Vegan Apple Cake With Streusel Topping

on October 12, 2020
last updated on July 28, 2021
5 from 1 vote

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This Vegan Apple Cake With Streusel Topping is the perfect way to celebrate the arrival of fall with fragrant cinnamon and the addition of 4 juicy apples to lock in moisture.
Fall Apple Cake With Streusel Topping - Featured Image

Looking for a treat to welcome in your favorite season, but exhausted every pumpkin recipe on the internet? This Vegan Apple Cake with Streusel Topping is your new Fall favorite!

It’s just so easy to eat. It’s moist and fluffy with a crunchy top and highlights the apple so beautifully. I’m not obsessed. YOU’RE obsessed!

AND your kitchen is about to smell like a Fall Harvest without having to buy one of those over-the-top, almost offensive-to-your-nostrils cinnamon brooms.

Fall Apple Cake With Streusel Top - Bite on Fork

Vegan Apple Cake Tips and Tricks

Why Vegan Baking?

The mass production of eggs and dairy farming contributes a staggering amount to our overall greenhouse gas emissions and contamination of soil and water. I always buy local, organic eggs and cheese when I can.

And what’s more, I save the egg and dairy for when it really counts. I’m talking Eggs Benedict and Cheesy Pasta.

Leaving out the dairy and eggs while baking is a great way to reduce your consumption of eggs and dairy. And it’s just as delicious and at times, more nutritious (you all know I can’t resist a good rhyme when it presents itself).

Green tip: Industrial dairy production has a huge impact on the environment, especially because of the amount of land it takes to sustain and its high amount of greenhouse gas emissions. Reducing your dairy consumption is one great way to reduce your ecological footprint.

I’ll Keep This Short and SWEET

Use sweet apples for this Vegan Apple Cake.

I know, green apples are my favorite, too. But I’ve tried it both ways and sweeter apples are best! I use Gala.

Get Your Gadgets Ready!

Don’t worry, this recipe isn’t chock full of fancy baking techniques. In fact, I highly recommend using your hands to mix your streusel—more on that below.

But I do recommend you use a stand or hand mixer to get this batter going. You really want to beat the brown sugar and coconut oil together until it’s completely integrated.

Brown sugar is a little bit thicker than granulated sugar and is a little harder to hand whisk into the oil.

You will also need a cheese grater. But I promise that’s all!

A cheese grater for cake? Stay with me.

The Moist Maker

Remember that Friends episode where Ross goes crazy because someone was stealing his sandwich at work?

I mean, he’s understandably mad. It’s the leftover Thanksgiving sandwich with Monica’s infamous moist maker—a slice of bread soaked in gravy.

Anyway, this is all to say that this Vegan Apple Cake is so darn good mostly because there is a moist maker at play here.

And it’s in the form of shredded apples.

Peel your apples and use a cheese grater to shred them right down to the core.

It’s best to do this after the rest of your batter is complete, to keep those apple shreds fresh and to avoid them browning.

Fold the shredded apple right into your batter and then pour it directly into your lined or greased cake pan. The batter is thick enough so that all of the apple doesn’t immediately sink to the bottom.

Now set it aside to stop yourself from eating it all before it has a chance to bake. It’s time for your streusel!

Fall Apple Cake With Streusel Topping - Recipe Card Image

It’s Crunch(y top) Time!

The streusel on the top of this cake gives an extra dose of cinnamon and a little crunch to an otherwise moist and fluffy textured cake.

It’s actually pretty fun to work with, too. I find it’s easy to integrate all the ingredients with your hands.

Melt the butter completely and then let it cool. Wash your paws and then just get in there and work the flour, sugar, and cinnamon into that melted butter.

You should end up with a crumbly texture, somewhere in between sand and play dough. If you feel it’s too wet, don’t be scared to add more flour!

Take a handful and crumble it on top of your cake until it’s coated.

You can use either light or dark brown sugar. Dark brown sugar looks a little more like your classic streusel. It’s a beautiful deep brown and tastes more molasses-y.

I used light brown sugar in the cake pictured, just because that is what I had on hand. You can’t go wrong either way!

Don’t Be An Eager Beaver

This cake will take 25-35 minutes to cook perfectly, depending on your oven and your pan size. I use an 11 inch round pan and mine was perfect right at 30 minutes!

You’ll know it’s ready because you’ll be able to stick a toothpick in with it coming out clean.

BUT. There’s a but.

You also want a crunchy top!

When you touch the streusel (be careful not to burn yourself!), it should feel nice and crispy. If it’s not, give it just another couple of minutes.

If you love this Vegan Apple Cake with Streusel Topping and are looking for more Fall-inspired recipes? Check out this Drunken Apple Pie with Bourbon Drizzle and these Pumpkin Muffins with Spiced Cream Cheese Frosting.

Vegan Apple Cake With Streusel Topping

5 from 1 vote
Recipe by Marley Goldin Course: DessertCuisine: Jewish American


Prep time


Cooking time


Total time



This Vegan Apple Cake With Streusel Topping is the perfect way to celebrate the arrival of fall with fragrant cinnamon and the addition of 4 juicy apples to lock in moisture.


  • Vegan Apple Cake
  • 1 & 1/2 cups light brown sugar

  • 1/4 cup coconut oil

  • 1/4 cup apple sauce

  • 1 cup milk (I use coconut milk)

  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

  • 2 & 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

  • 1 teaspoon baking soda

  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

  • 4 sweet apples, shredded (I use Gala)

  • Streusel Topping
  • 1/4 cup butter, melted (I use Earth Balance)

  • 1/4 cup flour

  • 1/2 cup light or dark brown sugar

  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

  • Cream “Cheese” Drizzle (optional)
  • 1 ounce cream cheese, softened (I use Kite Hill)

  • 3 tablespoons powdered sugar

  • 3 – 4 tablespoons milk (I use coconut milk)


  • Vgean Apple Cake
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Beat sugar and oil together until well mixed.
  • Add apple sauce, milk, and vanilla extract and mis well.
  • With mixer on low, add flour, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt.
  • Fold in shredded apple.
  • Grease or line a cake pan (I use an 11 inch round cake pan) and pour batter in. Set aside and prepare your streusel.

  • Streusel Topping
  • Mix all ingredients together in a bowl. You may need to use your hands! Mixture should be crumbly.
  • Crumble mixture on top of your cake.
  • Bake cake for 25-35 minutes, until toothpick comes out clean.

  • Cream Cheese Drizzle (optional)
  • Use a whisk to mix cream cheese and sugar together.
  • Start adding milk, 1 tablespoon at a time until you get the right consistency. It should be thin enough to drip off your whisk, but not too thin that it’s watery.
  • Add drizzle to your cake when it’s warm if you want it to sink in, or wait for it to cool if you want to get the look pictured.

Pro Tips

  • Grate your apple last to avoid it from browning!
  • If you want your cream cheese drizzle to sink into the cake, add it while your cake is still warm! Otherwise, wait for it to cool to achieve the cake pictured.

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2 thoughts on “Vegan Apple Cake With Streusel Topping”

  1. Sarah Greenberg

    I probably ate this in a day! I can’t get enough! I would definitely recommend making this. It’s perfect for the holidays.

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