Warm, Dairy-Free Apple Cake to Brighten a Cold, Rainy Sunday

I bet you can’t find anything more comforting than a warm slice of soft, creamy dairy-free apple cake accompanied by a cup of hot tea when it’s pouring down outside. It’s Spooky season, temperatures are dropping, leaves are falling, and weekends aren’t for Pimms and outdoor gardens anymore. With all the squash and chestnuts coming out, we shall not forget the fruits that are with us most of the year, which during this season reign over the kitchen: apples.

The most versatile of them all, apples were probably created to be mixed with flour, sugar, and eggs. Or at least, that’s what I like to think to make myself feel better when I mix yet another cake batter. Scroll down for more nonsense after the recipe.

As a side note, this recipe is dairy-free as it doesn’t contain butter and I used dairy-free milk, but no one will stop you from using normal milk if that’s what you have at home. I’d recommend keeping the oil rather than switching for butter as the oil will keep the apple cake moist for longer, even if you don’t necessarily need it to be dairy-free. Best served with a side of ice cream if you’re not in a cup-of-tea mood (dairy-free as well, if you need).

apple cake

Dairy-free Apple Cake for Sunday Blues

A comforting, creamy, soft apple cake that will match your cuppa on a Sunday afternoon.
Prep Time 30 mins
Cook Time 1 hr
Total Time 1 hr 30 mins
Course Dessert
Cuisine British, European, French, Italian
Servings 12 servings


  • 22-cm Cake Tin
  • Chef's Knife
  • Mandoline (optional)


  • 7 to 10 apples
  • 3 medium eggs
  • 200 g white sugar
  • 200 g all purpose flour
  • 100 g vegetable oil
  • 100 g dairy-free/vegetable milk
  • 16 g baking powder
  • 1 lemon (juice and zest)
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla


  • Start by turning the oven on at 180°C/355°F and by grating the lemon. Set zest aside. Peel and chop all the apples in quarters. Put aside on a bowl full of cold water and the lemon juice to prevent oxidation.
  • Mix together the 3 eggs and sugar – you just need a fork for this, no mixer necessary. When they're well mixed, add flour, vegetable oil, milk, zest, and vanilla. Add the baking soda last.
  • Go back to your apples and chop them very very finely. You can do so either with a chef's knife or with a mandoline, depending on what you have.
  • Add 3/4 of the apples to the cake mix and whisk together softly. Add the remaining 1/4 of apples on top to create a circle if you want to look fancy. Add a sprinkle of brown sugar or cinnamon on top and put in the oven for 60 minutes.
Keyword Apple Recipes, Autumn Recipes, Easy Cake, Fall Recipes

Apple Cake + Autumn = A Match Made in Heaven

There’s something about biting into a slightly warm slice of dairy-free apple cake when it’s cool, rainy and a bit grey outside, especially in London. Apple cakes are so easy to make that it can become an easy treat on a random Sunday (or weekday too!) without much planning, as long as you have your basic ingredients at home. Just make sure to check if you need anything beforehand to avoid being like me, running to the local store to buy sugar halfway through the recipe.

On the bright side, forgetting to buy sugar made me realise that even walking down the store knowing that in a couple of hours I would’ve had a lovely, warm slice of creamy cake was enough for me to be in a good mood. The smell of the fallen leaves added something to that feeling: it was as if all of a sudden, I realised it was actually autumn.

apple cake

If you, like us, are a faithful Oddboxer, you might sometimes struggle to use all the apples you get – with this recipe you can usually use up to 7 apples (or more, if you’re a fan of apple recipes). I’m not gonna give you my usual speech on how great Oddbox is (but just know that it is!), because I feel like I do that all the time.

What I will say though is that if you want to rescue veggies and fruit and you’re based in London or Brighton, they’re the right guys for you. Alternatively, there are loads of similar companies that offer a similar service (Riverford or Abel & Cole just to name a couple). You will do good for the environment and for yourself, as you’ll find yourself with veggies and fruit you wouldn’t normally buy, but that are now in your fridge ready to be used. There are always options to avoid getting stuff you don’t like, so if that’s what’s stopping you, fear not: Oddbox (and I presume Riverford and Abel & Cole as well) will just send you a replacement.

Baking or not baking?

Now that we’re officially going towards the coldest season, it’s definitely time to turn those ovens back on (if you ever turned them off, that is).

Some people are actually terrified of baking, while some love it more than cooking a standard meal. Why? Baking is extremely precise. You can’t improvise, you can’t add a bit of salt here and there and adjust the taste, and if you get something wrong, chances are that you’ll find out when it’s too late. But a bad baking day happens to anyone, so don’t let a cake that turned out wrong be the reason why you keep away from your oven.

The third time I baked this dairy-free apple cake in fact – despite two amazing first runs – I realized after 45 minutes in the oven that my apple cake was actually burning and the top was rising a bit too much. Turns out, the dial moved to 200°C (almost 400°F!) and we almost lost the cake. Now, we’re not fussy, we slalomed between the slightly burnt apples and ate it anyway. It was a bit burnt, but still, it was that nice kind of burnt that becomes almost nice. Almost a blessing in disguise. I wouldn’t recommend you to do that, but this might be encouraging for some of you that might fear to just find themselves with an inedible cake.

Pro Tip: a good signal that the heat is too high is when the centre top of the cake starts rising a bit too fast and unevenly, so you may want to keep an eye on that and make sure that everything is going fine. The apple cake (and any other cake) should rise uniformly. If it doesn’t do so, something is wrong. You can’t save your cake every single time, but with a few precautions, you can save at least some of them.

Moving away from the bad baking experiences, the truth is that some recipes require more effort than others. This dairy-free apple cake recipe is super easy even for the newest of bakers, and if you want another one to try you could always give a shot to this beetroot brownie we made back in July. Others are not as easy, but as long as you read carefully and follow the recipe step by step, you might surprise yourself!

In the meantime, just enjoy this cake – we’re gonna be back soon with other apple recipes for the autumn/winter season.

apple cake slice