If you're looking for a vegan and gluten-free apple cake recipe, look no further. We have all the tips to make this moist delicious cake with simple everyday ingredients. Vegan and gluten-free baking may seem complicated, but it doesn't need to be! Follow these steps, and your perfect apple cake will be ready in no time.
The apple cake vegan recipe that we have chosen to share with you is perfect for any time of the year. Whether it's apple season or not where you are, this moist apple cake will be a great idea!
And if your friends don't follow a gluten-free diet, you can enjoy it will all-purpose flour as well.
Making an apple cake vegan is super easy, you just need to replace the on-vegan components such as egg, butter, and milk, with healthier options, like:
- Dairy-free milk combined with lemon juice makes vegan buttermilk which makes a great vegan baking partner because it helps to rise baking goods and help to make this vegan apple cake light. You can use it on cornbread or a vegan banana loaf.
- Chia or Flax eggs - simply made by combining these anti-oxidant packed seeds with warm water, and make a great egg replacement.
- Flaxseed oil, extra virgin olive oil, coconut oil, or melted vegan butter - to replace regular butter.
To make this vegan apple cake gluten-free, you need to use a gluten-free flour mix instead of wheat flour.
This absolutely delicious recipe is simple, soft, moist, dairy-free, made with fresh chopped apples. You only need 15 minutes to prepare it, and the rest is baking time.
Ingredients in a vegan apple cake recipe
To make this delectable Italian-inspired version of a vegan apple cake, you'll need only 10 simple ingredients. These particular components guarantee that this cake is nutritious and has plenty of fiber, fruits, antioxidants, and minerals.
The apple cake is made with natural sugar that won't cause blood sugar levels to rise. The main allergens (dairy, eggs, and wheat) are absent from the dessert, also nut-free. It's also a fantastic dish to try with children.
- Apples, peeled and cubed
- Lemon juice and zest
- Cinnamon powder
- Gluten-free flour (or all-purpose, if not looking for a gluten-free recipe)
- Brown cane sugar (coconut sugar, or regular granulated sugar)
- Baking powder
- Chia seeds
- Flaxseed oil (or extra virgin olive oil, regular canola oil, and sunflower oil work as well)
- Non-dairy milk (preferable soy milk, oat milk, or almond milk)
- Pure vanilla extract
See quantities and complete instructions in the recipe card.
These are the simple directions to make a vegan apple cake, and you can see the detailed step-by-step guide right below.
- Prepare the chia egg with chia seeds and water.
- Make vegan buttermilk with plant milk and lemon juice (or apple cider vinegar).
- Peel, core, and cube the apples. Then toss with lemon and cinnamon.
- Sieve your dry ingredients.
- Mix everything and pour the cake batter into a baking dish.
- Bake in a pre-heated oven.
How to make vegan apple cake step by step
To make this delicious vegan apple cake, they only require bowls and a baking dish.
Step 1. Preheat the oven to 350 ºF (180 ºC). Lightly grease and flour a 9-inch cake pan.
Step 2. Prepare the chia or flax egg by adding 6 tablespoons of warm water to 2 chia seeds (or flax meal).
Step 3. Prepare the vegan buttermilk by adding one tablespoon of lemon juice to 5 tablespoons of plant milk (preferable soy).
Step 4. Peel, core, and cube the apples. Toss the diced apples with 2 tablespoons of lemon juice, the lemon zest, and the cinnamon powder. Set aside.
Step 5. In a large bowl, sieve and whisk together the flour, brown sugar, and baking powder. Set aside.
Step 6. To the buttermilk vegan bowl, add the chia eggs, vanilla, oil, and whisk until well combined.
Step 7. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry mix and combine. Don't over mix (especially if using a non-gluten-free mix). Once most of the flour is incorporated, fold in the apples.
Step 8. Spread the batter into the prepared pan, sprinkle with extra brown sugar, and bake for 30-35 minutes until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
Alternatively, you can use one apple and slice it from the center, then squeeze some lemon juice. Arrange the apple slices, flat-side down, on top of the batter in a spiral pattern.
Step 9. Completely optional. Once the apple cake has completely cooled down, dust powdered sugar using a sieve, just for the looks! 🙂
Enjoy at room temperature or cool.
Here we give you all the tips to make this recipe with whatever pantry ingredients you have.
Apples - granny smith apples work very well, but in reality, all apples work for this vegan apple cake. Even if you have some leftover apple sauce or (unsweetened applesauce), feel free to stir it in.
Flour - all kinds of flour work for this lovely recipe. In addition to the gluten-free mix, we have tried whole wheat flour, all-purpose flour, spelt flour, and oat flour.
Whole wheat flour works well and adds nutrition and fiber, just remember that it makes be less fluffy, but just a little, nothing to worry about!
Dairy-free milk - you can use preferably soy milk, homemade oat milk, and cashew milk because they make better vegan buttermilk, but almond milk also works. Vegan yogurt works as well. To make vegan buttermilk, you can also use apple cider vinegar.
