1Preheat oven to 350°F with rack placed in the middle. Grease an 10” round baking dish with oil or vegan shortening and dust with flour.
2Peel, core and thinly slice apples to approximately 1/8” slices. I sliced the apple horizontally instead of vertically for more half-circular shaped slices. Toss apples with lemon juice and ¼ Cup maple syrup in a bowl.
3In a medium sized mixing bowl whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice and cloves. In a large measuring cup or medium bowl whisk flax meal and soymilk together until frothy (about 1 minute). Whisk in maple syrup and oil and vanilla bean seeds until mixture is evenly incorporated.
4Add wet mixture to the dry mixture and stir with a rubber spatula until evenly incorporated. Fold in walnuts if desired. Pour batter into greased and floured baking dish. Arrange apple slices on top of batter in concentric circles starting from the outer edge working inward. Reserve the maple juice the apple were tossed in. Sprinkle a little cinnamon over apples.
5Place in oven and bake for 55 minutes or until top is golden brown and an inserted toothpick comes out clean. Transfer cake to cooling rack and let cool. You can paint the apples with some of the reserved maple juice they sat in if they look dry. Serve at room temperature. Will keep covered at room temperature for a few days.