This simple yet decadent Vegan Apple Cake is light and fluffy, loaded with fresh apples, and has a super crunchy, sugar and flaked almond top. It's a cake that feels and smells like fall. No mixer required!
3 cups / 375gall purpose flour(plain flour in the UK)
½teaspoonbaking soda(bicarbonate of soda in the UK)
½ cup + 2 tablespoons / 144gvegan yogurt, vanilla or plain, preferably unsweetened
¾ cup + 2 tablespoons / 180gsugar , cane, white granulated or light brown
1 cup / 240mlunsweetened plant milk
5 tablespoons / 75mlliquid oil, any neutral tasting oil like sunflower, vegetable, canola or melted refined coconut oil
1 teaspoon / 5mlapple cider vinegar , or lemon juice
1 tablespoon / 15mlvanilla extract
5 mediumapples, about 700g/ 1.5 lb of apples weighed before peeling/coring *
For the topping
¼ cup / 50gcoarse sugar**
¼ cup / 25gflaked almonds, OPTIONAL (omit for nut-free)
Preheat oven to 360 °F (182 °C) and grease and line a 9-inch springform cake pan that's at least 3 inches deep.
To a large bowl add the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt. Whisk them up to combine.
In another bowl, add the yogurt, sugar, milk, oil, vinegar and vanilla. Whisk them all up until well combined.
Peel, core and chop the apples into chunks. Roughly ¼ inch pieces but it doesn't have to be exact.
Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and stir them together. Don't over mix or beat it vigorously. Just stir gently until you can no longer see any dry flour.
Pour in the apple chunks and fold them gently and evenly through. Again don't over mix.
Spoon into the prepared pan and level the top with a spatula. Sprinkle over the flaked almonds and the coarse sugar and place immediately in the oven on the middle shelf.
Bake for around 1 hour and 15 minutes. It might need up to 1 hour 20 minutes. Insert a toothpick or skewer into the centre of the cake. If it comes out clean then the cake is ready. If you see any signs of batter return to the oven for another five minutes.
Once cooked, remove from the oven and leave for 15 minutes in the pan to settle. Then carefully remove the sides of the springform pan, first running a knife around the edges to free up any caramelized apple pieces that might have stuck to the side a bit. Once the sides of the pan are removed, carefully lift the cake to remove the bottom of the pan and the circle of parchment paper. Leave the cake to cool on a wire rack.
*The weight of the apples doesn't have to be absolutely exact. A few grams either side is fine.**Course sugar is recommended for the top as it adds a lovely texture, but if you don't have any you can use regular granulated sugar instead. You might not need as much but be generous! Nut-free? Omit the flaked almonds to keep the cake nut-free. Success Tips
Follow the recipe closely and as always with recipes involving flour, I highly recommend that you use a kitchen scale. Cup measurements are not accurate enough to get the best and consistent results. Digital kitchen scales are available at most big superstores now and you can pick one up for around $10. They are a great investment and are so worth having! If you do need to use cups, spoon the flour into the cup then level off the top with a knife without compacting it or shaking it down. By doing it like this you will get roughly the correct amount and make your chances of success better. Do not scoop the flour up into the cup as you will end up with much more than intended and it will affect the outcome of the recipe.
Do not over mix the batter. As with all cakes, the more you mix, the more you activate the gluten in the flour which really affects the texture and rise of the finished cake.
Mix the wet and dry ingredients separately as instructed, before adding them all together. This helps avoid accidentally over-mixing.
I recommend the use of a springform cake pan for this recipe. The top of the cake is really sugary and if you invert it a lot of the sugar will fall off. Also, the apple chunks throughout the cake make it quite fragile so turning it out of a regular pan might result in the cake breaking. With a springform pan you can use a spatula to loosen the sides, then remove the whole cake without having to invert it.
Even if your cake pan is non-stick, I recommend lining the bottom of it with a circle of parchment paper to make removing it from the base of the pan really easy. See my tips for that above.
How can you tell when it’s cooked properly? You can use the toothpick test. Stick it in the centre and if it comes out clean then it's done.
Don’t turn the cake out of the pan too soon. With all of the apple chunks, it will be fragile and fall apart easily while it's really hot. It needs time to settle a little. Remove from the oven and leave for 10 minutes before very carefully removing it from the pan.