Moist, soft, generous, loaded with spices and warming flavours, this vegan spice cake has everything to become your new favourite fall baking! It is stuffed with sweet dry plums and walnuts for extra crunchiness, and topped with the most delicious plum caramel frosting! Easy to make with simple wholesome ingredients and naturally gluten free. Grab a cup of warm tea and enjoy a perfect comforting snack.
Incredibly moist gluten free and vegan spice cake
The perfect comforting fall cake
Autumn is coming, the days are getting colder and we are all craving something sweet and delicious to partner our afternoon cup of tea. Autumn is the perfect season for baking. It offers so many tasty ingredients and possibilities when it comes down to be creative with fruits and veggies. We all already know the old carrot cake, pumpkin bread or apple cake. And we love them all for their generosity, sweetness, moist texture and their characteristic fall flavours: a subtle blend of warm spices, caramelised notes, roasted nuts and dry fruits that immediately provides a feeling of comfort and brings back good memories.
This vegan spice cake combines all these criteria. It is incredibly moist and soft, loaded with warming spices and absolutely delicious. But this one is different from all the other spice cakes you’ve ever seen before. It is stuffed with walnuts and soft plums, and last but not least garnished with a creamy and thick caramel made of dry plums! So sweet and rich you’ll never believe it is added sugar free!
Gluten free vegan spice cake Ingredients
Vegan, gluten free, refined sugar free but still moist sweet and ultra comforting … this spice cake definitely ticks all the right boxes. Oh, and it’s also very easy to make with only simple ingredients you probably already have in your kitchen.
To make this gluten free vegan spice cake you’ll nee:
- Gluten free flour – I use a mix of oat flour and white rice flour. Rice flour can be founded easily in most of the groceries stores while you can make your own oat flour by blending whole oats into fine powder.
- Almond meal – the regular blanched almond meal. It brings softness and fluffiness to the cake.
- Baking powder – is the leaving agent. Make sure it’s still fresh, check the expiration date.
- Spices – I use a blend of ground cinnamon, cardamom and ginger. But you can omit or add any other warm spices (like nutmeg or clove) or use a store bought pumpkin spices or apple pie spices blend.
- Almond milk – use natural unsweetened and unflavored almond milk. You can also use soy milk oat milk.
- Apple cider vinegar – vinegar will react with the proteins in the milk to make it thickened.
- Apple sauce – it’s the magic ingredient in this cake. Not only it naturally adds a bit of sweetness to the batter, but it also acts as a biding agent to replace eggs and brings moisture to help reducing the quantity of oil.
- Coconut sugar – is my favorite sweetener for cakes! It’s non refined, has a low glycemic index and a delicious caramelized flavor. You can replace coconut sugar with brown cane sugar.
- Maple syrup – adds sweetness and moisture. Use good quality A grade maple syrup.
- Coconut oil – melt before adding to the batter. If you don’t like the taste of coconut, use deodorized coconut oil.
- Vanilla – for the oh so good vanilla flavor. You can use either natural extract or real vanille bean.
- Dry plums – often forgotten, dry plums are an incredible product with lots of health benefits! They are rich in fibers and I love their extra soft texture and sweetness. Dry plums are a very good snack, nature’s candy!
- Walnuts – we use roughly chopped walnut kernels to add crunchiness to the cake.
Plum caramel frosting ingredients
The plum caramel frosting is simply made by blending dry plums with coconut cream, tahini, vanilla and a pinch of flaky salt. That’s it!
- Coconut cream – for a very tick and creamy frosting I recommend to use full fat coconut cream with at least 85% coconut content. You can put a can of coconut milk in your fridge overnight and scoop the thick layer of coconut cream that has formed on top.
- Dry plums – you can substitute dry plums with soft dry dates
- Tahini – is the puree made with sesame seeds. It brings richness and smoothness to the caramel, as well as a delicious roasted nuts flavor. If you don’t like the taste of sesame or don’t have tahini, you can substitue with any nut butter like almond, cashew or hazelnut.
How to make vegan spice cake from scratch
Not only is this spice cake is absolutely delicious, but it’s also very easy to make at home! It comes together so easily, with only simple ingredients and no specific equipment. All you need is to mix the ingredients together, pour in the tin, bake for about 30 minutes, and you’re rewarding with an incredibly moist and fluffy cake! If you’re not very comfortable with bakings, this recipe is perfect to start and get more confidence.
