Vegan Cocoa Apple Cake

(from 6 reviews)

Vegan Cocoa Apple Cake

My another successful baking experience with Taste of Home’s recipe! I had bookmarked this apple cake recipe quite a while ago and got the chance to try it recently and it was a super duper hit. The original recipe by itself is egg free and vegan but I made some healthy changes.

I decided to use whole wheat pastry flour instead of all purpose flour, reduced the quantity of oil and substituted some of it with unsweetened applesauce and the result was a very moist, delicious and guilt free vegan cocoa apple cake. This recipe is quite similar to the whacky vegan chocolate cake except for the fact that we are using lemon juice instead of vinegar. This is my first experience with lemon juice as an egg substitute and I was not sure what to expect but was super excited after tasting the cake because it was so soft and light. I was quite unsure about the quantity of lemon juice because I have read that 1 tablespoon of vinegar and 1 teaspoon of baking soda can be used to replaced 1 egg and that vinegar can be substituted with 2 tablespoons of lemon juice and this recipe uses only 1 teaspoon of lemon juice. I was going back and forth about using 1 teaspoon or 1 tablespoon but finally decided to follow the original recipe itself and was completely satisfied with the apple cake.

Recently I baked a peanut butter quick bread with whole wheat flour and it tasted yucky and I had to throw it away just like that. I don’t know if its the brand of whole wheat flour or the recipe. So I’m not sure how this recipe would turn out with plain whole wheat flour as against whole wheat pastry flour. So if you don’t have whole wheat pastry flour go with all purpose flour itself as mentioned in the original recipe. Regular whole wheat flour doesn’t work well in all recipes. But I have to mention that my bottle gourd chocolate cake came out very well with whole wheat flour. That was a different brand of flour, so I guess its the brand that makes the difference.


Vegan Cocoa Apple Cake Recipe

Prep TimeCook TimeMakes
15 Mins35 Mins8×8 inch square cake cut into 16 squares
Vegan Cocoa Apple Cake
4.3 from 6 reviews
Check out this amazing vegan cocoa apple cake recipe. Its simple to bake but has a great taste!
  • 1 and 1/2 cups Whole Wheat Pastry Flour
  • 1/4 cup Cocoa Powder
  • 1 teaspoon Baking Soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon Salt
  • 1 cup Water
  • 1/4 cup (dry measuring cup) Unsweetened Applesauce
  • 1 tablespoon Oil (I used canola)
  • 1 teaspoon Lemon Juice, freshly squeezed
  • 1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
  • 1 cup Peeled, Cored & Diced Apples into small pieces (1 medium)
  • 3/4 cup (See My Notes) Granulated Sugar
  1. Preheat oven to 350F/180C for 15 Mins. Lightly grease and line the cake tin with parchment paper. Spray the paper with non stick cooking spray as well.
  2. In a medium size bowl sift together the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt. Break the lumps in baking soda if any and mix it well with the flour.
  3. In another bowl mix together the water, applesauce, oil, lemon juice and vanilla extract.
  4. Pour the wet ingredients over the dry mixture and stir until just moistened.
  5. Fold in the apples and sugar into the batter and pour it in the prepared pan.
  6. Bake it for 30-35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean. I checked mine after 30 minutes and it was done perfectly.
My Notes:
  1. The original recipe mentioned to use 2/3rd cup of sugar which is approximately 10 tablespoons. I read the review which mentioned that the apple cake was not sweet enough, so I increased it to 3/4th cup; which is approximately 12 tablespoons. I felt that the cake could have been a bit more sweet. I don’t mind the mild sweetness but another 2 tablespoons wouldn’t have hurt. So if you have a sweet tooth you may want to increase the quantity of sugar.
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  1. Hi! Here in India i dont think we get unsweetened applesauce too easily. Could tell me how to make my own applesauce or any substsitute? Thanks in advance 😀

  2. Hey Madhuram !!
    I baked this cake for my dad’s birthday and i think it turned out quite nice…all thanks to you..btw i used a pressure cooker fr baking as i prefer it more over an oven!! And could you give me storage suggestions pls ?

