A wholesome apple cake which is vegan, fat-free, and sweetened with maple syrup.
Νηστίσιμη μηλόπιτα. A classic Greek dessert is milopita, a cake loaded with apples that is perfect with a nice Greek coffee, or a tall glass of cold milk. We could have milopita every day of the week, it’s that good! Although our original recipe is great, we do like to have options and so we have come up with an apple cake that can be enjoyed anytime, by almost anyone!
During periods of Orthodox lent, or when we are baking for vegans we love, this vegan apple cake is a sure winner. And its got even more going for it! This vegan cake is full of apples, uses both regular all-purpose and whole wheat flour, it’s sweetened with pure maple syrup and it contains no fat. We often joke that some desserts are healthy because they contain a vegetable (carrot cake anyone?) or a fruit (strawberry shortcake friends?) , but in this case, it’s actually true!
What are flax seeds, and why are they in this cake?
Flax seeds, or flax are also called linseeds, and they come from the flowering plant Linum usitatissimum. They are oval and flat, similar to a sesame seed but larger and although you will typically find brown flax seeds in the grocery store they can also be yellow.
You can find flax seeds either whole, ground up and you can also find flaxseed oil. We prefer to purchase the seeds whole and to grind them up ourselves; this is very easy to do in a coffee grinder that we use for seeds, spices, and coffee! Grinding flax seeds affords more of the nutritional value than leaving them whole because they are easier to digest that way. Given that they are quite nutritious little seeds, high in fiber, omega-3 and protein it’s a good idea to try to incorporate them into your diet.
Flax seeds are very often used as an egg substitute when baking. You may have noticed that we’ve used them before, like in our vegan banana bread recipe.
How long does this vegan apple cake keep fresh?
You can keep this cake covered at room temperature for a day or two. Any longer and it should be kept in the refrigerator. Wrapped well in plastic wrap this cake can also be frozen to be enjoyed at a later time.
What kind of apples should I use for this vegan apple cake?
We have made this cake a lot! Like, every week for many, many weeks. We have used all sorts of apples and each time the cake has turned out beautifully. Use whatever apples you enjoy most (or whichever apples you’re trying to get rid of).
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Vegan apple cake
- stand mixer or hand held mixer, optional
- Parchment paper
- 3 cups (525 grams) finely diced apple, peeled about 3 apples
- 2 tbsp ground flax seeds
- 4 tbsp (60 mL) water
- 3/4 cup (110 grams) all-purpose flour
- 3/4 cup (90 grams) whole wheat flour
- 1 tbsp cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp vanilla powder or 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/3 cup (83 grams) applesauce unsweetened
- 1/3 cup (80 mL) maple syrup
- vegetable oil or coconut oil for greasing pan
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
- In a small bowl combine the ground flax and the water. Stir and set aside.
- In the bowl of your stand mixer or another large bowl combine the flours, cinnamon, vanilla powder (note, if using vanilla extract do not add it at this point), baking powder, baking soda and salt. Whisk or stir well to combine.
- Add the applesauce, maple syrup and flax with water mixture, (the vanilla extract is added here, if you're using that) and using the paddle attachment of your mixer, mix to combine.
- Next, add the apples. Use the paddle attachment of your mixture to combine the apples into the dough. You can also do this by hand using a wooden spoon or rubber spatula.
- Line your loaf pan with parchment paper and grease all sides of the pan.
- Transfer the dough to your loaf pan and use the back of a spoon to press the dough down into the pan. The dough will be quite thick and will not easily fill your loaf pan - you need to spread it around to ensure that it is easily distributed in the pan.
- Bake in the middle rack of your oven for 60 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
- Allow to cool for 5 minutes in the loaf pan and then carefully transfer it onto a cooling rack to cool completely.