This easy vegan apple cake is the perfect way to celebrate fall. Filled with crisp apples and warm spices, it’s easy to mix together. Casual or fancy, this apple cake is perfect.
I love quick cakes like this. Mix it up in a bowl and no fussing is required. It is perfect for lazy weekend mornings but with a dusting of powdered sugar, is fancy enough to be a casual dessert.
The apples are diced more finely than other apple cakes, so they blend better with the batter. Spiced with cinnamon and warm brown sugar, this delicious vegan apple cake is a treat.
Free from: dairy, casein, eggs, soy, peanuts, tree nuts, coconut, fish, shellfish, crustaceans, mollusks, celery, corn (optional), sesame, mustard, lupin, sulfites, and more
Why You’ll Love this Vegan Apple Cake
- The cake is soft, moist, and perfectly spiced.
- Quick to mix together, kinda like my pumpkin snack cake!
- Easy to make with no decorating required.
- Totally delicious as is or with powdered sugar on top.
- No flax egg required!
I love cakes like this that are simple to put together. All the ingredients are things that can be found in your local grocery store. Here is what you’ll need:
- Apples – I love to use large sweet and crisp apples like Honeycrisp. For this vegan cake you’ll need one large apple or two medium apples.
- Vegan yogurt or sour cream – This helps the cake with moisture, acts as an egg replacer, and gives it that little tang to deepen the flavors.
- All-purpose flour and Cornstarch – Using a combo of the hearty all-purpose flour and the lighter cornstarch make the final texture really nice and soft.
- Organic white sugar – To make sure that the sugar is vegan, either use beet sugar or organic cane sugar.
- Non-dairy milk – You can use your favorite milk here. I used rice milk in the cake seen in the photos but almond milk, soy milk, or coconut milk would also work.
- Other ingredients you will need: Apple cider vinegar, plant-based butter, vanilla, baking powder and soda, cinnamon.
Best Apples to Use in Cakes
Firm apples are typically better than softer apples when used in baking. In things like apple pie, I tend to use more tart apples to offset the sweet filling. However, in this cake, I found that both sweet and tart apples worked well.
Best tart apples to use in baking: Granny Smith (a gold standard for a reason!), Braeburn, Jonathan
Best sweet apples to use in baking: Honeycrisp, Fuji, Pink Lady
For the full instructions, complete with measurements, please see the recipe card below.
Start by preheating the oven to 350F. Lightly grease a springform pan and set it aside.
Mix up the dry ingredients in a small bowl. Sift together the flour, cornstarch, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon. Set this aside while you mix up the wet ingredients.
In a measuring cup or separate bowl, stir together the plant based milk of your choice and the apple cider vinegar. This will form a “buttermilk” to help the rise and lift of the cake. Let it rest for about 5 minutes while you mix up the rest of the wet ingredients.
Finely chop up your apple. You can peel it or leave the peel on, it is up to you! I like to chop the apple down to about the size of a raisin. This way they almost melt into the batter. But if you like big chunks of apples in your cake, you can totally chop them into ½-inch sized bites.
In the large bowl with a hand mixer, or with your stand mixer and the paddle attachment, first cream together the room temperature vegan butter, vegan yogurt, and white sugar. Mix this together really well until it is soft and fluffy.
Tip! Use room temperature vegan butter, dairy-free milk, and yogurt for this recipe. It will make the mixing come together so much easier.
Now add the milk on low speed, making sure to scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed.
Finally, add the dry ingredients. Do this on low speed. And last, add the apples. I like to add the apples and mix it in by hand so that they don’t get pushed to the sides of the bowl in the mixer.
Transfer the cake batter to your prepared pan and sprinkle the top of the cake with more white sugar if desired. This makes a delicious crispy crust on top!
Bake for 40 to 45 minutes. The cake is done when golden brown in color and a toothpick pulls out clean.
Let it cool before dusting with powdered sugar. Enjoy!
- Make it spicy! In addition to the cinnamon, add ½ teaspoon nutmeg, ¼ teaspoon ginger, and ⅛ teaspoon allspice.
- Use a pear in place of an apple. This cake is so delicious with pears as well as apples.
- Want to jazz up the toppings on this cake? Try adding a scoop of vegan vanilla ice cream and a drizzle of my vegan caramel sauce. It’s divine!
While I haven’t made this specific cake gluten free (yet!) I think it would work well if you replaced the all purpose flour with a good gluten free flour blend. Make sure that the flour contains xanthan gum. I would recommend something like King Arthur’s Measure for Measure gluten free flour.
If you make this gluten free, please let me know how it works out!
Store this apple cake covered in an airtight container on the counter top for 3 days or in the fridge for 5 days.
This cake can be frozen if well wrapped and kept in a freezer safe container. Store it for up to 3 months. Make sure to thaw before serving.
More apple recipes to love
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- mixing bowl
- mixing spoon
- measuring cups
- measuring spoons
- hand mixer or stand mixer
- Springform pan
- Wisk or sifter
- 2 apples diced small
- 1 cup diced apples about 1 large apple
- ¼ cup vegan yogurt or sour cream
- 1 cup plant milk
- 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
- ½ cup vegan butter
- ¾ cup white sugar
- 1 tablespoon vanilla
- 1 ¼ cup flour
- 2 tablespoons cornstarch
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- 1 tablespoon cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoons white sugar optional
- 2 tablespoons powdered sugar optional
- Preheat the oven to 350F with the rack in the middle of the oven. Lightly grease the bottom and halfway up the side of a springform pan. Set aside.
- Chop or dice the apples. Submerge into water in a bowl until ready to add to the cake batter. Set aside.
- Sift together the dry ingredients in a medium sized bowl: all purpose flour, cornstarch, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt. Set this aside.
- Mix together the dairy free milk and apple cider vinegar in a small bowl. Set this aside for 5 minutes while you mix the remaining wet ingredients.
- Cream together the vegan butter, vegan yogurt (or sour cream), and sugar in a large bowl with a hand mixer, or in a stand mixer with the paddle attachment. Mix this on medium speed for 5 minutes or until light and fluffy.
- Slowly pour the milk mixture into the other wet ingredients. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed to fully incorporate.
- Add the dry ingredients with the mixer on low speed. Scrape with a spatula if needed. Finally, add the drained apples to the batter.
- Transfer batter to the prepared pan and sprinkle with additional white sugar if desired.
- Bake for 40 to 45 minutes, or until the cake is golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the center pulls out clean.
- Let cool for 30 minutes before slicing and serving. If desired, dust with powdered sugar before serving. Enjoy!
- Allergy Substitutions
- Avoiding corn? Use tapioca starch or arrowroot powder in place of the cornstarch in an equal amount. Also make sure to use a corn free vanilla extract and baking powder.
- How to Store
- Store this apple cake covered in an airtight container on the counter top for 3 days or in the fridge for 5 days. This cake can be frozen if well wrapped and kept in a freezer safe container. Store it for up to 3 months. Make sure to thaw before serving.
- Other Recipes
- Cupcakes – Try my apple cider cupcakes.
- Donuts – Check out my apple cinnamon donuts.
- Coffee Cake – You’ll love this gluten free + vegan apple coffee cake!
The nutritional information on this website is only an estimate and is provided for convenience and as a courtesy only. The accuracy of the nutritional information for any recipe on this site is not guaranteed.