    • Thanks Shobha. I have never baked in a pressure cooker, so curious to know how the texture was. Do you mean storage suggestions for storing the cake? Cut it into slices and store it in an air-tight container. Cakes do tend to harden slightly when stored in the refrigerator. In that case keep it out a couple of minutes before serving.

  3. I tried making this, but it turned out rather chewy and rubbery and didn’t rise very well.(It still tasted great though). Can you please give me some tips on what I may have done wrong?

  4. In this recipe can lime be used instead of lemon? Also I don’t have pastry flour…what can I substitute it with? Please reply…your pic is tempting …I wanna try it…

    • I have not used lime so far. Maybe it will work. You can use equal portion of whole wheat flour and all-purpose flour as a substitute for pastry flour.

  5. I thought this came out very well. Taking a tip from another recipe, I shredded the apples instead of dicing them. I also used raw carob powder instead of cocoa. I doubled the recipe for a 9×13 baking dish, and used the lesser sweetener amount. BUT, I forgot to double the 2/3 cup of sugar!! Therefore, it was not sweet at all, so I made a vegan coconut-walnut frosting to top it with, and the sweetness of the frosting balanced out the un-sweetness of the cake. I will definitely try this again, but next time make sure I add all the sugar!

  6. Love these eggless recipes, great for a snow day when you realise there are no eggs and the kids want to bake!
    Just willing this to cook as its been in an hour n still runny in the middle 🙁

  7. Nice Cake. I did make a sub by taking 3 medium Fuji apples,peeled and cored them and zipped them up in my Vitamix. This was in place of both the chopped apple and the apple sauce. I made a quick maple cinnamon soy cream cheese icing for it and dusted the top with a little cocoa.

  8. hi Madhuram:

    I plan to make this next week for my wedding ann. Can i substitute Pastry flour (which I dont have) with a mix of APF and wholewheat atta?

    Pls do let me know

  9. Hi !! i cannot find Unsweetened Applesauce can you please tell me what can i replace it with and even how can i prepare applesauce??
    Thank looking forward for your reply .

    • Peel, chop and cook apples in little water either in microwave oven or stove top. Puree it smoothly once cooled. Your applesauce is ready.

  10. Hi! I tried this cake today, everything went well except it needs more sweetness in it. I didn’t know that it needed more sugar. So I just put icing on it.

  11. Hi Madhuram,
    I love the concept of eggless baking. I am thoroughly making use of your website 🙂
    Really helps me prepare recipes instantly at anytime. very handy website..Appreciate it !!

    I see some of the recipes need apple sauce. Can I use orange marmalade instead?


    • Thanks Dipika. I think you will be able to use it if you try liquifying it a little bit but the baked goods might have an orange flavor to it.

  12. I just made these today and after reading the reviews, tweaked the recipe. I added 1 cup sugar and the sweetness was perfect and made and baked them as cupcakes. As I did not have wholewheat flour , I used 1 cup of chapathi flour and 1/2 cup of wholemeal flour. They came out pretty good. Am looking forward to trying out your other recipes too.

  13. Thank you for publishing these eggless recipes. I have been trying to stay away from eggs because I need to keep my Cholestrol down.

  14. Hello madhuram:

    You picture loks amazing and hence i tried it for my sisters birth day. I followed the ecipe to the T but it did not come out well. the cake was undercooked and i could taste the batter

    • Hi,

      I was just looking for cake recipes, and I came across this
      website. [] I have not tried the recipes
      but worth looking at it. (In google also you can search
      (fatfreevegankitchen) – sinlessly deliciously same site.)
      Chocalate-Orange Cake recipe seems interesting or worth


  15. Tried this cake twice.The first time it came out well.The second time it was more of a brownie…don’t know what went wrong.Will have to try it again.Wanted to share my feedback.Thanks.

  16. Hi Madhuram,

    Any suggestions for diabetic say if a recipe uses 1 cup sugar what
    are other alternatives in a cake or cookie recipes. Please let me
    know. Thanks.

  17. Hi Madhu,
    I made this cake yesterday, but it ddint come out well.
    I followed the recipe exactly …dont know wat went wrong.
    The outcome was more like a Brownie than a cake.
    To start with the batter was very thick and so the cake / brownie was very very very chewy. There was not enough moisture either. I put 1 cup sugar and still it tasted very low on the sweet side. and so i made a vanilla frosting.

