Vegan Apple Cinnamon Bundt Cake

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This Vegan Apple Cinnamon Bundt Cake is soft and moist yet light and airy - the best of both worlds! With warm cinnamon apple flavors, it’s a perfect easy yet impressive cake for the fall baking season!
Prep 30 mins
Cook 1 hr
Cooling Time 25 mins
Total 1 hr 55 mins
5 from 39 votes

This Vegan Apple Cinnamon Bundt Cake post is sponsored by Country Crock® Plant Butter. All opinions and recipes are my own.

When I think of bundt cake, I inevitably think of the 90s classic movie My Big Fat Greek Wedding. At the time, I knew what a bundt cake was, but I kind of thought, Mama Portokalos is right! This is just a cake with a hole in the middle. Give me back the hole!

But then I made a bundt cake and I was like hey, the WASP parents from the movie weren’t wrong…bundt cake can be really dang delicious! After all, it’s basically one huge donut in cake form.

This Vegan Apple Cinnamon Bundt Cake is my contribution to #teambundt, and it’s honestly better than it sounds. The texture is shockingly tender and moist, and it’s packed with a warming spiced brown sugar-walnut crumble that just screams #fallbaking!

Why you’re going to like love this Vegan Apple Cinnamon Bundt Cake

Amazing texture. This bundt cake is shockingly tender and moist. I say shockingly because, if you’re like me, you’ve tasted your fair share of dry, dense vegan cakes over the years. I served it to several non-vegans who said “this cake is melting in my mouth” and “this is the moistest cake i’ve ever tasted.” I know the word “moistest” rubs some people the wrong way, but facts are facts.

Cozy and Warming. September is here, and while it still might fell like summer in certain parts of the country, the food world is certainly ready for all things cozy and warming. This recipe features copious amounts of cinnamon (I’m talking 4 teaspoons), along with cloves and freshly grated nutmeg. They get mixed with brown sugar and finely chopped walnuts, and the whole mixture gets folded into the cake, so some pieces feature a slight nutty bite.

Easy to make. While this recipe might sound complicated or challenging, it’s actually very easy to prepare and doesn’t require you to mix the dry and liquid ingredients separately or to do any creaming. Plus, there are step-by-step photos :)

Ingredient Rundown

Vegan Butter. If you’ve done your fair share of baking, you know that, traditionally, cakes baked with oil make for a lighter, more even crumb, whereas cakes baked with butter have more flavor and richness but also some heaviness.

But, since I use Country Crock Plant Butter—it’s dairy-free butter and made with either olive oil, almond oil, or avocado oil—it doesn’t bring the same heaviness that traditional butter sometimes does. But, it does work just like dairy-based butter. It softens, creams, and melts the same, and bakes up beautifully! (PS: it also browns the same, in case you’re looking for a browned butter vegan dessert!).

The combination of Country Crock Plant Butter with oil makes for a cake that is light and tender, yet rich and and packed with buttery flavor. It’s the kind of texture that makes this cake taste indulgent but also enables you to eat a fat slice and not feel weighed down.

Oil. As I just mentioned, I use a mix of vegan butter and oil in this recipe. I used used sunflower oil, but any neutral-ish flavored oil should work.

Organic Cane Sugar and Organic Brown Sugar. I use cane sugar in the wet ingredients, but I also use brown sugar in the brown sugar-walnut mixture for that slight molasses flavor, which is great in an fall-flavored cake. I always buy organic cane and brown sugars instead of the standard white and brown sugars because it guarantees that no animal bone char was used in processing the sugar (yes, some commercial white sugars are processed with animal bones, and some commercial brown sugars are made with white sugar!).

Applesauce. This is an apple cake, so obviously we need some apple flavor! Be sure to use unsweetened applesauce, or the cake will be too sweet. The applesauce, along with the plant milk, act as the egg substitute in this recipe, so there are no other more commonly used egg substitutes like flax eggs or aquafaba.

Apple Juice. Another source of sweetness in this cake is apple juice! I don’t think I’d ever baked with apple juice until now, but let’s just say, I was NOT disappointed. I don’t keep apple juice on hand, so I just bought one of those tiny bottles from Martinelli. It is, hands down, the best apple juice!

Oat Milk. I love using oat milk in baked goods because I find it helps brown cakes the best, but you can use most plant-based milks here, such as cashew milk, carton coconut milk, soy milk, or almond milk.

Walnuts. Finely chopped walnuts get mixed with brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves and then folded into the dry ingredients. It adds a subtle background nuttiness, and apples + walnuts + cinnamon are a classic combo.

