Soft Vegan Pumpkin Cake with Pumpkin Spice Buttercream Frosting

I’m not into complicated, fussy, layer cakes that dirty 10 bowls, only to create a cake that’s so huge it goes stale before it’s finished.

I’m all about one layer, one bowl, no mixer, smear some frosting on it, and dig in. That’s this cake.

Soft Vegan Pumpkin Cake with Pumpkin Spice Buttercream Frosting - Fast, easy cake you'll never guess is vegan. Recipe at

It’s the same recipe that I used when I created the Soft Vegan Pumpkin Bread with Brown Sugar Streusel Crust, which was just barely adapted from the Vegan Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Muffins.

And now, I turned it into a cake. The recipe that keeps on giving.

Soft Vegan Pumpkin Cake with Pumpkin Spice Buttercream Frosting - Fast, easy cake you'll never guess is vegan. Recipe at

The cake is so soft and moist, comforting, and if you didn’t know it, you’d think it was made with eggs and butter. But it’s not, and you won’t miss them one bit.

Certain ingredients like pumpkin, bananas, and avocado are great in vegan baking because they’re thick, creamy, fluffy, or fatty, and are great for replacing eggs and butter.

Soft Vegan Pumpkin Cake with Pumpkin Spice Buttercream Frosting - Fast, easy cake you'll never guess is vegan. Recipe at

The cake is very fast and simple to make. Just combine all the ingredients (except flour and baking powder) in one bowl, and whisk together in mere seconds, before being turned out into a pan and baking.

Because there’s no butter in the cake, you need to replace the fat from another source. I used Nutiva Coconut Oil from Code AVE630 at checkout saves you $10 off your order. I love iHerb for everything like probioticsbulk cinnamonpumpkin pie spiceliquid vanilla stevia dropsbulk white stevia powdermedicinal fancy-grade honeychia seedsface cleanser, and nutritional yeast.

The bread doesn’t taste like coconut, and even if you don’t like coconut, I recommend using it. It adds a subtle, very understated flavor you can’t put your finger on. Substitute with canola or vegetable oil if you must.

Soft Vegan Pumpkin Cake with Pumpkin Spice Buttercream Frosting - Fast, easy cake you'll never guess is vegan. Recipe at

Since bland pumpkin desserts aren’t worth eating, all my pumpkin recipes are nicely spiced without being over-powering, and this cake is no exception.

It’s pleasantly spiced with pumpkin pie spice, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, and has molasses and vanilla for extra depth.  If you’re more sensitive to cinnamon or a certain spice, dial them down, to taste.

Soft Vegan Pumpkin Cake with Pumpkin Spice Buttercream Frosting - Fast, easy cake you'll never guess is vegan. Recipe at

The spices in the cake are complemented by the pumpkin spice buttercream frosting. I wanted to eat this by the spoonful. And did.

Although the cake is vegan, the frosting is not vegan because I made it with Coffeemate’s seasonal Pumpkin Spice Latte non-dairy creamer. If you want to keep the frosting vegan, use vegan-friendly butter and milk alternatives. Easy swaps.

I used the Sugarfree Coffeemeate because that’s what I use in my coffee. I’m a person who likes a little coffee with my cream, and this is my dream creamer. It’s only available September through December, and I’ve been hoarding it.

Soft Vegan Pumpkin Cake with Pumpkin Spice Buttercream Frosting - Fast, easy cake you'll never guess is vegan. Recipe at

It was splendid in the frosting. It added extra creaminess and boosted the overall pumpkin flavor. It helped the frosting to not set up ‘crunchy’, which can happen with buttercream frosting that’s been exposed to air. It does firm up, but not in a crunchy way. Crunchy cake is never good.

The cake is supremely soft, moist, springy, and bouncey. There’s just enough satisfying density, without being overly heavy, a curse that tends to plague vegan baked goods.

Soft Vegan Pumpkin Cake with Pumpkin Spice Buttercream Frosting - Fast, easy cake you'll never guess is vegan. Recipe at

I love it when I can keep a recipe vegan and on the healthier side as cakes go, without making any sacrifices in taste.

