Apple Cake

by Liz Madsen

Vegan Apple Cake is perfect for Rosh Hashanah as it is sweet, features tons of apples, and just tastes like autumn. This recipe is just as easy to make as a boxed cake mix but your family and guests will love it. Caramelize some apples with some cinnamon for a beautiful topping.



500 grams (about 3 cups) unbleached all purpose flour (see note 1)
1 cup coconut sugar (can reduce, see note 2)
1 + ½ tablespoons baking powder
1 + ½ teaspoons cinnamon
¾ teaspoon salt



1 cup unsweetened applesauce
¾ cup orange juice (fresh squeezed preferred)
Juice of 1 medium lemon, optional but awesome
4 flax eggs (¼ cup ground flaxseed + ¾ cup water)
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
4 cups sliced or grated apples (2-3 large apples) (see note 3)

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit (177 degrees Celsius). Make the flax eggs now by mixing the ground flaxseed with the water in a small bowl or cup and throw them in the refrigerator to gel quickly.
  2. Mix your dry ingredients in a large bowl and set them aside.
  3. Either shred or slice your apples now and add them to a medium bowl. To the apples, add the wet ingredients and stir. Don’t forget the flax eggs in the fridge.
  4. Now create a well in the center of your dry ingredients and add in the apple mixture. Stir well until you have thick, apple-y batter.
  5. Prepare your pan – I used a bundt pan but a 9×13, deep square dish, or 2 8-inch round pans will all work–with either coconut cream or cooking spray. I prefer to avoid oil, so I just used my fingers to grease the inside of my pan with coconut cream. Note: if using a bundt pan, make sure to grease the center wall and the bottom as well as the outer inside wall.
  6. Scoop your batter into the pan using a spatula or spoon. Try to keep things even. If using a bundt pan, as you scoop each layer in, smoosh it down into the grooves with your spatula or the back of your spoon. Since this isn’t a runny batter, we want to make sure it conforms to the shape of our pan.
  7. Bake for 45 minutes to an hour for a bundt pan. If using a wider, lower pan like a 9×13, I’d check it after 30 minutes by inserting a toothpick in the center. When it comes out clean or with only a few moist crumbs, it’s done.
  8. Let the cake cool for only 20 minutes before removing it from the pan. I use a butter knife to separate the cake from the walls of the pan if anything stuck a little. I like to use the flip technique. Put a large plate upside down over the pan. Firmly grasp the top and bottom and flip it in one smooth motion. If you used a square or rectangular dish, you can use a wire baking rack for this part.
  9. To make the caramelized apple topping: peel 1-2 apples and slice them very thinly. Toss them in a medium skillet preheated over medium heat. Add the juice of a lemon, a sprinkle of cinnamon, and a few tablespoons of coconut sugar (or whatever sugar you used for the cake). Mix them well and let them cook for 2 minutes. If they look a little dry, add a tablespoon or two of water. Cook them for about 5-8 minutes total, depending on how soft and caramelized you want them. When cooled, arrange on top of the cake.
  10. Refrigerate leftovers in an airtight container for up to 6 days, or freeze in a freezer safe container for up to 3 months. If freezing, I recommend wrapping tightly in plastic wrap and freezer paper.

  1. If you’d like to use whole wheat or spelt flour, those should work. If the batter gets too thick to stir, try adding a little bit more orange juice or applesauce. For gluten-free, a one to one replacement like King Arthur Measure for Measure Gluten-Free Flour or Bob’s Red Mill 1 to 1 Gluten Free Flour should work fine. Oat flour will also work as I’ve used it in similar recipes like carrot cake and banana bread with great results. If using a flour alternative like oat flour, I recommend increasing the baking powder, as sometimes denser batters have a hard time rising.
  2. This recipe works fine with less sugar, I’ve tested it. You can just use regular cane sugar if you like, but as it’s sweeter than coconut sugar, I’d use 25-50% less. Brown sugar should also work but it’s a bit wetter so you may need to add a pinch more flour to get the super thick batter.
  3. Use whatever type of apples you like, but I’d use a flavor that you like, as it will determine the final taste of the cake. I used Pinata apples because they’re big and sweet like honeycrisp but without the big price tag. Peel or don’t as is your preference. You can either shred your apples or cut them into small pieces. I left mine in thin and small but not grated pieces. Shredded/grated apples tend to disappear in the cooked cake.
  4. Find more of Liz’s recipes at Zardyplants. This particular recipe is reprinted with permission from their e-book, Plant Based Jewish Recipes by Liz and Paul Madsen. Follow them on Facebook and Instagram.

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