This deliciously moist and tender vegan apple crumb cake features a layer of the easiest vanilla cake with a layer dairy free brown sugar cream cheese, caramelized cinnamon apples, and a crunchy cinnamon topping! The best fall coffee cake of the season!

slice of apple crumb cake on a plate

The only apple crumb cake recipe you need:

I know your favorite apple dessert is probably the ever so classic apple pie (or maybe it’s this vegan apple crisp!), but hear me out.

This healthier version of an apple crumb cake had my entire family’s jaws on the floor. And all of my friends. And, quite frankly, myself (which is saying something, since I filled an entire cookbook with over 110 vegan and gluten free desserts…so I have a bit of a sweet tooth, and when I love something, you know it’s good!). 

It’s as delicious as my vegan coffee cake recipe, and like my blueberry lemon crumb cake and banana cream cheese crumb cake!), we have a swirl of brown sugar cream cheese filling throughout!

Honestly, this apple crumb cake may even deserve a spot on your Thanksgiving table (for breakfast or as a dessert! Check out some more vegan Thanksgiving recipes here!). 

I mean, what could be better?! It’s a bite of spicy and sweet gooey fall deliciousness with every forkful.

And, not to mention, it’s easy, quick, and goes perfectly with a cup of coffee or a scoop dairy-free milk ice cream 🙂

sliced vegan apple crumb cake


As I mentioned above, why you’ll love this cinnamon apple crumb cake is that it’s made with really simple ingredients.

Yes, this crumb cake is vegan, but with the ratio and combination of ingredients below, you’d never be able to tell.

And, not to mention, this vegan apple crumb cake is a much welcomed treat after all of that tedious apple picking!

The ingredients you’ll need for this gluten free apple cake are:

  • Flour: you can use all purpose flour or gluten free baking flour. I give recommendations below in the recipe card.
  • Apples: I recommend gala or fuji apples for a sweet apple. We’re not adding any sugar to the apples, so sweet varieties are key!
  • Cinnamon: you can also use a pumpkin spice blend or chai spice blend if you’d prefer!
  • Dairy free milk with apple cider vinegar: this creates a vegan buttermilk key for making vegan baked goods. However, if you have an allergy to soy or nuts, you can use oat milk. I’ve done it before, and it will still work in the recipe (though the milk won’t curdle).
  • Dairy free yogurt: This replaces the eggs found in traditional apple crumb cake recipes, and is my favorite vegan egg substitute for cake recipes. For more apple flavor, I love using applesauce. However, you can also swap in dairy free yogurt or vegan sour cream. Or if you’re not dairy free, some readers say that using regular dairy yogurt works as well (though I’m vegan, so I cannot attest to this!). 
  • Vegan butter: You can swap in coconut oil as well, and for my dairy eating readers, again, like the yogurt, regular butter may be able to work.
  • Granulated sugar and brown sugar: You can also use just coconut sugar if you’d like for refined sugar free! 
  • Vegan cream cheese: You can make your own vegan cream cheese or use store bought- I like tofutti or Kite Hill.
  • Vanilla extract: for flavor!
sliced vegan apple crumb cake on a plate

Overview: How to make this vegan apple crumb cake with cream cheese filling

Making a secretly vegan apple crumb cake isn’t as complicated as it sounds.

It’s actually quite easy to make, and it truly will taste just like its more traditional counterpart.

Start by making the cinnamon streusel topping by whisking together the vegan butter, sugar, flour, and cinnamon. 

Then chop the apples and toss them with a bit of cinnamon. Sprinkle the apples on top of the vegan crumble cake base layer. Next, we’ll make the cream cheese filling by creaming together the vegan cream cheese, brown sugar, and cornstarch.

Making the crumb cake base: Finally, we’ll whisk together all of the wet ingredients for the batter, followed by the dry and we’ll be ready to assemble!

cake batter in a bowl

To assemble:

Spoon half of the batter into the base of the pan, followed by the cream cheese filling and the remaining cake batter. Then top with the cinnamon apples and crumble topping. Bake, and serve!

Icing options:

If you like your apple crumble cake with an icing on top, there’s absolutely an option for that!

I recommend my simple glaze that I use for my gooey vegan cinnamon rolls. It’s so easy and comes together in 1 minute.

For a tangier twist, try my vegan cream cheese frosting glaze that’s used on my vegan pumpkin cinnamon rolls.

And for a really fall treat, try my vegan caramel sauce for a fun twist on caramel apples!

bitten slice of apple crumb cake

Tips for this apple crumb cake recipe:

These tips, while they apply to this vegan apple crumb cake, can be used across all fun and festive apple desserts.

So what can you do to make your homemade apple crumb cake out of the park?

  • For a sweeter cake, use gala or pink lady apples. I know everyone says granny smith, and nothing against the green apple, but I personally love a very sweet apple cake. So most of the time, I recommend gala, even for apple pie! Golden delicious is also wonderful, however, if you do like the more tart flavors, go for a granny smith or pink lady!
  • The type of cinnamon you use matters! Saigon cinnamon tends to be sweet, but bold in spice and flavor, while Ceylon cinnamon is more sweet and light.
  • Serve warm or cold: Personally, I love this apple crumb cake, and really any appledessert, warm or chilled! If you’re serving it warm though, I highly recommend a scoop of vegan vanilla ice cream on top, and if serving cold, enjoy with a cup of hot coffee.
  • What to serve your cake with: a drizzle of homemade vegan icing (such as this one from my vegan cinnamon rolls) or drizzle a little homemade Paleo vegan caramel sauce on top for a vegan caramel apple twist.

How do you store apple crumb cake?

This gluten free vegan apple crumb cake will actually still stay moist at room temperature for up to 2 days when stored in an airtight container or bag. You can also refrigerate the apple crumb cake for up to 5 days in the refrigerator, or up to 3 months in the freezer.

slice of apple crumb cake on a plate

Don’t you just love fall?! Ugh this recipe is SO getting me in the mood! I hope you love this easy apple crumb cake as much as I do!

If you give it a go, let me know in the comments below, and of course, I’d absolutely love to see your beautiful creations on Pinterest and Instagram, so be sure to tag me there 🙂

Happy baking!

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Moist Vegan Apple Crumb Cake with Cream Cheese Filling Pinterest pin