It’s some of the best pumpkin cake I’ve ever tried, vegan or otherwise.

Soft Vegan Pumpkin Cake with Pumpkin Spice Buttercream Frosting - Fast, easy cake you'll never guess is vegan. Recipe at

Print Print Recipe

Soft Vegan Pumpkin Cake with Pumpkin Spice Buttercream Frosting

The cake is supremely soft, moist, springy, and bouncey. It's some of the best pumpkin cake I've ever tried, vegan or otherwise. You won't miss the eggs or butter in this one-bowl, whisk-together, no-mixer required cake. I use coconut oil and recommend it (doesn't make the cake taste like coconut), but substitue with another oil if preferred. I love it when I can keep a recipe vegan and on the healthier side as cakes go, without making any sacrifices in taste. The frosting isn't vegan, but can be kept vegan by using vegan-friendly butter and milk alternatives. The use of Pumpkin Spice Coffee-Mate adds extra creaminess, more overall pumpkin flavor, and prevents the frosting from setting up 'crunchy', which can happen with buttercream.

Yield: one 9x9-inch pan, 9 to 12 generous pieces

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: about 27 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour, for cooling time


3/4 cup pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie filling)
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup light brown sugar, packed
1/3 cup coconut oil, in melted state (vegetable or canola oil may be substituted)
1/4 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk (other milks may be substituted including coconut, soy, rice, cow), preferably at room temp
2 tablespoons mild or medium molasses
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
1 teaspoon allspice
3/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2  teaspoon ground nutmeg
pinch salt, optional and to taste
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder

1/4 cup unsalted butter, softened (half of 1 stick; use vegan butter to keep recipe vegan)
about 2 cups confectioners' sugar
3 to 4 tablespoons Pumpkin Spice Latte non-dairy creamer, or as needed (use vegan milk to keep vegan)
pumpkin pie spice, for sprinkling


  1. Preheat oven to 375F. Line a 9-by-9-inch pan with aluminum foil, spray with cooking spray, or grease and flour the pan; set aside.
  2. Cake - In a large mixing bowl, combine all ingredients through optional salt, and whisk to combine. Using room temp milk will prevent coconut oil from re-solidifying, but if it does, a few small white clumps are okay.
  3. Stir in the flour and baking powder until just combined, don't overmix. Batter is quite thick.
  4. Turn batter out into prepared pan, smoothing the top lightly with a spatula.
  5. Bake for about 27 minutes, or until center is set and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, or with a few moist crumbs, but no batter.
  6. Allow cake to cool in pan, on top of a wire rack, for at least 30 minutes before turning out onto the rack to finish cooling completely. While cake cools, make the frosting.
  7. Frosting - In a large mixing bowl, combine butter, 2 cups confectioners' sugar, 3 tablespoons creamer, and beat with an electric mixer on medium high speed until smooth. As needed drizzle in more creamer until desired frosting consistency is reached. If frosting is too loose, add a bit more confectioners' sugar, playing with the sugar and creamer ratios until desired consistency is reached.
  8. Turn frosting out onto cooled cake, smoothing the top lightly with a spatula. If you have extra frosting, it will keep airtight in the refrigerator for many weeks, and can be used at a future date.
  9. Sprinkle pinches of pumpkin pie spice over the frosting before slicing and serving cake. Cake will keep airtight at room temperature for up to 5 days. I personally am comfortable storing buttercream-frosted items at room temp, but if you prefer to store in the fridge, that's fine, but note the fridge will dry the cake out more quickly. Unfrosted cake will keep airtight in the freezer for up to 4 months.

