This Vegan Apple Cake tastes like Fall and is sure to become a staple dessert recipe come apple season! Best of all, it’s super easy to make in 1 bowl. Full of fresh diced apples with an optional caramel drizzle.

slice of vegan apple cake with apple and red towel

We are taking a quick detour from all of the pumpkin recipes I’ve been posting lately to celebrate apples. While I’m sad to see Summer go, Fall and Winter foods are my absolute favorite. Comfort foods like soups and potatoes are the best, as well as Fall flavored desserts like this Apple Cake.

This Vegan Apple Cake is like no other cake I’ve had. It is almost more apples than cake and it’s very rich! A small piece will satisfy your sweet craving. It’s the kind of cake your kids and grandkids will remember, and want you to make every year at least once.

You are going to love this apple cake! It’s:

  • Full of fresh diced apples
  • Cinnamon-y
  • Moist and rich
  • Easy to make in 1 bowl!
  • Topped with a simple caramel drizzle that seeps into the cake

cut in pan vegan apple cake

How to make vegan apple cake:

It’s so easy! First, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and grease a 9 x 13 inch pan.

In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon and salt. Then pour in some melted coconut oil, applesauce and vanilla. Mix with a large spoon; the batter will be very thick, not like regular cake batter. This is because the apples add a ton of moisture when the cake bakes.

Fold in the apples and walnuts, using your hands if needed to incorporate them. Then press into your pan, and bake for 45-50 minutes, until golden brown and a toothpick inserted comes out clean.

All that’s left to do is make the optional caramel drizzle and pour it over the cake.


How long will apple cake keep?

Store leftover cake in the refrigerator for 4-5 days. At room temperature it will only last about 2 days.

Can it be frozen?

Yes, you can freeze apple cake. Freeze individual pieces or the whole cake. Just make sure to let it cool completely first, and wrap well or place in freezer friendly containers.

Possible substitutions:

  • Whole wheat pastry flour can be used instead of white flour
  • Too sweet? Cut back the sugar to 1 or 1 1/2 cups.
  • Another oil or melted vegan butter can be subbed for coconut oil, such as canola oil
  • You might be able to sub gluten free flour mix for the white flour, but I haven’t tried it myself
  • Nut allergy or don’t like nuts? Just leave them out, no problem.

very close up of apple cake with apple in background

Want more Fall dessert recipes?

vegan apple cake with a fork taking a bite, red towel in background

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Recipe adapted from Southern Kitchen.

This post contains affiliate links. Read my full disclosure here.

cut in pan vegan apple cake
4.98 stars (98 ratings)

1 Bowl Vegan Apple Cake

This Vegan Apple Cake tastes like Fall and is sure to become a staple dessert recipe come apple season! Best of all, it's super easy to make in 1 bowl. Full of fresh diced apples with an optional caramel drizzle.
Prep: 15 minutes
Cook: 45 minutes
Cooling time: 30 minutes
Total: 1 hour 30 minutes
Servings: 16 servings


Apple Cake

  • 3 cups all purpose flour
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup melted coconut oil*
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 3 cups peeled and diced apples
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts*

Optional Caramel Drizzle

  • 4 tablespoons melted vegan butter
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons non-dairy milk


  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and lightly grease a 9 x 13 inch pan.
  • In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon and salt.
  • Now pour in the melted coconut oil, applesauce and vanilla and stir until combined. The dough will be very stiff, not like most cake batters. This is because the fresh apples will provide a lot of moisture as the cake bakes.
  • Fold in the diced apples and nuts. Use your hands if needed to get them incorporated.
  • Press the cake batter into the pan, evenly. Bake for 45-50 minutes, or until golden brown and a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Let the cake cool while you prepare the caramel drizzle.
  • Make the caramel drizzle: In a small pot on the stove, add the vegan butter, brown sugar and non-dairy milk. Heat over medium heat until the butter melts. Bring to a boil and stir constantly, being careful not to let the mixture overflow. Continue to boil for 2 minutes, stirring, then remove from heat.
  • After the cake has cooled for about 20 minutes, drizzle the caramel sauce over it. Let cool for 10 more minutes before serving. Enjoy!


  1. Instead of coconut oil, you may use another oil such as canola or melted vegan butter. If you do not like coconut flavor, make sure to use refined coconut oil.
  2. You could substitute whole wheat pastry flour for the white flour, if desired. This may work with a gluten free mix, but I haven't tested it.
  3. You can use walnuts or pecans, or leave the nuts out entirely.
  4. Serve with a dollop of vegan whipped cream or vanilla ice cream, if desired.


Serving: 1serving | Calories: 306kcal | Carbohydrates: 55g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 9g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Sodium: 168mg | Potassium: 125mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 35g | Vitamin A: 154IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 33mg | Iron: 1mg
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Author: Nora Taylor
Did you make this recipe?Mention @nora_cooks_vegan_ or tag #noracooks!

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  1. This came out perfect!

    Apples are one of my all time favorites and it’s so nice to find another use for them.

    I used olive oil (on an olive oil cake kick) in place of coconut oil, a mix of honeycrisp and pink lady apples, and didn’t make the topping.

  2. Another amazing recipe! SO yummy. I didn’t used almonds and pecans because it was all we had. Delicious. I am curious though Nora – how can I make these with more apples? The fresh apples hit so well and and I can’t tinker with the recipe on my own 🙂

    1. I’m so happy you loved this apple cake! You can totally add some more fresh apples if you want. Try increasing to 4 cups perhaps instead of 3? Thank you!

