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  • Makes one 9-inch square cake
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This apple cake is so delicious, sweet, and moist that people won’t believe it’s free of sugar, oil, and flour. It can be served at room temperature, but the texture gets even better after chilling.

Tip: No apple pie spice blend on hand? Make your own by mixing 2½ teaspoons ground cinnamon with ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg.

By Chef AJ,


  • 2 cups rolled oats
  • 6 tablespoons flaxseed meal
  • 1 tablespoon apple pie spice (tip, above)
  • 1 teaspoon regular or sodium-free baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla powder (optional)
  • 3 unpeeled apples, cored and thinly sliced (about 3 cups)
  • 1½ cups unsweetened applesauce
  • 2 oz. dried apple rings (about 1 cup packed), finely snipped


  • Preheat oven to 350°F. In a large bowl stir together the first six ingredients (through vanilla powder). Add apples, applesauce, and dried apple; mix well. Pour batter into a 9-inch square silicone baking pan, spreading evenly.
  • Bake 30 to 35 minutes or until center is set. Cool in pan on a wire rack 10 minutes. Remove from pan and cool completely on wire rack. For best texture, chill at least 1 hour before serving. If desired, sprinkle with additional apple pie spice.

Comments (8)

(4 from 6 votes)

Recipe Rating

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Leslie Anderson

I really like this very dense “cake” (More like a dense cookie dough) It’s not sweet but has plenty of flavor. One of the others commented that the dried apples were too dry for them. I like the bit of “tooth” to the recipe and they might try mixing the batter together and let it sit a few minutes so everything absorbs some of the moisture. I love eating it warm with a drizzle of maple syrup…it doesn’t need much but tastes divine. I try to make it often because it is easy to eat cold or on the run or when you are just famished and haven’t made dinner yet it can tide you over without any guilt whatsoever. Bet it would taste great with some chopped up walnuts mixed in too.

Natalie Merriam

This was tasty! I didn’t have any dried apples, so I skipped those, and I decided to blend up my oats into oat flour. I also didn’t have any vanilla powder, so I just mixed vanilla extract with the homemade applesauce. It was a yummy dessert, and I think next time I might try baking it in layers with some banana nice cream on top! This was a great way to use up a bunch of apples that were getting old.


This is NOT oil free, since 6 tbsp flaxseed is used! Would this work as well with something like psyllium husk to bind it and make it moist?


Flaxseeds are not oil. This recipe contains no oil. Flaxseeds are a whole food. Oil is a processed food extracted from whole foods.


I love this for breakfast. I just freeze the squares and thaw them in the microwave


This is not a cake, it's baked oatmeal! The oats didn't soften, the dried apple bits dried out so much more in the oven that they were difficult to chew, and the fresh apple, even sliced paper thin, made the "cake" fall apart. I baked at 350 degrees (verified by 2 oven thermometers) for 35 minutes. As another commenter said, it was bland. Despite all the apples, it had little apple flavor. The rawness of the oats and the spices overpowered. And, you can't pour the "batter" into the pan. You have to dump it in - it's the consistency of a lentil walnut loaf! Make this if you want a healthy baked oatmeal, though I'd leave out the dried apples. They add nothing but the potential for a broken tooth. Also, soak the oats in plant milk to soften and add lemon zest to brighten the flavors.


This recipe is amazing. My parents love it. They keep asking for me to make more (sometimes twice in one day; that's how fast it goes!)


I'm really sorry but this just tasted of baking soda and wholemeal flour. It was barely edible when topped with a lot of apple sauce but I ended up binning most. Next to no apple flavour.

About the Author

Headshot of Chef AJ

About the Author

Chef AJ

Chef AJ has been devoted to a plant-exclusive diet for over 44 years. She is the host of the television series Healthy Living with CHEF AJ airing on Foody TV. A chef, culinary instructor, and professional speaker, she is author of Unprocessed: How to Achieve Vibrant Health and Your Ideal Weight and the best-selling books The Secrets to Ultimate Weight Loss and Own Your Health. Chef AJ was the executive pastry chef at Santé Restaurant in Los Angeles where she was famous for her sugar-, oil-, salt- and gluten-free desserts. She is the host of YouTube show Chef AJ Live. She is proud to say that her IQ is higher than her cholesterol. In 2018 she was inducted into the Vegetarian Hall of Fame. Find her on Instagram and Twitter.
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