Adapted from Soft Vegan Pumpkin Bread with Brown Sugar Streusel Crust, which was just barely adapted from Vegan Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Muffins

Related Recipes

Soft Vegan Pumpkin Bread with Brown Sugar Streusel Crust

Soft Vegan Pumpkin Bread with Brown Sugar Streusel Crust - You won't miss the eggs or the butter in this fast & easy bread from

Vegan Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Muffins

Vegan Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Muffins - Easy Recipe at

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Bundt Cake with Chocolate Ganache

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Bundt Cake with Chocolate Ganache

Pumpkin Spice Cupcakes with Marshmallow Buttercream Frosting – Small batch recipe of just 6 cupcakes

Pumpkin Spice Cupcakes with Marshmallow Buttercream Frosting

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies

Pumpkin Banana Bread with Browned Butter Cream Cheese Frosting

Pumpkin Banana Bread with Browned Butter Cream Cheese Frosting

Cinnamon and Spice Sweet Potato Bread – This bread gets rave reviews from readers and it’s one of my favorites

Cinnamon and Spice Sweet Potato Bread

Carrot Cake Loaf with Cream Cheese Frosting – My favorite carrot cake recipe and I bake it in a loaf pan rather than cake pans. The recipe is similar to the sweet potato bread except uses carrots rather than sweet potatoes but the spices and ingredients are similar

Pumpkin Spice Peanut Butter and Chocolate Chip Granola (vegan, GF)

 Pumpkin Spice Peanut Butter and Chocolate Chip Granola (vegan, GF)

Cinnamon-Sugar Crust Cinnamon-Ribbon Bread

Cinnamon-Sugar Crust Cinnamon-Ribbon Bread

Fluffy Vegan Coconut Oil Banana Muffins

Fluffy Vegan Coconut Oil Banana Muffins

Vegan Chunky Apple Cinnamon Muffins

Vegan Chunky Apple Cinnamon Muffins - Easy, No-Mixer Recipe for Soft Muffins at

I was selected for this opportunity by Clever Girls Collective, however all content and opinions expressed here are my own.

What’s your favorite pumpkin recipe this fall?


  1. What an interesting use for creamer! Love it and that icing looks prefect on this cake. I could not even tell it was vegan when I first saw it (beside the title of course).
    Would love to make this icing and use it on some vegan brownies too. Maybe you have again inspired me for future post? ^_^

  2. I think every time I make something pumpkin I decide it is my favorite food ever-I want to try your bars and the creamer! My most recent pumpkin craving tough has been this pumpkin grilled cheese:

  3. These cake squares are beautiful. I can’t wait to try them :)

  4. Someone brought that creamer to work and it’s good in coffee, so I can imagine it is great in frosting! Its also the perfect solution for keeping the frosting white while adding flavor. I saw something on TV about using a boxed mix and just adding pumpkin to it but I think from scratch is always better, especially with a 10 min prep time!!

    • They do have those Frosting Creations packets (Duncan Hines) – but not sure if they come in pumpkin flavor. Plus this was already in my refrigerator door and super handy to boost the pumpkin flavor! And yes adding 1 can pumpkin to 1 box cake mix is the oldest 2-ingredient cake trick in the book but as scratch cakes go, this one is as easy as it comes!

  5. Because of the coffee creamer, that means I can eat this cake for breakfast – no? I mean I frost banana bread with cream cheese frosting and call that breakfast… ;)

    I love finding stand-by recipes like this. Ones to use as cake, muffins, quick bread, you name it. Heck, even make cupcakes out of this and pile high with whatever. Truly an irreplaceable recipe. I love this coffee creamer! I’m sippin’ some vanilla coffee with it mixed in right now. Just bought another huge bottle from target yesterday. Why oh why must this creamer be seasonal?!

    • Sally I completely agree – why must it be seasonal! They made the peppermint one year-round and I hope they make this one the same!

      And yes, this is my pumpkin cake recipe akin to my blondie base or my choc chip cookie base. It’s been relayed and parlayed :)

      I love your logic and yes, cake for breakfast :)

  6. The pumpkin spice buttercream sounds amaaaaaazing. It’s pretty much impossible to have too much pumpkin this time of year. Gotta add this one to my long list of pumpkin recipes to bake! :)

  7. mmmm this looks delicious! and vegan?! i’m so impressed, wow! :)

  8. Love that it’s vegan Averie! This recipe is fabulous :)

  9. I love recipes that keep on giving–I have a few muffin recipes like that and will always cherish them. This cakes look SO, so moist–seriously, I’m starting to wonder why I’ve ever made pumpkin cake with eggs, haha. Great idea to use the spiced creamer in the frosting! :)

