This vegan apple sauce cake is soft, airy, juicy and super moist. Made in under an hour and completely beginner-friendly.
Why this recipe works
- Super fluffy
- Quick preparation and easy to make
- So moist thanks to the apple sauce
- Bursting with flavour
- Perfect for a beginning baker!
You'll be able to find both US and EU measurements below. I'll also guide you through the recipe with detailed step-by-step photos.
These are the ingredients that go into my vegan apple sauce cake:
Plant milk: I used almond milk, but feel free to substitute for any other unsweetened and unflavoured plant milk.
Apple sauce: This can be homemade or store bought. I used store bought.
Vanilla: any type of vanilla extract will work. I recommend liquid vanilla extract or vanilla paste.
For the optional (super easy!) lemon icing, you'll also need dairy-free butter, powdered sugar, vanilla, lemon zest, and flaked almonds.
You will also need the following equipment:
- Loaf tin
- Blender or mixer
- Kitchen scales
Before you start, make sure you pre-heat your oven to to 180°C (375°C) and grease and line your loaf tin.
- Puree your apple sauce with a handheld mixer or blender. Add milk, lemon zest, oil, vanilla, and sugar.
- In a separate bowl, sift together your dry ingredients - flour, bakingsoda, cinnamon, and salt.
- Combine your wet and dry mixtures.
- Pour the mixture into your loaf tin and smooth out the top. If you are not adding icing later sprinkle on your flaked almonds now (before baking). If you are adding icing leave them for later.
Bake for 50-55 minutes at 180°C / 356°F until a wooden/metal skewer inserted in the middle comes out clean.
To make the icing combine vegan butter, icing sugar, and vanilla. Then whisk on high speed until fluffy (using a hand mixer or by hand).
Use a spoon to spoon the icing on top of the cake. Then use a knife to spread it all over the cake.
My Top Tips
Nail this recipe in your first try by following the tips below.
Puree Your Apple Sauce
Pureeing the apple sauce will release more moisture, slacken the batter, and make it easier for the baking powder to do its job.
This way the cake will have a better rise but still have a rich apple flavour. If the sauce is unpureed the batter will be thicker, making it harder for the baking powder to do its job properly.
Keep it Fluffy
To keep your cake light and fluffy there are a few things you can do.
Firstly, always sift your dry ingredients (lour, baking powder, and cinnamon). Sifting them will get rid of any clumps and lighten the batter.
Secondly, do not overmix your batter. When you add your flour to the wet mixture, stir until you don’t see any more flecks of flour and stop immediately.
The more you stir and work the batter the more gluten will develop. Gluten will inhibit the rise of the cake in the oven.
This cake should have a nice crumb structure but also keep its shape when sliced. If it is falling apart or tastes very dry it’s likely slightly overbaked.
Every oven is ever so slightly different so it might have baked too fast in yours - next time, try baking for shorter.
The icing on top or some ice cream will help the dryness and work really well with the apple flavour.
Here's another quick tutorial on how to moisten a dry cake.
Most likely it has not baked for long enough. When in doubt, bake for another five minutes.
When it comes to cakes, you can check it is cooked by inserting a skewer in the middle of the cake. If it comes out clean, the cake is baked.
With this particular recipe, the apple sauce can make the cake seem like it's fully cooked when it isn’t yet. Remember, the cake should look golden brown and feel firm when you insert the skewer. If in doubt bake, for another five minutes.
You overmixed the batter which prevented the rise. The cake will still have a great flavour, but you can fix that the next time by doing the following.
First, make sure to sieve your flour. Second, do not over mix your batter. This means that when the flour mixture and apple sauce mixture are just combined, you stop stirring immediately and transfer to your baking tin to bake.
The more you mix the batter the tenser the gluten strands will become, the harder it is for the baking powder to puff up your cake.
Store your cake in an airtight container for up to 5 days at room temperature. If you have added icing, the cake might deteriorate quicker so make sure to store in fridge.
