Apple Cake with Chocolate Ganache

February 02, 2013

Apple, cinnamon and chocolate make a delicious combination that I always find impossible to resist. The cake is moist, not overly sweet, has a good bite (not crumbly) and a comforting aroma. This has been one of my favourite treats for almost ten years, ever since a friend introduced me to it. Veganizing it was easy and here I'm sharing the two versions I've made.

The whole preparation (including baking) takes about 45 minutes, then you're left with the most difficult part - the waiting. I've never once had the patience to let the cake cool completely, I love it still a little warm when that seductive aroma of baked apples and cinnamon is stronger.

This version uses orange juice which adds flavour and moisture. The cake is somewhat lighter than the second version and has no added fat, including in the chocolate ganache (exception being the few drops of oil needed to grease the pan).

Apple Cake with Chocolate Ganache - Orange juice version

Dry Ingredients
  • 2 cups (290 g) all purpose flour
  • 1 cup (200 g) demerara sugar
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1.5 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp cinnamon powder

Wet Ingredients
  • 2 cups peeled and grated apples (2 large apples)
  • 170 ml freshly squeezed orange juice (don't strain the pulp, it adds to the taste)

Note: 1 cup = 250 ml.

Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C).
Lightly grease a 23 x 23 cm (9" x 9") pan with oil.
Mix the dry ingredients in a large bowl.
Grate one apple and measure 1 cup, then mix it straight away into the flour to prevent oxidation. Add the second cup of grated apple and the orange juice, mix well.

Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 35-40 minutes until a toothpick inserted in the centre comes out clean.
Remove the pan from the oven and place it on a wire rack. Let the cake cool for 30-40 minutes.
While still warm, cut it into 25 pieces and pour the chocolate ganache over.

Chocolate Ganache
  • 100 g dark chocolate (non-dairy)
  • 1/2 cup (125 ml) almond milk
  • 1/4 cup (50 g) demerara sugar

Mix the almond milk and sugar in a glass bowl, place it over a pan of simmering water (water not touching the bowl). Stir until the sugar has dissolved. Break the chocolate into small pieces and add it to the milk. Stir until melted. Remove from heat and let cool a bit if it's hot. When warm, pour over the cake, spoon by spoon. Using a fork or a knife make some space between the rows and start by filling it with ganache. Pour the remaining ganache over the top and sides. You can also do this by removing the cake pieces from the pan and dipping them into the ganache, as you would lamingtons.

Allow the cake to soak up the ganache for a few minutes, then serve.

The fork here is for picture purpose only, to fully enjoy this cake one should get messy and eat it with the hands:)

The second version uses ground flax seeds which give this cake a slightly chewy and denser texture; walnuts are added for a bit of crunch - this is my favourite of the two. The icing is from the original recipe, I just used non-dairy margarine instead of butter.

Apple Cake with Chocolate Icing - Flax seed and Walnut version

Dry Ingredients
As above, plus 1 extra tsp cinnamon

Wet Ingredients
2 cups grated apples (as above, but not peeled)
2 Tb golden flax seeds + 185 ml warm water
2 tsp apple cider vinegar (or lemon juice)

1/3 cup (40 g) chopped walnuts

Note: Use any apples you like. Here I used Braeburn, in other versions I used a mix of red and green apples.

Grind the flax seeds into powder and mix it in a bowl with the warm water. Set aside while preparing the rest.
After adding the grated apples to the dry ingredients, add the flax mixture, vinegar and walnuts, mix till incorporated and pour into the prepared pan. Bake for 35-40 minutes.

Chocolate Icing
  • 200 g vegan margarine, cubed
  • 2 generous Tb cocoa powder
  • 3-4 Tb demerara sugar
  • 3 Tb water

In a glass bowl mix the water and sugar, place it over a pan of simmering water and stir until dissolved. Add the cocoa, mix it in, then add the margarine and stir occasionally until completely melted.
Cut the cake into 16 pieces (or 25 as above) and pour the icing on top, filling the space between the rows first.
Let cool for a few minutes and serve.

This cake is rich, decadent and crunchy. Get messy with it:)

These apple cakes can also be eaten plain, without chocolate ganache. They are delicious!

Enjoy and spread the magic!:)

If you've tried this cake I would greatly appreciate your feedback. Thank you!



This looks amazing. I HAVE to make it asap. I have all the ingredients to make the first version. :)

Vegan Magic

Wildflower, thank you:) I hope you enjoy the cake and look forward to your feedback.


This looks delicious. I can't wait to make it.

Vegan Magic

I'm glad you like it. I've also made an apple-banana version, yum:)

Abby@ The Frosted Vegan

I love this! Sneaks in some apple nutrition but has chocolate as well!

Vegan Magic

Thank you, Abby. I love fruit cakes and this combination with chocolate is one of my favourite. So glad you like it:)


Oh my gosh, this looks incredible! Can't wait to give it a go :)

Vegan Magic

Thank you, Sarah:) Enjoy!

Vaishali Honawar

I would certainly find it hard to wait for a cake this delicious-- I'd probably eat the batter up before I got around to baking! I can't say I've combined apple, cinnamon and chocolate before but they sound quite divine together. Lovely picture.

