Super Moist Vegan Apple Cake with Cinnamon Caramel Frosting
This moist and fluffy vegan apple cake topped with a cinnamon buttercream frosting is the absolute best fall dessert! Drizzled in dairy free caramel sauce, this caramel apple spice cake is full of warming spices for the perfect way to use up all of your apples from apple picking.
This vegan apple spice cake is an absolute fall dream!! One of my absolute favorite vegan cakes to make for the fall, this vegan apple cake is like a slice of vegan apple pie all drizzled in vegan caramel.
And the cinnamon cream cheese buttercream? Heavenly.
Vegan Caramel Apple Cake Ingredients
What I love about making vegan cakes is that the ingredients are even simpler than making a more traditional cake.
The trick to this caramel vegan apple cake, as with my other vegan cake recipes, is using unsweetened applesauce in place of eggs. Not only does this add a bit of sweetness and flavor to the batter (helping us reduce the sugar even more), but it also acts as an egg replacement and helps us to reduce the oil needed for the cake.
Plus, seeing as this is an apple spice cake, using applesauce in the cake batter only makes this vegan apple cake even more apple-y!
For the remaining ingredients to this apple spice cake recipe, you’ll need:
- Flour: I recommend all purpose flour or a gluten free flour blend (I’ve personally made this cake several times with Bob’s Red Mill’s gluten free 1:1 all purpose flour in the blue bag). 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: For a richer caramel flavor, you can use coconut sugar or brown sugar.
- 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.
- Melted vegan butter: You can also use coconut oil instead!
- Chopped apples
This vegan apple cake is entirely dairy free, egg free, soy free, and can easily be made nut-free and gluten-free!
How to make vegan apple cake from scratch
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.
To ensure that your vegan cake recipe comes out perfectly each time, here are a few of my top tips for making this vegan apple spice cake!
- Make sure that your leavening agents are stored correctly: and not expired! Improperly stored or expired baking powder will not allow this cake to rise properly, resulting in flat apple cake layers. Make sure that the baking powder and soda have been stored in a cool dry place (along with the lid being tightly on, as air will also deactivate the baking powder!) and that they’re well within the expiration date.
- Whisk together the dry ingredients before making the batter: This will lead to a more even bake!
- Make your own vegan buttermilk: to do this, combine the vegan dairy-free milk with the apple cider vinegar. Allow the mixture to sit for 5-7 minutes until it begins to curdle. This will create that tender and fluffy texture.
- Use room temperature wet ingredients: before making the caramel applecake batter, allow the wet ingredients to come to room temperature. For the vegan butter or coconut oil, allow it to cool a bit, so that it’s not piping hot going into the batter.
- I recommend gala apples: personally, those are my favorite, and I even use them in my apple pie recipe (which is why it comes out so deliciously sweet every time, despite being a no-added sugar filling!). Remove the skin from the apples before beginning and slice them into cubes.
- Use cake flour or make your own: if you don’t have cake flour on hand, you can also add a teaspoon of arrowroot starch or cornstarch to the all-purpose or gluten-free 1:1 baking flour. This will also lead to a really nice and tender cake texture when you slice into your vegan apple cake!
Vegan Cinnamon Buttercream Frosting with Caramel Sauce
This is my favorite part of this apple spice cake recipe because as the caramel sits in between the vegan cake layers, it soaks into the cake and makes everything that much sweeter (and stickier ha!).
The vegan cinnamon buttercream frosting is very similar to my vegan vanilla buttercream frosting that I use for my vegan vanilla cake.
Simply cream the butter with a hand mixer or stand mixer. Add in the powdered sugar, cinnamon and dairy-free milk until the frosting is nice and fluffy.
For the caramel sauce, we’re using my super simple Vegan Caramel Sauce. Personally, I could eat it with a spoon!
Between each layer of the cake is a layer of cinnamon buttercream and caramel. Then the entire cake is coated with the frosting and drizzled with a bit of the caramel sauce on top!
Apple Spice Cake Recipe FAQs
Can I use different sized cake pans?
