Important! If you want to know all the tips and tricks to make this recipe, please read the whole article with step-by-step instructions and useful information. If you want to go straight to the recipe or print it, you can do so with the buttons above. Share, tweet, and pin on social media too! Enjoy the recipe. Maiko
This is the most delicious apple crumble cake ever! It’s simple to make yet super soft, moist, and fluffy with lots of juicy chunks of apples topped with lovely crumbles and more apple chunks. It’s one of the best autumn and winter desserts and perfect for any festive occasions like Thanksgiving and Christmas as well as for enjoying over a weekend tea time.
*This post may contain affiliate links. For full disclosure visit our Affiliate Disclosure page.
Ever since it got cold outside, I’ve been baking all the cozy and comforting baked goods. And there’s a recipe that I’ve been developing for what seemed like forever – vegan apple crumble cake! Oh my, I cannot count how many apples I purchased in the past weeks to perfect this recipe. I tested it like 5+ times.. You can see my dedication here. I’m super excited to introduce this recipe to you after so many recipe tests. This is one of the best apple cakes I’ve ever baked!
Do you have lots of apples in the cupboard and not know what to do with them? Do you love a slice of cozy cake with lots of apples? You must try this recipe, it’s the best. The texture of the cake is on point – so soft, moist, and fluffy, just right for a hearty autumn/winter dessert. I added as much apple chunks as possible to make it full of juicy apple flavour in every bite which complements the texture of the cake and the crumble topping. How delicious!
This recipe is a thick single-layer cake, which means it’s super easy and simple to make! It’s so delicious with a drizzle of icing or fluffy vegan whipped cream on top(highly recommended, so good), or even with a scoop of ice cream. The combination is limitless!
Main ingredients and substitutions
Obviously, a juicy apple! I used a whole medium-sized fuji apple which was about 150g(edible part only). Mine was sweet and slightly tart at the same time, but the tartness was actually pretty good with the sweetness of the cake. You can use any other type of apple of your choice in this recipe too.
The base of this homemade apple cake is plain flour. Plain flour is the one I use most of the time as I like the soft and fluffy texture it creates. You can try making it with 1:1 gluten-free flour if you are looking to make it gluten-free.
Ground almonds are one of my absolute favourite things to add to my recipes! It adds a lovely fragrance to anything from cakes to muffins. It’s NOT almond flour – almond flour is so much finer than ground almond and has a different consistency. I make my ground almonds by grounding them in a food processor. It’s not quite as powdery as flour but the texture should be coarse powder.
I used half granulated sugar and half brown sugar in this recipe. Adding half brown sugar helps the cake become soft and moist. Do you want to know if your sugar is vegan? Read the Note section below to find out!
If you don’t have either sugar, you can replace it with whatever sugar you have in the cupboard. The more brown the sugar is, the more moist the cake will be. White sugar on the other hand creates a more crusty texture.
I used melted vegan butter in this recipe. You can just mix it with the dry ingredients so there is no need for creaming or whipping the butter. How nice and easy! If you don’t have vegan butter, you can also use vegetable oil in place of it too. If using vegetable oil, the final product will most likely be slightly oilier as vegan butter has water content but oil has no water in it.
You can absolutely use any plant-based milk of your choice other than soy milk too! You can use almond milk, oat milk, rice milk, etc.
Other ingredients: Apple cider vinegar, cinnamon, and vanilla.
Recommended equipment for this recipe
Round cake tin
I used an 18cm(about 7inch) round cake tin for this recipe. It’s the optimal size for this recipe as the cake will rise to the top. You can use similar-sized tins too, but make sure that it’s no smaller than 18cm.
Large wooden spoon or rubber spatula
Whenever I mix cake batter or any other batter that has gluten, I use either a large wooden spoon or a rubber spatula rather than a whisk. You can overmix the batter easily with a whisk and over mixing the batter will result in a tough, rubbery cake, which you don’t want to get. I find using a large wooden spoon or a rubber spatula the best to mix cake batters as you can mix it more gently.