Vegan Magic

Vaishali, thank you so much for your kind words. I always have this problem with this cake and each time I tell myself I'll wait till it's completely cool, but it never works:) I hope you try the combination sometime, it's wonderful:)

Kalyana Krishna

u really have magic in ur hands :)

Vegan Magic

Kalyana, you're too kind:) My job was easy, since the original cake was already amazing:) Thank you so much for the comment.

rene l

I used everything except,i didn,t have any sugar so instead i put 2 thawed overipe bananas with a handful of raisins and a little water in a blender,an orange with a little water in the blender.For the topping i added a little maple syrop with the chocolate and almond milk.Pretty good overall considering there is no sugar.The next time im going to try some date paste.I have never tried demerara before.I,l have to get some.... I ate half the cake for dinner Delecious ! and thank you for your wonderful recipes !

Vegan Magic

Rene, thank you so much for sharing your experience:) I'm very happy you enjoyed the cake and added your personal touch to it, making it healthier. Banana tastes great here and I'm sure raisins made the cake even better. I love date paste as substitute for sugar in desserts, I might try it as well in this recipe. Wishing you a lovely day!:)


This looks incredible but I am on a wheat free diet. What can I use instead of the flour. Will changing it to almond meal still bring about the same results?

Vegan Magic

Sia, thank you so much! I have seen recipes using almond meal or coconut flour, but I haven't tried them myself. In other cakes, like the upside-down nectarine cake, for a GF version I have successfully used a combination of fine corn flour and rice flour (even sorghum flour), with and without flax seeds. If I were to use almond meal, I'd consider adding some mashed banana just to be sure it has a good consistency. If you're going to try a GF version, please let us know how it turns out and what you used.


I'm back to say that the cake turn out GREAT! I opted for the first version except that I used unpeeled apples like you do in 2nd version, and almond extract instead of cinnamon. (I use cinnamon almost every day in oatmeal, so I wanted something a bit different for dessert.)

For ganache, I used water instead of almond milk because that's what I had. :) And my dark chocolate had orange flavour. Turned out wonderful.

Result: DELICIOUS, GOOEY, MESSY GOODNESS! Tastes great both hot and cold. (Couldn't wait to have a piece... or three right away... so good!)

Thanks so much for sharing this recipe and irresistible photos! :)

Vegan Magic

Wildflower, you've made my day!:) I'm thrilled the cake turned out great and you enjoyed it so much. I love the texture more when I don't peel the apples, yum! Now you made me curious how it tastes with almond extract, will give it a try next time I make it. Thank you so much for sharing your experience with this recipe:)

Rachel Hirschhaut

Made my first Vegan cake, and it came out delicious!
Only the apple flavour with 2 cups of apple was less prominent for me so next time I think i would put more apple in.
Thank you for this great cake recipe!
I"ll be back for more recipes!

Vegan Magic

Rachel, thank you so much for trying this recipe and for sharing your experience. I'm very happy to know you enjoyed the cake and look forward to your feedback when you add more apple. I too love a stronger apple flavour, but in combination with chocolate this much was enough for me:)

Mais Khourdaji

Do you have a caramel type sauce I can use instead of ganache? We have a chocolate allergy in the house, and I think it would also taste great with something caramely. I want to make this cake! :)

Vegan Magic

Mais, I'm very happy to know you want to try this cake and I too think it would be great with caramel. I don't have a sauce recipe for you, but if I wanted to make this combination I would go for Khudary Dates - the most caramel/toffee-flavoured dates I've ever tried. I'd just blend them with some water or nut milk, add a pinch of cinnamon and maybe a little black treacle and I think it would come out great.


Really good! I used chia seeds instead of flax though. Maybe i would also recommend just a tsp of salt.


Vegan Magic

Andreas, that's great news! I'm very happy you liked the cake. Thanks so much for the feedback and suggestions.


I tried this cake this evening, and wow is it GOOD! I couldn't find demarara sugar, so I used turbinado instead, which seems to have worked just fine! I do Weight Watchers, and this is a great dessert for that...only 3 PPV if you cut it into 16 pieces and 4 PPV if you cut it into 12 slices...because let's be honest, 1/25th of a piece of this cake just isn't going to cut it. YUM!!

Vegan Magic

That's awesome! Thanks so much for giving it a try and letting me know how it came out. I'm so happy you enjoyed it:)

Elisabeth Silkjær Turner

I loved the orange juice version and got some good reviews at the party I brought it to. Thank you for the inspiration!

Today I decided to replace the sugar with 240 g of date paste and adjust the orange juice to 125 ml, baked it for 25 mins as 18 beautiful muffins. Yum :)

Vegan Magic

Elisabeth, wow that sounds fantastic. I love date paste in desserts, the added flavour is wonderful. Thanks so much for the feedback:)

Cindy Meadows

My batter looks too dry.... is it supposed to be soupy? Help!!!

Vegan Magic

Hi Cindy, the batter shouldn't be dry. Have you checked that you added all the ingredients? I know some types of apples are not very juicy either. Thanks for giving it a try, I hope it all turned out great.

Previous Next Home