This fresh apricot cake recipe is our take on the traditional Austrian apricot cake known as Marillenkuchen. The juicy fruit and fluffy sponge make this vegan apricot cake a must try.
You'll love this vegan apricot cake because...
- It's super apricot-y!
- It's an iconic and beloved traditional bake in Austria
- The apricots on top go soft, sweet and juicy
- It's oh so moreish
- It's perfect for sharing (if you can resist keeping it all for yourself!)
This vegan apricot cake is probably our favourite way to enjoy apricots. It’s super indulgent and fruity and you just can’t get enough of it.
We made this apricot cake for our own wedding, that’s how much we love this cake. We hope you will love it too!
Apricots in Austria
Did you know Austria is famous for apricots? In Paul’s home region, the Wachau valley along the Danube, they grow in abundance.
Their white blossom carpets the valley in spring, and in summer, if the weather has been kind, the trees are bursting with juicy, orange apricots.
And so, of course, Austria has many traditional recipes for apricots. And we just love to veganise them.
But Marillenkuchen is always the first thing we love to make! Instead of baking it in a cake tin, this apricot cake is cooked on a baking sheet or tray.
This way you can maximise the space for all that yummy, juicy fruit on top!
There’s a secret ingredient in our delicious vegan apricot cake… Can you guess what it is?
Apricots! Wait… what? That’s right, apricots – not just on top, but in the batter too.
Using apricot puree in the cake gives this yummy Austrian dessert great flavour, but also the rich and moist texture of a traditional Austrian Marillenkuchen - without the need for eggs.
Plus the puree gives a wonderful orange colour to the cake itself, don’t you think?
Use the more bruised and soft apricots in the puree, while leaving the more beautiful and firm ones to put on top.
The fruit size of apricots can vary from one variety to another, and weather and climate also have an effect. Small apricots can simply be cut in halves and put on the cake.
With larger apricots we actually recommend you cut them into quarters instead, so the cake cooks more evenly and you avoid pools of juice on it.
Sparkling water really helps the vegan apricot cake get a light, fluffy texture.
The cake batter has to be a bit on the wet side so you can spread it out on the baking sheet evenly. Sparkling water works best for this, and the extra bubbles make the cake rise perfectly.
Apricot cake is traditionally oil based, and the ratio of oil to other ingredients is actually rather low. A neutral oil like sunflower or vegetable oil is a good choice.
Step by step pictures
Step 1 - Blend a part of the apricots into fine puree. Blemished and bruised ones are perfect for this!
Step 2 - Whisk in the sugar and oil.
Step 3 - Add the sparkling water and gently whisk or stir it in.
Step 4 - Mix the flour and baking powder and combine with the wet mix into a smooth batter.
Step 5 - Spread the batter out on a lined baking sheet and top it with apricots.
Step 6 - Bake the apricot cake, then sprinkle with icing sugar while it’s still hot!
Variations and tips
Other fruit - You can make this cake with other fruit. Stone fruit like plums or cherries work well, but you might want to strain out bits of skin after pureeing them.
Without apricot puree - To skip the apricot puree, use an additional amount of sparkling water equal to half the weight of the puree (e.g. 100ml instead of 200g), like we do in our vegan plum cake recipe.
Tin size - You don’t need to bake this cake on a large baking sheet. The recipe is flexible enough to be baked in various sizes and shapes of cake tins. It might turn out a bit thicker, so adjust cooking time accordingly.
As a rough guide, our recipe makes about two 8-inch (20cm) square or two 10-inch (25cm) round cakes. It’s also easy to halve the recipe for just one small cake - just use the serving adjustment in the recipe card.
Serving and storing
This cake is usually served on its own, it’s delicious enough as it is. Just dust with icing sugar (if there isn’t enough on it already!)
In Austria you might have it with some coffee in the afternoon, or simply any time of day as a little sweet treat! That’s how most of it gets eaten in our house.
Once it’s cooled down completely, keep the cake in an airtight container for up to three days. In warm climates, keep it in the fridge.
This apricot cake freezes exceptionally well - so you can enjoy its delicious fruitiness all year round, when apricots are out of season.
Cut it into large portions and stack them into sealed bags. You can cut the cake directly with the greaseproof paper, to keep layers separate when stacked.
Before sealing the bags, squeeze as much air out as you can without squashing the cake.
The cake keeps for 6-12 months in the freezer. Thaw it either at room temperature, or - what we like to do - reheat it in the oven at 120°C (250°F) for about 15 minutes.
Thanks for visiting Vegan on Board! Come back soon and try these other vegan summer recipes:
Our Summer Pudding which is full of yummy berries
And if you’ve still got some apricots left, these Vegan Apricot Dumplings
Paul and Sophie
Vegan Apricot Cake - Marillenkuchen
- 200 g (1 cup) apricot puree
- 150 g (2/3 cup) sugar
- 125 ml (1/2 cup) sparkling water
- 100 ml (7 tbsp) vegetable oil
- 280 g (2 1/4 cups) plain white flour or self-raising
- 4 tsp baking powder half if using self-raising flour
- 20 - 24 small (12 large) apricots
- 2 tbsp icing sugar
- Use a blender or food processor to make the apricot puree out of destoned apricots.
- Whisk together apricot puree, sugar and oil in a mixing bowl.
- Add and gently whisk in the sparkling water.
- Mix the baking powder into the flour.
- Whisk together the flour mix and the wet puree mix to form a smooth batter.
- Add a splash more water if the batter seems a bit too thick to spread.
- Preheat the oven to 180°C on fan (350°F, gas mark 4-5).
- Destone and halve the apricots to go on top. For large apricots, cut them into quarters.
- On a large baking sheet (12 x 16 inch, 30 x 40 cm) lined with greaseproof paper, spread out the batter into a uniform layer, covering the whole sheet.
- Lay the top of the cake with rows of halved or quartered apricots. Gently press down bigger pieces.
- Bake for 25 - 30 min.
- Check the cake after 25 minutes. The cake is done when it has browned a bit, the apricots are soft and juicy and a cake needle stuck in the batter beween the fruits comes out clean.
- Fresh out of the oven, sprinkle the cake generously with icing sugar. It will melt on the moist fruit.