A Caramel Apple Loaf Cake on a wire rack

Caramel Apple Loaf Cake (Vegan Gluten-Free)

A lightly spiced, super moist and delicious Caramel Apple Loaf Cake packed with grated apple, sticky cinnamon apples on top and oozing with delicious caramel. This bake is easy to make in one bowl, naturally vegan and gluten-free.

When September comes around, one of my favourite foods to use in desserts is apple. They come in so many different varieties but I love the slightly tart, really crisp and refreshing ones. Whichever apple you choose (just not Bramley cooking apples here!), this loaf cake is the perfect cosy bake to transition from summer to the autumn/fall.

Caramel Apple Loaf Cake ingredients photo
Caramel Apple Loaf Cake

This Caramel Apple Loaf Cake is:

  • Light, moist and cakey
  • Packed with cinnamon and warming spices
  • Filled with gooey caramel
  • Topped with a fresh yoghurt frosting and more caramel
  • Piled high with sticky cinnamon caramel apples
  • Takes a few minutes to prepare
  • Naturally vegan, easily gluten-free and nut-free
  • Family-friendly and great for guests
A Caramel Apple Loaf Cake with apples and redcurrants
Caramel Apple Loaf Cake
Caramel drizzling over a Caramel Apple Loaf Cake
Caramel Apple Loaf Cake

Now, you are onboard for this delicious autumnal bake, let’s see what goes into this Caramel Apple Loaf Cake:

  • Apple: this is the obvious one! We use one apple inside the cake and two apples on top to decorate. For the apple inside, it’s important the grate the apple and then squeeze out the excess moisture with your hands so it’s not too wet.
  • Plant-based evaporated milk: I am fairly new to evaporated milk and even before being vegan, it’s not something I would bake with often but now I’ve tried it, I am really hooked. As well as for baking, it’s great in coffees and if you fancy something creamier on your morning granola. Scientifically, it’s milk that has been evaporated so it has about half the water content of regular milk. It’s almost like full-fat milk in creaminess and texture. I love to use it for that reason in this loaf cake and my favourite is the Oat Evaporated Milk from Natures Charm. It’s so delicious and they also do a coconut one, too. If you do not have evaporated milk, you can use regular plant-based milk, too.
  • Plant-based milk: as well as the evaporated milk, this recipe calls for ordinary dairy-free milk as well. I like to use oat milk to stick to the oat theme, but you can also use almond, coconut or soya for example.
  • Sunflower oil: this keeps the loaf really light and moist although you can also use melted and cooled coconut oil (make sure it is cooled so it won’t harden as soon as it mixes with the plant-based milk based on the extreme temperature differences). You can also use vegetable oil or a light olive oil.
  • Coconut sugar: as this Caramel Apple Loaf Cake is rich in colour and spices, I think the coconut sugar lends a gorgeous caramel flavour that adds to the batter. But you can also use golden or regular caster sugar or light brown sugar, too.
  • Lemon juice: this helps to bind the batter when mixed with milk as it “curdles” to form a buttermilk. You can also use apple cider vinegar.
  • Caramel sauce: I am just in love with the Coconut Caramel Sauce from Natures Charm as the flavour is amazing. It’s sticky, sweet and so gooey but if you don’t have that, you can use a homemade one like this one here or you can use a nut butter like almond or cashew or a seed butter like tahini or sunflower seed butter, or skip it all together.
  • Plain or GF plain flour: this keeps the loaf really light and cake-y and not too dense like some loaf cakes. If you are using GF flour, use a 1:1 baking blend with xantham gum (or add your own) or you can try wholemeal or spelt flour for a more wholesome texture.
  • Baking powder: for the rise.
  • Cinnamon and mixed spice: these two together are like autumn in every spoonful. I love adding cinnamon to my bakes and the mixed spice adds to the cosy feel. Mixed spice is a pre-made blend of cinnamon, ginger, caraway, clove and nutmeg among other things. You can swap this for ground ginger or extra cinnamon, instead.
Caramel Apple Loaf Cake with a slice missing
Caramel Apple Loaf Cake

That’s all for the loaf ingredients, just whisk together the wet ingredients, sift in the dry ingredients and then tip into a loaf pan. Dot some spoonfuls of caramel sauce into the batter so that each slice has a deliciously gooey surprise. While the Caramel Apple Loaf Cake bakes, and the kitchen fills with delicious aromas, you can prepare the sticky cinnamon apples:

  • Apple: as above, any apple apart from cooking apples will work, as you don’t want them to turn into apple puree.
  • Coconut oil: this helps to soften the apple or you can use vegan butter.
  • Cinnamon: for the lovely cinnamon sweet flavours.
  • Caramel sauce: the apples are still sticky without the sauce but the caramel takes them to the next level! You can use any of the swaps mentioned above.