Parchment paper is useful even if you are using a non-stick cake tin. Mine is non-stick but lining the tin with parchment paper makes extra sure that the cake won’t get stuck to the bottom and the side of the tin. Simply cut a strip shape that’s the size of the side of the tin and a round shape that fits the bottom, then spread a thin layer of vegan butter or oil on the inside of the tin and line the parchment paper.
If you don’t have parchment paper on hand, greasing the inside will prevent the cake from sticking too.
How to make vegan apple crumble cake
Step 1: Make the crumble
Let’s start with making the crumble topping! In a medium-sized bowl, mix all the ingredients for the crumble and mix with a spoon, fork, or with your fingers. I usually use a spoon or fork as I have bad eczema on my hands especially in winter but if you are comfortable mixing with your fingers go for it.
The dough should make chunky crumbles once they are all incorporated. Cover the mixture with a clean kitchen cloth or reusable cling film and set aside in the fridge to set.
Step 2: Make vegan buttermilk and cut an apple
Make vegan buttermilk by combining soy milk and apple cider vinegar. Mix well and set aside to curdle.
Cut a medium-sized apple of your choice into small cubes, about 1-2cm. You need about 150g of apple cubes in the cake and a medium apple should make about that. After you finish cutting the apple, preheat the oven for 180℃.
Step 3: Mix dry ingredients
In a large mixing bowl, mix the flour, tapioca flour, ground almond, granulated sugar, brown sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and cinnamon powder with a whisk until very well combined. It’s important to mix the dry ingredients very well so that the cake has an even flavour in each slice.
Step 3: Add the wet ingredients and apple, and mix gently
Add the melted vegan butter, vegan buttermilk you made earlier, and vanilla to the dry mixture and mix gently with a large wooden spoon or a rubber spatula. No overmixing! At this point, it’s ok to have little lumps of flour in the batter as we are mixing in the apples now.
Add 2/3 to 3/4 of the apple cubes you cut earlier and fold in gently with the same wooden spoon or spatula until they are covered in the batter. Again, try not to overmix the batter here.
Step 4: Pour the batter into a cake tin and top with the crumble
Pour the cake batter into a lined cake tin and smooth the top evenly. Top it with the crumble mixture. You don’t need to smooth the crumble or make it completely even, have fun and randomly dollop to create a unique crumbly look! Add the remaining apple cubes on top of the crumbles.
Step 5: Bake
Bake the cake for 60 mins in the preheated oven. This cake is a very thick one-layer cake, so you might need to bake 5-10 mins more. The apple cake will rise pretty much to the top with the crumbles turning golden amber colour.
To check if the cake is done, insert a toothpick in the middle of the cake. If it comes out clean, it’s done! If it comes out with wet batter, bake for another 5-10 mins and check again.
If the top starts to look burnt after 30-40mins, place a sheet of foil over the cake and continue baking. This will prevent the top of the cake from burning. Do this only after 30-40mins of baking, if you do it too early the cake might not bake well.
Take the cake out of the oven and cool it down to room temperature, carefully take it out of the tin, then cool completely on a cooling rack. Slice it and serve with icing, whipped cream, or ice cream. Enjoy!
Tips and tricks
Use a spoon or fork to mix the crumble mixture
This tip is for people like me who have dry skin or eczema on their hands! I have eczema on my hands which makes it very difficult to mix ingredients with my hands or fingers. For this reason, I used melted vegan butter so it’s easy to mix with a metal spoon or a fork(or ask your boyfriend to mix it for you!).
How to store this apple cake
This apple cake will store well at room temperature or in the fridge for 2-3 days in an airtight container. I prefer to keep baked goods in the fridge rather than at room temperature for the best freshness.
It freezes well too for longer storage so you can have a slice whenever you fancy a yummy slice of apple cake! To freeze, slice the cake first then put them in a freezer-friendly airtight container and store in the freezer for up to 2-3 months.
Q and A
What is the best apple for apple cake?
Honestly, I think it greatly depends on your preference – I actually quite like an apple with a good balance of sweetness and tartness, it creates a lovely harmonious flavour in the mouth! Fuji apple has this kind of balance and I recommend you use it if you don’t know which apple to use. Jonagold is another great apple that has a good balance of sweetness and tartness.