    • Laura I have a pumpkin bundt cake that I love (not vegan) but since I’ve started really playing around with vegan baking and pumpkin, I wonder the same thing as you. Why I even bothered with the eggs. This cake may be slightly denser but is every bit as wonderful. I should do a side by side comparison one day…when I need two cakes all at once :)

  10. I am totally in love with this cake! I mean, I am pretty sure it is fair to call it breakfast too. All that coffee creamer makes this a breakfast cake for sure! Ok, at least brunch and I it is perfect for holiday parties! Not only is it pretty look at, festive and crazy tasty, but it is vegan. This means pretty much everyone can have a square or two! YUM!

    • It’s such a versatile batter, Tieghan. I was wondering how it would do from muffin to bread to now cake, but it totally works and yes to your logic about this being a breakfast food :)

  11. You never cease to amaze me. This looks amazing. Perfect fall dessert!

  12. Mega creative points for using the coffee creamer in a tasty icing! Such a great idea. Also, this cake is totally my style: Mega-moist, pumpkin-licious and spiced, without being the d-word (dry!). You never cease to amaze me, and now I have another great excuse to buy that creamer! (I’ve been stalking it–weird?)

    • Mega-moist, pumpkin-licious and spiced, without being the d-word (dry!). <– you nailed it, all of that! Yes! And if you havent tried this creamer, GET IT! So good! It’s kinda hard to find for me (I can only get it at Target b/c the groc stores sell out immediately or don’t stock it)

  13. I also don’t like fussy and complicated recipes – I don’t have the time or patience. The buttercream frosting here sounds divine. So perfect for fall!

    One of my favorite pumpkin recipes is my smoked gouda mac and cheese that my friends have been asking me to make again soon!

  14. I can’t wait to try your version of pumpkin cake. I like that you used coconut oil in it instead of veggie oil. I used half applesauce and half oil in the sheet cake I made to cut down on the oil content, but I’ve been a bit nervous to try it with the coconut oil. I should just go for it, right? What do you think about using coconut oil in that pumpkin bundt cake we both love? I think I’m going to try it with both recipes as well as yours. It’s going to be pumpkin mania over here with 3 pumpkin recipes, right? I have a few class parties coming up so I will just pawn off all 3 recipes to hungry kids. I wish I had time to bake today as I’m totally in the mood, but I have to drive 5 boys on an all day field trip to Pointe Reyes. At least I will be in Pointe Reyes and get to enjoy the calmness of it after being in the car with craziness for 1/2 hour. Wish me luck. I’m jacking up on the caffeine right now! xoxo, Jackie

    • Enjoy your day – it sounds so nice! And yes as long as your family is okay with coc oil (there is a slight, tiny trace of it – but not in an overt way). I prefer it to using canola/veg oil the past year or so. I want to try our pumpkin bundt with it but have gotten into the habit of this vegan cake/bread/muffin batter, I havent remade that cake yet with coc oil to see. LMK how it goes!

  15. These are so pretty! They look perfect! So soft, fluffy and that frosting and dusting of pumpkin spice – oh man!

  16. Sheet cakes for the win! So midwest. I don’t think I had a homemade layer cake (we’d sometimes see them from the store, but defnitely not made with love by my mom) until I was well into my 20s. I like them fine, but I find the frosting to cake ratio to be much more to my specifications in a sheet cake.

    Love that you used pumpkin pie spice AND more spices. I can almost taste the cake through my computer!

    • It’s poppin’ with spices. Not too much but no one would ever call this cake bland. I mean with pumpkin you just HAVE to doctor it up b/c it’s inherently…bland and gloppy. And we are the same. Simple one layer cakes were the only way. No one brings a 2-3 layer cake to a potluck. They bring 1 layer cakes…or a pan of bars :)

  17. Averie, this cake looks so moist and inviting. I’m all about one bowl and no mixer. Yum. Pinned.

  18. I loooooove fall and winter coffee creamer flavors. The. Best. EVER. Pumpkin, peppermint, gingerbread — sign me up for a year’s supply and let me sip blissfully for the next 365 days. This cake looks SO outrageously moist and plush and that frosting is absolutely splendid as you said — spiced beautifully, nice and light… give meeeeee.

