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Vegan Caramel Apple Cake

Kick off apple season with this delicious Vegan Caramel Apple Cake! A spiced cake made with diced apples, paired with a spiced frosting, and a caramel core. Vegan, No-Egg, No-Dairy and truly DELICIOUS! It’s simply the BEST cake for ‘Fall’.

This incredible recipe has been made in collaboration with Doves Farm. All opinions expressed in this post are my own. (For more information along with affiliated links, check out my disclosure policy.)

Vegan apple cake with buttercream apples on a wooden cake stand

The BEST Vegan Caramel Apple Cake

When I say this is one of the BEST cakes I’ve ever had, I truly mean it! This apple cake has the tastiest sponge and moistest texture that is perfectly balanced with the chewy caramel core. Oh, and did I mention it has piped apples as decoration. I’m actually obsessed with this cake and trust me.. you definitely need to make this ASAP.

If you love caramel apple as much as me, then you’ll love my Vegan Caramel Apple Crumble Bars and Vegan Caramel Apple Muffins!

Slices of caramel apple cake on plates

This vegan caramel apple cake is:

  • Flavourful in each bite.
  • Lightly spiced to perfection.
  • Vegan friendly – no animal derived ingredients needed.
  • Simple decoration is super easy, great for kids to get involved in making.
  • FILLED with fresh apples, which burst with flavour.
  • Filled with a hidden puddle of the best gooey caramel. DROOL!
  • Surprisingly easy – no crazy ingredients or techniques required!
  • Perfectly sized for a family gathering or small special occasion.
  • Made using organic ingredients.
  • Frosting is lightly spiced and super creamy.
Slice of apple cake with caramel sauce
Whole apple cake on a cake stand

Ingredients you’ll need:

This recipe makes three 8” sponges, with a homemade caramel core and whipped buttercream. Most ingredients you may possibly already have to hand in your kitchen / pantry. If not, I have listed the ingredients below so make sure to pick them up on your next shopping trip!

  • Dairy-free milk – soya milk works best for buttermilk, but you can use almond, cashew or oat for example.
  • Apple cider vinegar – Mixed with the milk to make a vegan buttermilk / egg replacement.
  • Doves Farm Organic Self Raising Flour
  • Caster sugar – Use a fine, white caster sugar for this recipe.
  • Ground sweet cinnamon – you can use regular ground cinnamon.
  • Ground nutmeg
  • Doves Farm Organic Baking powder
  • Doves Farm Organic Bicarbonate of soda
  • Sunflower oil – This is the best, neutral flavoured oil for baking!
  • Organic apples – Granny Smith or Honey Crisp apples are the best for baking.
  • Dairy-free block butter – Be sure to use a vegan block butter such as Naturli Vegan Block or Flora Plant Butter. This will help stabilise the frosting.
  • Dairy-free cream cheese – Use your favourite vegan friendly cream cheese. My personal favourite is supermarket own branded or Violife.
  • Icing sugar – Sift before using to remove any clumps.
  • Food gels – My favourite, high pigment vegan friendly food gels are Rainbow Dust Pro Jels.
Close up of caramel apple cake

Why bake organic?

I am so excited to have partnered with ‘Doves Farm’ to bring you this scrumptious bake. Doves Farm is my go-to for gluten-free and organic baking ingredients such as flour, raising agents and grains.

To celebrate Organic September, I have used the Doves Farm White Self Raising Flour, Baking Powder and Bicarbonate of Soda from their Organic range! Organic September helps to bring awareness about organic farming and production. This flour is made using finely milled organic flour with added raising agents. I also used their organic baking powder and baking soda which paired with the flour helps the cake rise and makes for a ultra light and tender sponge.

To keep on the organic route, I made sure to use organic apples. The apples I chose are Organic Granny Smiths. They’re the best apples for adding into baking as they maintain their crisp flavour and texture, without turning to mush! You can go all out and use organic apple cider vinegar and any other organic ingredients you can find.

Be sure to check out the Doves Farm Organic range, and try them out for yourselves!

Doves farm organic flour with slices of cake

How to make a Vegan Caramel Apple Cake

Ok, let’s talk about this Caramel Apple Cake because it is the perfect cake for ‘Fall’ – Autumn, as it’s apple season!
My favourite apples to use in delicious bakes like this one are Granny Smiths or Honeycrisps. They are crisp, juicy, and the perfect mix of sweet/tart.
I chose to chop the apples into small chunks so each slice of cake is jam packed with delicious speckles of fresh apples.

  1. Cake

    Mix together the milk and vinegar. Set aside for 5 minutes, this creates a vegan buttermilk. In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, sugar, spices, baking powder and bicarbonate of soda. Add the oil into the buttermilk. add the wet into the dry and mix to combine. Fold in the apples.

  2. Baking

    Divide the batter into the lined baking tins and bake the cakes until golden brown, risen and a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean and the cakes are springy to the touch. Allow them to cool fully before filling and frosting.

  3. Frosting

    In a bowl, whisk together the butter and cream cheese until pale and creamy. Add in the icing sugar and spices. Whip until light and fluffy.

  4. Frosting and caramel core

    Once the cakes are cold, stack and fill the cakes with frosting and fill the middle with some homemade vegan caramel sauce. Repeat until the cake is stacked, then, crumb coat and chill until firm. Once chilled, give the cake a final coat of frosting. Pipe a swirl of frosting around the top edge border of the cake.

  5. Decoration

    Colour left over frosting with food gels (apple, green and brown) for the apples. Transfer into piping bags and pipe onto the sides and top of the cake.
    Slice and enjoy!

