This fluffy and soft vegan apple spice cake comes together in one bowl and has sweetly spiced fresh apple pieces throughout! Topped with a silky dairy free cream cheese frosting and caramel, and no need to even peel the apples- it’s so easy!

slice of vegan apple spice cake on a plate

I know pumpkin is usually the star of the show, especially at Thanksgiving (I mean, with this one bowl vegan pumpkin cake, it’s hard to not love it!), but this unbelievably easy vegan apple spice cake deserves a spotlight of its own.

It’s like a slice of vegan apple pie all drizzled in vegan caramel. And the silky homemade dairy free cream cheese frosting?! Drool worthy.

The best part is that you don’t even need to peel the apples. Most apple recipes, including even apple crisp (which is the definition of easy), you must remove the apple peel. Well, not with this recipe. PLUS, you don’t get those ugly chunks of apples that look like potatoes lol.

The trick is blending the apples in a food processor- that makes a world of difference! That way, you get bits of apple throughout, AND you’re still using fresh apple (there’s actually no applesauce in this recipe!).

This apple spice cake is the definition of easy, and it’s absolutely delicious. Full of warming spices, sweet apple, and caramel, you’ll feel like you stepped into a fall festival!

sliced apple caramel cake on parchment paper

Ingredients overview:

What I love about making vegan cakes is that the ingredients are even simpler than making a more traditional cake:

  • Flour: I recommend all purpose flour or a gluten free flour blend (I’ve personally made this cake several times with King Arthur Measure for Measure gluten-free flour). Please do not use the Namaste Flour blend, as it does not work with my recipes! For gluten free flour, I recommend using the gram measurements over the cup measurements. You could also use oat flour as well. 
  • Granulated sugar & light brown sugar: Adding in the light brown sugar will enhance the moisture of the cake, along with add a deeper rich flavor!
  • Apple Pie Spices: I used a blend of cinnamon, ginger, cardamom, and nutmeg, but you can certainly just use cinnamon.
  • Leavening agents: This is the baking powder and soda. 
  • Dairy free yogurt: This also helps to be our vegan egg replacement and provides a much better result than a flax egg. You can use your favorite vegan yogurt here. I really like Forager Project!
  • Vegan buttermilk: a combination of dairy-free or non-dairy milk (such as soy milk, almond milk, or oat milk) and apple cider vinegar. You can also substitute in lemon juice. 
  • Vegan butter and natural oil: I like to use a mix of both because the vegan butter adds the richness while a neutral, liquid-at-room-temperature oil, such as avocado oil or olive oil, adds even more moisture.
  • Honeycrisp apples: These are my favorite apples to bake with because they’re super sweet but also structured! The trick to this cake is grating or blitzing the apples in a food processor so that there is literally apple in every bite!
  • Vegan cream cheese frosting: My all time favorite frosting for this cake is vegan cream cheese frosting. You can even use homemade vegan cream cheese to make it!
  • Salted vegan caramel sauce: An extra component, but well worth it in my opinion, especially if you plan on serving this for the holidays. The caramel pairs so well with the cream cheese frosting and any tartness from the apples!

Overview: How to make Vegan Apple Spice Cake:

The full ingredient quantities and instructions for how to make this vegan apple spice cake from scratch is listed down below in the recipe card.

Can I bake this as a layer cake?

Absolutely! Originally, I had written the recipe as a layer cake recipe- perfect for three 8″ cake layers. However, after polling everyone on Instagram, the majority wanted a sheet cake. Either works here!

And if you want a three layer 6″ cake, I recommend reducing the recipe to 2/3 of what it is. Here are the measurements for that:

  • 2/3 cup (160 mL) vegan buttermilk
  • 2 1/2 cup (300 g) all-purpose flour (or 512 g gluten free 1:1 baking flour + 1 tbsp arrowroot or cornstarch)
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/3 tsp baking soda
  • 2 tsp apple pie spice
  • 1/8 tsp sea salt
  • 2/3 cup (140 g) granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup (100 g) light brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup (77 g) salted vegan butter, melted and cooled to room temperature
  • 1/3 cup (80 mL) avocado oil or cooking oil
  • 1/3 cup (67 g) dairy free yogurt, room temperature
  • 1 honey crisp apples, cored and blended
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract
slice of bitten vegan apple spice cake

How to store this apple cake:

If you have any leftovers after serving your vegan caramel apple cake, I recommend covering the cake in a cake storage bin or storing it fully covered in an airtight container (sliced if you can’t store it whole).

This cake will be good after 1 day at room temperature. However, I recommend storing it in the fridge, as it will last up to 5 days in the fridge.

You can also store this cake sliced in the freezer for up to 3 months. To thaw, simply move the cake to the fridge overnight.