  19. No fuss cakes are the best! I’m loving that mile-high frosting too! Pinned!

  20. This sounds like the perfect cake to have on hand for snacks, quick desserts, and probably breakfast, too! I love the look of that creamy frosting. This is a must-make for sure!

  21. You speak my language, Averie. I don’t mind having lots of cookies on hand (somehow they seem to disappear) but when it comes to cake, I like it moist and I don’t want to be eating it for a week. Question for you–would buttermilk work in this recipe or would it make it too dense? Overall I’m a huge buttermilk fan but sometimes with food purees, I find that it can be too heavy.

    • I would make the recipe exactly as written b/c I find it to be pretty perfect :) I’ve remade it upmteen times and posted it in 3 ways on my blog. I love it as is. If you are wanting to replace the 1/4 almond/nut/milk with buttermilk, you probably could. It’s going to make the cake fluffier and will react more with the baking powder so I am not entirely sure how it will effect the final outcome. I love buttermilk in cakes and have so many that use it, but here – haven’t tested or trialed.

  22. I just printed this out to put into my “Thanksgiving file” menu planning for which I host every year. I have a pie table …but I also have a pumpkin dessert table. And, this is going on it! It’s just perfect…and you know I love all of your recipes. (Bcz you’re the best!!) Have a great Tuesday and don’t work too hard! (=

    • Your comments are such a joy to read, Gloria! I can feel your positive energy just bursting through and that’s so nice! I am thrilled to hear this recipe is going to make it onto your TG Pumpkin table! I’m honored!! LMK how you like it!

  23. This cake looks so good, it is making me lose focus at work, and I am contemplating going out to get some pumpkin puree so I can make it tonight!

  24. These are a pumpkin lovers dream. Averie! And I love that the cake is vegan.

  25. I love that you didn’t use unique ingredients when making this vegan. This seriously does look moist and delicious. That frosting ia a-maz-ing. :)

    • I never go out of my way to call for anything that the average person (vegan or not) who’s any kind of baker wouldn’t already have in her cupboard. Thanks for noticing :)

  26. This looks like the softest pumpkin cake ever, I love it!

  27. Such a beautiful cake, Averie!!

  28. I’ve never tried Coffee-Mate’s non-dairy creamers, but I’ve used their pumpkin spice creamer in cupcakes before and it works wonderfully! I don’t usually make vegan things, but this pumpkin cake is gorgeous! Love those spices sprinkled on top. :)

  29. This looks amazing! I want to drop everything and go make this like NOW!

  30. Ohhh girl
    this sounds good.
    great use of a product too; I’m all for that when I’m broke

  31. This cake is gorgeous Averie! And I can almost taste it. I love that coffee creamer. I have some of the spiced latte in my fridge right now too. I’m addicted to the seasonal flavors!

  32. I am loving all your pumpkin treats! The frosting is very clever and unique too!

  33. for the past 3 weeks I have gotten something similar to this at starbucks and now you are telling me I can make it myself! LOVE IT

    • Make it and the whole recipe as written probably will cost you 3 bucks if you have the supplies on hand. So you just saved yourself a whole bunch of money AND you can keep it vegan/healthier than theirs! And oh yeah, I have had theirs. This one blows theirs away in terms of taste, if I may say so :)

  34. Considering that I have made your pumpkin bread with streusel topping 5 different times already (doubled each time I have made it), I think it is time to whip this baby out next. Seriously, Seraphim loves your pumpkin bread recipe so much that it has become his snack of choice before and after supper with a tall glass of cold goat’s milk. We ran out yesterday and today he said “Aww, no new pumpkin bread?” I have been slacking…missed a day! :-) This cake looks awesome and I love how easy it is. We can’t do the non-dairy creamer here because of the corn syrup in it, but we can easily make our own frosting. You have the best pumpkin recipes! I think I have made them all! Can’t stop now! :-)