Chia egg - you can also make a flax egg, using a flax meal, they both work equally. I chose to use chia eggs for two reasons: I like the extra texture that chia seeds provide and we are using flax oil. As you know, we like maximizing the nutrition aspect of our recipes, so having both chia and flax seeds in our recipe, gives us a double portion of these powerful antioxidants.
Lemon flavor - we really love the lemon notes on this cake, and we have made it with half a lemon's zest and with a whole lemon's zest. We love them both, and it was difficult to write the final recipe. When you use all of it, the cake will be more fragrant but you may have less of the apples' flavor, but is sooo yummy! We suggest experimenting with both!
Spices - in addition to cinnamon, you may add a touch of nutmeg or even replace the cinnamon with a pumpkin spice mix, which has cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, and ginger powder.
Pure Vanilla extract - if you don't have some but have almond extract, you can use it instead.
Baking powder - if you can't find baking powder where you live, you can make your simple by mixing two-part baking soda, two-part cream of tartar, and one part of cornstarch.
Just don't try to replace it solely with baking soda because you will end up having an odd flavor in your vegan cake.
As you can see, following a vegan diet can be easier than you think; we need to know the correct replacements to make delicious vegan creations!
Ideally, use a cake tin; that way, you don't need to worry about turning it, but the cake also bakes well in a regular baking dish.
You can also use a muffin pan to make muffins with the same cake batter.
Tips for making the perfect vegan apple cake
Granny smith apples are beautifully crisp and are pretty delicious with a good ratio between sweet and tart, but all types of apples work.
A little more suitable than white sugar, coconut sugar, and brown sugar complements the fall season.
We recommend cooling your vegan apple cake completely before slicing it. That way, the flavors will consolidate better, and it will also moisten better.
If you have leftover cake, you should worry much because it will disappear quickly. You can have it in the fridge for up to 3 days.
This vegan apple cake is preserved in a cake container for three days. You can also use plastic bags to keep the apple cake soft and moist.
Pro Tip: when it comes to baked goods, the air is the enemy of freshness. Oxygen oxidates food, and it is pretty visible on cakes and bread. If you don't have a closed cake container, just put your bread or cake in a plastic bag, close, and absorb as much air as you can with your mouth "emulating" a sealed bag.
If you want to eat the vegan cake warm, you can re-heat it in the microwave or over for 5 minutes on medium heat.
How do I serve vegan apple cake?
Enjoy a slice of vegan apple cake for breakfast, tea time, or dinner dessert.
Apple cakes taste delicious on their own, but if you feel like indulging yourself or your guests, you can serve the apple cake with vegan vanilla ice cream or vegan whipped cream (made with coconut cream).
Frequently asked questions
Can I make it oil-free?
Yes. Just replace the oil with the exact amount of water.
What makes vegan cakes moist?
One of the main secrets to making apple cake moist is the treatment you give to the apples before stirring them into the batter.
Alternatively, you can use apple sauce, but you would require too much of it, that's why we go with apples, but you can always add some extra applesauce and make it extra-moist.
What's the best flour for apple cakes?
All-purpose flour is a great choice, but you can also use whole wheat or spelt flours. Just make sure you keep the proportions.
What's the difference between apple cake and apple pie?
Can I add chocolate chips to the apple batter?
Yes! Make a double batch and add dark chocolate chunks, raisins, cranberries, or leftover cranberry sauce.
⭐ If you try this recipe, let us know! 💬 Leave a comment, rate it, and don't forget to tag us @ourplantbasedworld on Instagram. Cheers!
Vegan Buttermilk and Gluten-Free Apple Cake
- Preheat the oven to 350 ºF (180 ºC). Lightly grease and flour a 9-inch pan.
- Prepare the chia egg by adding 6 tablespoons of warm water to 2 tablespoons of chia seeds. Set aside for 10 minutes.
- In a medium bowl, prepare the vegan buttermilk by adding one tablespoon of lemon juice to 5 tablespoons of plant milk (preferable soy). Set aside for 10 minutes.
- Peel, core, and cube the apples. Toss the apple cubes with 2 tablespoons of lemon juice, the lemon zest, and the cinnamon powder. Set aside.
- In a large bowl, sieve the dry ingredients. Whisk together the flour, brown sugar, and baking powder. Set aside.
- Mix wet ingredients. To the buttermilk vegan bowl, add the chia eggs, vanilla, oil, and whisk until well combined.
- Pour the wet ingredients into the dry mix and combine. Don't over mix (especially if using non-gluten-free flour). Once most of the flour is incorporated, fold in the apples.
- Spread the batter into the prepared pan, sprinkle with extra brown sugar, and bake for 30-35 minutes until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
- Enjoy at room temperature or cool.
🌡️ Food safety
- Cook to a minimum temperature of 165 °F (74 °C)
- Do not use the same utensils on cooked food that previously touched raw meat
- Wash hands after touching raw meat
- Don't leave food sitting out at room temperature for extended periods
- Never leave cooking food unattended
- Use oils with high smoking points to avoid harmful compounds
- Always have good ventilation when using a gas stove
The information shown is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist's advice. See our full Nutritional Disclosure here.
Please note that some of the links here are affiliate links, and I will earn a commission if you purchase through those links. I recommend all of the products listed because they are companies I have found helpful and trustworthy.