Warming notes of cinnamon, ginger, allspice and sweet crisp apples come together in this simple vegan apple spice cake. This cake is made with olive oil instead of butter or coconut oil, however, any neutral flavoured vegetable oil will work. This is the perfect healthy-ish cake to serve with a hot cup of coffee or tea this autumn season.
Why I love this recipe
Apple recipes are a favourite in our home. I'm hedging my bets, they make an appearance in your home this time of year, too! Autumn is the perfect season to enjoy apples in a multitude of ways. It's easy to make healthy and simple desserts with this fruit.
This vegan apple spice cake is no exception. Warming spices like cinnamon, allspice, and ginger make this cake a delicious fall treat. Diced apples keep this cake moist and sweet without the need to use very much sugar.
This cake is exceptionally delicious with a beautiful golden and slightly crunchy exterior (think muffin tops). This vegan apple spice cake is moist, dense, and borders on pound cake texture. I think you'll love this recipe!
This recipe is
- higher in fiber than traditional apple cakes
- easy to make
- moist and flavorful
What are the best apples to use for this recipe?
Pretty much any apple will work for this vegan apple spice cake. However, I recommend not using the red delicious variety as they tend to be on the drier side. You want a fresh apple that is juicy, crisp, and will hold together well after baking.
As such, I recommend using gala, pink lady, honey crisp, jazz, or braeburn apples. Source your apples as fresh and blemish free as possible. And I recommend using local or organic apples if possible; support your local growers when you can.
What you will need
To make this recipe, you will need a few basic ingredients:
- ground flaxseed
- olive oil or vegetable oil
- almond milk
- apple cider vinegar
- all purpose flour
- baking soda
- 2 apples
You will also need a 10" bundt cake pan.
How to make this recipe
The instructions for making this vegan apple spice cake are fairly straightforward, and I've abridged them below. More detailed instructions are below in the recipe card.
The first step is to combine the flax meal and water and let stand for 5 minutes, or until thickened. The coat the prepared apple pieces in a bit of flour. Next, combine the wet ingredients to the flax mixture and mix well. Combine the dry ingredients together, then mix the wet and dry ingredients together and pour the cake batter into the prepared bundt pan and bake.
7 Tips to make the best Vegan Apple Spice Cake
Thoroughly grease the bundt pan - this recipe will fit a 10" bundt pan. As such, be sure to grease every inch of the pan to prevent sticking. You may still need to run a long sharp knife gently around the edges and center of the pan to help it release. However, if you pan was greased really well, it should come out in one beautiful piece no problem.
Use Gala or Granny Smith apples - As mentioned above, avoid red delicious apples and opt for gala, granny smith, braeburn, pink lady or jazz apples. The apple pieces need to stay in tact while baking and not leave you with a mushy mess.
Cut the apples into ½" cubes - the best size dice for the apples is about ½" in size. This will make them small enough that they won't create big craters or soft spots in the bake into the top f your cake.
Use a neutral tasting vegetable oil - this recipe uses extra virgin olive oil, however, I have also made it successfully with vegetable oil. Avoid full bodied olive oils as they could alter the flavour of your cake. You could also opt for melted unrefined coconut oil.
Don't over mix the batter-As with most cake recipes, you only want to mix until the flour is combined evenly. This means there should be no white streaks of flour in the batter. Over-mixing may cause your cake to be heavy and not rise properly.
Spoon the batter into the bundt cake pan, don't pour -this will ensure you won't create any air bubbles or craters in the top of your cake
Wait 10 minutes before releasing your cake from the pan - a hot cake is more prone to breaking. As such, place the cake tin on a cooling rack and wait about 10 minutes before unmolding. Don't extend the pan cooling time otherwise your cake will start to condensate and make it mushy on the outside.
Can I make this recipe oil-free?
If you want to replace the oil in this recipe, use an equal measure (1:1 ratio) of unsweetened applesauce.
Can I use eggs for this recipe? If so, how many?
I get this question a lot, so I'm going to start including this exchange in my recipes whenever possible. For this recipe, you will want to replace the 2 tablespoon of flax meal and the 4 tablespoon of water with 2 large eggs. However, my advice is to give the flax a go- it's undetectable in this recipe and provides ample binding power and moisture to this recipe, same as eggs would!
Can I use spelt or whole wheat flour in exchange for the all purpose flour?
You can use the above mentioned flours in equal measure. Because whole wheat and spelt are heavier than all purpose, you may need to increase the liquid measure slightly, however, I have made this recipe successfully with both light spelt flour and whole wheat flour without needing to alter the liquid. Of course, the moisture content of your apples also plays a role.
In short, if the batter seems dry and hard to mix, add a couple tablespoons of non-dairy milk. The key it to have a batter that is spoon-able, but not so thick that it won't spread nicely in your baking pan.
Can I make this recipe gluten free?
While I have not tried it, you could use an all purpose gluten-free baking flour in exchange for the all purpose flour. However, I can't promise that this option will work well in a bundt pan- gluten helps the cake hold its shape.
However, if you're keen, I might suggest replacing the flax and water with eggs as per above. Eggs will help provide more structure to the cake and prevent it from falling apart during unmolding.
You will also need to adjust the baking time for this cake. Gluten-free flour blends can cook faster than wheat based flour. As such, check your cake halfway through the baking time to make sure it's not over browning or burning.
Tips for making the perfect bundt cake
For tips on baking in bundt or molded cake pans, see this post I shared over on BAKED the Blog. It's full of the best tips for working with bundt pans for perfect results every time! Again, the biggest key is to have a thoroughly greased bundt pan (and don't forget to grease the inner tube)
Vegan Apple Spice Cake
Warming notes of cinnamon, ginger and allspice combined with sweet seasonal apples feature in this simple vegan apple spice cake. This cake is made with olive oil instead of butter or coconut oil, however, any neutral flavoured vegetable oil will work. This is the perfect healthy-ish cake to serve with a hot cup of coffee or tea this season.
- 2 tbsp flax meal
- 4 tbsp water
- ½ cup extra virgin olive oil or vegetable oil
- ¾ cup organic cane sugar
- 1 ½ cups unsweetened almond milk or non-dairy milk of choice
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
- 2 ½ cups all purpose flour
- 2 tsp baking soda
- ¼ tsp salt
- 4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 2 tsp ground ginger
- 1 tsp ground allspice
- 2 medium (300g) apples peeled, cored and diced into ½" pieces
- 1 tablespoon all purpose flour
Preheat the oven to 375°F. Thoroughly grease the bundt pan. Set aside.
In a small bowl, combine the flax meal and water and let stand for 5 minutes, or until thickened. In a small bowl, combine the apples and the 1 tablespoon flour until evenly coated.
In a large bowl, combine the olive oil, sugar, almond milk, apple cider vinegar, and vanilla. Add the flax mixture and stir until combined.
To a medium bowl, sift together the flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, ginger and allspice.
Add the dry ingredients to the oil mixture and stir just until moistened. Stir in the apples until evenly distributed. Spoon the mixture into the prepared bundt pan and smooth the top. Bake in the preheated oven for 45-50 minutes or until the a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
Let the cake cool in the pan for 10 minutes before carefully inverting it onto a wire rack to cool completely. Top with a generous dusting of powdered sugar.
Be sure to grease your bundt pan very well- this will ensure your cake comes out in one piece. If you prefer, you can make this cake in a large loaf pan, however you may need to increase the baking time slightly. Light spelt flour or whole wheat flour can be used in equal measure for all purpose flour.