This vegan apple cake is soft, moist, and packed with apple pieces. It's an easy, 1-bowl recipe, made with 7 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.
What to expect
There are many ways to make vegan apple cake, and each country has its own style and recipe. Here, we make one inspired by my favorite Italian apple cake.
This recipe is easy, soft, moist, made with fresh apple slices. It'll take you 10 minutes to prepare.
We add a layer of apple slices on top to prevent the moisture from escaping the cake while it bakes. The apples on top also look beautiful and taste delicious.
We love this apple cake so much that we even made a version that is filled with our vegan custard, and one made with whole-wheat flour so that we can even eat it for breakfast.
Ingredients & Substitutions
- Flour: we tested all-purpose flour, 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.
- Plant-milk: we use soy milk. You can replace soy milk with any other plant milk like almond milk, oat milk, cashew milk, etc.
- Oil: we use sunflower oil. You can replace it with any neutral vegetable oil such as canola oil. You can also use melted vegan butter.
- Baking powder: to help the cake rise.
- Apples: any apples you have at hand.
- Cinnamon: you can replace cinnamon with vanilla extract.
- Powdered sugar: this is totally optional and we usually don't use it if we are eating the cake for breakfast. However, if you are serving it to guests and want to make the cake look prettier, you can sprinkle some powdered sugar on top.
How to make a vegan apple cake
For this cake, you can 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 your pan and dust it with flour. This will prevent the cake from sticking. Then preheat the oven to 360F or 180C.
In a bowl, add plant milk, oil, and sugar. Whisk till the ingredients are well mixed together.
Now sift the flour, baking powder, and cinnamon and add them to the bowl with the liquid.
Whisk with a hand mixer for a few seconds till you have a smooth but thick cake batter. Do not over-mix or the cake will turn out gummy.
You can also mix the batter by hand with a whisk or with a silicon spatula.
When the ingredients are well incorporated add small apple pieces from 1.5 to 2 apples. Apples should be peeled and core and seeds removed.
Mix with a spatula until the apple pieces are well incorporated into the batter.
Pour the cake batter into the 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 1 to 2 tablespoon of sugar.
Bake the cake at 360F or 180C for 1 hour in the center rack of the oven. Take out of the oven and let cool for at least 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.
How to scale this recipe
How to scale the ingredients
Easy! We calculated the scaling number for you. Pick the pan size that 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 size||Scaling 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|
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 our cake.
For this reason, when baking any cake, you should always check the core of the cake with a clean toothpick or skewer before you take your cake out of the oven.
To do that, just insert the toothpick or the skewer in the center of the cake. If the toothpick comes out clean and dry it means that your cake is ready. If the toothpick comes out wet, then bake for a few minutes longer, then check again.
- Do not over-mix. Over-mixing will result in a heavy, gummy cake. If you want your vegan apple cake light and fluffy then just 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 loose some of its leavening power.
- Sift the flour while adding it to the mix. This will break down any lumps and will 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 or your cake might deflate.
Frequently asked questions
Yes, replace all-purpose flour with a gluten-free flour mix, like a gluten-free all-purpose baking mix.
If you want a healthy vegan apple cake then 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, butter, or dairy milk.
Yes. Just follow our recipe and replace the oil with the same amount of water. It will work wonderfully.
I do not like to use egg replacements in my 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.
This vegan apple cake keeps for 2-3 days out of the fridge, covered in a cake container or you can even store it in a plastic bag to keep it soft and moist.
It is important to limit airflow to the cake in order to preserve its softness.
If you want to re-heat the cake, you can do so in a preheated oven for 5-7 minutes in order 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.
If you are eating this for breakfast, then serve it as is.
If you are eating it after a meal as a dessert, then you could serve it alongside a light vegan custard that you can make in 5 minutes following our vegan custard recipe.
Extra moist apple cake with plant-based yogurt
If you'd like an even more moist apple cake, then you can replace some of the plant milk with plant-based yogurt (like soy yogurt, or coconut yogurt).
In this case, I would recommend adding ⅔ cups (160 grams) of plant yogurt and ½ cups (120 grams) of plant milk.
Apple Cake with Custard Filling
We use our vegan custard recipe to fill this cake with even more deliciousness.
You get all the comfort of a traditional apple cake and the surprise effect of a mouthwatering custard filling.
First, make the custard following our recipe for vegan custard. Then after you poured the cake batter into the cake pan, pour the custard into the 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.
Sprinkle the apples with 1 to 2 tablespoon of sugar, and bake the cake at 360F or 180C for about 1 hour.
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Vegan apple cake
- 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.
- 1 cup plant milk soy, almond, oats
- ¾ cup sugar plus 2 tablespoon to sprinkle on top
- ¼ cup vegetable oil sunflower oil, canola oil, or melted vegan butter
- 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
- 3 apples
- Oil your cake pan and dust it with flour. Preheat the oven to 360F or 180C.In a bowl, add plant milk, oil, and sugar. Whisk to combine.
- Sift in flour, cinnamon and baking powder. Whisk with a hand mixer for a few seconds to combine. You should have a smooth but thick batter. Important: Do not over-mix or it will turn out gummy.
- Add small apple pieces from 1½ apples. If you apple is small you can add up to 2 apples. Apples should be peeled. Mix with a spatula to combine.
- Pour the cake batter into the cake pan and cover the top of the cake with thin apple slices arranged in a circular pattern, overlapping the slices a bit. Sprinkle the apples with 1 to 2 tablespoons of sugar.
- Bake at 360F or 180C for 1 hour in the center rack of your oven.Let cool down for at least 1 hour then sprinkle with some powdered sugar if you like.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.
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