Warming Spices. A generous amount of warming spices (cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves) make this cake warm and fuzzy and perfect for fall.

If you can, use freshly grated nutmeg – it makes a difference and brings the most delightful sweet yet spicy aroma! Plus, whole nutmeg has a great shelf life of 3-4 years, so it won’t go bad any time soon!

All-Purpose Flour. While cake flour is often the choice for the lightest and fluffiest cakes, the combination of ingredients here is so magical that you don’t need cake flour to achieve that light, tender texture. I haven’t tried making this cake gluten-free, but as I usually say, if you are not allergic to gluten, use the gluten-containing flour. This is supposed to be a treat, and you will get much better results if you use all-purpose flour than if you use a gluten-free flour substitute.

What kind of cake pan can I use to make this recipe?

A 10-cup bundt cake pan is ideal for this recipe. I have this 9.5 inch bundt pan that holds 10 cups.

If you have a slightly larger bundt pan that holds 12 cups (usually 10-inch bundt pan), that’s also fine. The batter won’t fill the pan up as much and your cake will be slightly shorter/less thick, but should still yield good results. To be safe, you can start checking the cake 5 to 10 minutes earlier than the cook time states.

If you have a slightly smaller bundt pan (e.g., a 9×3-inch bundt pan that typically holds 9 cups), you should also be able to make this cake, but be sure to not overfill your pan. The batter should be at least 1 1/4 inches below the rim of the pan.

And if you don’t have a bundt pan, you can still make this cake in a different pan that has 10-cup capacity. Some other options include:

  • a 9×2-inch square pan (10-cup capacity)
  • an 11x7x2-inch rectangular pan (10-cup capacity)
  • a 9×2.5-inch springform pan (10-cup capacity)
  • a 10×2-inch round pan (11-cup capacity)

How to Make this Vegan Apple Cinnamon Bundt Cake

Start with the preparations. Preheat your oven to 350°F/175°C and generously grease your bundt cake pan with oil or cooking spray. This will make it easy to invert the cake after baking and ensure it doesn’t stick to the pan.

Make the spiced brown sugar-walnut mix. Finely chop your walnuts, then mix with brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves.

Mix the dry ingredients. Mix together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. I often advise to sift the dry ingredients because (1) it helps make the end result softer and fluffier and (2) it ensures even distribution of the leavening agents across the batter. That said, I forgot to sift the dry ingredients this time and the cake came out perfectly soft and fluffy, so I guess I am a hypocrite.

Then add the spiced brown sugar-walnut mix into the dry ingredients and combine well.

Add in the wet ingredients. Next, make a well in the dry ingredients and pour in all of the wet ingredients. The great thing about this cake is that it doesn’t require you to mix the liquid ingredients separately or do any creaming or blending. Mix on low speed using an electric mixer until the ingredients are just combined.

Bake the cake! Pour the cake batter into the prepared bundt pan, then bake in the preheated oven for 60-65 minutes. It’s okay if the top is cracked – the icing can cover that up, but also it doesn’t affect the taste!

Allow the cake to rest in the bundt pan on a cooling rack for 15-20 minutes. Then, run a paring knife around the edges to loosen it up, and then carefully invert the cake onto the cooling rack. Once the cake is slightly cooled, you can drizzle the orange Icing on top.

Tips for making this Vegan Apple Cinnamon Bundt Cake

Get an oven thermometer and allow adequate time to preheat! Every oven is different, and if yours hasn’t been calibrated, chances are it’s a bit off. My last apartment oven in NYC was 50-75 degrees cooler than it stated! Plus, preheating an oven takes a lot longer than you think. Most home ovens don’t reach the stated temperature when the preheat cycle is over.

Generously grease the bundt cake pan. Given its irregular shape, generously greasing the pan (including all of the crevices) is important to ensure you can smoothly and easily invert the cake out of the pan. After greasing the pan with oil or (vegan butter or cooking spray), sprinkle a little flour in the pan; then tilt the pan to distribute the flour evenly. Flip the pan over and tap out any excess flour.

Don’t overmix! Once the wet and dry ingredients are incorporated, stop mixing. Overmixing is one of the most common baking mistakes, and it can result in cakes that are dry, tough, or dense. This cake is light and tender, so let’s keep it that way!

