Apple Pecan Streusel Loaf Cake (Vegan GF-Option)

This vegan and easily gluten-free Apple Pecan Streusel Loaf Cake is moreish, tender and packed with warming cinnamon spices. It has a layer of cinnamon sugar inside and is topped with a nutty streusel crumble before being drizzled with pecans and icing.

I love this time of year when all the attention falls to apples, cinnamon and pecans. The combination of all three works perfectly in this delicious loaf cake complete with a healthier crumble top and a hidden cinnamon sugar swirl. This loaf smells amazing as it bakes and you can bake it in the oven or I’ve worked on this recipe specifically to bake wonderfully in the Panasonic Breadmaker (it has a bake function) so either way you are welcomed with the most amazing seasonal and cosy bake for all the family.

A broken slice of cake on top of a Apple Pecan Streusel Loaf Cake
Apple Pecan Streusel Loaf Cake

Why will I love this cake?

This loaf is amazing:

  • Moist, tender, spongey and cakey
  • Nutty, cinnamon and apple-y
  • Made with real apple
  • Packed with pecans and cinnamon coconut sugar
  • Topped with a healthier crumble (no butter)
  • Made with wholesome ingredients
  • Loaded with oats and oat flour for added fibre
  • A source of protein with a protein powder boost
  • Easy to make in a few steps
  • Naturally vegan, egg-free and dairy-free
  • Easily gluten-free and nut-free
  • Great to make in Autumn or all year long

If you already love the sound of this apple loaf then skip ahead to the recipe card below. Or, first let’s discuss the recipe in more detail.

What ingredients do I need?

The ingredient list by weight is in the recipe card at the bottom and you can see my favourite products and buy everything you need in the “shop the recipe” section. Also note that there is a lot of overlap in ingredients for all the layers.

For the cinnamon sugar and streusel top:

  • Coconut sugar: this adds a lovely rich colour and flavour and is refined sugar-free, or you can use light brown sugar for both the middle and the topping.
  • Cinnamon: for flavour.
  • Plain or GF plain flour: like most crumbles, you need some flour and plain or gluten-free works well here.
  • Pecans: for the nutty top. Chop these roughly into smaller pieces and leave out if making this nut-free (and for alternatives use chopped walnuts or hazelnuts).
  • Olive oil: this is instead of using butter for the crumble and still adds richness and that lovely “buttery” taste. You can also use coconut oil, if you prefer.

As for the wet ingredients for the loaf cake:

  • Plant-based milk: use your favourite dairy-free, unsweetened milk here like soya, oat, almond or coconut (from the carton).
  • Apple cider vinegar: this curdles the milk to create a buttermilk which binds the cake batter as we do not use eggs.
  • Unsweetened applesauce: this adds all the moisture, apple flavour and richness to this loaf cake. Make sure it’s 100% applesauce with nothing added, or you can make your own by peeling, coring and chopping up a few apples and simmering them with a splash of water for 15 minutes or until soft, and then blend up.
  • Maple or agave syrup: this adds sweetness and liquid, which is important for this cake. I like to use agave syrup but maple or another syrup are great.
  • Coconut sugar: for sweetness and if you prefer, you can use light brown sugar.
  • Olive oil: this adds richness, texture and fat to the loaf which creates a lovely soft texture.
  • Thick coconut yoghurt: I love baking with yoghurt as it adds a dose of gut-healthy ingredients as well as an amazing rich texture. Make sure your yoghurt is really thick and creamy like the Cocos Organic natural or vanilla yoghurt as runny yoghurt will not work here.
  • Vanilla essence and salt: for flavour.

The dry ingredients:

  • Plain or gluten-free plain flour: for structure and rise, I like to use plain flour as well as the oat flour (otherwise it can be too heavy) and make sure you use a 1:1 baking blend of gluten-free flour that you trust (and one with xanthan gum or similar, as a binder).
  • Oat flour and oats: oat flour adds more fibre into this more wholesome loaf, as opposed to using all white flour, and then whole oats are stirred into the batter for texture. Make your own oat flour in the blender by blending up whole oats and make sure they are gluten-free, where needed.
  • Vegan vanilla protein powder: this adds a lovely vanilla flavour, natural sweetness and texture to the loaf cake. If needed, you could replace this with extra plain flour but I advise to use the protein powder.
  • Spices: this cake uses cinnamon and ground ginger for the warming spices.
  • Raising agents: for the rise.
  • Pecans: as above, chop these small for the batter.

Is this gluten-free and nut-free?

This is easily gluten-free if you use your preferred 1:1 baking blend of gluten-free flour that contains a gum to help bind the batter. Also make sure your oats and oat flour are certified gluten-free. To make this nut-free, skip the pecans and check all your other ingredients.

How do I make this?

This is easy to make in a few steps and please see the recipe card below for the full method.