  3. Hi! If I’m planning to bake the cake the day before I serve it, do you recommended I wait to drizzle the caramel sauce until right before serving? Or drizzle it the day I baked it and let it soak into the cake for a day?

      1. This was fantastic! I ended up making the cake the day of so I was able to drizzle the caramel sauce on right before serving. Although the caramel sauce hardened after it was on the cake for a few minutes and formed a crunchy shell topping. I’m not sure how I got it wrong but it was delicious nonetheless.

        1. Hi Ayalah. I’m glad the cake was a delicious! Thanks for your wonderful review!

  4. So delicious and so easy to make! I did half coconut oil and half vegetable oil and left out the walnuts and didn’t do the caramel drizzle because it was already so sweet and moist already! Shared it with my friend and fiancé who are both meat-eaters and even they can’t stop raving about how good it is.

    1. Hi Lainey. This is hands down one of my favorite cakes! I’m so glad you all loved it! Thanks for your wonderful review and feedback!

  5. Oh my, this was so good! Made it for a football playoff party, and it was quite the hit. Even the nonvegans loved it. Thanks for another winner, Nora!

  6. I made this cake for dessert, with the drizzle, this year for our family Christmas celebration. Luckily it makes a big cake so I could divide it up and enjoy some the next day! My husband loves apple fritters and we both thought it tasted like one, and the best part is I can enjoy it because it’s vegan! This is so yummy, thanks so much!

    1. You are welcome, Nancy! I’m so glad you guys enjoyed the cake! Thanks for your wonderful review and feedback!

  7. Seriously one of the best cakes I’ve ever eaten! I’ve shared this cake, and the recipe with many who agree. I would like to bring this to a bake off next week, but I don’t know how to jazz up its appearance for the judges. I thought about a bundt pan, but I don’t know if it would work with this cake. Any ideas?

    1. Nora, you are truly a gift!
      Your recipes are amazing!
      I was sceptyczki how the caramel drizzle will come out but that was a nice surprise!
      I made this on Saturday for friends Christmas Eve Eve and everyone loved it! ❤️ yet again, no one could believe it was Vegan! We aren’t vegans but because of your recipes I am able to accommodate my daughter food allergies and safely enjoy baked goods!
      Thanks for another recipe!

      1. I always love it when I read that someone who lives with food allergies is able to enjoy delicious food! Allergies can be so challenging! Thank you for sharing your fabulous review ad encouraging feedback!

  8. This apple cake is one of my most favorite cakes in the world. Seriously. I don’t know how you do it, Nora, but your vegan versions of cakes and desserts are amazing. The cakes are as light and delicious as non-vegan versions. I will say this particular cake is more akin to a bread pudding, which I absolutely love, and was so appropriate for a fall day. I did the caramel sauce over this and it was pure perfection. I shared it, grudgingly, with my co-workers and all were astonished that it was vegan. It was a big hit.

    1. I’m so happy the cake was a hit! It’s perfect for fall, isn’t it? Thank you so much for your wonderful feedback and review 🙂

      1. Thanks for this yummy apple cake recipe, Nora! I added 1/4 (or more) teaspoon of rum flavoring to the caramel sauce, making it taste like butter rum Life Savers!

        The next time I make this, I’ll try using apples that are more tart…, and I’ll also cut back on the sugar, as this becomes a very sweet treat once the caramel drizzle goes on.

  9. Such a good recipe!! I didn’t have apple sauce so i used a flax egg, and i didn’t have brown sugar so i used coconut sugar and still came out amazing.

      1. My third time making this recipe with some de-dessertifying modifications: I swapped half the white flour for whole wheat, halved the sugar and left off the caramel drizzle. (Also added a pinch of nutmeg!) It tastes more like a muffin than a cake now. I can’t quite review as written but me & mine ADORE this slightly modified version!! Thanks for another smash hit 😀 next time I’ll try adding even more apples!
        PS I didn’t bother peeling the apples (Pink Lady) and didn’t notice anything off in the final product, that seems to be more of an aesthetic

  10. I enjoyed this recipe! It was perfect for me with half the sugar and without the drizzle. It tasted like breakfast muffins but without the shape of a muffin haha.

    How long would you think if I baked mini muffins? 🙂
    Same temperature or lower?

    1. I’m so glad you loved the cake, Felicia! Thank you for sharing! I have never baked this recipe as muffins. I know that some have, and did have success with that. Regular size muffins, not mini. I would say bake about 20-25 minutes for muffins. Hope this helps!

  11. I’ve commented before but here is more. Tonight is the Jewish new year and I brought this cake. Without any topping or sauce. This cake made everyone beg for more. Conversations were stopped because of this cake. Everyone wants the recipe. A happy sweet year ahead indeed. Thanks! 🍎

    1. Deb, I feel so happy that this cake was wonderful for your gathering! Thank you for sharing this fabulous feedback and review! Happy Jewish new year to you!

  12. I used 1/2 white flour, and 1/2 whole wheat flour. I used 1/4 cup coconut oil and subbed applesauce for the rest. It turned out amazing. I might try it oil free next time.

  13. If you halve the recipe and bake in 9” square, how long would you bake it for? Also, could you use a little less oil and more applesauce?

  14. I cut the sugar in half and didn’t make the topping. Came out really good!
    Thanks for the great recipe!!

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