Prepare the cake batter
To make the batter, I like to prepare three preparations separately and then mix them together in a large mixing bowl. That helps me to make sure I didn’t forget any ingredient and that everything is well mixed throughout the batter.
- Dry preparation: First mix the dry ingredients together. In a large mixing bowl, stir together oat flour, white rice flour, almond meal, baking powder, cinnamon, ginger, cardamom and salt.
- Wet preparation 1: In a separate bowl, mix almond milk with apple cider vinegar and let sit for 2 minutes. The acidity of the vinegar will react with the milk to curdle it.
- Wet preparation 2: In a separate bowl, whisk apple sauce, coconut sugar, maple syrup, melted coconut oil and vanilla until frosty and creamy.
- Pour the preparation to the bowl of dry ingredients. Then add the thickened almond milk and mix to combine until you get a smooth batter.
Now that the batter is ready, it’s time to assemble vegan spice cake. I like to add a layer of whole dry plums and walnuts in the middle of the cake for extra texture. The moist dry plums bring additional softness and sweetness to the cake while walnut kernels add the perfect touch of crunchiness.
- Lined a 7 inch (18 cm) round cake tin with parchment paper. I found this tin size to be the best for this cake, but you can make a bigger or smaller one if you prefer. In this case, don’t forget to adjust the quantities of ingredients and / or the baking time accordingly!
- Divide the cake batter in two equal portions. Pour half of the batter into the lined cake tin and spread in an even layer with a spoon.
- Arrange whole pitted dry plums and roughly chopped walnuts on top of the batter.
- Cover with the remaining batter, spread and smooth the surface.
Bake vegan spice cake
Your spice cake is ready fir baking! It took me about 35 minutes to bake it right. The cake is baked when it is well fluffy, beautifully golden on top, dry to to the touch, but still moist in the middle. Baking time always vary from one oven to the other, or depending on the size of the tin. So I always recommend to check if the cake is baked by inserting a toothpick in the middle of the cake. If it comes out clean, the cake is baked! And if not, continue to bake for a few minutes.
Once baked, remove the cake from the oven and allow to cool for 10 minutes in the tin. Then carefully remove the cake from the tin, transfer to a cooling rack to cool down completely.
Plum caramel frosting
You often see spice cakes topped with a thick layer of buttercream frosting. I am personally not a huge fan of buttercream that I find pretty heavy and fatty, especially when it’s on top of a generous slice of cake! Besides it can be tricky to find good quality vegan buttercream. So I was looking for something else.
And this dry plum caramel frosting is exactly what was missing to our vegan spice cake! Smooth, lighter, easy to make, naturally sweet, and burst with flavors! It brings the perfect amount of sweetness and richness to the spice cake. This is definitely my favorite part of the cake.
The plum caramel frosting is very similar to my date and tahini caramel that I use in many recipes, like my chocolate carob loaf, my homemade vegan Twix, or even to garnish this magic chocolate shell vanilla nice cream. But instead of medjool dates, I use dry plums, that are pretty similar in texture and sweetness.
You can prepare plum caramel frosting while the spice cake is cooling down, or make it ahead and store in fridge.
- Place the pitted dry plums, coconut cream, tahini, vanilla and salt in a high speed blender and blend until thick and perfectly smooth.
- Transfer the cream to a bowl, cover and place in fridge for at least 1 hour to firm.
- When the cake has cooled, place in a serving plate. Spread the frosting evenly on the cake using a spatula and garnish with walnut kernels.
That’s it! See? Not that hard, right? Your vegan spice cake is ready to be cut in slices and enjoyed! And with such a delicious recipe and flavors, you are sure to please everybody, kids and adults.
Vegan spice cake Tips & tricks
Can I use different sized cake pans?
If you don’t have a 7″ cake tin, you can definitely bake this spice cake into slightly larger or smaller cake pan. In this case, just make sure to adjust the cook time. A larger cake pan will lead to a thinner cake, then less cook time. A smaller cake pan will lead to a thicker cake that would need a little more cook time.
Alternatively, you can easily transform this vegan spice cake into a layer cake, a sheet cake or even muffins for individual portions as well! The recipe remains the same except that you can omit the plum and walnut layer for layer cake and muffins, and again adjust the cook time.
Can I prepare vegan spice cake ahead?
Absolutely! And I would even say this cake is better the day after, when the flavors are well infused in the batter and the caramel frosting is firm.