If you want to create a beautiful contrast of the sweetness of the cake with the tartness of the apple, granny smith would be a great apple to use! For sweet on sweet apple cake, I love using gala apples. They are sweet and crisp, good for both baking and snacking.
Can I use any apples for this recipe?
Yes! As long as you have the amount needed in this recipe, you can use any type of apple you like. I used a fuji apple, it’s the most common apple in my neighbourhood. They are usually on the sweet side but the one I used had a combination of sweetness and tartness, which worked out to be surprisingly delicious!
My apple cubes sank to the bottom of the cake?
Because of the weight of the apple cubes, they can sink to the bottom while being baked in the oven. I personally don’t have that experience often and don’t mind a little bit of apples sinking in the cake, but if you want you can coat the apple cubes lightly in flour prior to mixing into the batter. This should prevent them from sinking!
Can I make this recipe gluten-free?
I have not made this recipe gluten-free yet but you can try using a 1:1 gluten-free flour instead of plain flour to make it gluten-free. Everything else is gluten-free!
Can I make it nut-free?
I have not tried making this recipe nut-free unfortunately. I love the flavour the ground almond adds to this cake but if you are allergic to nuts and avoid almonds, you can possibly omit the ground almond and use slightly less amount of soy milk to adjust the consistency of the cake. Having said that, I cannot guarantee the taste of the cake without the ground almonds but it should taste good.
What can I serve this apple cake with?
You can serve a slice of this apple cake with so many things! I love it with a generous amount of vegan whipped cream(highly recommended as I said earlier!), a drizzle of icing, a scoop of vegan ice cream, or my vegan caramel sauce would be perfect.
Is sugar veagn?
When you are baking with sugars, such as caster sugar, granulated sugar, icing sugar, brown sugar, etc., choose ones that don’t use bone charr as a filter in the manufacturing process. What is bone charr? Bone charr is charcoal made with animal bones that are used in sugar making process to make sugars whiter. Not cool! So is brown sugar vegan? The answer is most brown sugars are just regular white sugar that has molasses added to it, so it depends on the brand.
I purchase sugars that are free from bone charr online. They are about the same price as those largely marketed sugars that use bone charr! The best way to check if your sugar is bone charr-free is by contacting the manufactures by phone call or email and asking them if their sugar uses bone charr in the making process. They should give you more details about how their sugar is made!
If you are in the US, all organic sugars are vegan! If you are in the UK, most of Tate and Lyle and Silver Spoon‘s sugars are vegan except the ones that use egg white. You can find more about it in their FAQ section on their website. Here is a useful article from PETA about sugar and brands that don’t use bone charr.
I strongly recommend you weigh your ingredients rather than measure with measuring cups. Measuring cups are easy to use but it’s very inaccurate when it comes to baking! You can easily over or under-measure ingredients and it will affect the final product you are making massively.
A digital scale is very affordable too so get yours if you don’t have one and become an even better baker today!
You will LOVE this homemade apple crumble cake because they are:
– soft and moist
– with deliciously crumbly crumble
– easy and simple to make
– super delicious
– cozy and comforting
Want more recipes like this?
Try my other delicious cake recipes you might enjoy!
- Apple Crumble Bars – healthy
- Apple Cinnamon Muffins
- Lemon Blueberry Loaf Cake
- Baked Cheesecake – gluten-free
- Vanilla Pound Cake With Vanilla Cream
Please leave a comment and rate this vegan apple crumble cake in the comment section below if you like this recipe! Let me know and tag me @thechestnutbakery on Instagram too, I would love to see your creation! Thank you for making my recipe, friends!Print
Useful kitchen tools for this recipe
I used an 18cm(about 7inch) cake tin for this delicious apple crumble cake recipe! I also have different sizes of cake tins like this set!
I have a set of different wooden spoons like these! They come in very handy when baking and cooking.
Share this recipe with your friends and family!
Share, tweet, and pin this recipe on social media so that everyone can enjoy it!