This easy vegan pumpkin cake recipe is moist, fluffy, and topped with homemade cream cheese frosting! It’s made with one bowl and pantry staples like pumpkin puree, brown sugar, and coconut oil. The recipe is also dairy-free, eggless, and gluten-free friendly. Flavored with pumpkin pie spice, cinnamon, and vanilla, this dessert is a delicious seasonal holiday cake idea!

a slice of vegan pumpkin cake with vegan cream cheese frosting on a plate

Truth be told, this Vegan Pumpkin Cake was a happy accident. While baking my Vegan Pumpkin Bread last month, I had to use a square pan instead of a standard loaf pan. I made a few tweaks to the recipe, and it turned out so beautifully!

The result was incredibly moist, light, tender, and fluffy. Completed with dairy-free cream cheese frosting and crushed pecans on top, it became a perfect cake for the holiday season.

One thing I love about this recipe is how quick, easy, and foolproof it is. You only need one bowl and a handful of basic ingredients. It’s made with canned pumpkin, flour, brown sugar, and coconut oil. The rich seasonal flavor comes from warm spices, including a pumpkin pie spice blend and extra cinnamon.

You can follow the recipe as written or choose to decorate it to your own preferences. Try it with vanilla frosting or chocolate frosting. Toppings can include anything and everything, from crushed nuts to cinnamon sugar or chocolate chips!

This healthy pumpkin cake is:

  • Vegan, dairy-free, egg-free, and gluten-free friendly
  • Light, fluffy, soft, and moist
  • An easy one bowl cake recipe
  • Topped with cream cheese frosting and pecans
  • A holiday cake for Thanksgiving and Christmas
a fork sliced into a piece of vegan pumpkin cake with dairy-free cream cheese frosting

What is vegan pumpkin cake made of?

  • Flour: All-purpose flour, otherwise known as plain flour, is best for this cake. However, you can use gluten-free all-purpose flour if needed.
  • Pumpkin puree: Be sure to use canned pumpkin puree, not pumpkin pie filling. You can easily make your own at home from cooked pumpkin.
  • Brown sugar: Brown sugar adds a sweet flavor. Additionally, it gives the cake a moist texture.
  • Coconut oil: Use unrefined or refined coconut oil. The unrefined variety has a subtle coconut flavor, while the refined kind is odorless and flavorless.
  • Non-dairy milk: Use any non-dairy milk, like almond milk or oat milk.
  • Vanilla: Vanilla extract a sweet flavor and aroma while baking.
  • Pumpkin spice: This blend of spices contains ground cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, allspice, and ginger. You can buy it or make your own at home.
  • Cinnamon: Extra cinnamon produces a deeper, cinnamon-spiced flavor.
  • Baking soda and baking powder: Both leavening agents help the cake rise while baking. They produce a light and fluffy texture.
  • Salt: Salt elevates the overall flavor, enhancing the sweetener and warm spices.
  • Vegan frosting: Use dairy-free cream cheese frosting or vanilla frosting. Again, you can use store bought frosting or create your own homemade version.
bowls of ingredients for vegan pumpkin cake

How to make healthy pumpkin cake

For the full ingredient measurements and step-by-step instructions, scroll down to view the recipe card at the bottom of the page.

First, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line a 9×9–inch square baking dish with parchment paper.

pumpkin puree, brown sugar, coconut oil, and almond milk inside a glass mixing bowl
In a large mixing bowl, add pumpkin puree, light brown sugar, coconut oil, non-dairy milk, and vanilla extract.
a hand holding a white spoon mixing vegan pumpkin cake batter in a glass bowl
Mix the ingredients together until smooth.
ingredients for vegan pumpkin cake inside a glass mixing bowl
Add flour, pumpkin pie spice, cinnamon, baking soda, baking powder, and salt to the bowl.
a spoon mixing vegan pumpkin cake batter inside a glass mixing bowl
Fold the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients just until evenly incorporated; do not over-mix.
baked vegan pumpkin cake inside a square baking dish
Pour the batter into the baking dish. Bake for 45-50 minutes, or until an inserted toothpick comes out nearly clean. Set aside to cool.
a silicone spatula spreading dairy-free cream cheese frosting on a vegan pumpkin cake
Once the cake has cooled completely, create the vegan cream cheese frosting and frost the cake. Slice into 16 squares. Enjoy!
a slice of vegan pumpkin cake with dairy-free cream cheese frosting

Ways to decorate this easy pumpkin cake

You can follow the exact recipe or customize it to your liking with all sorts of toppings. Try the options below and discover your favorite way:

How to store vegan pumpkin cake

If you are using cream cheese frosting, store the pumpkin cake inside a sealed container in the refrigerator and enjoy within 5 days. On the other hand, if you are using vanilla frosting, you can leave it at room temperature for 2-3 days.

This holiday cake is also freezer-friendly. If you would like to save it longterm, store inside the freezer and enjoy within 3 months.

a slice of vegan pumpkin cake with vegan cream cheese frosting on a plate

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Print
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a slice of vegan pumpkin cake with vegan cream cheese frosting on a plate

Vegan Pumpkin Cake

  • Author: Kaylie Grace
  • Prep Time: 1 hour
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
  • Yield: 12 slices 1x
  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: Bake
  • Cuisine: American
  • Diet: Vegan

Description

This easy vegan pumpkin cake recipe is moist, fluffy, and topped with homemade cream cheese frosting! The one bowl recipe is dairy-free, egg-free, and gluten-free friendly. It’s made with canned pumpkin puree, brown sugar, coconut oil, and pumpkin pie spice. Enjoy this seasonal holiday cake for Christmas, Thanksgiving, parties, and more!


Ingredients

Scale
  • 1 can pumpkin puree (15oz)
  • 1 cup light brown sugar, tightly packed (213g)
  • 1/2 cup melted coconut oil
  • 1/3 cup non-dairy milk
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour (or gluten-free baking flour) (272 grams)
  • 1 tbsp pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 12 cups vegan cream cheese frosting
  • Crushed pecans, optional for topping

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line a 9×9–inch square baking dish with parchment paper.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, add pumpkin puree, light brown sugar, coconut oil, almond milk, and vanilla extract. Whisk together.
  3. Add flour, pumpkin pie spice, cinnamon, baking soda, baking powder, and salt to the bowl. Fold the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients just until evenly incorporated; do not over-mix.
  4. Pour the batter into the baking dish. Bake for 45-55 minutes, or until an inserted toothpick comes out nearly clean.
  5. Remove pumpkin cake from the oven and set aside to cool.
  6. Once the cake has cooled completely, create the vegan cream cheese frosting and frost the cake. Slice into 16 squares. Enjoy!

Notes

  • How to store: If you are using cream cheese frosting, store pumpkin cake inside a sealed container in the refrigerator and enjoy within 5 days. If you are using vanilla frosting, you can leave it at room temperature for 2-3 days. If you’d like to save it longterm, store in the freezer and enjoy within 3 months.
  • Nutrition: The nutrition information below is for the cake without frosting.

Nutrition

  • Serving Size: 1 slice
  • Calories: 223
  • Sugar: 16g
  • Fat: 9.5g
  • Carbohydrates: 34g
  • Fiber: 2g
  • Protein: 2g

Keywords: vegan pumpkin cake, healthy pumpkin cake, easy pumpkin cake recipe

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