This vegan spiced apple cinnamon roll cake is a fusion of my two favorite things: spiced apples and cinnamon rolls. If you’re looking for an ooey-gooey cake filled with soft spiced apples bathed in brown sugar and butter, you’ll love this recipe. Your family will never guess that this insanely delicious cinnamon roll cake is gluten, soy, egg, and dairy-free! It’s the perfect Christmas morning cake.
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When I was growing up, you couldn’t tell me that the canned cinnamon rolls from Pilsbury weren’t a delicacy. Nothing made me happier and more excited than seeing my mother pop open the container with the back of a spoon. The little pop from the exploding rolls made me giddy. When I got my first job at a major department store in the mall, I tried Cinnabon. Good Lord! Those cinnabon rolls changed my life and enhanced my love of cinnamon rolls.
The baked treat was the inspiration for this breakfast hybrid of three of my favorite indulgences: cake, cinnamon rolls, and apple fritters. This fresh, aromatic, oven-baked spiced apple cinnamon roll cake is simply irresistible. The combination of spiced apples, an ooey-gooey cinnamon center, and a light and fluffy cake base should easily be listed as the eighth wonder of the world. If you’re looking for the perfect Christmas morning cake, this should be a recipe you save and use for years to come.
I have outlined the steps to making this vegan cinnamon roll cake below. There are four main parts to this easy recipe: the spiced apple filling, cake base, cinnamon topping, and cake icing. Each has been broken down for easy replication to ensure your vegan spiced apple cinnamon roll cake is just as delicious as mine was.
INGREDIENTS NEEDED TO MAKE A VEGAN SPICED APPLE CINNAMON ROLL CAKE
For the spiced apple filling, you will need:
- brown sugar
- cornstarch (or tapioca starch)
For the cake base, you will need:
- gluten-free flour
- coconut sugar
- baking powder
- coconut milk
- flaxseed meal (replaces 2 eggs)
- plant-based butter
For the cinnamon topping, you will need:
- plant-based butter
- brown sugar
For the cake icing, you will need:
- powdered sugar
- non-dairy milk
DIRECTIONS FOR MAKING A SPICED APPLE CINNAMON ROLL CAKE
Spiced apple filling: wash, peel, core, and chop your apples into small, one-inch pieces. Combine apples, butter, and brown sugar in a medium-sized skillet over medium heat and stir until butter is melted. Stir in spices and cornstarch and continue until all is dissolved. Allow simmering for 3 minutes. Remove from heat and allow apples to sit for 10 minutes.
Cake Base: In a large bowl, mix dry ingredients, flaxseed meal, water, melted butter, and vanilla by hand. The dough is properly mixed once it becomes sticky and a bit difficult to stir.
Cinnamon Topping: In the bowl of a stand mixer (or hand mixer), cream together softened butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add cinnamon and gluten-free flour. Mix well until fully combined.
Cake Icing: Combine powdered sugar and non-dairy milk and mix until smooth and shiny.
IN WHAT ORDER SHOULD THE CINNAMON ROLL CAKE LAYERS OCCUR?
To ensure that your spiced apple cinnamon roll cake tastes just like an ooey-gooey cinnamon roll, I suggest you assemble it as follows.
- Start by layering your cake base in the bottom of your baking dish and spreading it flat with the back of a spoon.
- Top your cake base with half of your cinnamon roll topping, and with a butter knife, swirl the topping into the cake base mixture.
- Pour your spiced apple mixture over the cinnamon roll topping.
- Using a knife, spread the remaining cinnamon mixture over the apples and around the sides of the cake. You want to get some of that cinnamon roll topping in between the cake and the baking dish. This creates and cinnamony-sweet crust around the outside of the cake.
- Once the cake is out of the oven, poke a few holes through the cake to ensure the icing gets inside the cake.
- Pour cake icing on top of the warm cake.
- Leftover icing can be refrigerated and used when reheating your cake.
WHAT TYPE OF APPLES SHOULD YOU USE FOR THIS CAKE?
