Unbelievably delicious apple crumb cake that’s as easy as it is super moist and tender! This apple crumb cake is undetectably vegan and gluten free, and layered with a cinnamon crumble and fresh apples. It’s the perfect fall breakfast or after dinner dessert!

slice of vegan apple crumb cake

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, which you absolutely need to try. 

Here’s the deal. This apple crumb cake is:

  • a deliciously sweet vanilla cake, layered with freshly chopped cinnamon coated apples, and sprinkled with a gluten free cinnamon crumble on top
  • perfect for a bakery-worthy breakfast or even a cozy fall dessert after dinner
  • super easy to make
  • ready in just an hour start to finish
  • undetectably (and naturally) gluten free, vegan, dairy free, and no eggs! We’re talking SUPER simple recipe and ingredients
  • easily made with regular all purpose flour, though, if that’s your thing!

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 apple crumb cake on parchment paper

Vegan Gluten Free apple crumb cake ingredients:

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 both gluten free and vegan, but with the ratio and combination of ingredients below, you’d never be able to tell. It’s been fully approved by non-gluten free eaters (aka people who eat regular flour!), and they can’t even 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:

  • Gluten free 1:1 baking flour: with this being a 1:1 gluten free apple cake, however, you can swap in regular flour if you don’t need this to be gluten free. I recommend using King Arthur Measure for Measure gluten free flour. It’s the best! This recipe will also work with Bobs 1:1 gluten free flour, or even oat flour as well. 
  • 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
  • Unsweetened applesauce: This replaces the eggs found in traditional apple crumb cakerecipes. For more appleflavor, 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! 
  • Vanilla extract: for flavor!
sliced apple crumb cake

Overview: how to make a gluten free apple crumb cake vegan

Making a gluten free apple crumb cake isn’t as scary as it sounds (and again, if you’d like, you can use regular all purpose flour for just a vegan apple crumb cake!). 

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

Start by making the cinnamon streusel topping by whisking together the vegan butter, coconut sugar, flour, and cinnamon. Sprinkle the streusel on top of the apples and bake!

spiced apples

Then chop the apples and toss them with a bit of cinnamon. Sprinkle the apples on top of the vegan crumble cake base layer.

vegan cake batter

Making the crumb cake base: whisk together the dry ingredients in a large bowl, then add in the wet. Fold together all of the ingredients, then pour the cake batter into a 13×9″ sheet pan lined with parchment paper

apple crumb cake before baking
baked apple crumb cake
slice of vegan apple crumb cake

Slice, serve, and enjoy 🙂

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!

apple crumb cake with glaze being poured on top

Tips for the best healthy apple crumb cake

These tips, while they apply to this healthy apple cake, can be used across all fun and festive apple desserts 🙂 And if this doesn’t hint to the type of fall we’ll be having, then I don’t know what will (you can expect a lot of apple from me 🙂 ).

So what can you do to make your healthy 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!

Want to save this recipe for later? Add it to your favorite recipe board on Pinterest!

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slice of vegan apple crumb cake

Apple Crumb Cake

  • Author: thebananadiaries
  • Prep Time: 10
  • Cook Time: 55
  • Total Time: 1 hour 5 minutes
  • Yield: 9 1x
  • Category: Breakfast
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: American
  • Diet: Vegan

Description

Unbelievably delicious apple crumb cake that’s as easy as it is super moist and tender! This apple crumb cake is undetectably vegan and gluten free, and layered with a cinnamon crumble and fresh apples. It’s the perfect fall breakfast or after dinner dessert!


Ingredients

Units Scale

Cinnamon Crumble Topping:

  • 3/4 cup (150 g) granulated sugar or brown sugar
  • 1 cup (125 g) all purpose flour*
  • 2 tbsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup (113 g) vegan butter, melted

Apple filling:

  • 1 tbsp ground cinnamon or pumpkin spice blend
  • 2 cups chopped apples, skin removed (about 2 large apples)

Vanilla Cake Layer:

  • 3 cups (375 g) all purpose flour*
  • 1 tbsp arrowroot starch
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 1/4 cup (250 g) granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup (113 g) vegan butter, melted and cooled
  • 3/4 cup (170 g) unsweetened applesauce, room temperature
  • 2/3 cup (180 g) unsweetened dairy free milk with 1 tsp apple cider vinegar, room temperature
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract or vanilla paste
  • Optional topping: 1 cup powdered sugar with 1 tbsp dairy free milk

Instructions

  1. Prep: Preheat the oven to 350F and lightly grease and line an 8×8 baking pan with parchment paper and olive oil.
  2. Cinnamon crumble topping: In medium bowl, prepare the cinnamon crumble. Whisk together the sugar, flour, and cinnamon. Use a fork to mix in the melted vegan butter into the mixture until it resembles a crumble. Set aside.
  3. Make the apple filling: In another medium bowl, toss the chopped apples with the ground cinnamon. Set aside.
  4. Make the vegan cake batter: Prepare the main cake layer. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, arrowroot powder, and baking powder and soda. Set aside. In a large bowl, whisk together the melted vegan butter, sugar applesauce, dairy free milk mixture, and vanilla. Then add in the flour mixture, and stir until there are no more dry streaks of flour.
  5. Assemble the apple crumb cake: Pour the cake batter into the prepared pan. Then add on the apples, and spread them out in an even layer on top of the cake batter. Finally, sprinkle the crumble topping on top evenly over the apples.
  6. Bake: Place the pan into the oven to bake for 45-55 minutes, or until the toothpick comes out clean. Remove from the oven, and allow the coffee cake to cool in the pan for 10 minutes.
  7. Serve: When ready to serve, it’s best served slightly warm. Slice into 9 squares and prepare the optional glaze. Whisk together the powdered sugar and dairy free milk, and drizzle on top of each slice. Enjoy! Store any leftovers covered in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 4 days, in the fridge for up to 6 days, or in the freezer for up to a month.

Notes

Gluten free flour: I recommend using King Arthur Measure for Measure flour here (as pictured). You can also use Bob’s Red Mill 1:1 baking flour.

Not gluten free? Swap in all purpose flour in an equal amount.

Nutrition

  • Serving Size: 1 square
  • Calories: 303
  • Sugar: 28.8 g
  • Sodium: 230.7 mg
  • Fat: 6.6 g
  • Saturated Fat: 1.2 g
  • Carbohydrates: 57.7 g
  • Fiber: 2.6 g
  • Protein: 3.8 g
  • Cholesterol: 0 mg

Keywords: apple crumb cake, gluten free apple cake, vegan apple crumb cake, apple crumble cake