A rustic vegan apple cake with crunchy demerara topping, studded with juicy sultanas and big chunks of apple. The perfect vegan teatime treat.
Here's another vegan baking experiment which turned out really well - a rustic, vegan apple cake, with crunchy demerera topping and a super-moist apple & sultana cake underneath. This won't win many points in the cake beauty contest, but more than makes up for it with its lovely combination of textures, and great big slabs of apple and soggy sultanas tucked inside.
The consistency of the cake is moist and I keep the apple chunks really quite big, exactly how I like my apple cake. Its a world away from the light, airy sponge in the Ultimate Vegan Victoria Sponge I posted back in January, but just as good with a nice cup of tea.
📝 What you need
- Dairy-free margarine
- Dairy-free yoghurt
- Dairy-free milk
- Soft brown sugar
- Demerera sugar
- Ground cinnamon
- Rolled oats
- Self-raising flour
- Baking powder
A good sturdy cake tin is a good investment and makes the process of extracting the finished cake from the tin a lot less stressful! For this recipe you need a fairly deep tin, and either a loose-bottomed or springform cake tin will make an easy job of it. Mine is this Mary Berry 20cm loose-base tin which I love.
You can absolutely make this cake 'by hand' with just a large bowl and a good spatula, and a lot of elbow grease! But some sort of electric intervention does help to get a really excellent cake texture.
But a good food mixer, although quite a big investment, really does make a huge difference for very light and fluffy cakes, buttercreams, and also kneading bread or pizza dough, whisking plant cream or aquafaba, and anything else that needs a lot of power. I have this KMix by Kenwood* which is £289 and worth every penny – I’ve had it for over 10 years now and it is really good quality.
👩🏽🍳 Apple Cake Variations
There are a number of ways you could tweak this apple cake recipe if you want a bit of variation. How about:
- Add some nuts Roughly chopped walnuts or hazelnuts would add a lovely additional crunch to the cake - about 50g or so would be ideal.
- Use pears instead Pears would be a delicious alternative to apples, but use just-ripe ones, not super-soft or they will just collapse in cooking.
- Add ground almonds for an extra-specially moist cake - 50g added in with the flour will add a richness and moistness to the finished cake.
- Vary the dried fruit How about trying dried cranberries or chopped dates in place of the sultanas?
This moist cake freezes beautifully so is perfect for making in advance of a special occasion, or slicing before freezing to enjoy one slice at a time.
Just make sure it is well wrapped to be completely airtight, and leave plenty of time for defrosting - those huge juicy chunks of apple need to be absolutely at room temperature to be at their very best.
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Vegan Apple Cake with sultanas
- 150 g dairy-free margarine
- 225 g soft brown sugar
- 150 g unsweetened dairy-free yoghurt (I used plain soya yoghurt)
- 150 ml unsweetened dairy-free milk (I used soya milk)
- 300 g self-raising flour
- 1.5 tsp ground cinnamon
- zest of 1 lemon
- 35 g rolled oats
- 1.5 tsp baking powder
- 90 g sultanas
- 3 small-medium eating apples, peeled and diced
- 40 g demerara sugar
- Line a 20cm cake tin with greaseproof paper or baking parchment, Preheat the oven to 175°C (fan) / 350°F / Gas Mark 4.
- In a food mixer or large bowl, whisk together the margarine and soft brown sugar for 2-3 minutes, until fairly pale and fluffy.
- In a small jug or bowl, combine the vegan yoghurt and milk, cinnamon and lemon zest.
- Peel and core two of the apples, and cut them into chunks. Core the third apple (but don't peel) and cut it into thin slices.
- Tip the milk and yoghurt mix into the cake mix, then sieve the flour and baking powder into the mixture. Mix gently until just combined
- Fold through the oats, apple chunks (leave the slices for later) and sultanas.
- Tip the mixture into your baking tin and smooth out the top.
- Arrange the apple slices on top of the cake mix in whatever pattern you choose.
- Sprinkle with the demerera sugar, then bake for 60-80 minutes until a skewer comes out completely clean, (NB a slightly larger tin = shallower cake, so it will cook more quickly). If the apple slices on top seem to be browning too quickly, cover the cake with foil for the remaining cooking time.
- Leave to cool in the tin, then lift out and slice.
Recipe loosely based on Apple Cake from Pret A Manger's 'Food on the Move', tweaks and vegan-isation my own!