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Murielle Banackissa

Date Sweetened Apple Cake

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1 hour Prep: 20 mins Cook: 40 mins
Serves 8
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Moist, fruit sweetened and delicate in flavour, this apple cake is wonderful to enjoy on its own or on a cold day along with a warm cup of coffee or tea.

Ingredients

  • ¾ cup unsweetened plant based milk
  • ½ cup packed pitted soft dates
  • cup filtered water
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • ½ tsp almond extract (or 1 tsp vanilla extract)
  • 1 ½ cup whole spelt flour
  • ¾ tsp baking soda
  • ½ tsp ground cinnamon
  • Pinch of sea salt
  • 1 cup peeled and chopped apples (I recommend Pink Lady or Granny Smith apples)
  • 1 apple washed, cored and thinly sliced, with skin on

Brown Sugar Topping (optional)

  • 1 tbsp cold unsalted vegan butter
  • 1 tbsp brown sugar , coconut or maple sugar
  • ¼ tsp ground cinnamon
  • Powdered sugar , for garnish

Recipe

  1. Step 1

    Preheat oven to 325ºF and grease a 8-inch spring form pan.

  2. Step 2

    To a blender, add plant based milk, dates, water, olive oil, apple cider vinegar and almond extract. Blend until smooth. Set aside.

  3. Step 3

    To a large bowl, add flour, baking soda, cinnamon and salt. Mix.

  4. Step 4

    Pour wet mixture into the bowl with the flour mixture. Mix to incorporate. At this point, the batter will be rather thick.

  5. Step 5

    Fold in the chopped apples and transfer to prepared spring form pan. 

  6. Step 6

    Prepare brown sugar topping (if using) by adding the vegan butter, brown sugar and cinnamon into a small bowl. Mix using a fork until incorporated. It will be sticky, but don’t worry about it. Once baked, it will be great!

  7. Step 7

    Top the cake with sliced apples and brown sugar topping, if desired.

  8. Step 8

    Bake for 35-40 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean when inserted. 

  9. Step 9

    Let cool for 15 minutes, remove from pan and let cool completely before serving. 

  10. Step 10

    Serve with powdered sugar, if desired.

  11. Step 11

    Keep in the fridge in an airtight container for up to 5 days. 

Common Questions & Swaps

Recipe adapted from Loving it Vegan’s Vegan Apple Cake.

  • I personally used medjool dates in this recipe but any soft date will do. If your dates are too hard, they will have a hard time to blend. To soften them, you can put them in a bowl of boiling water and let sit for 5 minutes. Drain, squeeze out the excess water and use in the recipe as directed.

  • Can I use any plant based milk? I would stick to an unsweetened milk, but you can use anything from almond milk, soy milk, cashew milk, oat milk, hemp milk, macadamia milk etc. Avoid canned coconut milk as it is too rich.

  • Can I replace the dates with another sweetener? I have not tested the recipe with another sweetener so I cannot guarantee the results. I find this recipe is a little fussy because of the moisture the apples bring to the batter so if you can, stick to the dates for good results. Here is another vegan apple cake that is made using brown sugar if you would like another option.

  • Can I use another oil instead of olive oil? Yes sure, as long as it is liquid.

  • Can I use another flour instead of spelt? I think you could do a mix of 3/4 cup whole wheat flour and 3/4 cup all purpose flour.

  • What apples would you recommend? I have tried this recipe with both Granny Smith apples and Pink Lady apples and both of those varieties work great.

Date Sweetened Apple Cake
Date Sweetened Apple Cake
Date Sweetened Apple Cake with powdered sugar being dusted
Date Sweetened Apple Cake slice on a plate

6 months and 2 weeks is the time it took me to finally get this recipe right…

6 months ago, I made a variant of this cake, but did not think of writing the measurements down. I thought, “this recipe will not end up on my blog, it’s fine.” Then a sad thing happened.

I took this glorious cake out of the oven and it was everything I ever wanted in a fruit cake. It was moist, lightly sweetened, nutty and with lovely hints of cinnamon. It was amazing.

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Date Sweetened Apple Cake with slice being taken out
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So I went on a mission to remake this cake. Every time I did, I never managed to get the ingredients just right. I could not achieve the level of fluffiness of the first version of this cake without making it too crumbly. I forgot the baking soda in one of the versions and ended up with a gummy cake. I still ate it but that was the moment I decided to put this recipe aside and come back to it later (a few months later!) with a different set of eyes.

Here we are, mid-October and I am so excited to announce to you that we’ve got it! I finally managed to make this cake work!

This Date Sweetened Apple Cake is sweet, but not overly sweet. It has almond notes because of the almond extract as well as a lovely, warming cinnamon aroma. It is not only garnished with slices of apples but also has chunks of apples inside, ensuring that you get a piece of apple at almost every bite.

If you have been looking for a fall inspired cake, one that celebrates 2 fall staples – apples and cinnamon – this one is IT!

Well, even if it took way longer than expected for me to have this recipe out, I am so glad that I finally get to share it with you.

As we are right in the middle of fall, I think this cake is a wonderful way to celebrate this glorious season! I really hope you try this cake and love it as much as I do, because I really believe, we all should have a date sweetened dessert in our recipe collection!

If you do end up making this recipe, be sure to share it on Instagram and tag me (@muriellebanackissa).

Have a wonderful week my friends!

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