the same amount of water or applesauce. It will work wonderfully.

Why don’t you use an egg replacement, as a flax egg?

We are not particularly eager to use egg replacements in our baking if it’s not necessary because 1) they are expensive, 2) they are most often not needed, 3) they alter the texture and flavor of the cake, and non-vegans might not like them.

More vegan cake recipes

Rest assured that all our cake recipes are delicious and easy to make. You won’t be able to tell they are vegan!

Or check out our sweet recipes list for more plant-based cake and sweet ideas.

More Italian Desserts

vegan apple cake

Vegan Apple Cake

By: Nico Pallotta
4.90 from 167 votes
This vegan apple cake is soft, moist, and packed with apple pieces. It's an easy, one-bowl recipe made with seven simple ingredients.
You won't believe how soft, moist and easy this cake is. We love it so much that we even made a whole-wheat one and one filled with our mouthwatering vegan custard.
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
Servings: 10 slices
Course: Breakfast, Dessert, Snack
Cuisine: Italian

Equipment

  • Springform pan or cake pan (diameter from 8.5 to 9 inches or from 21 cm to 23cm). We use 8.5 inch /21 cm in the video.

Ingredients

Wet Ingredients

  • 1 cup plant milk soy, almond, oats
  • ¾ cup sugar plus 2 tbsp to sprinkle on top
  • ¼ cup vegetable oil sunflower oil, canola oil, or melted vegan butter

Dry Ingredients

  • 2 cups flour all-purpose, wholewheat, or 50% all-purpose and 50% wholewheat (see notes below for more info)
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 3 teaspoons cinnamon or 1 tablespoon vanilla extract with wet ingredients
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 3 – 4 medium apples (about 6 ounces or 170 grams per whole apple – 2 apples for the filling and 1 to 2 apples for the top)

Instructions 

  • Oil the sides of your pan and dust them with flour. Line the bottom with parchment paper.
    Preheat the oven to 360°F or 180°C.
    springform pan with parchment paper
  • To a medium bowl, add the wet ingredients: plant milkoil, and sugar. Whisk to combine.
    wet ingredients in a mixing bowl
  • Sift in the dry ingredients: flourbaking powdercinnamon, and a pinch of salt.
    sifting the dry ingredients
  • Whisk with a hand mixer for a few seconds till you have a smooth and thick cake batter.
    Do not over-mix, or the cake will turn out gummy.
    You can also stir the batter with a whisk or a silicon spatula.
    mixing the cake batter with hand mixer
  • Add small apple pieces from 2 apples (about 11 ounces or 300 grams of apple chunks).
    Apples should be cored and seeds removed. You can keep the peel on.
    chopped apples
  • Fold in with a spatula until the apple pieces are well incorporated into the batter, then pour it into the cake tin.
    apple cake batter in cake pan
  • Cover the top of the cake with thin apple slices in a circular pattern, overlapping the slices a bit. Finally, sprinkle the apples with 2 tablespoon of sugar.
    sprinkled sugar on apple slices
  • Bake the cake at 360°F or 180°C for 55 minutes to 1 hour on the center rack of the oven.
    Take out of the oven and let cool down for about 1 hour. Then sprinkle with some powdered sugar if you want.
    TIP: bake on a baking rack, not on a baking tray, because the tray will get too hot and might overcook the base of the cake.
    baked vegan apple cake

Video

VEGAN APPLE CAKE with just 7 ingredients you already have at home

Notes

Cinnamon note: adding cinnamon will make your apple cake brown. If you don’t want that, substitute one tablespoon of vanilla extract for the cinnamon.
Flour tip: If you use whole wheat flout you might need to add a little more milk (2 to 4 tablespoons more) to reach the right batter consistency. You should get to a thick batter in the end. You can have a look at our video recipe below to see the right batter consistency. 
 

Nutrition

Calories: 253kcal, Carbohydrates: 47g, Protein: 4g, Fat: 6g, Saturated Fat: 1g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g, Monounsaturated Fat: 1g, Trans Fat: 0g, Cholesterol: 0mg, Potassium: 248mg, Dietary Fiber: 3g, Sugar: 21g, Vitamin A: 124IU, Vitamin B6: 0.1mg, Vitamin C: 4mg, Vitamin E: 1mg, Vitamin K: 11µg, Calcium: 99mg, Folate: 64µg, Iron: 2mg, Manganese: 0.3mg, Magnesium: 10mg, Zinc: 0.3mg
Tried this recipe? Leave a comment below or mention @theplantbasedschool on Instagram. We are also on Facebook, Pinterest, YouTube, and TikTok.

If you liked this recipe, you might also like:

[adthrive-in-post-video-player video-id=”B0sAtMSG” upload-date=”2021-06-15T00:00:00.000Z” name=”Vegan apple cake” description=”This vegan apple cake is soft, moist, and full of fresh sliced apples. It’s a 1-bowl easy recipe, made with simple ingredients. You won’t believe how soft and easy this cake is. We love it so much that we even made a whole-wheat one and one filled with mouthwatering vegan custard.” player-type=”default” override-embed=”default”]


Nico and Louise in the kitchen

Hi! We are Nico & Louise

Welcome to The Plant-Based School, a food blog with easy, tasty, and wholesome recipes.

Our aim is to help you and your family eat more veggies through delicious recipes with simple ingredients.

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Recipe Rating




162 Comments

  1. Hi! I was wondering which kind of apples you recommend to use. Thanks! I’ll try to make it tonight:)

    1. Hi Mireia,

      we tested this recipe with at least 7 varieties of apples and all worked perfectly. It’s really down to your personal preference.
      If you prefer a sweeter cake (like us) then use golden delicious, pink ladies, or fuji apples. If you prefer a tarter, less sweet flavor, then use granny smith.
      I hope this helps 🙂
      Enjoy!
      nico

  2. 5 stars
    I made it with coconut oil and it came out great – even my kids loved it.
    Thank you for this nice recipe.

    1. That is such wonderful news – I love that the whole family enjoyed this cake 🎊

      Thanks so much for taking the time to leave a comment here, and have a great rest of your day.

      Kindest, Louise

  3. 5 stars
    Great recipe! I followed as recommended except swapped out half of the apple for some rhubarb I had on hand. Perfect for spring!

  4. Hi,
    I made this cake yesterday and while it turned out tasting really really tasty, I’d like it to be a bit less dense. I felt it was a bit gummy, or too moist. I mixed quite shortly (to avoid overmixing) and followed the metric amounts. Do you have any advice?
    Thank you in advance 🙂
    Vera

    1. Hi Vera,

      Thanks for your message. What kind of flour did you use?
      It could be that your flour has a high protein content. Try looking at the label and make sure it has below 11.5% protein for cakes.

      However, this is is a moist cake (although it shouldn’t be gummy).
      You could try reducing the liquid by 20-30 grams and adding 1 teaspoon of baking soda to make it lighter and more airy.

      I hope this helps 🙂
      Let me know if you have any other questions.
      Cheers,
      Nico