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.
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.
Use any apples you have at hand. However, keep in mind that sweeter apples will make a sweeter cake.
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.
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.
We used unsweetened soy milk. You can substitute almond milk, oat milk, cashew, and other milk from nuts for soy milk.
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 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 makes the cake rise and keeps it light and airy.
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.
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.
To a medium bowl, add the wet ingredients: plant milk, oil, and sugar. Whisk till the ingredients are well mixed.
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.
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.
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.
Fold in with a spatula until the apple pieces are well incorporated into the batter, then pour it into the cake tin.
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.
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.
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 ⅔ 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 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 2 tablespoon of sugar, and bake the cake at 360°F or 180°C for 55 minutes to 1 hour.
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 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 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.
- 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.
Yes, replace all-purpose flour with a gluten-free one, like a gluten-free all-purpose baking mix.
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.
Yes. Just follow our recipe and replace the oil with the same amount of water or applesauce. It will work wonderfully.
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!
- Delicious vegan vanilla cake
- Easy vegan carrot cake
- Soft vegan lemon cake
- Vegan coffee cake (with actual coffee)
- Italian carrot and orange cake
- Incredible easy vegan orange cake (with orange curd)
- Vegan chocolate cake
- Melty chocolate brownie cake
Or check out our sweet recipes list for more plant-based cake and sweet ideas.
More Italian Desserts
We have some delicious vegan Italian desserts for you to try.
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 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)
- 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.
- To a medium bowl, add the wet ingredients: plant milk, oil, and sugar. Whisk to combine.
- Sift in the dry ingredients: flour, baking powder, cinnamon, and a pinch of salt.
- 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.
- 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.
- Fold in with a spatula until the apple pieces are well incorporated into the batter, then pour it into the cake tin.
- 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.
- 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.