Pinterest pin of caramel apple cake

If you make, and love this recipe, please leave a ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ rating below. Thank you & happy baking! Make sure to tag me in your photos on Instagram and Facebook! And if you want to pin this recipe for later, you can use the button on the recipe card, above or below this post, or on any of the photos. Happy baking all!

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Caramel apple cake with buttercream apples

Vegan Caramel Apple Cake


Description

The BEST Vegan Caramel Apple Cake – Three apple sponges, spiced buttercream with a hidden caramel core. Easy to make and perfect for Fall/Autumn.


Ingredients

Units Scale

Ingredients for the cakes

  • 480ml of dairy-free milk (soya milk works best)
  • 2 teaspoon of apple cider vinegar
  • 420g of Doves Farm Organic Self Raising Flour
  • 300g of caster sugar
  • 2 teaspoons of ground sweet cinnamon (you can use regular ground cinnamon)
  • 1 teaspoon of ground nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon of baking powder
  • 1 teaspoons of bicarbonate of soda
  • 120ml of sunflower oil
  • 150g of chopped organic apples (cut into small cubes)

Ingredients for the caramel

Ingredients for the frosting

  • 450g of dairy-free block butter
  • 80g of dairy-free cream cheese
  • 500g of icing sugar
  • 2 teaspoons of ground sweet cinnamon
  • Dairy-free milk (see step 2 for details)
  • Red food gel
  • Green food gel
  • Brown food gel / cocoa powder

Instructions

Method (cakes)

  1. Preheat your oven to 180°C fan and line three, 8 inch loose base / push up cake tins with greaseproof paper. If you don’t have 3 cake tins you will have to bake the cakes separately. Just cover the unused batter with a damp tea towel until you’re ready to use it.
  2. In a bowl, combine the dairy-free milk with the apple cider vinegar and whisk until fully combined. Set aside for 10 minutes to curdle. This creates a vegan ‘buttermilk’.
  3. In a large mixing bowl, sift the flour, sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, baking powder and bicarbonate of soda.
  4. Mix well to combine.
  5. Add the oil into the ‘buttermilk’ and whisk to combine.
  6. Add the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and mix.
  7. Chop the apple into small squares and fold into the batter, don’t overmix!
  8. Pour equal amounts of batter into the lined cake tins. Make sure to tap the tins on the worktop to remove any air bubbles.
  9. Pop the cakes into the centre of the preheated oven and bake for around 25-30 minutes. You will know they are done when you put a knife or skewer in to the centre of the cake and it comes out clean and they are springy to the touch.
  10. Place the cakes on a cooling rack and allow to cool slightly before removing them from the tins. Leave the cakes to cool fully on the cooling rack.  Once cool, pop them into a sealed container to keep them fresh before frosting.

Method (frosting)

  1. In a large mixing bowl, add in the dairy-free butter and cream cheese, whip until creamy. I use a stand mixer with a balloon whisk attachment, a hand mixer will work great too.
  2. Sift in the icing sugar and cinnamon. Whip on high speed for around 5 minutes to incorporate it. Add a splash of dairy-free milk if needed. If the frosting is too thick, add some more chunks of butter. If it’s too soft, add more icing sugar. You want it smooth, creamy and airy.
  3. Place one of the cakes on a serving plate or cake stand. Dollop or pipe some of the frosting on top and spread out until even using an off-set spatula or pallet knife.
  4. Optional filling: Make a well in the middle of the buttercream and fill with 1-2 tablespoons of homemade vegan caramel sauce.
  5. Place the second cake layer on top. Press it down gently so it sticks, repeat for the third cake. Coat the whole cake with a thin layer of frosting. This creates a crumb coat.
  6. Place the cake into the fridge to set for 15-20 minutes. You want the frosting to be firm, this will make frosting the final coat and applying the decorations easier.
  7. Remove the cake from the fridge and apply a second/final coat, this time making it thicker, then using a cake scraper to make the edges of cake smooth.
  8. Add some of the white frosting into a piping bag fitted with a star tip nozzle ( I use a Wilton 2D Tip) and pipe a swirl around the top edge of the cake.
  9. Separate the leftover frosting into three separate bowls. Colour the majority red (for the apples), green for the leafs and a small amount brown for the apple stalks. Transfer the red into a piping bag fitted with a medium round tip nozzle. Transfer the green and brown into separate piping bags and snip off the tips.
  10. Use the red frosting to pipe little apple shapes around the cake in a scattered pattern. Then use the brown frosting to create a stalk at the top of the apple, along with a brown stalk. If you have left over frosting, you can pipe some mini apples to the top edge of the cake.
  11. Slice and enjoy!

Notes

To store: Store this cake in a sealed container in the fridge. Best eaten within 3 days of making.

Remove from the fridge and leave at room temperature for 15 minutes before serving.

Un-iced cakes can be stored in a sealed container at room temperature for 2 days.

What vegan butter to use? My favourite vegan / dairy-free butters are the Naturli Vegan Block and Flora Plant Based Butter Alternative.

  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 25-30 minutes
  • Category: Cakes and layer cakes
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: American

Keywords: Vegan Caramel Apple Cake, Apple Cake, Caramel Cake, Caramel apple, Vegan cake

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1 Comment

  1. Julia
    November 4, 2023 / 11:05 pm

    So delicious!! All your cakes look incredible and I’ve been meaning to try one of them for ages after following you on Insta for quite some time. I knew it was going to be special, didn’t realise just how amazing! Made it tonight for my in laws who aren’t vegan and they devoured it. Thanks for all you do!

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