Dairy-Free Apple Dessert

Beyond the Ordinary: Creative Dairy-Free Apple Dessert Recipes

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Updated on March 6, 2024

Apple desserts are a timeless comfort food enjoyed by people across the globe. Their warm spices, gooey fillings, and flaky crusts hold a special place in our hearts. But for those with dairy allergies or following a vegan lifestyle, indulging in these classics can sometimes feel out of reach. Fear not, apple enthusiasts!

This guide unveils a delightful world of dairy-free apple desserts that are just as irresistible as their traditional counterparts. From reinvented classics like apple crisp and pie to creative options like fritters and upside-down cakes, discover a treasure trove of deliciousness that caters to everyone. So, preheat your oven, grab your favourite apples, and embark on a delicious journey!

Classic Comfort, Dairy-Free Apple Dessert Done Right!

Dairy-Free Apple Dessert
Dairy-Free Apple Dessert

Introducing dairy-free apple dessert Delights! Let’s be honest; there’s something incredibly comforting about a warm slice of apple crisp or a flaky apple pie bubbling away in the oven. But what if you can’t indulge in those dairy-laden delights? Don’t worry, friends! We’re here to show you that you can still enjoy these classic apple desserts without missing a beat.

Dairy-Free Apple Crisp Recipe

Our first stop on this delicious journey is a reinvented classic — dairy-free apple crisp! This comforting dessert is perfect for a cosy night in, and the beauty lies in its simplicity. You can create a treat that everyone will love with a base of juicy apples and a crumbly topping made without butter. Here’s a quick and easy recipe to get you started:

Ingredients

For the Apples

  • 4-5 large apples (a mix of tart and sweet varieties works well)
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg (optional)
  • 1/4 teaspoon cornstarch

For the Crumble Topping

  • 1 1/2 cups rolled oats (gluten-free if needed)
  • 1/2 cup chopped nuts (pecans, walnuts, or almonds work well)
  • 1/2 cup almond flour or all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup melted coconut oil

Instructions

  1. Preheat your oven to 190°C. Lightly grease an 8×8-inch baking dish.
  2. Peel, core, and slice the apples. In a large bowl, toss them with the granulated sugar, brown sugar, lemon juice, cinnamon, nutmeg (if using), and cornstarch.
  3. Combine the oats, chopped nuts, almond or all-purpose flour, brown sugar, and cinnamon in a separate bowl. Pour the melted coconut oil over the dry ingredients and mix until crumbly.
  4. Transfer the apple mixture to the prepared baking dish. Evenly sprinkle the crumble topping over the apples.
  5. Bake for 45-50 minutes until the apples are tender and the topping is golden brown. Let cool slightly before serving.

Mix melted coconut oil and vegan butter in the crumble topping for a richer flavour. Serve your warm apple crisp with a scoop of dairy-free ice cream, vegan whipped cream, or a drizzle of maple syrup for an extra decadent treat.

Dairy-Free Apple Pie Recipe

Dairy-Free Apple Dessert
Dairy-Free Apple Dessert

Next up on our dairy-free apple dessert adventure is the iconic apple pie! This quintessential dessert can be just as delightful without the butter. Here’s a recipe for a flaky, golden crust and a delicious apple filling, all free from dairy, perfect for creating a delicious dairy-free apple dessert:

Ingredients

For the Crust

  • 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour (or gluten-free flour blend)
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup cold vegan butter, cubed
  • 3-4 tablespoons ice water
  • 1 tablespoon unsweetened applesauce (optional)

For the Apple Filling

  • 6-7 large apples (a mix of tart and sweet varieties)
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • ¼ cup packed light brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • ¼ teaspoon ground ginger (optional)
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice

Instructions

  1. Preheat your oven to 200°C. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour and salt.
  2. Cut the cold vegan butter into the flour mixture using a pastry cutter or your fingertips until it resembles coarse crumbs.
  3. In a separate small bowl, whisk together the ice water and applesauce (if using). Gradually add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients, mixing until a dough forms. Be careful not to overmix.
  4. Divide the dough in half and shape each half into a disc. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.
  5. While the dough chills, prepare the filling. Peel, core, and thinly slice the apples. Toss them in a large bowl with the sugars, cornstarch, spices, and lemon juice.
  6. On a lightly floured surface, roll out one disc of dough to a 12-inch circle. Carefully transfer it to a 9-inch pie dish. Add the apple filling and top with the second disc of dough rolled out to the same size. Crimp the edges to seal.
  7. (Optional) Brush the top crust with the egg wash from plant-based milk and maple syrup. Cut a few slits in the top crust for venting steam.
  8. Bake the pie for 50-60 minutes until the crust is golden brown, and the filling is bubbly. Cover the edges with foil if they start to brown too quickly.
  9. Let the pie cool completely on a wire rack before slicing and serving.

