Perfectly moist and utterly delicious vegan pumpkin cake with a cinnamon buttercream frosting. Packed with holiday spices and ideal for any special occasion!
Ooooh this vegan pumpkin cake you guys! Soooo good.
It sort of reminded us of carrot cake. Or a spice cake.
It’s deliciously spiced in the same way that a carrot cake usually is, with the cinnamon and the nutmeg and it’s also sweetened with brown sugar.
This pumpkin cake adds in some ground ginger and cloves too, so it’s really a treat.
So if you like carrot cake, or spice cake, then you’ll love this too!
How To Make Vegan Pumpkin Cake
You will find full instructions and measurements in the recipe card at the bottom of the post. This is a summary of the process to go along with the process photos.
- Sift all purpose flour into a mixing bowl and add light brown sugar, white granulated sugar, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, ground ginger and ground cloves.
- Prepare a flax egg by adding 1 tablespoon of ground flaxseed to a bowl with 3 tablespoons of hot water. Let it sit for a minute to become gloopy.
- Then add the flax egg, pumpkin purée, canola oil, apple cider vinegar and vanilla extract.
- Mix into a thick batter. Don’t overmix.
- Divide the batter evenly between two prepared cake pans (sprayed with non-stick spray and lined with circles of parchment paper on the bottom).
- Place into the oven and bake at 350°F for 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of one of the cakes comes out clean.
- Let the cakes cool in the pans for a few minutes before removing them from the cake pans and transferring to a wire cooling rack to cool completely before frosting.
When it came to the frosting, I had a look around the web to see what a good pairing usually is and I saw a lot of recipes using a brown butter frosting.
So, naively I set out to try and make one using vegan butter. And oh my what an utter disaster. You don’t even want to know how badly that turned out.
So it seems browning butter really needs actual butter! Hahaha! Who knew (probably everyone). Apparently it’s the milk proteins in the butter that brown, and there ain’t any of those in the vegan varieties!
So then I decided on a cinnamon buttercream frosting and that was just perfect.
There’s cinnamon and other spices in the pumpkin cake and so the pairing with a cinnamon flavored frosting did the job fabulously well.
And then I sprinkled it with some extra cinnamon and tossed some crushed walnuts on top and the result was utterly divine.
Canned Pumpkin or Fresh?
I searched high and low in our small town for some canned pumpkin because when you’re making pumpkin desserts, canned pumpkin purée is the business!
Sadly though it seems canned pumpkin isn’t a ‘thing’ around here. I guess pumpkin desserts aren’t really a thing around here either. Maybe folks here don’t realize how good they are!
So I had to do things the old fashioned way and make pumpkin purée from scratch! Was pretty easy really, just bought some ready peeled and chopped pumpkin cubes and baked them on a parchment lined baking tray at 350°F (180°C) for 30 minutes. No spices or oils, just plain.
And when baked, you just let it cool and then puree it in a food processor! The baking part gets rid of any excess moisture so you don’t end up with pumpkin puree that is too ‘wet’. But if you do, you can just stand the pumpkin purée in a strainer so any excess water runs off.
So it was really too easy. Probably still better to use canned though if you can get it, saves time!
Storing and Freezing
Keep it covered at room temperature where it will stay fresh for 2-3 days, or keep it covered in the fridge where it will stay fresh for up to a week.
It’s also freezer friendly for up to 3 months.
More Delicious Vegan Cakes
- Vegan Carrot Cake
- Vegan Gingerbread Cake
- Amazing Vegan Chocolate Cake
- Vegan Red Velvet Cake
- Vegan Vanilla Cake
- Vegan Banana Cake
Did you make this recipe? Be sure to leave a comment and rating below!
Vegan Pumpkin Cake
For the Pumpkin Cake:
- 2 cups All Purpose Flour (250g)
- 1 cup Light Brown Sugar (200g)
- ½ cup White Granulated Sugar (100g)
- 1 tsp Baking Soda
- 1 tsp Baking Powder
- ½ tsp Salt
- 2 tsp Cinnamon
- ½ tsp Nutmeg
- ½ tsp Ground Ginger
- ½ tsp Ground Cloves
- 1 Flax Egg 1 Tbsp Ground Flaxseed Meal + 3 Tbsp Hot Water
- 1 ½ cups Pumpkin Purée (337g)
- ¼ cup Canola Oil (60ml) or Vegetable Oil
- 1 Tbsp Apple Cider Vinegar
- 1 tsp Vanilla Extract
For the Cinnamon Buttercream Frosting:
- Crushed Walnuts
- Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C). Spray two 7 inch cake pans (*see notes) with non-stick spray and cut out circles of parchment paper line the bottoms.
- Sift the flour into a mixing bowl and add the light brown sugar, white granulated sugar, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger and cloves.
- Prepare your flax egg by adding 1 Tbsp ground flaxseed meal to a bowl and then adding in 3 Tbsp of Hot Water and allowing to sit for a minute to become gloopy.
- Add the flax egg, pumpkin purée, oil, vinegar and vanilla to the mixing bowl and mix into a batter. Don't overmix.
- Divide the batter equally between the prepared cake pans.
- Place into the oven and bake for 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cakes comes out clean.
- Transfer to a wire cooling rack and allow to cool completely before frosting.
- Prepare your frosting by adding the vegan butter, powdered sugar, vanilla and soy milk to the bowl of an electric mixer. Starting at slow speed, gradually increase the speed until the frosting is thick and smooth. If your frosting is too thick, add in soy milk a drop at a time until it reaches the right consistency.
- Add the cinnamon last and mix on low until just mixed in.
- When your cakes are completely cooled, frost them and then sprinkle cinnamon and crushed walnuts on top.
- Measure your flour correctly. Either weigh it out on a food scale for the most accurate results or use the spoon and level method. Spoon the flour into your measuring cup and then level off the top with a knife. Don’t scoop it and don’t pack it into the cup.
- Pumpkin purée. I used homemade pumpkin purée. I baked peeled and chopped pumpkin in the oven (plain, no oils or spices) for 30 minutes at 350°F (180°C) until soft and cooked and then pureed it in the food processor. If you do it this way and your purée is a bit ‘wet’ then stand it in a strainer so any excess water can run off.
- Cake Sizes: This cake can be adapted for different cake sizes as follows:
- Three 6-inch round cake pans – bake for 25 minutes.
- Two 8-inch round cake pans – bake for 25-30 minutes.
- One 9-inch round cake pan – bake for 30-35 minutes.
- 9×9 square cake pan – bake for 35 minutes.
- 9×13 sheet cake – bake for 25 minutes.
- Storing and freezing: Keep it covered at room temperature where it will stay fresh for 2-3 days, or keep it covered in the fridge where it will stay fresh for up to a week. It’s also freezer friendly for up to 3 months.
- Nutritional information is for 1 slice of 10 with a generous amount of cinnamon buttercream frosting. It excludes crushed walnuts.