Yes, you can freeze this cake with or without the frosting.
You can either freeze the entire cake or freeze slices. I would recommend you slice your cake into portion sizes before freezing. This way you can take out a portion at a time whenever you're ready to eat a piece.
To prevent the slices from sticking together during freezing use a sheet of baking paper in between each slice. This way you’ll be able to get a perfect slice out every time.
Possible Ingredient Substitutions
Don’t have all the ingredients to make this vegan apple sauce cake? Here are some potential substitutions:
- Sugar – Any sugar will work in this cake as the amount of added sugar is small. Make sure to add the same weight of sugar whichever sugar you choose to use. The darker the sugar, the more caramelly the flavour.
- Oil – Any light vegetable oil will work but we found that a light olive oil works very well as it complements the citrus flavour in the cake.
- Almond milk– Again, any plant-based milk will work here, this recipe is very forgiving so the ideal recipe to experiment with.
- Alternative flavours – You can add some almonds into the batter if you’d like a little more crunch and texture to the cake. Or you could add some blackberries or blueberry for an extra fruity flavour.
These will all work well with the apple and lemon flavours already in there. For a bit more spice try all spice or ginger, making this cake perfect for fall / autumn.
This wraps it up! If you liked my vegan apple cake recipe, check out my desserts section for more easy treats. Some of the most popular ones are my chocolate banana bread, vegan blueberry scones, and easy dinner rolls.
Vegan Apple Sauce Cake
- Loaf tin
- Baking paper
- Measuring scales or cups
- Blender, handheld mixer or food processor
- Whisk or electric mixer (optional - for the icing)
FOR THE CAKE
- 275 g apple sauce pureed with a hand mixer/blender
- 95 ml unsweetened almond milk or other unsweetened, unflavoured plant milk
- 1½ teaspoon lemon zest
- 75 ml olive oil
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 20 g caster sugar
- 225 g self-raising flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 3 teaspoon cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon salt
FOR THE ICING
- 70 g dairy-free butter
- 140 g icing sugar
- ¼ teaspoon vanilla extract
- ½ teaspoon lemon zest
- 3 tablespoon flaked almonds
- 1 teaspoon lemon peel optional
FOR THE CAKE
- Pre-heat oven to 180°C (375°F) grease your loaf tin and line it with a sheet of baking paper
- In a large bowl scoop in your apple sauce and puree with a handheld mixer or in a blender.
- Add the plant milk, lemon zest, oil, vanilla and sugar to the apple puree and stir well.
- If you're are using a standing blender you can add these ingredients to the blender and blend again until smooth.
- In a separate bowl, sift together flour, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt.
- Add the flour mixture to the apple mixture and stir until just combined.
- Pour the mixture into your lined loaf tin and smooth out the top. If you are not adding icing later sprinkle on your flaked almonds now (before baking). If you are adding icing leave them for later.
- Bake for 50-55 minutes at 180°C / 356°F minutes until a wooden/metal skewer inserted in the middle comes out clean.
- Remove from oven and cool in loaf tin for at least 10 minutes.
- Then transfer to a cooling rack to cool completely before adding icing.
FOR THE ICING
- Whilst your cake is baking, toast your almonds.
- To make the icing combine dairy-free butter, icing sugar, and vanilla and whisk on high speed until fluffy.
- Use a spoon to spoon the icing on top of the (cooled) cake. Then use a knife to spread it evenly across the top of your cake.
- Top off with more flaked almonds and lemon peel if desired.
- I used a loaf tin measuring 21 cm (8,3 inch) long and 13 cm (5,1 inch) wide.
- Don't forget to puree the apple sauce before adding to your mixture.
- Do not overmix the batter as this will make your cake dense, almost bread-like.
- Once your mixture is in the loaf tin, bake it immediately. Leaving it out for too long before making might make the baking soda react too quickly.