Fresh Apple Cake


This sweet, unassuming fresh apple cake was shared with us from the Moosewood Restaurant Book of Desserts from the Moosewood Collective. It has been adapted slightly to be dairy free, since many of the recipes in this book do contain dairy.

Fresh Apple Cake Recipe (dairy-free version + a vegan option)

Special Diet Notes: Fresh Apple Cake

By ingredients, this recipe is dairy-free / non-dairy, nut-free, peanut-free, soy-free, and vegetarian.

For an egg-free and vegan apple cake, you can substitute 1/3 cup applesauce for the eggs and increase the baking powder to 1 1/8 teaspoons. Alternately, you can substitute 2 powdered egg replacers for the eggs.

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Fresh Apple Cake
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
This recipe was adapted from the Moosewood Restaurant Book of Desserts by The Moosewood Collective, Clarkson N. Potter Publishers, NY, NY, 1997.
Serves: 9 servings
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar (can substitute coconut sugar for less sweet)
  • ½ cup melted dairy-free buttery spread (can substitute coconut oil or another baking oil)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 eggs (see post above for egg-free / vegan option)
  • 1½ cups unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups peeled, chopped apples (about 1 large)
  • 2 tablespoons fresh-squeezed lemon juice
  • ¼ teaspoon lemon zest
  1. Preheat your oven to 350°F and grease a 9x9-inch baking pan.
  2. Place the brown sugar and buttery spread in a mixing bowl and beat with a hand mixer until creamed. Beat in the vanilla. Add the eggs one at a time, beating after each addition.
  3. Place the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a medium bowl and whisk to combine.
  4. Add the flour mixture to the wet mixture in your mixing bowl and stir to combine. The batter will be stiff. Fold in the apples, lemon juice, and zest.
  5. Scrape the batter into your prepared baking pan and bake for 45 to 50 minutes, or until the cake is golden and a knife inserted in the center comes out clean.
  6. Let cool for 10 minutes before slicing and serving. Leftovers will keep, covered, at room temperature for up to 2 days. Refrigerate or freeze individual slices to enjoy later.

More Baked Fresh Apple Treats

Easy Mini Apple Pies (vegan, nut-free & soy-free)

Easy Mini Apple Pies with Vanilla Whip

Gingerbread Apple Skillet Cake (optionally vegan & soy-free)

Apple Gingerbread Skillet Cake

Healthy Apple Cinnamon Rolls (vegan, optionally nut-free & soy-free)

Healthy Apple Cinnamon Rolls - wholesome, naturally sweetened, dairy-free and vegan

About Author

Alisa is the founder of, Food Editor for Allergic Living magazine, and author of the best-selling dairy-free book, Go Dairy Free: The Guide and Cookbook for Milk Allergies, Lactose Intolerance, and Casein-Free Living, and the new cookbook, Eat Dairy Free: Your Essential Cookbook for Everyday Meals, Snacks, and Sweets. Alisa is also a professional recipe creator and product ambassador for the natural food industry.


  1. I made this cake this weekend with a few changes. Since I was baking for someone with a wheat allergy, I used Bob’s Red Mill 1:1 gluten free baking mix in place of the flour. Just to be sure it would rise, I added an extra egg. I also added a teaspoon of cinnamon because I can’t support any apple cake that doesn’t have cinnamon! I topped it with a simple glaze. It was well-received!

    • It hasn’t been tested with gluten-free flour, so I can’t completely verify the results. If you do use eggs, and a favorite gluten-free flour blend, it should in theory work well.

  2. Pingback: Halo Top Churns Out New Dairy-Free Ice Cream Line

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