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Apple Spice Cake – sweetly spiced and served warm from the slow cooker. This Crockpot apple dump cake is super easy to make! By using the right ingredients, it can be vegan too!
Use a Duncan Hines Spice cake mix, old fashioned oats, melted vegan butter of choice, and two cans of apple pie filling. Dump it, set it, and forget it. Four hours later and you’ll have a rich, flavorful, delicious, apple dessert with all the flavors of fall. Top it with your favorite vegan vanilla ice cream, or coconut whipped topped and wait for the”yums” and “thank yous”!
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All the reasons I love this Apple Spice Cake recipe!
- First of all, it’s really tasty! I love the spicy flavors and aromas of fall. Does this mean apple dump cake needs to be a seasonal fall cake? No way! I’d honestly eat it any time of the year. In the summer, I might sub in peaches instead. It would still be soooo delicious.
- Speaking of aromas, when you make this apple spice cake, your whole house will smell so good. No need for a scented candle when you’ve got this apple spice cake sitting in the crockpot all afternoon.
- Okay yes, speaking of the crockpot, I love that I can just pour it in, set it and forget it. In four hours or less, I’ll have cake!
- This is a dessert that can be vegan (see below). And it tastes so good, I can proudly serve it to any apple dessert lover – vegan or not.
- Finally, it’s so easy to make. When I was a little girl, one of my favorite childhood memories was making fun desserts along with my mom. They were never complicated recipes, but recipes I could actually get my own hands on and “make” along with mom. I passed this same love of baking and cooking to my own kids. You’ll get kids to “buy in” to your way of eating if you can engage them in the cooking process. This goes for the savory as well as the sweet. This dump cake crockpot recipe is easy enough that even the youngest kids can participate and the oldest can totally make on their own.
But is this apple spice cake vegan?
Good question. And the answer is…a qualified yes…and maybe. Most Duncan Hines cake and brownie mixes are what is known as “accidentally vegan”. That means they don’t have obvious animal products such as eggs or dairy in the ingredients.
If you read the ingredient label of most Duncan Hines mixes, you will note that there is not any dairy or egg listed. So vegan, right? Well….maybe not, depending on your perspective. and personal ethics.
What? Isn’t sugar vegan?
You see, the sugar may or may not be processed with bone char – as most sugar in the world is. Unless the sugar used is specifically labeled as organic OR vegan, we won’t really know for sure. Many “accidentally vegan” commercial products containing sugar likely aren’t technically vegan then (including the canned apple pie filling used in this recipe).
PETA’s stance on products containing sugar that might use bone char in the processing is that veganism isn’t about personal purity and that there are greater issues to worry about than sugar. I did want to make my readers aware though and let you decide for yourselves how this recipe might fit into your ethics.
For another yummy dessert using a Duncan Hines mix, try my Vegan Brownie Hack!
Tips and Tricks for Making Apple Spice Cake in the Slow Cooker:
This recipe is so easy, it almost doesn’t need a tips and tricks section! Do read through it though so that you won’t miss anything!
- Use a medium to large-sized slow cooker. The slow cooker I use is the older multi-function Ninja Slow Cooker (affiliate link). I love the Ninja because it acts, in a limited way, as a stovetop and oven as well. Any slow cooker will do though. Just make sure you don’t use a small personal-sized cooker.
- I use a Duncan Hines Spice Cake Mix. If you are unable to find this particular flavor, then use a yellow cake and add in a couple of teaspoons of spice mix such as a pumpkin pie spice mix. Or, my personal favorite (affiliate links), Penzey’s Cake Spice or even Pie Spice.
- In a medium-sized bowl, mix together the cake mix and oats. I used old-fashioned oats. You don’t want to use quick oats or they’ll mush up.
- Pour two cans of your favorite apple pie filling into the bottom of the slow cooker. My slow cooker is non-stick. If yours isn’t, then spritz in some cooking oil/spray before you begin layering.
- Make sure the canned apples you use are actually apple pie filling – not just canned apples. Apple pie filling already has the spices, sugars, and thickeners added in. That’s what makes this dump cake quick and easy.
- Evenly distribute the cake mix/oat mixture on top.
- For the last layer, drizzle the melted vegan butter as evenly as possible. I used Earth Balance Buttery Spread. Use any vegan butter that you enjoy.
- If you are opposed to using any kind of butter or oil on top, the cake layer will not set up as nicely into “cake”. I’ve tried drizzling on plant milk. It’s…okay. But really, for the tastiest dessert, drizzle a melted butter spread instead.
- Set your slow cooker on low for four hours. Check though after about three and a half hours. Slow cookers each cook differently. I have one that will make this cake in a little over 3 1/2 hours. My other slow cooker takes the full four hours.
- You’ll know your apple dump cake is done when the top looks like a cooked cake and some of the bottom apple layer is bubbling through. It will have crusted over and look cooked. It won’t be dry and floury any more. When you tap the top gently with a spoon, it will feel a little bit hard. To really check it, dip a spoon in near the side and pull some out. You’ll be able to tell.
Enjoying your apple spice cake!
Go ahead and eat your cake warm from the crockpot without any additional toppings. It will be really good this way! OR…
Top with your favorite vegan ice cream or whipped topping. The grocery store near where I live does not carry vegan whipped topping. No problem, I just make my own with a full-fat can of coconut milk. Make sure to refrigerate it first and then carefully open the can without shaking it up and remove the coconut fat layer from the top. Whip up with a mixer. Add in powdered sugar and vanilla for a sweeter flavor. See the full recipe here.
This recipe is best served warm. Enjoy! And let me know in the comments how you liked it.
Things I Found Useful in making Apple Spice Cake in the Slow Cooker (Affiliate Links):
The Recipe for Apple Spice Cake in the Slow Cooker:
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Apple Spice Cake
- slow cooker
- 1/2 cup vegan butter
- 1 Duncan Hines Spice Cake Mix
- 1 cup oats old fashioned
- 2 cans apple pie filling 21 ounces each
OPTIONAL COCONUT WHIPPED TOPPING - SEE NOTES FOR MORE
- 1 can cold full fat coconut milk OPTIONAL
- Melt vegan butter in the microwave. Set aside.
- Mix together oats and cake mix.
- Dump both cans of apple pie filling into a slow cooker.
- Spread cake mix/oat mixture evenly on top.
- Pour melted vegan butter over the top as evenly as possible.
- Set slow cooker on high for 4 hours.
OPTIONAL COCONUT WHIPPED TOPPING
- Use a full fat can of refrigerated coconut milk. The contents of the can will separate into the watery liquid below and the white coconut cream on top. Working carefully so as not to mix the layers, spoon the coconut cream into a cold mixing bowl. Whip on high speed until soft peaks form. Add in a couple of Tablespoons of powdered sugar and 1 teaspoon of vanilla if desired.