Vegan Spice Cake. 1 Bowl Super Moist Spiced Applesauce Cake with tons of winter spice flavor and Vegan Cream Cheese Frosting. Vegan Nutfree Recipe. Glutenfree option. Jump to Recipe
Holiday Baking Alert! This Moist Spice cake is all things delicious. Everyday Ingredients like Applesauce, cinnamon, ginger spices, flour, optional grated apple, some dried fruit such as dates and done.
This spice Cake needs 1 Bowl and needs minutes to put together. The cake is super delicious on its own. Top it with nuts or a streusel. The Spices develop even more flavor a day later. Use whichever spices you have. Add a vegan cream cheese frosting if you like. Make it into muffins or a loaf!
More Fall Winter Cakes
- Pumpkin Cake with Chocolate Pumpkin Frosting.
- Cinnamon Swirl Cake
- Eggnog Pound Cake
- Easy Coffee Cake – Cinnamon Streusel Cake
- Peanut Butter Chocolate Marble Cake
- Lemon blueberry pound cake
- GF Cashew Butter Chocolate Marble Cake.
- Gluten-free Cinnamon Roll Bread yeast-free.
- GF Carrot Banana Bread – Also grain-free.
- Sweet Potato Crumb Cake. GF
How to make Vegan spice cake with step pictures
Tips to bake a Moist Vegan Cake
- Volume wet ingredients such as applesauce, pumpkin puree etc make amazing moist cakes. They also can tend to add more invisible moisture to the batter which can lead to gummy cakes. The batter will feel somewhat stiff because of these purees, but it still might need more dry to have the right amount to absorb the moisture and bake a fluffy cake. When in doubt add a bit more flour. See video for reference on how thick the batter should be.
- This ratio is more of a problem when baking a loaf than if you bake the batter into muffins or a less height cake pan. If baking a loaf, you want the batter much more stiff. Add more flour until there is good resistance.
- If your cakes are drying out too much, they might need less baking time or need to cool under a thick kitchen towel. Thick frosting layer will help return moisture to the bake as it chills.
Mix the dry ingredients in a bowl, Then add the wet ingredients and mix well. Use room temperature applesauce. You want slightly thick batter close to a muffin like batter than a float vanilla cake. Bake then cool for 20 minutes or so then add a frosting
Vegan Spice Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting
- 1 tablespoon flax seed meal
- 1/4 cup (62.5 ml) of water
- 1.5 - 1.75 cups (187.5 g) of flour , (I use 3/4 cup spelt/whole wheat and 3/4 cup or more all purpose), see Notes for glutenfree
- 1/3 cup (73.33 g) brown sugar , or coconut sugar. (2 tbsp more for sweeter)
- 1/2 tsp (0.5 tsp) salt
- 1.5 tsp baking powder
- 1/4 tsp (0.25 tsp) baking soda
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1 tsp ground ginger
- 1/4 tsp (0.25 tsp) ground cardamom
- 1/4 tsp (0.25 tsp) ground cloves
- 1/4 tsp (0.25 tsp) nutmeg
- 1/3 cup (49 g) chopped dates or other dried fruit or cranberries
- 3/4 cup (183 g) room temperature applesauce ( I use lightly sweetened)
- 1/4 cup (56 ml) oil
- 1 tsp vanilla , optional
- 1/3 cup (42.67 g) grated apple or carrot or zucchini , optional - Grate, lightly squeeze in a paper towel to remove exess moisture before using
- Grease or line a cake pan or brownie pan(8 by 8 inch). Preheat the oven to 360 F (185 C)
- Mix the flax seed meal with water and set aside. In a large bowl combine 1.5 cups of flour, sugar, salt, baking powder, baking soda, sugar, cinnamon, ginger, cardamom, cloves and nutmeg. Whisk well. Fold in the dates.
- Add the applesauce, flax seed mix, oil and vanilla if using. Mix to just about combine into a slightly stiff mixture. (Mix in grated apple if using). If batter is not stiff add flour 1 to 2 tbsp at a time and mix it. Transfer the batter in a prepared cake pan and spread it using a spatula.
- Bake for 30-35 minutes or until a toothpick from the enter comes out clean.( 20-22 mins for muffins, 45 to 50 mins for a loaf).
- Cool the cake for 5 mins and then remove from the pan. Mix a tablespoon of maple syrup with 1 tsp of water and brush it all over the cake. Frost with frosting of choice once the cake is cooled.
- Optional Vegan Cream Cheese Frosting: Mix 6 oz vegan cream cheese(store bought or homemade, see homemade option in notes), a good pinch of salt and 1/4 cup maple syrup until smooth. Taste and adjust flavor, sweet with a tbsp of sugar if needed.
- To Store: Just the cake can be stored in a covered container on the counter for upto 2 days. With the frosting, it needs to be refrigerated if not getting consumed in a couple of hours. Refrigerate them separately for upto 4 days.
