Moist Vegan Apple Crumb Cake with Cream Cheese Filling
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!
The only apple crumb cake recipe you need:
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!).
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 🙂
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!
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!
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!
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!
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.
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!
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This deliciously moist and tender 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!
Cinnamon Crumble Topping:
- 1 cup (125 g) all purpose flour*
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- 3/4 cup (150 g) granulated sugar
- 5 tbsp (70 g) vegan butter, melted and cooled to room temperature
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/8 tsp sea salt
Cream cheese filling:
- 8 ounces vegan cream cheese, room temperature
- 1 tbsp brown sugar
- 1 tbsp cornstarch
- 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 cornstarch or 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) dairy free yogurt or unsweetened applesauce, room temperature
- 2/3 cup (180 g) vegan buttermilk, room temperature
- 1 tbsp vanilla extract or vanilla paste
- 1/4 tsp sea salt
- Optional topping: 1 cup powdered sugar with 1 tbsp dairy free milk
- Prep: Preheat the oven to 350F and lightly grease and line a 9″ or 10″ springform pan with parchment paper.
- 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.
- Make the apple filling: In another medium bowl, toss the chopped apples with the ground cinnamon. Set aside.
- Make the cream cheese filling: In a separate bowl, cream together the vegan cream cheese, brown sugar, and cornstarch until fluffy and consistently smooth. Then set aside. You’ll be assembling the cake in layers.
- Make the vegan cake batter: Prepare the main cake layer. In a large bowl, whisk together the melted vegan butter, sugar, dairy free yogurt, and vanilla. Then add in the salt, baking powder, and baking soda and whisk to combined. Then add in the flour, along with the vegan buttermilk, whisking just until the flour is fully incorporated.
- Assemble the apple crumb cake: Pour half of the cake batter into the prepared pan, and spread the batter to touch the edges of the pan. Then spoon in the cream cheese filling, and use an offset spatula to spread the cream cheese to the edges of the pan, followed by the remainder of the cake batter (spreading once more until the edges of the 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.
- Bake: Place the pan into the oven to bake for 75-85 minutes, or until the toothpick comes out clean. It’s a LONG bake with this one, but don’t worry- everything still stays moist. If your crumble top is starting to brown too fast (happens with some ovens if your top rack is very close to top), cover the cake with tinfoil. Remove from the oven, and allow the coffee cake to cool in the pan for 20-30 minutes.
- Serve: When ready to serve, it’s best served slightly warm. Drizzle with the powdered sugar glaze if desired, and 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.
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.
Arrowroot in the cake: This is optional, but can make a softer cake- your cake will still be soft without it, but the flour will feel more like cake flour then! You would whisk it into the flour before adding the flour into the wet ingredients.
Not gluten free? Swap in all purpose flour in an equal amount.
- 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