    – Rupa

  18. I made this cake over the long weekend.. I actually made cupcakes
    and the recipe yielded 13 cupcakes.. I used just 1/4 cup brown
    sugar and 1/2 cup plus 1 tbsp normal sugar.. The cupcakes
    turned very good, but i wouldn’t have mind a lil more sugar.. So I
    frosted the cupcakes following your buttercream icing recipe..
    This was the first time I tried frosting and had fun decorating them
    thanks for your recipes…

  19. I tried this recipe today with little more sugar like you suggested
    and it came out great!!Now, I am excited to try more of your
    egg less recipes. Thanks 🙂

  20. Today I tried this cake and its very delicious! I didn’t have applesauce, so I used butter instead. It needed around 45-50 minutes to be cooked though. All in all, I am thrilled to find this site. My hubby doesn’t eat eggs and this site is a lifesaver for me. Thx!

  21. Hi Madhuram,

    I love your recipes ! I have tried a few of them and they turn out great ! I have mentioned your site in my blog and I hope the word spread as far as possible ! Thanks for this great work ..

    — WorkingMaa

    • I think Bob Red Mill, Arrow Heads Mill and King Arthur sells it. But I was not able to find any of these while I lived in US. Here I’m fortunate to have a bulk store nearby which sells a lot of specialty flours.

  22. hi madhuram….
    I just moved back to India… can applesauce be replaced…?
    can whea flour be used instead of pastry flour?
    thanks for helping

    • You can prepare applesauce at home. Just peel and cut apples; add little water and either cook it on stove top or in a microwave oven and puree it once it is cool enough and your homemade applesauce is ready. Try using all purpose flour and whole wheat flour in 1:1 ratio instead of whole wheat pastry flour.

  23. Hi ,

    This is the first recipe I am trying from your website. I love your recipes!I have a question. Do you use the large oven (the one underneath the USA gas stoves) or the small kitchen counter oven??



  24. I should add that I have discovered that if you grease a ceramic coated cast iron pan or stone muffin pans and then heat them in the oven, muffins and cakes don’t stick. Then you’re not getting chemicals from spray on cooking oils.

    I heartily recommend pans from Mario Batali and Le Creuset (Mario’s are half the price though) and stone bakeware from Hartstone.

  25. I didn’t have applesauce so I used a mashed banana, and I’m not vegan anymore so I used a tablespoon of butter (vegetable oil turns to a transfat when heated), and I used 1 and a quarter cup whole spelt flour and 1/2 cup of cocoa, and a handful of chocolate chips. I baked it in a ceramic coated cast iron pan greased with coconut oil (I’m almost out of coconut oil or I would have used that instead of butter.)

    It turned out great – thank you for the recipe!

  26. The cake looks scrumptious.Did you notice any difference in the
    crumb / texture of the cake with the lemon juice ; Also i’ve
    noticed that vinegar gives coarser crumb , did you notice that
    or is it only me?

    • Applesacue is as easy as cooking potatoes Subhashini. You can very well make it yourself. Just peel and cut the apple, add couple spoons water and cook it in the microwave oven/stove. Blend the cooked apples in a mixie and applesauce is ready.

  27. YUMMM. we didn’t have pastry flour so we used all purpose. also we added come spiced clove.
    also we used 3/4 raw sugar.

    it was so moist and yummy

  28. Hi Madhuram,
    I recently bought whilte whole wheat flour from Trader Joe’s.
    I am yet to use it for baking. Can you please tell me if white whole wheat flour can be used in place of whole wheat pastry flour?
    Also, in the above recipe, what variety of apple did you use?

    • Jay, white whole wheat flour is surely better than regular whole wheat flour when it comes to baking. It’s been a while since I used it, so I really don’t remember the taste and texture of it in baked goods. So I would suggest you to start with 50% of white whole wheat flour and all purpose flour each and depending on how much you like it you can increase the quantity of WWWF in your subsequent tries.

  29. Looks so very tempting…tried your chocolate banana cake and was just superb, everyone at home
    just loved it. This too is bookmarked, can’t wait to try it


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