Delicious and easy cake to make! I added an extra 1/4 tsp of cinnamon, ground ginger, mixed spiced each and would probably add 1.5 tsp cinnamon in total next time as I like the spices to be stronger. I didn’t have applesauce so I used the same amount of soy yoghurt and the additional 2 tbsp sugar as instructed. Lovely fluffy texture and would make again!
Vegan Richa Support
I’m so glad to hear you like the recipe!
Thank you for the ratios for a gluten free blend. We love using your recipes. They never fail!!
Vegan Richa Support
How many cupcakes or muffins will this recipe yield? Also what can be substituted for the dates or dried fruits?
Vegan Richa Support
24 cupcakes! and you can just omit the dried fruit or a butterscotch chip would be nice with the spice
Great flavor, easy to make.
I used a Vitamin for the cream cheese and the quantity of the ingredients were too small to blend effectively with my blender. Would you let me know if I’m not doing something correctly or re-test the cream cheese portion of the recipe, please?
Vegan Richa Support
thanks Sheila. you mean vitamix, right? and do you mean the Homemade Vegan Cashew Cream Cheese, not the frosting right? sometimes i use a thin, long spatula to remove things in small portions or you could try a mini food processor.
Yes, autocorrect 🙂 Vitamix. And yes the homemade cashew cream cheese. Thx
So Delicious! I made it with the cashews for the icing…perfect amount of sweetness.
Vegan Richa Support
So glad you enjoyed this!
I made this recipe for my wedding anniversary early this month and we both loved it! I made it GF with a combination of flours that were available to me at home (1/2 cup King Arthur AP GF, 1/2 cup almond, 1/2 cup oat – like I said, a hodgepodge of what I had) and it turned out perfect! I will be making this again very soon!
Vegan Richa Support
excellent!! great to hear, thank you
I stumbled on your recipe with a Google search and made the oil-free suggestion and also the (homemade) cream cheese icing. I followed the directions exactly (with the optional shredded apple) …and Wow! I don’t even like spice cake, but my husband does and I made it for his birthday! It was delicious and I served it with a scoop of vegan Amaretto Gelatto. (If I could attach a photo, I would…) I am going to subscribe to your website…thank you for a great oil-free vegan recipe!
Delicious! Omitted the sugar all together and it is still plenty sweet for us. Using for my daughters first birthday cake. Thank you for the recipe!
Looks yummy n I really want to give it a try this weekend but am just a novice in baking
How many apples would I need in the applesauce? I.e how many to get a 3/4 cup?
Also any other alternatives to flax seed meal? I don’t seem to have them at home 🙁
applesauce is made with cooked apples. just use any online recipe tomake the applesauce then measure it out.
A really wonderful recipe ….
came out so well … everyone loved it . It is just awesome !!
I used almond flour along with , and next I will try the oil free option .
Thank you so much for posting
Love this cake. I omitted the frosting, and made it with 1/2 cup all purpose flour, 1/2 oat flour, and 3/4 cup of almond flour and it was amazing. It was also oil free and used maple syrup. The substitutions at the bottom of the recipe were on point. It was so good. Just what I was wanting, and the crowd loved it too. Definitely on the list to make again!
I like to get bashed over the head by spices in bread, and so after trying it as written, I increased the cinnamon and ginger to 1.5 teaspoons each, and a “heaping” 1/4 tsp of the other spices. I also increased the applesauce to 1 cup and decreased the oil by half.
I also add 1/2 cup chopped walnuts to the dry ingredients.
SO GOOD!!! The texture is great, and the bread is super tasty if you make it exactly as is… but for me, the addition of nuts and extra spice made this my new favorite treat.
(Oh just btw I didn’t add the dates: just not my thing! I only mention in case it affects the texture.)
awesome! that much spice should definitely have a hit!
Can I use a Springform?
Can chocolate frosting be used on this cake?
Can you please share the brand of the applesauce that you used? Can I use unsweetened applesauce? How much extra sugar would I need to add to the recipe?
Also, can this be made in a donut pan? In general, what are the differences between cake, loaf, muffin and donut batters?
Any applesauce will work. with unsweetened, just add 2 tbsp more sugar. Yes you can makeit into donuts. Bake for 18 mins
Muffin batters are slightly stiff, cake batter(depends on the type), are more flowy, loaf batter for vegan loafs should be stiff and thick, donuts will usually have yeast and consistency varies
Hi Richa, can I use almond flour or meal and not use the combination of gluten free flours? Maybe add more applesauce. How long can you keep coconut, rice, or other gluten Free flour?
you can use 4:1 almond flour and potato starch( ie. 1/4 cup potato starch for every 1 cup almond flour). You will need some starch hold it together.
I just made this, this evening and the family ate it for dessert. It is a resounding success with ahh’s and Mmm’s happening with every bite.
I baked it in a loaf pan with no problems, the mixture was thick as it should have been and I made my own applesauce as the UK’s version of supermarket applesauce leaves a lot to be desired.
