New Recipe: Southern-Style Apple Cake with Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting [Vegan]

The combination of the buttery texture, sweet maple cinnamon and incredible apple flavor baked into a homemade cake is out of this world. Top it with this finger-licking good cinnamon cream cheese frosting—you’ll be in southern-style heaven! My secret to the velvety and moist texture of this healthier vegan and gluten-free cake is the oats and oat flour.
​​Reprinted with permission from Light & Easy Vegan Baking by Jillian Glenn, Page Street Publishing Co. 2022. Photo credit: Jillian Glenn

Southern-Style Apple Cake with Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting [Vegan]


For the Apple Cake:

  • Nonstick spray, for pan
  • 1 cup (240 ml) unsweetened applesauce
  • 3/4 cup (180 ml) pure maple syrup
  • 1/2 cup (120 ml) melted vegan butter
  • 1/2 cup (120 ml) unsweetened almond milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 teaspoons (9 g) baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons (9 g) baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup (45 g) quick oats (certified gluten-free, if needed)
  • 2 1/4  cups (281 g) oat flour (certified gluten-free, if needed)

For the Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting:

  • 2 oz (57 g) vegan cream cheese
  • 2 tablespoons (28 g) softened vegan butter
  • 3/4 cup (90 g) confectioners’ sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon


  1. Prepare the apple cake: Preheat the oven to 375°F (190°C). Spray a 9 x 5–inch (23 x 13–cm) loaf pan with nonstick spray.
  2. In a large bowl, use a fork or whisk to mix together the applesauce, maple syrup, melted vegan butter, almond milk, vanilla, baking powder, baking soda and cinnamon. Add the oats and oat flour and mix until well combined.
  3. Pour the batter into the prepared loaf pan. Bake for 40 to 50 minutes, or until you can stick a toothpick into the center of the cake and it comes out clean.
  4. Prepare the cinnamon cream cheese frosting (if using): In a medium-sized bowl, use an electric mixer to mix together the vegan cream cheese, softened vegan butter, confectioners’ sugar and cinnamon.
  5. Once the apple cake is done, remove it from the oven and its pan. Slice and serve warm. I love enjoying it this way with a little softened vegan butter spread over the top. My mom loves drizzling maple syrup over it!
  6. If frosting, allow the cake to cool on a wire rack, then spread with the cinnamon cream cheese frosting.

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