    • I cannot believe you’ve made the pumpkin bread 5 times in like….2 weeks? And a double batch each time, at that! That’s what happens when you have teenage boys! I wish to God you lived closer, Michele. I have SO MUCH FOOD.I give it away to strangers, practically. I hate that but I’d rather someone have it that it go to waste b/c we simply cannot keep up with the steady flow of recipes, recipe testings, etc. Slacking…missed a day, eh? <— LOL And this cake is so easy. As easy as the bread, probably easier b/c there’s no streusel! And you can make a quick buttercream-ish or cream cheese type frosting with confectioners’ sugar, butter, or with your fave lineup for frosting that you whisk together in a second. LMK how the cake compares to the other treats for your family – considering it’s the same recipe, just baked differently, I’ll be curious to know what they say!

  35. This cake looks so moist and dense but fluffy at the same time. And that frosting looks sooooo good!! I just had that creamer in my coffee this morning, need to get on it and bake with it!!

  36. I would love to experience more with vegan baking.. these pumpkin squares look really tasty but like really tasty!! Thanks for sharing the recipe :-) Xx

  37. I have a pan of these in the oven as we speak! And I used gluten free flour, so I have my fingers crossed! Thanks for a super easy recipe.

    My only question – step 5. Streusel topping? You had mentioned this was adapted from another recipe so I wonder if you just forgot to take that out. I went back and read the recipe about 10 times to make sure I didn’t miss anything! :)

    • Thanks for the catch. Yes I did adapt my other recipe and I changed everything, i.e. pan size, baking time, etc but forgot to take that out. But I did just now!

      Please LMK how you like the cake!

  38. pumpkin spice buttercream?! oh my!! I think I’ll take a spoon with a serving of buttercream thank you very much ;) the cake looks awesome too but that buttercream is calling my name lol

  39. No eggs, no butter and still delicious!! Beautiful cake, Averie! I’d like a bowl of that icing, first. ;-)

  40. I can’t even remember the last time I made a cake. I think it’s time! That frosting is calling my name…

  41. Woah these look amazing. I’m loving pumpkin right now (who isn’t) and it’s so nice that this cake is so easy!

  42. I do enjoy a grand layer cake now & then but they are fussy and messy and time consuming. This cake looks scrumptious and gentle on the kitchen utensils. I know I sound like a broken manic record, but I LOVE your plates!

    • Awww, thank you! I actually broke one a couple weeks ago you had once told me you liked – I was drying it, slipped out my hand, and it was a goner. Ugh. Need to hit up the goodwill for some new stuff. I always need small plates!

  43. I LOVE recipes like this, Averie. You had me at “one bowl” and the photos are just incredible. This cake looks so soft, fluffy and moist! Perfection.

  44. Planning on making this for some work friends and I had a quick question. How does it taste on day two? Would I be okay making it tonight for tmw evening or should I wait till the morning? Thanks Averie and can’t wait to try it!! :)

    • I actually think it tastes better the next/second/third days. The flavors marry and rest and so make it tonight, by all means! LMK how your friends like it!

    • My friends loved the cake and one vegan friend said it was the best cake she had ever had. Great to hear especially since I ran out of vanilla! ;) Other than subbing maple syrup for molasses, made no other subs and I really loved it, too.

    • That’s amazing that your vegan friend said it’s the best cake she’s ever had! What a compliment and glad you liked it too! Now you just need to go pick up some vanilla :)

  45. I just made this with my boyfriend, it was PHENOMENAL. Absolutely delicious.

  46. I love how moist this looks!

  47. I just started drinking coffee this fall, and I haven’t tried creamer yet. But if I can bake with it too, I’m guessing that’ll change pretty quickly! When using cream in coffee, does it taste very different from milk? And your cake looks SO moist — I’d be really tempted to eat every single square as soon as it came out of the oven!

  48. This cake looks like perfection, I can’t wait to get a taste of that frosting, yum!

  49. Can the recipe be doubled? I want to make them for my daughter’s class.

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