Just like bra fittings, this is a process you should plan to repeat every six months.
Move over (for now), pumpkin spice treats, because it’s time for apple spice baked goods to have their time in the spotlight. As fans of cinnamon-sugar baked apple donuts and peanut butter and caramel baked apples, we now have a similar recipe to try: vegan apple spice cake with caramel cream cheese frosting. Yup, baking just got that delicious.
Before sprinting to the kitchen, we want to give a shout-out and huge thank you to Britt Berlin, the vegan baker and cookbook author behind this recipe and @the_bananadiaries on Instagram. Her Insta page is filled with all kinds of cozy breakfast and dessert recipes we want to make pronto, but for starters: meet the most delicious vegan apple spice cake of the season.
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Why this vegan apple spice cake recipe is worth making immediately
If the above picture of the cake wasn’t enough, we’ve got plenty of other reasons. For starters, on the recipe page, Berlin describes this cake as not only “fluffy,” “moist,” and “soft,” but also “the definition of easy.” Aka, it checks all the boxes! She points out how you don’t have to peel the apples like you would with an apple crisp; rather, you can just throw them in a food processor or high-speed blender so the cake is filled with small pieces of apple crunch. Also, you only need one bowl to make this spice cake, which makes cleanup so much easier.
But back to the cake itself. While apples and spices are often associated with colder months, this treat can be enjoyed any time of the year (obv). Whether you just love these flavors or want the hygge vibes of the fall and winter season all year-round, this cake has you covered. And while we’re certainly not going to argue that’s it’s great in the nutrient department, we love giving our vegan friends an excuse to eat cake (with faux-cream cheese frosting) for breakfast, too.
Further, this treat pairs well with a cup of coffee or another warm drink, whether that’s sparkling coffee, a favorite at Starbucks, or a ginger-infused beverage. You can even add spices to your regular coffee for extra goodness!
Vegan apple spice cake recipe
- 1 cup vegan buttermilk
- 3 2/3 cups (or 450 grams) all-purpose flour (or 512 grams 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 salted vegan butter, melted and cooled to room temperature
- 1/2 cup avocado oil or cooking oil
- 1/2 cup dairy-free yogurt, room temperature
- 2 honeycrisp apples, cored and blended
- 1 1/2 tbsp vanilla extract
- 1 batch vegan cream cheese frosting
- 1 batch vegan salted caramel
- Read all the instructions (and the tips below) before getting started.
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Grease a 9×13” sheet cake pan with oil, then line the bottom with parchment paper for easy removal.
- Add apple cider vinegar to unsweetened, dairy-free milk to make the vegan buttermilk. Set it aside.
- Wash and dry the apples, then slice them into large chunks.
- Place the apples in a food processor or high-speed blender, and blend until they are completely grated. Set aside.
- To make the batter, grab a large bowl and whisk together the sugar, light brown sugar, vegan butter, oil, dairy-free yogurt, and vanilla extract.
- In that same bowl, add in the chopped apples, baking powder, baking soda, apple pie spices, and sea salt. Whisk them together.
- Then, add the flour and vegan buttermilk to the mixture and whisk just until the dry ingredients are incorporated with the wet ingredients.
- Pour the batter into the cake pan and place it in the oven. Let the batter bake for 50 to 55 minutes. You can test whether it’s done by putting a toothpick in the cake (if it comes out clean, you’re good to go).
- Let the cake cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then move it to a drying rack to cool before frosting it.
- While the cake is baking, you can make the salted caramel. She shares how to make it from scratch. Remember to let it cool at room temperature before putting it on the frosting.
- When you’re ready to frost the cake, add the vegan butter and vegan cream cheese to a stand mixer or large bowl, then stir it up with a hand mixer. Add in 1 cup of powdered sugar at a time, beating the mixture until the frosting is fluffy.
- Scoop the frosting onto the cake and spread it to the edges. Drizzle the salted caramel on top.
- Slice and serve! Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container for up to four days in the fridge.
Extra baking tips and notes
- For gluten-free flour, use the gram measurements instead of the cup measurements.
- Oat flour will also work!
- *For the “apple pie spices,” Berlin uses cinnamon, ginger, cardamom, and nutmeg, but says cinnamon alone will also work. If you want to do the blend but don’t have it pre-made, she recommends mixing 2 tsp cinnamon, 1/4 tsp nutmeg, 1/4 tsp ground ginger, 1/4 tsp cardamom, and 1/4 tsp allspice.
- If you want to make this as a layered cake, reduce the recipe to 2/3 of what it is.
- You can make this cake over multiple sittings if you have the time and feel less stressed that way!