If you want to make this cake ahead, I recommend wrapping the completely cooked cake in foil or a clean towel, or simply in an airtight container. Store the plum caramel frosting separately in an airtight container in the fridge. When you’re ready, garnish the cake with the frosting and walnuts before serving.
How to store this spice cake?
If you have any leftovers, I recommend to store the cake in an airtight container. Try not to slice the cake if possible to keep the moisture and avoid it drying.
This spice cake will remain good after 1 day at room temperature, or up to 3 days in the fridge.
If you want to keep it longer, you can also slice the cake and store in the freezer for up to 3 months.
For more comforting autumn cakes and desserts, check out my:
- Hazelnut and Lemon Babka
- Pumpkin Caramel Cinnamon Rolls
- Streusel Cranberry Walnut Muffins GF
- Gluten free Pumpkin Bread GF
- Double Chocolate & Hazelnut Buns
- Apple Cinnamon Loaf with Maple Tahini dressing GF
- Easy Cinnamon Rolls
- Carob Loaf with Tahini Caramel frosting GF
I love to see your creations! Don’t forget to tag me @alicepages on your photos on Instagram and give your feedback in the comments below if you make this recipe at home! Your opinion is my best reward.Print
Moist Walnut Spice Cake with Plum Caramel Frosting
- Prep Time: 30 minutes
- Cook Time: 35 minutes
- Total Time: 1 hour 5 minutes
- Yield: 8 servings 1x
- Category: Cake
- Method: Oven
- Cuisine: American
- Diet: Vegan
Celebrate the Fall season with this gluten free spice cake! It’s incredibly moist and fluffy, garnished with a creamy plum caramel frosting, whole plums and crunchy walnuts. Enjoy with a cup of warm tea for a delicious and comforting dessert.
- 1/2 cup oat flour
- 1 cup white rice flour
- 1/2 cup almond meal
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp ground ginger
- 1/2 tsp ground cardamom
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/4 cup almond milk
- 2 tsp apple cider vinegar
- 3/4 cup apple sauce
- 1/4 cup coconut sugar
- 1/4 cup maple syrup
- 2 tbsp coconut oil, melted
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 150 g dry plums, pitted
- 1/3 cup walnuts
Plum Caramel Frosting
- 150 g dry plums, pitted
- 1/4 cup full fat coconut cream
- 2 tbsp tahini or almond butter
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 pinch of flaky sea salt
- Walnut kernels to decorate
- Preheat the oven to 350F (180°C) and lined a 7 inch (18 cm) round cake tin with parchment paper.
- In a large mixing bowl, stir together oat flour, white rice flour, almond meal, baking powder, cinnamon, ginger, cardamom and salt.
- In a separate bowl, mix almond milk with apple cider vinegar and let sit for 2 minutes. The acidity of the vinegar will react with the milk to curdle it.
- In a separate bowl, whisk apple sauce, coconut sugar, maple syrup, melted coconut oil and vanilla until frosty and creamy.
- Pour the preparation to the dry ingredients. Then add the thickened almond milk and mix to combine until you get a smooth batter.
- Divide the cake batter in two equal portions. Pour half of the batter into the lined cake tin and spread in an even layer. Arrange the whole pitted dry plums and roughly chopped walnuts on top of the batter. Then cover with the remaining batter, spread and smooth the surface.
- Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, until the cake is dry to touch and slightly golden on top. A toothpick inserted in the middle of the cake should comes out clean.
- Remove from the oven and allow to cool for 10 minutes. Then remove the cake from the tin, transfer to a cooling rack to cool down completely.
- Meanwhile prepare the plum caramel frosting. Place the pitted dry plums, coconut cream, tahini, vanilla and salt in a high speed blender and blend until thick and perfectly smooth. Transfer the cream to a bowl, cover and place in fridge for at least 1 hour to firm.
- When the cake has cooled, place in a serving plate. Spread the frosting on the cake using a spatula and garnish with walnut kernels. Cut in slices and enjoy!
- Store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days.
- If you prepare the cake ahead, store the baked cake and the frosting separately in the fridge. Spread the frosting on the cake prior to serve.
- To make your own oat flour, mix rolled oats in a high speed blender until you get a fine powder.
- You can replace the dry plums with dry dates to make the caramel frosting.