I used Fuji apples. Their fairly sweet and slightly tart flesh, pleasant and refreshing crunch, and good texture make them the perfect apples for baking.
WHAT ARE THE BEST APPLES FOR BAKING?
As mentioned, For this recipe, I used Fuji apples. Their fairly sweet and slightly tart flesh, pleasant and refreshing crunch, and good texture make them the perfect apples for baking. Gala, Golden Delicious, Granny Smith, and Honeycrisp are my choices for the best apples to use for cooking and baking.
WHAT ARE THE BEST SPICES TO USE ON APPLES?
Cinnamon is the most common spice that goes with apples giving them a spicy edge. Cloves are used in making mulled apple cider. Cloves can be used in small quantities to flavor other sweet apple dishes but are typically used to add zest to baked apples. Nutmeg is also a good flavor for sweet apple recipes. For example, apple spice cake typically contains nutmeg. Although not one of the top spices to use on apples, cardamom adds warmth and roundness to cooked apples.
Looking for more vegan breakfast ideas?
Spiced Apple Cinnamon Roll Cake
Spiced Apple Filling
- 3 Apples washed, peeled, cored, and chopped
- 1/3 Cup Light Brown Sugar Packed
- 2 Tbsp Plant-Based Butter MELT or Earth Balance
- 2 Tsp Cornstarch
- 1 Tsp Nutmeg (or allspice)
- 1 Tsp Cinnamon
- 1 Tsp Cardamom
- 1 Tsp Vanilla Extract
- 3 Cup Gluten-Free Flour
- 1 Cup Coconut Sugar
- 1/4 Tsp Salt
- 4 Tsp Baking Powder
- 1 1/2 Cup Coconut Milk Or other non-dairy milk
- 2 Tbsp Flaxseed Meal Equivalent to 2 flax eggs
- 6 Tbsp Water
- 2 Tsp Vanilla Extract
- 1/2 Cup Plant-Based Butter melted
- 1 Cup Plant-Based Butter
- 1 Cup Light Brown Sugar Packed
- 2 Tbsp Gluten-Free Flour
- 1 Tbsp Cinnamon
- 1 Cup Powdered Sugar
- 5 Tbsp Coconut Milk Or other non-dairy Milk
- 1 Tsp Vanilla
- Preheat oven to 350° and prep 8.25 x 11 baking dish with non-stick cooking spray.
Spiced Apple Filling
- In a medium-sized pan combine apples, butter, and brown sugar. Cook over medium-low heat until butter and sugar are melted. Then add cornstarch, cinnamon, cardamom, nutmeg,(or allspice) and vanilla. Increase heat to medium and bring to a simmer for 3 minutes, constantly stirring. Remove from heat and allow apples to cool for 10 minutes. Set aside.
- In a large bowl add dry ingredients, flaxseed meal, vanilla, water, and melted butter. Mix well. cake base batter will be thick and sticky. Set aside.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream together butter and brown sugar until creamy. Add in flour and cinnamon until well mixed. Set aside.
- Mix all ingredients in a medium-sized bowl and stir until smooth. Set aside.
Spiced Apple Cinnamon Roll Cake Assembly
- Pour cake batter into the base of your baking dish.
- Swirl half of the cinnamon cake topping over cake base batter with the back of a spoon or a knife. This will ensure that the cake topping is mixed throughout the base of the cake.
- Pour cooked apples over the cinnamon roll cake topping.
- Top with remaining cinnamon roll cake topping and swirl once more with the back of a spoon or a knife. Make sure to get some of the cinnamon topping around the edge of the cake.
- Bake cake for 35 minutes. Remove from the oven and top warm cake with cake icing.
- Once the cake is removed from the oven and prior to pouring the icing over the cake, create a few holes with a toothpick to ensure the icing seeps into the cake.
- Check the cake doneness of your cake by inserting a toothpick into the base of the cake. Bake for 5-7 more minutes should cake note be done.
- leftovers can be covered and stored in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. Your apple fritter cinnamon roll cake is best if reheated in the oven at 300 degrees for 7 minutes.
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