If you don’t have 8″ cake tins, you can definitely make this caramel apple cake into three 6″ cake pan layers, or two 9″ cake layers.
Can I make this vegan apple cake into a sheet cake?
Absolutely! You can easily transform this vegan layer cake into a vegan apple spice sheet cake as well!
You can use a 9X13 sheet pan. Bake the cake for about 40 minutes at 350F, or until the toothpick comes out clean.
For the frosting, you will definitely need less than the listed amount in the recipe card. I would use half the frosting and the caramel sauce.
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.
How should I decorate this vegan apple spice cake?
This is my favorite part of the cake baking process. I recommend decorating your apple spice cake however you please! A good place to start is thinking about the key ingredients: apples and cinnamon.
Do you want to highlight a few cinnamon sticks on top? Maybe do some whole or sliced apples, like I did (you can eat them afterwards 😉 )?
You can also pipe any leftover frosting onto the top of the apple cake and drizzle with a bit of caramel sauce on top!
Best Tips for making a Vegan Caramel Apple Spice Cake
- 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!
- Use cake strips to get flat layers: you might have noticed that I didn’t talk about leveling the cakes- that’s because I often use cake strips around the cake pans so that I don’t waste any baked cake in order to get those flat and crisp layers!
- 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!
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.
Happy apple spice cake baking!
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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
Super easy vegan apple spice cake topped with a cinnamon buttercream frosting and drizzled in dairy free caramel sauce! This caramel apple cake is full of warming spices for a delicious fall dessert!
Apple Spice Cake:
- 1 1/3 cup (300 mL) vegan buttermilk, room temperature
- 3 1/2 cups (440 g) all purpose flour, sifted*
- 1 tbsp ground cinnamon
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp nutmeg
- 1/2 tsp ginger
- 1/2 tsp cardamom
- 1/4 tsp finely ground sea salt
- 1 1/4 cup (250 g) granulated sugar or coconut sugar
- 1/2 cup (113 g) vegan butter, room temperature
- 1/2 cup (125 g) unsweetened applesauce, room temperature
- 1/4 cup (63 g) unsweetened dairy free yogurt, room temperature
- 1 tbsp vanilla extract
- 2 cups chopped apples, skin peeled
Vegan Cinnamon Buttercream:
- 2 cups (452 g) vegan butter, room temperature
- 4–5 cups powdered sugar
- 1 tbsp ground cinnamon
- 2–4 tbsp dairy-free milk
- 1 batch vegan caramel sauce
Vegan Apple Cake:
- Please read through all instructions before beginning.
- Prep: Preheat the oven to 350F and grease three 8″ or 6: cake pans with olive or coconut oil. Line with parchment paper on the bottom for easy removal. Add apple cider vinegar to unsweetened dairy-free milk and set aside. Make sure that the apple peel is removed and the apples are chopped.
- Make the batter: In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, spices, baking powder, baking soda and sea salt. Set aside. In a stand mixer with paddle attachment or large bowl and hand mixer, cream together the vegan butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 3-4 minutes. Add in the applesauce, dairy free yogurt, and vanilla extract, and mix on medium speed until combined. Then add in the flour in two increments, along with the vegan butter, mixing on medium speed in between, just until the flour is almost combined.
- Fold in the apples: Remove the bowl from the stand mixer and fold in the apple pieces using a rubber spatula.
- Bake: Divid the batter evenly into the cake pans. Place cake pans into the oven and bake for 27-30 minutes, or until the toothpick comes out clean. Let the cakes cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then transfer them to a drying rack to cool completely before frosting.
- Make the vegan cinnamon buttercream frosting: When ready to frost the cakes, add vegan butter 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 thick buttercream.
- Add in cinnamon and 2-4 tablespoons of dairy-free milk and continue to beat until desired texture.
- 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.
- Place the second layer on top and repeat.
- 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!
Gluten free: Please use 450 g gluten free 1:1 baking flour (I used Bob’s Red Mill- please DO NOT use Namaste flour bland) PLUS 1 tbsp arrowroot starch or cornstarch (helps with texture)
Keywords: vegan apple cake, vegan apple spice cake, apple spice cake, caramel apple cake,