Check the cake just a few minutes ahead of the indicated bake time. My cake took exactly 60 minutes, but every oven is different so I recommend checking around the 55 minute mark. But, don’t open the oven during the first 3/4 of baking! Opening the oven (even for a second) allows heat to escape and dramatically changes the temperature of the oven, and can result in sunken cakes.

Let the cake rest in the pan but not for too long. Rest the cake in the bundt pan for 15-20 minutes to help firm it up enough so that it doesn’t crumble when you invert it. But don’t leave the cake in the pan for too long, as it can cause the cake to stick to the pan even more. I run a paring knife around the edges of the cake, then tap the pan a few times, and gently shake it to help loosen it up. Then place your cooling rack or large plate on top of the cake and carefully invert the cake.

Substitutes for this Vegan Apple Cinnamon Bundt Cake

No walnuts? Pecans would be an excellent substitute. Allergic to walnuts? You can try finely chopped pumpkin seeds.

You can substitute the brown sugar with coconut sugar, if you prefer.

If you don’t have cloves, you can add more nutmeg and half teaspoon of allspice.

I used sunflower oil, but any neutral-flavored oil or even extra virgin olive oil would work. If using melted coconut oil, be sure to bring your plant-based milk to room temperature, as cold milk will help solidify the oil back into its natural state.

I used oat milk, but most plant-based milks would work, including cashew milk, soy milk, almond milk, or carton coconut milk.

Vegan Apple Cinnamon Bundt Cake

If you give this Vegan Apple Cinnamon Bundt Cake recipe a try, be sure to tag me on Instagram with your recreations and please comment with your feedback below!

Vegan Apple Cinnamon Bundt Cake

5 from 39 votes
This Vegan Apple Cinnamon Bundt Cake is soft and moist yet light and airy – the best of both worlds! With warm cinnamon apple flavors, it’s a perfect easy yet impressive cake for the fall baking season!
Prep Time: 30 mins
Cook Time: 1 hr
Cooling Time 25 mins
Total Time: 1 hr 55 mins
Course: Dinner
Cuisine: Baking
Diet Vegan
Serving size: 16

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup (55-60g) loosely packed organic brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup (75-80g) finely chopped walnuts
  • 4 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground cloves
  • Heaping 1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg*
  • 3 1/2 cups (420g) all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/4 cups (300 mL) plant-based milk of choice (I used full-fat oat milk)
  • 1 stick (112g) Country Crock Plant Butter, melted
  • 1/2 cup (120 mL) neutral-flavored oil (I used sunflower oil)
  • 1 1/4 cups (250g) organic cane sugar
  • 3/4 cup (180 mL) no-sugar added apple juice
  • 3/4 cup (180g) unsweetened applesauce
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

Orange Icing

  • Note: This cake isn’t too sweet on its own so the icing is a delicious addition, but if you are watching your sugar intake, feel free to omit.
  • 1 1/4 cups (150g) organic powdered sugar
  • 2-3 tablespoons plant-based milk of choice
  • 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed orange juice (can sub lemon juice for a slightly tart icing)

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 350°F/175°C. Grease a 10-cup bundt cake pan** with oil (or vegan butter or cooking spray) including in the crevices, then sprinkle a little flour in the pan. Tilt the pan to distribute the flour evenly, then flip the pan over and tap out any excess flour.
  • In a small bowl, combine the brown sugar, walnuts, cinnamon, cloves, and nutmeg. Mix well.
  • In a large bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Add in the spiced brown sugar-walnut mixture and stir together to mix well.
  • Make a well in the center of the flour mixture and then add the plant-based milk, melted vegan butter, oil, cane sugar, apple juice, applesauce, and vanilla.
  • Using an electric mixer on slow speed, combine the dry and wet ingredients until you have a smooth, thick batter, but stop mixing as soon as the batter comes together – do not overmix. Overmixing can cause the batter to become tough.
  • Pour the cake batter into the greased bundt pan and smooth the surface with a spatula. If any bubbles have developed in the batter, tap the pan gently on the counter.
  • Bake the cake in the preheated oven for 60-65 minutes, or until the cake is firm and springs back when touched. Mine took exactly 60 minutes, but all ovens are different.
  • Transfer the cake to a cooling rack for 15-20 minutes. Then, run a paring knife around the edges to loosen it up, tap the cake and shake it gently to help loosen it, and then carefully invert the cake onto the cooling rack.
  • To make the Orange Icing: Pour the powdered sugar into a medium bowl. Gradually add the almond milk and orange juice and beat with a whisk until you achieve your desired consistency. Add more liquid for a thinner glaze. Drizzle icing on top of bundt cake. Store leftovers in an airtight container at room temperature for 2-3 days, or in the fridge for 4-5 days.

