Vegan Cocoa Apple Cake

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(from 7 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 Mins8x8 inch square cake cut into 16 squares
Vegan Cocoa Apple Cake
4.4 from 7 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. asha

    Madhu what brand and where do I get the whole wheat pastry flour.

    • Madhuram

      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.

  2. vegan

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

    • Madhuram

      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.

  3. Garima

    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??



  4. Shibani

    Congratulation and glad to hear the news. We made this cake and it was great and very moist. Thanks for sharing and take care

  5. Marilyn

    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.

  6. Marilyn

    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!

    • Madhuram

      Thanks for trying the recipe and for the tips.

  7. side dish recipes

    looks so yummy I’ll like to do this dish weekend.

  8. Krsna

    Hi Madhuram,
    i tried this. turned out
    pretty good i did a mousse icicng on this:)it was really tasty.


  9. Sharmilee

    Apple is my fav fruit so surely my taste bud wud luv it…perfect cake and texture u’ve got!

  10. Sarah

    Thank you – this looks wonderful, I’m going to make it today. I love your site.

    • Madhuram

      Thanks Sarah.

  11. Paula

    this looks so delicious!

    have a nice time!

  12. samata

    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?

    • Madhuram

      Hmm…I think I didn’t notice any difference in the texture. It looked and tasted like any ordinary cake.

  13. Subhashini

    can i use any alternate for “Unsweetened Applesauce”?
    I dont think that i will get this in my place.

    • Madhuram

      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.

  14. Amber Sackett

    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

    • Madhuram

      That was so quick Amber. Thanks for trying the recipe.

  15. Jay

    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?

    • Madhuram

      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.

  16. Latha

    Looks fantastic.

  17. vandana rajesh

    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

    • Madhuram

      Thanks Vandana.

  18. My Man's Belly

    This cake sounds delicious! I’m always looking for ways to make our favorite recipes healther.

  19. Priya

    Great looking and scrumptious cake..looks super moist..

  20. meeso

    Lovely healthy recipe for cake!

  21. Rachana

    Wow! Love this vegan version… the cake looks perfect.

  22. Hari Chandana

    mouth watering cake.. yummyy !!

  23. harini-jaya

    sounds gr8..only that my kids not choc fans..

  24. CurryLeaf

    Wow.Love your version Madhu.Too good it looks.
    I would but defly go for 1 cup of sugar 😀