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Caramel apple cake with buttercream apples

Vegan Caramel Apple Cake

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5 from 1 review


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


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


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!


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