Notes

* I recommend grating whole nutmeg, as the flavor is much fresher than pre-ground nutmeg. Plus, whole nutmeg has a great shelf life (3-4 years) when stored properly.
** For alternative cake pans, see the section above called “What kind of cake pan can I use to make this recipe?”

Calories: 317kcal | Carbohydrates: 44g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 16g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 4g | Monounsaturated Fat: 9g | Trans Fat: 1g | Sodium: 237mg | Potassium: 106mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 22g | Vitamin A: 78IU | Vitamin C: 2mg | Calcium: 88mg | Iron: 2mg

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84 comments on Vegan Apple Cinnamon Bundt Cake

  1. Melissa Zarin

    Hi – Just wondering if this can be made Gluten free and if so, do you have a flour blend you like?

  2. Sheila

    5 stars
    Absolutely delicious, just needed to reduce the sugar significatly for our tastes. Also I have a question – Why do you mix the brown sugar, walnuts, cinnamon, cloves, and nutmeg separately and not add them straight into the dry ingredients?

    1. Support @ Rainbow Plant Life

      Hi Sheila, happy to hear you loved the recipe! And it’s to make sure the spices are evenly combined and also because the flour is sifted. Once the flour is sifted, you want to try to mix it as little as possible so as to not get rid of the fluffiness that sifting adds.

  3. Joleen

    5 stars
    I was having a dinner party and 2 of my guests were vegan so began searching the internet for vegan desserts. I read a lot of recipes but when I saw this one I wanted to try it because I had a lot of the ingredients and since it said not too sweet thought could also be had with coffee.
    This recipe Is a keeper. The cake was super moist, lots of flavor and loved by all. Everyone said there is no way this was a vegan cake.
    I make a few treats. I did use regular applesauce and Califia Almond Coconut Milk because that is what I had. For the frosting, I added more powdered sugar and a tablespoon of Grand Marnier. My frosting was on the thin side so next timeI will omit the milk and only do 1 Tbsp of orange juice and one Tbsp of Grand Marnier.
    This is going in my top 5 cake recipes. I look forward to exploring more recipes on this site. Thank you Nishi!

    1. Support @ Rainbow Plant Life

      Thanks for sharing, Joleen! So glad it’s going in the top 5 cake recipes :)

  4. Bill J

    5 stars
    Thank you so much for the recipe.
    I just put this in the oven 30 minutes ago but noticed I forgot the apple juice!
    Do you think the cake will be okay?

    1. Support @ Rainbow Plant Life

      Hi Bill, sorry to hear about that. How did it turn out?

  5. Ray

    5 stars
    This is so good!! Made for Christmas and the entire family loved it! Very easy to make.

    1. Support @ Rainbow Plant Life

      Ray, So glad to hear you loved this recipe!

  6. Michelle W.

    I have it in the oven now. My question: is the batter supposed to be runny? I hope it turns out! I used cup measurements for everything except the flour, I used my scale for that. I did notice that the 1/2 cup loosely pack brow sugar turned out to be 80 g on my scale.

    1. Michelle W

      Update: it turned out wonderful! Family and friends were enthralled. They all wanted the recipe so of course I shared this page.
      We live in Europe and therefore thank you for always giving measurements in grams. I did use 1/4 cup less sugar than indicated, and it was perfect for Austrian taste buds.

      1. Support @ Rainbow Plant Life

        Michelle, So glad to hear you all loved this recipe!

    2. Support @ Rainbow Plant Life

      Hi Michelle, how’d it go?

  7. Debra Baker

    It looks great, but where’s the list of ingredients and measurements for it? Hopefully, you posted this with the traditional, “imperial measurements,”for Americans ⁉️
    I can’t rate this as of yet, because I haven’t seen the ingredients or had the opportunity to make this yet! On All around looks of it it’s a 10-STARS ⭐️🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟

    1. Cali

      Under the title of the recipe, click the orange “Jump to Recipe” button and scroll down under the first ad.

    2. Support @ Rainbow Plant Life

      Hi there Debra, there’s an orange “Jump to Recipe” button which shows instructions and ingredients in imperial measurements. Enjoy the cake!

  8. Breanna

    5 stars
    This is absolutely delicious! I have made it twice in the past month. Both times it disappeared quickly. My kids (5 and 2) love helping me make this recipe.

    1. Support @ Rainbow Plant Life

      Breanna, So glad to hear you all loved this recipe!