Beyond the Classics: Creative Dairy-Free Apple Desserts

While reinvented classics are delightful, the world of dairy-free apple desserts extends far beyond apple crisp and pie. Let’s explore some exciting and creative options that will tantalise your taste buds and impress your guests:

Apple Fritters with Spiced Maple Glaze

Dairy-Free Apple Dessert
Dairy-Free Apple Dessert

These golden fritters are a fun and festive twist on the apple theme. Imagine fluffy apple chunks encased in a crispy, spiced batter, then drizzled with a decadent maple glaze. The best part? They can be enjoyed warm for breakfast or as a delightful afternoon snack. The key to achieving dairy-free success is using plant-based milk in the batter and a glaze made with vegan butter or coconut oil.

Ingredients

For the Fritters

  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour (or gluten-free flour blend)
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup unsweetened plant-based milk (almond or oat milk works well)
  • 1/4 cup vegan butter, melted and cooled slightly
  • 1 large egg (flaxseed egg substitute can be used for vegan option)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 large apples, peeled, cored, and diced
  • Vegetable oil for frying

For the Spiced Maple Glaze

  • 1/2 cup pure maple syrup
  • 1 tablespoon vegan butter or coconut oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • Pinch of ground nutmeg
  • Powdered sugar for dusting (optional)

Instructions

  1. Whisk together the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt in a large bowl.
  2. Mix the plant-based milk, melted vegan butter, egg (or flaxseed egg substitute), and vanilla extract in a separate bowl.
  3. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and stir until just combined. Don’t overmix! The batter will be slightly lumpy.
  4. Fold in the diced apples.
  5. Heat about 1/2 inch of vegetable oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Once hot, drop tablespoons of batter into the oil, leaving space between them.
  6. Fry for 2-3 minutes per side or until golden brown and cooked through. Drain on paper towels.
  7. While the fritters cook, prepare the glaze. Whisk together the maple syrup, vegan butter or coconut oil, cinnamon, and nutmeg in a small saucepan. Heat over low heat until smooth.
  8. Drizzle the warm glaze over the fritters and dust with powdered sugar before serving (optional).

Vegan Upside-Down Apple Cake

Dairy-Free Apple Dessert
Dairy-Free Apple Dessert

This showstopping dairy-free apple dessert is sure to wow with its stunning presentation. Caramelised apples form the base, topped with a moist and flavorful vegan cake batter. The beauty lies in its simplicity — you only need a good quality skillet or oven-safe pan. To achieve a dairy-free twist, caramelise the apples using coconut sugar or maple syrup instead of brown sugar, and opt for dairy-free milk and vegan butter in the cake batter.

Ingredients

For the Caramelised Apples

  • 4-5 large apples (a mix of tart and sweet varieties)
  • 2 tablespoons vegan butter or coconut oil
  • 1/4 cup coconut sugar or maple syrup

For the Vegan Cake Batter

  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour (or gluten-free flour blend)
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup vegan butter, softened
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon flaxseed meal mixed with 3 tablespoons water (flaxseed egg)
  • 1 cup unsweetened plant-based milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Instructions

  1. Mix the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt in a medium bowl.
  2. In a large bowl, cream the softened vegan butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the flaxseed egg (or a regular egg for a non-vegan option) and vanilla extract.
  3. Alternately, add the dry ingredients and plant-based milk to the wet ingredients, mixing until just combined. Don’t overmix!
  4. Pour the cake batter evenly over the caramelised apples in the skillet.
  5. Bake for 40-45 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the centre comes clean.
  6. Let the cake cool completely in the skillet before inverting it onto a serving plate. The caramelised apples will become the beautiful top of the cake!
  7. For an extra treat, serve warm or room temperature with a vegan whipped cream or coconut cream dollop.

Healthy Apple and Oat Crumble Bars

Dairy-Free Apple Dessert
Dairy-Free Apple Dessert

Looking for a grab-and-go option that’s perfect for satisfying a sweet tooth or packing in lunchboxes? Look no further than healthy apple and oat crumble bars! These delicious dairy-free apple desserts combine the goodness of rolled oats, nut butter (for a protein boost), and chopped apples for a wholesome and satisfying crumble. Plus, they’re easily customisable with different spices and dried fruits.

