Vegan Apple Upside Down Cake

Prep time: 30 min, Cook time: 45 min

I’ve been seeing different versions of apple upside down cake floating around the internet lately. So when my mom asked me to make her an apple dessert for her birthday I knew I had to try my own veganized version of this yummy cake.

Much like traditional pineapple upside down cake, start with melted butter on the bottom, followed by a brown sugar mix and then sliced apples, with the cake batter being the final layer.

I used a mix of fuji and gala apples because that’s what I had.

There’s quite a bit of sugar in the top layer and apples are naturally sweet so I did cut the sugar a bit from my regular cake amount. And I’m glad I did because it was perfectly sweet for me! (Mom loved it too! I didn’t even tell her it was vegan, but I’m sure by now she probably assumed lol.)

You need a lot of sliced apples in this cake, so one trick I used to keep them from going brown is to put them in cold water immediately after slicing. I left them there until I was ready to layer.

And your layering doesn’t have to be perfect! Just make sure the surface is covered and then use and extra apple slices to fill in the gaps.

Topping Ingredients:

  • 5 medium apples, peeled, cored and thinly sliced
  • 1/2c butter, melted (I used Earth Balance)
  • 1c brown sugar
  • 2t cinnamon
  • 1/2t pumpkin spice

Cake Ingredients:

  • 2.5c flour
  • 1c sugar
  • 2/3c unsweetened applesauce
  • 1/4c apple cider
  • 1/2c milk of choice (I used oat)
  • 1/4c butter, softened
  • 1t vanilla
  • 1T baking powder
  • 1t baking soda
  • 1/2t salt


  1. Peel, core, and slice apples into thin strips. Place in cold water until ready to use.
  2. Preheat oven to 325°.
  3. Lightly spray a 9×13 cake pan and set aside.
  4. Melt 1/2c butter and pour evenly into cake pan.
  5. Mix brown sugar and spices and sprinkle evenly over butter.
  6. Arrange apple slices on top of the sugar mix.
  7. Next, start on the cake batter.. In a large bowl, mix butter and sugar together.
  8. Add applesauce, milk and cider until well combined.
  9. Add vanilla, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
  10. Stir in flour 1c at a time until batter forms.
  11. If the batter is a little thick, add milk 1 tablespoon at a time to thin out until desired consistency is reached. If it’s too thin, add 1 tablespoon of flour.
  12. Pour cake mix over apples.
  13. Bake for 45 min, or until a toothpick comes out clean.
  14. Let cool 10 min and then flip cake pan over onto a large cookie sheet or cutting board.
  15. Let cool completely before cutting and serving.

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