Final notes:

  • You don’t have to make this cake all in one sitting: in fact, it could be more enjoyable to space it out! Make the cake layers the first day (then store wrapped in and in the fridge) then frost the next. Making a vegan cake is supposed to be fun, so don’t stress that you have to get it all done!
  • Can I make any substitutions? If I haven’t mentioned a substation in the recipe card, that’s because I haven’t tried it myself and can’t speak to its results. You’re always welcome to make the substitution, but just know that I can’t guarantee it will turn out as expected!
sliced vegan apple spice cake

You are just going to love this vegan apple spice cake recipe! If you make it, let me know down below in the comments section, as well as giving it a rating so that others may find it.

As always, I absolutely love to see your beautiful creations on Instagram and Pinterest, so be sure to tag me there!

Happy apple spice cake baking!

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

If you make this recipe, please be sure to leave a comment and a rating ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ below. This helps others to find the recipes! As always, I absolutely love to see your beautiful creations on Instagram and Pinterest, so be sure to tag me there as well!

Print
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slice of bitten vegan apple spice cake

One Bowl Easy Vegan Apple Spice Cake with Caramel Cream Cheese Frosting

5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star 5 from 3 reviews
  • Author: BRITT BERLIN
  • Prep Time: 15
  • Cook Time: 55
  • Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
  • Yield: 16 1x
  • Category: Cake
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: American
  • Diet: Vegan

Description

This fluffy and soft vegan apple spice cake comes together in one bowl and has sweetly spiced fresh apple pieces throughout! Topped with a silky dairy free cream cheese frosting and caramel, and no need to even peel the apples- it’s so easy!


Ingredients

Scale
  • 1 cup (240 mL) vegan buttermilk
  • 3 2/3 cup (450 g) all-purpose flour (or 512 g gluten free 1:1 baking flour + 1 tbsp arrowroot or cornstarch)
  • 3 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tbsp apple pie spice*
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • 1 cup (200 g) granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup (150 g) light brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup (113 g) salted vegan butter, melted and cooled to room temperature 
  • 1/2 cup (120 mL) avocado oil or cooking oil
  • 1/2 cup (100 g) dairy free yogurt, room temperature
  • 2 honey crisp apples, cored and blended
  • 1 1/2 tbsp vanilla extract
  • 1 batch vegan cream cheese frosting
  • 1 batch vegan salted caramel

Instructions

  1. Please read through all instructions before beginning.
  2. Prep: Preheat the oven to 350F and grease a 9×13″ sheet cake pan with oil, then line with parchment paper on the bottom for easy removal. Add apple cider vinegar to unsweetened dairy-free milk to make the vegan buttermilk and set aside. 
  3. Blend the apples: Wash and dry the apples, then slice them into large chunks. Place the apples into a food processor or high-speed blender, and blend until they are completely grated. Set aside. 
  4. Make the batter: In a large bowl, whisk together the sugar, light brown sugar, vegan butter, oil, dairy free yogurt, and vanilla extract. Add in the chopped apples, followed by the baking powder, baking soda, apple pie spices, and sea salt, and whisk to combine.  Then add in the flour and vegan buttermilk, and whisk JUST until the dry is incorporated into the wet ingredients. 
  5. Bake: Pour the batter into the cake pan. Place cake pans into the oven and bake for 50-55 minutes, or until the toothpick comes out clean. Let the cake cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then transfer it to a drying rack to cool completely before frosting.
  6. While the cake is baking: You can make the salted caramel here. Let it cool completely at room temperature before icing the cake. Otherwise the caramel will melt the frosting.
  7. Make the frosting: When ready to frost the cakes, add vegan butter and vegan cream cheese to a stand mixer or large bowl and cream together with a hand mixer. Add in 1 cup of powdered sugar at a time, continuing the beat the mixture until it’s a fluffy frosting.
  8. Frost the cake: Scoop the frosting onto the cake and spread to the edges. Drizzle the salted caramel on top.
  9. Slice and serve! Slice and serve the cake. Store any leftovers in an airtight container for up to 4 days in the fridge. 

Assembly:

  1. To assemble the cake, place the first cake layer onto a cake board or plate and add about 3/4 cup of frosting to the cake. Spread until the frosting reaches the edges, then drizzle caramel sauce on top.
  2. Place the second layer on top and repeat.
  3. Place the third layer on top and continue to frost the cake entirely. Place the cake into the fridge to chill for 20 minutes so that the frosting can set. When ready to serve, top with apples and the remaining caramel sauce and serve!

Notes

Gluten free: Please use 450 g gluten free 1:1 baking flour (I used King Arthur Measure for Measure gluten free flour).

Apple pie spices: If you don’t have the apple spice blend, you can make your own: 2 tsp cinnamon, 1/4 tsp nutmeg, 1/4 tsp ground ginger, 1/4 tsp cardamom, and 1/4 tsp allspice.