Thank you for an awesome recipe. It’s going on my awesome cakes repertoire 💙
Do you think I could possibly do without the chopped dates or dried fruit as I do not have any in my house! Haha
My nine year old daughter made this cake all by herself using your recipe. It is super yummy…
We also made many batches of the pumpkin truffles!!!
Much love to you for all your vegan recipes and making life truly celebratory!
Hugs and love from my daughter and myself…
thats so awesome!! I am so happy that she made it by herself! yay!
Can your mango muffin recipe be converted to apple muffin recipe by switching mango purée to applesauce?
can u taste the apple flavor or is the taste mainly of the spices?
use this recipe batter to make the muffins. Bake for 20-22 mins. In this cake, the spices are pronounced. Use half or less of the amount. For a stronger apple flavor, add some grated apple and maybe dress with reduced applesauce. (reduce a cup for 15-20 mins with some maple/sugar so its more of a thick glaze).
Cassie Autumn Tran
Snack cakes usually turn into a meal for me, because I can polish off 3 slices easily, if not more, haha! The glorious spices are just perfect for this time of the year. I cannot wait to start baking as many cookies and cakes this year!
Also, I really love the baking tips you incorporated into the introduction of your post! Never would I have thought to cool a loaf using a wet kitchen towel to cover it. I think that really does help retain moisture! Same with how important it is to take ratios into account. I always thought that oat flour was naturally gummy, but I think my recipes just used too much applesauce or butternut squash puree! I’ll have to return to those recipes and see if adjusting ratios helps with textural quality!
yes, its hard to evaluate the batter as the purees make it stiff, but they actually have a lotmore moisture to bake out.
How long will this keep for? And, does it need to be refrigerated? Thank you!
Just the cake will be fine outside in a covered container for upto 2 days. with the frosting, it needs to be refrigerated if not getting consumed in a couple of hours. You can refrigerate them separately for upto 4 days
For the second time in three weeks, one of your recipes popped into my Facebook feed at the exact time I needed it!
I make a spice cake for my husband’s birthday every year, but the recipe I’d been using had more sugar and more oil then I like to use. Your recipe is perfect. We like it so much that I’m making another one to take to a holiday gathering this week.
My frosting was more like a glaze, but it really added to the cake.
I posted the photo on Instagram (@lakevillaguatemala).
awesome!! the thickness would depend on the cream cheese consistency. You can chill it for a bit to thicken and then spread it.
The cream cheese was homemade, per the recipe. It chilled overnight, but was still quite thin.
ah yes the cashew version is thinner. you can use less water to blend for thicker.
If I sub date syrup for the sugar would that work?
yes, add a bit less applesauce depending onthe date syrup amount
Richa, I am just loving all your recipes! Love all the options and substitutions provided. If I were to make these into cupcakes what temperature for oven and approximately how long to bake?
360° (which is unusual, but it’s in step 1 to preheat the oven to that temp). You never want to put a cake into a cold oven, a preheated oven helps the leavening.
20 to 22 mins at 360 F. Same as muffins as mentioned. Check at 20 mins with a toothpick from the center
Can I use maple syrup in place of sugar?
yes, reduce applesauce to 1/2 cup
This looks simple and yummy! So there’s no sugar in the Cream Cheese frosting? Is it sweet?
1/4 cup maple syrup adds enough sweetness.you can taste and add a few tbsp powdered sugar for sweeter frosting.
Thanks! I overlooked that ingredient 😉
i was wondering the same thing, it looked like the cashew cream was only with soaked cashews and lemon juice… i was like hm – not sure how that will taste on the cake 🙂
the cream cheese is not sweet, but the frosting is sweet with the maple syrup 🙂 i’ll bold the frosting so its clearer
Can I use anything else in exchange for potato starch for gluten free version? I’ve got tapioca starch and rice starch.
tapioca should work.
what are the dimensions of the pan?
8 by 8 inch
I too was wondering if I could up the applesauce or something to replace the oil…
1 tbsp applesauce and 2 tbsp non dairy milk or yogurt instead of the oil
What can zi substitute for the oil?
I am wondering the same thing. One substitution I have noted is prune puree as an oil replacer in a recipe: If the recipe calls for 1 cup of oil, use 1/2 cup of the puree. I have made this:
Combine 1 cup prunes and 2/3 cup water in a small saucepan and bring to a boil. Lower heat to medium-low, cover and simmer until very soft, about 10 minutes.
Carefully transfer prune mixture to a food processor and purée until smooth.
The purée will keep refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 3 days or in the freezer for up to 3 months.
I think the puree would compliment this spice cake too. Maybe someone else can give us their ideas.
i just added the oilfree option in the notes.
2 tbsp non dairy milk and 1 tbsp more apple sauce will work
Applesauce,any idea to make it by own?im not sure where to get this in my country.
its just cooked apples that have been mashed/blended. You can chop and cook them and then mash or blend into a thick puree and then cook for 15 mins or so to thicken https://www.geniuskitchen.com/recipe/quick-homemade-applesauce-no-sugar-added-201473