Here is a simple vegan baked recipe that you can serve your family or take to the next dinner party. This recipe was inspired by the Apple Cake recipe from Veg Recipes of India, just made healthier, more nutritious and less complicated. I added in pumpkin seeds for a delicious nutrient dense crunch. I love the combination of textures of warm moistness with soft sweet apple chunks and spices. I hope you do too!
Spiced Apple Pumpkin Cake (Vegan, Egg-Free, Dairy-Free)
Author: Anna @ dietitian_mom
Prep Time: 15 – 20 minutes
Bake Time: 40-50 minutes
Serves 1 loaf cake
- 1 cup all purpose flour (sifted)
- 1 cup whole wheat flour
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon baking powder
- 1/3 cup packed brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon ground cloves
- ¼ -½ teaspoon ground ginger
- 1 ½ cups apple chunks (~ 2 medium apples cored and cut into ~ ½ inch sized cubes)
- ¼ cup oil
- ½ cup unsweetened applesauce
- ¾ – 1 cup fortified plant-based milk, divided
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ¼ cup roasted or raw pumpkin seeds, divided
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C).
- In a large bowl, mix together all the dry ingredients (except the pumpkin seeds). Ensure ingredients are well combined and mixed. Use a whisk or fork to mash out any big lumps of brown sugar in the bowl.
- Add the chopped apples to the dry mixture and stir to get all the apples coated in the flour mixture using a spatula or wooden spoon.
- In a small bowl, mix together the oil, applesauce, lemon juice, fortified plant-based milk and vanilla extract. Use ¾ cup of the plant-based milk first, reserving the last ¼ cup to add depending on how dry the batter remains after the wet and dry ingredients are mixed together.
- Add the wet ingredients mixture into the dry mixture slowly, stirring until a well combined cake batter is formed. Add small amounts of the remaining ¼ cup of the fortified plant-based milk to the mixture (a tablespoon at a time), until a very thick cake batter is achieved. You may not need to use all the remaining 1/4 cup of the fortified plant-based milk.
- Add 3 tablespoons of the pumpkin seeds into the batter and stir a few times until just integrated.
- Pour batter into a 5 x 9 inch loaf pan lined with aluminum foil, making sure the batter is spread evenly throughout the pan.
- Decorate the top with the remaining tablespoon of pumpkin seeds. You can just sprinkle the pumpkin seeds on top or create a simple pattern.
- Bake 40-50 minutes in the middle rack of the oven, until the cake is baked through (check this by inserting a knife at the middle and 1-2 other points in the cake. It is done when the knife comes out clean). It is best to check the cake at the 35-40 minute mark, as the cake may be done already. If not, cover the top of the cake with aluminum foil so that the top doesn’t get too burnt or dry, and continue baking for another 5-10 minutes, or until the cake is fully done.
- Remove the cake from the oven and let cool at least 10 minutes before serving.
You know the batter is good when you can’t stop ‘tasting’ it, and your little one keeps wanting to smell your batter! Increase the amount of spices in the recipes (e.g., the cloves and the ginger) if you like a stronger spice taste, or decrease it if you want less. I used fortified original soy milk in my recipe, but you can use other fortified plant-based milks like almond milk or cashew milk or coconut milk. If you don’t have any whole wheat flour on hand, just use 2 cups of all purpose flour in the recipe. Although I used a loaf pan, feel free to use a small cake pan or make these into muffins (if you make muffins, then bake for a shorter period of time of about 20-25 minutes, and then check for doneness)!
If you have only raw pumpkin seeds, it is very easy to toast them if you like. Just use the preheated oven and toast them for about 4-5 minutes on each side, or until the pumpkins seeds turn slightly golden in color. The cake slices are best served warm (these can be heated in the microwave quickly) with tea or coffee. Happy Baking!