  • Stir together the cinnamon sugar ingredients: in one bowl.
  • Combine the streusel topping ingredients: in a second bowl.
  • Stir together the milk and apple cider vinegar: and allow to rest for 5 minutes to curdle.
  • Whisk together all the wet ingredients for the batter: until smooth.
  • Sift in the dry ingredients: and fold in the nuts.
  • Pour half the batter into the lined tin: and sprinkle over the cinnamon sugar.
  • Spread over the remaining batter: and top with the crumble streusel.
  • Bake in the breadmaker oven or regular oven: until golden, risen and smelling amazing.
  • Allow to cool for 10 minutes then lift out to cool fully: on a wire rack.
  • Drizzle with icing sugar: and slice thickly to serve.

Note that the loaf will not slice as well while warm, so do be patient and allow it to cool down fully.

How long will this last?

Once made, keep this cake in a sealed container in the fridge for 3-5 days or you can freezer it, wrapped well, for 1 month and allow to defrost before eating.

A Apple Pecan Streusel Loaf Cake on a board with two slices fallen down
Apple Pecan Streusel Loaf Cake

What else can I make?

If you are looking for more seasonal bakes:

A loaf of Apple Pecan Streusel Loaf Cake with a few slices cut on a board

Apple Pecan Streusel Loaf Cake (Vegan GF-Option)

Yield: 10-12 (makes 1 loaf)
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 50 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 5 minutes

This vegan and easily gluten-free Apple Pecan Streusel Loaf Cake is moreish, tender and packed with warming cinnamon spices. It has a layer of cinnamon sugar inside and is topped with a nutty streusel crumble before being drizzled with pecans and icing.


For the Cinnamon Sugar:

  • 30g coconut or light brown sugar
  • 1 tsp cinnamon

For the Streusel:

  • 35g plain/GF plain flour
  • 30g coconut or light brown sugar
  • ½ tsp cinnamon
  • 20g pecans, chopped small
  • 1 tbsp olive oil

For the Loaf (WET):

  • 60ml plant-based milk
  • 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 240g unsweetened applesauce
  • 80ml maple or agave syrup
  • 80g coconut or golden caster sugar
  • 60ml olive oil
  • 60g thick coconut yoghurt
  • 1 tsp vanilla essence

For the Loaf (DRY):

  • 140g plain or GF plain flour
  • 125g oat flour
  • 25g vegan vanilla protein powder
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp ground ginger
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • A pinch of salt
  • 50g whole oats
  • 40g pecans, chopped small

For Decorating:

  • 60g icing sugar with 1-2 tsp water
  • Extra pecans, crushed


  1. Make the cinnamon sugar: stir together the ingredients to combine. If needed, preheat the oven to 160Fan/180ºC.
  2. For the streusel: stir together all the ingredients with a spoon and then crumble together with your hands.
  3. For the loaf: whisk together the milk and apple cider vinegar into a large mixing bowl and leave for 5 minutes to curdle. Now pour in the applesauce, syrup, sugar, oil, yoghurt and vanilla and whisk to combine. Sift in the flours, protein powder, spices, baking powder and bicarbonate of soda. Pour in the oats and salt and whisk to a smooth, thick batter. Now fold in the pecans.
  4. To prepare the loaf: grease and line a loaf tin with parchment paper. Pour in half of the batter and smooth the top. Sprinkle over all the cinnamon sugar and use a knife to swirl through the sugar. Pour over the remaining batter and smooth over the top. Sprinkle over the streusel mix to evenly cover the loaf.
  5. To bake in the Panasonic Bread Maker: place the loaf tin in breadmaker and select the 27 Bake Only function. Set the time to 1 hour 10 minutes and once ready, the loaf will be springy and golden, and an inserted skewer will come out clean. If needed, bake for another 5-10 minutes.
  6. To bake in the oven: place in the middle of a preheated oven at 160Fan/180ºC for 50 minutes, or until an inserted skewer comes out clean. You can cover the top with foil after 45 minutes, if it’s getting too dark.
  7. To cool: carefully lift the tin out of the Bread Maker and leave on a cooling rack for 10 minutes before using the parchment paper to lift the loaf from the tin and cool fully on a wire rack.
  8. To serve: mix the icing sugar and water until thick and pourable. Drizzle all over the loaf and add on extra pecans, if you like.
  9. Slice and enjoy or keep in a sealed container for 3-5 days, ideally in the fridge overnight, and allow to rest at room temperature before eating. You can keep the loaf in the freezer for 1 month, wrapped well, and allow to defrost before eating.


I have not baked this is any other breadmakers, so if your model is different, please use this as a guide.

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Stay in touch

I look forward to hearing what you think of this Apple Pecan Streusel Loaf Cake so please let me know in the comments below and leave a star review above. If you do make this, I’d love to see so please tag me. I’m @nourishing.amy on Instagram and use the hashtag #nourishingamy. I’m also on TwitterFacebook and Pinterest  – please say hello!

With apple streusel cake love x

p.s. this recipe was first made with Panasonic and their new breadmaker but this blog post is not sponsored and all opinions are my own.

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