Keywords: spice cake, cake, gluten free, dessert, autumn baking, fall
Recette version françaisePrint
Gâteau moelleux aux épices, pruneaux et noix
- Prep Time: 30 minutes
- Cook Time: 35 minutes
- Total Time: 1 hour 5 minutes
- Yield: 8 parts 1x
- Category: Gâteau
- Method: Four
- Cuisine: Américain
- Diet: Vegan
Ce gâteaux sans gluten aux épices est garnis d’une ganache onctueuse aux pruneaux, de pruneaux entiers et de cerneaux de noix. Ultra moelleux et réconfortant, il sera parfait au goûter accompagné d’une tasse de thé bien chaud.
- 45 g de farine de flocons d’avoine
- 150 g de farine de riz blanche
- 10 g d’amandes en poudre
- 10 g de levure chimique
- 1 cuillère à c. de cannelle en poudre
- 1/2 cuillère à c. de gingembre en poudre
- 1/4 cuillère à c. de cardamome en poudre
- 1/4 cuillère à c. de sel
- 60 g de lait d’amande
- 1 cuillère à s. de vinaigre de cidre
- 180 g de compote de pomme nature
- 60 g de sirop d’érable
- 35 g de sucre de coco
- 25 g d’huile de coco fondue
- 1 cuillère à c. d’extrait de vanille
- 150 g de pruneaux dénoyautés / 1 sachet L’Instant Pruneau « La Cuisine »
- 30 g de cerneaux de noix
Ganache aux pruneaux
- 150 g de pruneaux dénoyautés / 1 sachet L’Instant Pruneau « Le Matin »
- 70 g de crème de coco épaisse
- 35 g de tahini ou de purée d’amande
- 1 cuillère à c. d’extrait de vanille
- 1 pincée de fleur de sel
- Cerneaux de noix pour la décoration
- Préchauffer le four à 180°C et chemiser un moule à gâteau rond de 18 cm de diamètre environ avec du papier sulfurisé.
- Dans un grand saladier, mélanger la farine de flocons d’avoine, la farine de riz, la poudre d’amande, la levure chimique, la cannelle, le gingembre, la cardamome et le sel.
- Dans un bol, mélanger le lait d’amande avec le vinaigre de cidre. Laisser reposer quelques minutes. L’acidité du vinaigre va agir sur le lait pour le faire épaissir.
- Dans un saladier à part, fouetter énergiquement la compote de pomme, le sirop d’érable, le sucre de coco, l’huile de coco fondue et la vanille pour obtenir un mélange crémeux.
- Verser la préparation dans le saladier d’ingrédients secs. Puis ajouter le lait d’amande épaissi et mélanger pour obtenir une pâte homogène.
- Diviser la pâte en deux parties égales. Verser une moitié de pâte dans le moule et la répartir uniformément. Disposer les pruneaux dénoyautés et les cerneaux de noix sur la pâte, puis recouvrir complètement avec le restant de pâte.
- Enfourner pendant 30 à 35 minutes, jusqu’à ce que le gâteau soit sec au toucher et légèrement doré. Vérifier la cuisson en insérant un cure dent ou la pointe d’un couteau au milieu du gateau; elle doit ressortir propre quand le gâteau est cuit.
- Retirer du four et laisser le gâteau refroidir 10 minutes dans le moule. Puis démouler et laisser refroidir complètement sur une grille.
- Pendant ce temps, préparer la ganache aux pruneaux. Placer les pruneaux dénoyautés, la crème de coco, le tahini, la vanille et la fleur de sel dans un blender et mixer pour obtenir une crème épaisse et onctueuse, sans morceaux. Transférer la ganache dans un bol, couvrir et placer au frais pendant 1 heure afin qu’elle se raffermisse.
- Une fois bien refroidi, déposer le gâteau dans un plat. Etaler la ganache au dessus à l’aide d’une spatule et décorer avec des cerneaux de noix. Découper le gâteau en parts et déguster!
- Ce gâteau se conserve pendant 3 jours au réfrigérateur dans un récipient hermétique.
- Si vous souhaitez le préparer à l’avance, conservez la gateau et la ganache séparément au réfrigérateur. Etalez la ganache sur le gateau juste avant de servir.
- Réalisez votre farine d’avoine en mixant des flocons d’avoine au blender jusqu’à obtenir une poudre fine.
- Vous pouvez remplacer les pruneaux par des dattes séchées pour réaliser la ganache.
Keywords: Gâteau, gâteau aux épices, gâteaux aux noix, pruneaux, sans gluten, dessert, goûter,