As the Caramel Apple Loaf Cake is so rich with flavour and texture, I wanted to keep the frosting simple. Rather than a buttercream, I went with thick vegan yoghurt (coconut or oat are my favourite or a Greek-style one) spread over the loaf before adding on the sticky cinnamon caramel apples, some extra caramel sauce and I love a pop of colour with the red currants.

A slice of Caramel Apple Loaf Cake with caramel drizzling over
Caramel Apple Loaf Cake

How long will this Caramel Apple Loaf Cake last?

You can keep this loaf cake in the fridge in an airtight container for 3-5 days. You can keep un-frosted cake in the freezer for up to 1 month and then top with yoghurt and make the apples when you are serving the cake.

Can I make this recipe gluten-free?

Yes, of course. Make sure your flour is a 1:1 GF blend that has xantham gum in to help the batter bind together.

Will the cake be as good with the evaporated milk and the caramel sauce?

Yes it will be so delicious even without the evaporated milk although I highly recommend you trying to find some as it takes the texture to the next level. As for the caramel, you can make your own or use a delicious nut butter for the same effect. Or you could even try Biscoff spread, too.

I hope you will love this Caramel Apple Loaf Cake so if you are looking for more autumn recipes, how about my:

Caramel Apple Loaf Cake (Gluten-Free)

  • Servings: 8-10
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

A lightly spiced, super moist and delicious Caramel Apple Loaf Cake packed with grated apple, sticky cinnamon apples on top and oozing with delicious caramel. This bake is easy to make in one bowl, naturally vegan and gluten-free.

Ingredients

    For the loaf:
  • 1 regular apple, grated and squeezed
  • 120ml plant-based evaporated milk (or normal plant-based milk)
  • 120ml regular plant-based milk
  • 60ml sunflower oil
  • 100g coconut sugar
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp + 2 tbsp caramel sauce
  • 280g plain or GF plain flour
  • 2 ½ tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • ½ tsp mixed spice
  • For the cinnamon apples:
  • 2 apples, cored and chopped small
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil
  • ½ tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tbsp caramel sauce
  • For the topping:
  • 180g thick coconut yoghurt
  • 2 tbsp caramel sauce
  • Redcurrants, optional

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 160Fan/180*C and line a loaf tin with parchment paper.
  2. Grate the apple for the loaf and gently squeeze out most of the liquid with your hands. Make sure you have 80g of apple. Add the apple to a mixing bowl.
  3. Now pour in the evaporated milk, plant-based milk, sunflower oil, coconut sugar, lemon juice and 2 tbsp caramel sauce. Whisk to a smooth consistency.
  4. Sift in the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, mixed spice and add the salt. Stir to a thick and smooth batter.
  5. Pour half of the batter in the loaf tin and drop spoonfuls of the other 2 tbsp caramel sauce. Top with the remaining batter and drag a knife through the mix to swirl in the sauce. Smooth over the top and bake for 40-45 minutes or until an inserted skewer comes out clean.
  6. Cool for 10 minutes then remove from the tin to cool fully on a wire rack.
  7. Make the cinnamon apples ahead of time so they can cool down. Core and chop the apple and add to a frying pan with the coconut oil and cinnamon. Cook for 10 minutes until softening and add in the caramel sauce. Cook for another 5-10 minutes until really gooey and sticky.
  8. Once cool, spread the thick yoghurt over the Caramel Apple Loaf Cake and top with the cinnamon apples, more caramel sauce and redcurrants, if using.
  9. Store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for 3-5 days or freeze un-frosted cake for up to 1 month in the freezer. Always enjoy the cake at room temperature.
A Caramel Apple Loaf Cake on a wire rack
Caramel Apple Loaf Cake

I look forward to hearing what you think of this Caramel Apple Loaf Cake so please let me know in the comments below. If you do make this loaf cake, I would love to see your bakes, so please tag me in them – I’m @nourishing.amy on Instagram and use the hashtag #nourishingamy. I’m also on TwitterFacebook and Pinterest  – please say hello!

With caramel apple loaf love x

5 thoughts on “Caramel Apple Loaf Cake (Vegan Gluten-Free)

  1. naturally.sophiexx says:

    Hey Amy. Looks delicious 😋 and love apples 🍎 especially when they cooked. Would love to add BISCOFF and saved to my WordPress saved collection. I be sure to tag you into my bakes using your recipes

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