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.

(SEE RECIPE CARD BELOW FOR FULL INGREDIENTS AND INSTRUCTIONS)

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.

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cut in pan vegan apple cake

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.
5 from 9 votes

Ingredients

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

Instructions

  • 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!

Notes

  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.

Nutrition

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

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