Vegan Apple Cake with Streusel Topping

This simple and delicious vegan apple cake with streusel topping is moist, easy  to make, dairy free, vegan, and gluten free. A perfect sweet treat that fills the house with the smell of cinnamon!

Moist & Satisfying Vegan Apple Cake

 

The weather is beginning to get chillier here and the leaves are turning into oranges, reds, and yellows. This delicious vegan apple cake makes the perfect treat, snack, or even addition to breakfast or brunch. 

When it comes to apple cake you can find at the store, there’s often just a lot of super sugary options, and almost never a vegan alternative. I’m a sucker for desserts with a streusel topping so I’ve found the best option is to make my own at home! 

Are Apple Cakes Vegan?

 

Traditionally no. Most apple cakes are made like a classic cake with all purpose flour, butter, eggs, and often buttermilk. Because they contain dairy, cow based products along with eggs, they are not vegan. Unless, you make a vegan specific apple cake using vegan alternatives like non-dairy milk, oil, and flax eggs or egg replacer. 

While I am not a vegan, I do have a dairy allergy so often my desserts are naturally vegan as I only consume non-dairy milk, vegan butter, and other dairy-free alternative products. While I do miss a traditional dessert here and there, I promise you the vegan alternatives are almost always just as delicious! 

Ingredients in Vegan Apple Cake

 

To make this tasty vegan apple cake you will only need 10 main ingredients (not including the optional streusel topping) that are all gluten free,  dairy free, and vegan. This healthier cake is also made with unrefined sugar for natural sweetness that won’t spike blood sugar levels!

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Gluten-free 1-to-1 baking flour (If you don’t need GF, use regular all-purpose flour, or whole wheat flour instead!)
  • Apples (I used honey crisp)
  •  Maple syrup
  • Ground flaxeed
  • Coconut palm sugar
  • Olive oil
  • Almond milk, unsweetened
  • Apple cider vinegar
  • Baking soda & baking powder
  • Cinnamon
  • Ground ginger
  • Pure vanilla extract
  • Chopped walnuts (optional)

 

These whole-food focused ingredients keep this cake healthy, with lots of fibre, vitamins and minerals, and healthy fats. If you are looking for a healthier apple cake option for little ones, this is a great recipe to try as well as it is free of the main allergens (dairy, soy, eggs, wheat, and can be nut free too)

Easy Streusel Topping

 

To make the optional streusel topping (highly recommended) you’ll need the following ingredients: 

  • Gluten-free 1-to-1 baking flour (If you don’t need GF, use regular all-purpose flour, or whole wheat flour instead!)
  • Coconut palm sugar
  • Cinnamon
  • Vegan butter
  • Chopped walnuts (optional)

How To Make Apple Cake Vegan (without eggs, milk, and butter)

 

To make apple cake that is still soft, tender, and moist, you can use plant-based alternative ingredients to create the same or similar texture. 

  • Swap egg for a flax egg. Combining ground flax seed and water (1 tablespoon flax:3 tablespoons water) and letting it sit until it thickens will create a “flax egg” suitable for substituting one whole egg in an apple cake recipe. 
  • Instead of cow buttermilk, you can substitute the same amount of plant-based milk like almond milk, cashew milk, or oat milk and stir in 1 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar. 
  • Instead of butter, you can use an equal amount of vegan butter (like Earth Balance brand) or coconut oil. 

How To Make Vegan Apple Cake Step-by-Step

 

To make these simple cake you really need just a few bowls, parchment paper, and a cake tin. Oh, and an oven of course!

Here’s what you’ll do:

1. Preheat the oven to 350 F and line the bottom of a round baking tin with parchment.

2. Core, peel, and cut the apples into 1cm cubes then drizzle with the maple syrup and set aside. 

3. Make the “flax egg” by combining the flax and water in a bowl and set aside to thicken. 

4. In another bowl combine the coconut sugar with the oil, almond milk, and vinegar and stir well.

5. Sift in the flour and other dry ingredients into a large mixing bowl then pour in the coconut sugar mixture and the thickened flax egg and stir until a thick batter is achieved. 

6. Fold the apples and the chopped walnuts (if using) into the batter then spread evenly in the cake tin. 

7. Bake for 25 minutes, then remove from the oven and cover with tin foil and bake for another 15 minutes.

8. While the cake is baking combine the streusel ingredients in a bowl and using a pastry cutter or a knife, mix until crumbly. 

9. Once the cake is done, let cool slightly then remove from the pan and sprinkle evenly with the streusel topping, cut into 6-8 slices and serve with your favorite vegan vanilla ice cream to top.

I love getting my 4 year old daughter involved in the kitchen and baking is a great way to do that. This is a fun recipe and it’s perfect for little helpers. Plus they love to gobble it up at the end too!

Have you ever tried apple cake? Tell me about it in the comments and be sure to pin the photo below the recipe to save this one for later.

overhead view of a vegan apple cake cut into 6 slices on a white background

Vegan Apple Cake with Streusel Topping

Yield: Serves 6-8
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Total Time: 55 minutes

A delicious, moist, and healthy take on vegan apple cake that is also gluten free with a simple streusel topping!

Ingredients

  • 1 1/4 cup (180g) gluten free 1-1 baking flour (Bob's Red Mill works great)
  • 2 medium apples, peeled (I prefer honey crisp or Granny Smith)
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 3 tablespoons ground flaxseed + 1/3 cup warm water
  • 1/2 cup coconut palm sugar
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened almond milk (or other non-dairy milk)
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ginger
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract 
  • A handful of chopped walnuts (optional)

Streusel Topping

  • 3 tablespoons gluten free baking flour
  • 2 tablespoons coconut palm sugar
  • 1 heaping tablespoon vegan butter (I use Earth Balance)
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

Instructions

    1. Preheat the oven to 350 F and line the bottom of a round baking tin with parchment.

    2. Core, peel, and cut the apples into 1cm cubes then drizzle with the maple syrup, mix, and set aside. 

    3. Make the "flax egg" by stirring the ground flaxseed and water in a bowl and set aside to thicken. 

    4. In another medium bowl stir together the coconut sugar with the oil, almond milk, and vinegar.

    5. Sift the flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, and ginger into a large mixing bowl then pour in the coconut sugar almond milk mixture and the  flax egg and stir until a thick batter is achieved. 

    6. Fold the apples and the chopped walnuts (if using) into the batter then spread evenly in the cake tin. 

    7. Bake for 25 minutes, then remove from the oven and cover the cake with tin foil, then place back in the oven and bake for another 15 minutes until done.

    8. While the cake is baking combine all of the streusel ingredients in a bowl and using a pastry cutter or a knife, cut/mix until crumbly (you can also use your hands).

    9. Once the cake is done, let cool slightly then remove from the pan and sprinkle evenly with the streusel topping, cut into 6-8 slices and serve with your favorite vegan vanilla ice cream to top.

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Have a wonderful day!

Christal // NITK

Author: Christal Sczebel

Christal is the creator of Nutrition in the Kitch. She's a Certified Nutritional Consultant, twice published author, gluten and dairy free recipe developer, food photographer, speaker, wife, and mama. Christal loves good food, all things wellness, and loves to travel. Her wellness philosophy is centred around balance and sustainable health, life's way too short for boring diets and restriction!

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