This Gluten-Free Vegan Apple Cake is super moist, soft and squidgy and perfectly spiced! It's rich and nutty, warming and comforting and packed full of sweet, juicy apples. It's so easy to make, comes together in one bowl and is refined sugar free too.
Now that I've made an Apple Upside Down Cake and an Apple Pie recipe, I knew it was time to make a spiced apple cake kind of between a pudding and a sponge cake.
How to make this recipe
Scroll down to the bottom of the post for the full recipe.
- Use a box grater to grate the apples.
Instead of adding large chunks of apple, I went for grated apple. It's much easier as you don't have to peel the apple first, and this method also allows you to pack in tons of apples and helps create an amazingly squidgy texture.
- Mix together all the ingredients (including the grated apple) in a glass mixing bowl - use a measuring jug to measure out the plant-based milk.
I used date syrup in this cake as its thick and nectar-like texture makes the cake taste a little like molasses. It adds an amazingly rich flavour, whilst still being refined sugar free. Although you can use maple syrup instead, I love the stickiness that the date syrup adds.
I love to add some spices like ground ginger, cinnamon and vanilla for a warm, toasty, fragrant flavour reminiscent of all things cosy and autumnal.
- Transfer the cake batter into a baking dish.
Tip: Line it with greased baking paper to make the cake easier to take out afterwards.
- Bake in the oven for 30 minutes.
Substitutions you can make
- You can use any type of oil: coconut oil, olive oil or vegetable oil.
- You can use any type of plant-based milk: almond milk, rice milk, soy milk, cashew milk, oat milk etc.
- You can use any type of liquid sweetener: date syrup, maple syrup, agave syrup, brown rice syrup etc.
- The apple cider vinegar is crucial as the acidity reacts with the alkali bicarbonate of soda (baking soda) - it can be replaced with lemon juice.
- You can replace the ground walnuts with ground almonds/almond meal.
- You can use plain flour, wholemeal (whole wheat) flour or spelt flour instead of the gluten-free flour if you’re not gluten-free.
- You can top this cake with chopped walnuts, pecan nuts or flaked almonds before baking.
- You can add raisins, chopped dates, chopped dried figs or dried cranberries to the batter.
You can top the cake with some buttery pecans, and vegan cream cheese frosting would be delicious too!
I personally love to go down the pudding route and smother this apple cake in a thick duvet of rich custard. This custard powder is my favourite as it's made with just few simple ingredients and it's vegan, gluten-free and completely free from sugar.
More similar desserts
If you try out this recipe or anything else from my blog, I’d really love to hear any feedback! Please give it a rating, leave a comment, or tag a photo @rhiansrecipes #rhiansrecipes on Instagram! Thank you.
Watch how to make it
Gluten-Free Vegan Apple Cake
- 60 g (¼ cup) coconut oil (or sub olive or vegetable oil)
- 200 ml (⅘ cup) unsweetened almond milk (or any other plant-based milk)
- 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar (ensure gluten-free if necessary)
- 8 tablespoons date syrup (or sub maple syrup or any other sweetener)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ¼ teaspoon ground ginger
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- Pinch salt
- 300 g (10.6 oz) grated apple (two medium-sized apples)
- 150 g (1 ¼ cup) ground walnuts * (or sub ground almonds/almond meal)
- 150 g (1 ¼ cup) gluten-free flour blend (or sub plain flour if not gluten-free)
- 2 heaped teaspoons baking powder (ensure gluten-free if necessary)
- ¼ teaspoon bicarbonate of soda (baking soda)
- Preheat oven to 180 degrees Celsius (350 degrees Fahrenheit).
- Place the coconut oil in a large bowl and melt over a saucepan of boiling water or in the microwave (skip this step if using any other oil).
- Once melted, add the milk to the same bowl along with the vinegar, date syrup, vanilla, ginger, mixed spice, salt, grated apple and ground walnuts.
- Sift in the flour, baking powder and bicarbonate of soda.
- Mix well, adding a tiny splash more milk if it’s looking too dry.
- Transfer mixture into a baking dish lined with greased baking paper - I used a 22.5cm/9inch pie dish.
- Bake in oven for around 30 minutes until risen and an inserted skewer comes out clean.
- Best when fresh but keeps covered in the fridge for up to a few days.
- Pecan nuts, roughly chopped.
- Vegan cream cheese frosting.
- Custard - This custard powder is my favourite as it's made with just few simple ingredients and it's vegan, gluten-free and completely free from sugar.
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Super yummy and easy to make cake - I'd even call it apple bread. Love the combo of buckwheat flour and apple flavor. Next time I will add more cinnamon, nutmeg and a zest of an orange for extra aroma.
Also needed to bake for 45 minutes instead of 30, so do not worry it is takes longer.
Yummy all together!! Thank you for the recipe!!
Thank you so much! So glad you liked it!
How can I replace the syrups for granulated sugar?
Delicious! I used toasted almond pulp from making almond milk (whizzed up in the spice grinder to make flour.). Wish I could show you a picture. I'll try on FB.
Thank you so much, so happy to hear that!!
Made this cake this morning. Super moist easy to make and oh so yummy. Rhian you rock! Your recipes are ALWAYS my go tos over and over again. Thanks for creating and sharing!
Thank you so much, so happy to hear that!
Do you think this recipe could work with oat flour? ❤️
Yes it will be ok, but the texture will be slightly different!
Amazing I cook this for my mummy as she is gluten free and she cried because she loved it so much! Hahaha
Aww thank you so much, so so happy to hear she liked it!!