Ingredients

For the Crumble Topping

  • 1 1/2 cups rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup chopped nuts (pecans, walnuts, or almonds work well)
  • 1/4 cup almond flour or all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup melted coconut oil

For the Apple Filling

  • 2-3 large apples, peeled, cored, and diced
  • 1/4 cup chopped dried fruit (raisins, cranberries, or chopped dates)
  • 1/4 cup nut butter (almond butter or peanut butter)
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger (optional)

Instructions

  1. Preheat your oven to 190°C. Line an 8×8-inch baking pan with parchment paper.
  2. Combine the rolled oats, chopped nuts, almond or all-purpose flour, brown sugar, and cinnamon in a large bowl. Pour in the melted coconut oil and mix until crumbly.
  3. In a separate bowl, toss the diced apples, dried fruit (if using), nut butter, maple syrup, cinnamon, and ginger (if using) together.
  4. Spread the apple mixture evenly in the prepared baking pan. Press down gently.
  5. Sprinkle the crumble topping evenly over the apples.
  6. Bake for 35-40 minutes until the topping is golden brown and the filling is bubbly.
  7. Let the bars cool completely in the pan before cutting into squares and serving.

Tips and Tricks for Crafting Heavenly Dairy-Free Apple Delights

httpss://youtu.be/Pc2HZMPWi-M?si=BRT6nIqmyvaIzmR3

Now that you’ve explored a variety of tempting recipes for dairy-free apple desserts let’s delve into some helpful tips and tricks to ensure your creations are nothing short of heavenly:

Dairy-Free Substitutes

  • Milk: When a recipe calls for milk, good quality unsweetened plant-based milk like almond milk, oat milk, or soy milk makes a perfect substitute in most dairy-free apple desserts. Choose a milk that complements the overall flavour profile of your chosen recipe. For instance, oat milk can add a subtle oaty sweetness to your crumble topping.
  • Butter: Vegan butter or coconut oil are your best friends for creating decadent dairy-free apple desserts. Vegan butter often comes in stick form, making it a seamless substitute for regular butter in crusts and crumbles. In its melted state, coconut oil can be used instead of butter for certain recipes, but be mindful of its subtle coconut flavour, which might not always be desirable.
  • Cream: In some recipes, you might encounter heavy or whipped cream. Fear not! There are fantastic dairy-free alternatives like canned coconut cream (the thick cream at the top of the can) or store-bought vegan whipped cream.

Thickening Techniques

Since some dairy-free apple desserts omit eggs or butter, achieving the desired thickness in fillings can be a concern. Here are some substitutes:

  • Cornstarch: A classic thickener that works wonders in fruit fillings for pies, crisps, and crumbles. Simply whisk a tablespoon or two of cornstarch with a little water or plant-based milk to form a slurry before adding it to your simmering apple mixture.
  • Arrowroot Powder: Another natural thickener with a slightly lighter texture than cornstarch. It works well in similar applications and can be used in a 1:1 ratio with cornstarch.
  • Chia Seeds: These tiny powerhouses can thicken fillings and puddings. Mix 1 tablespoon of chia seeds with 3 tablespoons of water and let it sit for 10-15 minutes. This creates a gel-like consistency that can be used as a thickener.

Choosing Apples for Your Dairy-Free Apple Dessert

Dairy-Free Apple Dessert
Dairy-Free Apple Dessert

The type of apple you choose can significantly impact the flavour and texture of your dairy-free apple dessert. Here’s a quick guide:

  • Tart Apples (Granny Smith, Braeburn): These apples hold their shape well when baked and provide a delightful tanginess, perfect for pies, crisps, and crumbles.
  • Sweet Apples (Gala, Honeycrisp): These apples offer a natural sweetness and a softer texture, ideal for fillings and sauces.
  • A Combination: Don’t be afraid to experiment! A blend of tart and sweet apples creates a complex flavour profile in your dairy-free apple dessert.

With these tips and tricks, you’re heading to becoming a master of dairy-free apple desserts. Remember, baking is all about creativity and exploration. So have fun, experiment with flavours, and most importantly, enjoy the delicious results of your dairy-free apple dessert endeavours!

In conclusion, the world of dairy-free apple desserts is brimming with possibilities! From reinvented classics to exciting new creations, there’s a delicious treat waiting to be discovered by every baker. With some creativity and helpful tips, you can create stunning and satisfying dairy-free apple desserts that will tantalise taste buds and leave everyone wanting more. So, grab your favourite apples, unleash your inner baker, and embark on a delightful journey of dairy-free apple dessert adventures!

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