  9. M

    Could I use mini bundt pans? I didn’t see those listed in the alternative cake pans.

    1. Support @ Rainbow Plant Life

      Hi M, sure, you’ll just have to reduce the cooking time more the smaller the pan gets.

  10. Lisa Evans

    5 stars
    Made this apple cake and the pumpkin bread to take to Thanksgiving today. Driving now and the car smells aaahmmazing! As I’m adding (what I consider) a large amount of spice to the bowl, I often say out loud “OK Nisha if you say so”. You haven’t let me down yet so…

    1. Support @ Rainbow Plant Life

      LOL, thanks for continually trusting and loving the Rainbow Plant Life recipes! Glad this one didn’t disappoint :)

  11. Corine Mientjes

    5 stars
    Just made this delicious cake!! It was still warm, but smelled so nice that I couldn’t wait to taste it. Even my husband (who is a vegetarian, but a bit vegan skeptic) was delighted! Tomorrow we have friends over for dinner and I want to serve it as a dessert with soy vanilla ice cream. Can’t wait!

    1. Support @ Rainbow Plant Life

      Awesome, Corine. Thanks for your comment and for taking the time to review!

  12. Chris Ferguson

    I made this cake three days ago and am eating for breakfast as well as nighttime dessert! Not so great for the waistline but WOW! It’s soooo good! Thinking I need to give large pieces away because my husband and I can’t eat this by ourselves, well we could but should we? Our freezer’s full but may squeeze some in for later.
    Thanks once again Nisha for a fabulous dessert recipe!

    1. Support @ Rainbow Plant Life

      Thanks for sharing, Chris! So glad you love the bundt cake. Next time, would you mind leaving a rating alongside your review? Star ratings are big help to readers who are thinking of making the recipe. Thanks!

  13. Cassandra Milone

    This recipe sound delicious. Have you ever baked it with monkfruit or Stevia? Or even honey or maple syrup? I am trying to be a plant based as possible.

    1. Support @ Rainbow Plant Life

      Hi Cassandra, we have not. We don’t recommend using monkfruit or stevia as they are much stronger and the cake likely won’t come out as moist if you’re using a smaller quantity of sweetener. Maple Syrup or Agave could work though! Coconut sugar/brown sugar would probably be the best more wholesome choices for this cake.

  14. Rema

    5 stars
    My family & I love this cake. Didn’t have almond milk for the icing so I used soy milk & added a couple of tsps of pure almond extract to it. The icing is perfect. Thanks for sharing this recipe. Cheers.

    1. Rema

      5 stars
      Oh, I didn’t have apple juice, but had pineapple juice. Still turned out great. Cheers.

    2. Support @ Rainbow Plant Life

      Rema, So glad to hear you loved this recipe! Pineapple juice sounds like an interesting combination, thanks for sharing!

  15. Nancy

    5 stars
    Even my skeptical, anti-vegan teen gave this cake a thumbs up! I used grape-seed oil and coconut sugar; it turned out great. The icing with lemon juice was a perfect accompaniment. Yum!

    1. Support @ Rainbow Plant Life

      Good to hear, Nancy! You really can’t tell the difference between this and the nonvegan version!

  16. Cara

    5 stars
    Delicious, light, and fluff! Loved making it and eating it, and so did my family.

    1. Support @ Rainbow Plant Life

      Cara, So glad to hear you loved this recipe!

  17. Cheryl

    The only problem I have with this recipe is the use of vegan butter and oil. I try to do Whole Foods plant based.

  18. SUSAN

    Can you substitute EVOO for the Country Crock Plant Butter? My son limits his saturated fat, so I am looking for alternative fats. Thank you, and wonderful recipes and messages.
    Susan

    1. bob

      5 stars
      no saturated fat is healthy

    2. bob

      5 stars
      no saturated fat is very healthy let your son explore the world

  19. Barbara

    When you give timings for degrees C , is that in a traditional oven or a convection/ fan oven?

    1. Support @ Rainbow Plant Life

      Hi Barbara, We are referring to a traditional oven. Happy baking!

  20. Pam C

    5 stars
    Made this cake for the first time yesterday. It was great, everybody loved it. I skipped the icing, the cake is sweet enough without it. Didn’t sift the ingredients together. Used a Bundt pan and cooked according to the direction. Baked up perfectly. Goes great with a cup of coffee on a fall day.

    1. Support @ Rainbow Plant Life

      Glad to hear that, Pam! Thanks for trying the cake!

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