Soft Vegan Pumpkin Cake with Pumpkin Spice Buttercream Frosting

PinSaveJUMP to RECIPE

This post may contain affiliate links.

Soft Vegan Pumpkin Cake with Pumpkin Spice Frosting — This is a fast, easy pumpkin cake that you’d never guess is vegan! I topped it with a spiced buttercream frosting for even more pumpkin flavor! 

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

Ultra Moist Pumpkin Cake

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.

It’s the same recipe that I used when I created the Soft Vegan Pumpkin Bread, 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 averiecooks.com

The vegan pumpkin 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.

Because there’s no butter in the cake, you need to replace the fat from another source. I used Nutiva Coconut Oil from iHerb.com

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

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.

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

I used the Sugarfree Coffeemeate in the frosting 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 averiecooks.com

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.

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 averiecooks.com

What’s in the Vegan Pumpkin Cake? 

To make the vegan pumpkin cake itself, you’ll need: 

  • Pumpkin puree
  • Granulated and brown sugar
  • Coconut oil
  • Vanilla almond milk 
  • Molasses
  • Vanilla extract
  • Spices 
  • All-purpose flour
  • Baking powder

And for the frosting, you’ll need: 

  • Unsalted butter (sub vegan butter, if desired) 
  • Confectioners’ sugar 
  • Pumpkin spice coffee creamer (or milk) 

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

How to Make Vegan Pumpkin Cake

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.

While the cake cools, you can make the pumpkin spice frosting. See my notes in the “Tips” section below on how to make the frosting vegan as well. 

Then, simply slap on the frosting and dig in! 

Can I Substitute the Coconut Oil? 

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 averiecooks.com

Can I Double This Recipe? 

I’ve never doubled this recipe, but I imagine you can do so without issue. Bake the cake in a 9×13-inch dish. 

Soft Vegan Pumpkin Cake with Pumpkin Spice Frosting — This is a fast, easy pumpkin cake that you'd never guess is vegan! I topped it with a spiced buttercream frosting for even more pumpkin flavor! 

Tips for Making This Easy Pumpkin Cake

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.

Note that this recipe calls for pure pumpkin puree and NOT canned pumpkin pie filling. They’re two different products! 

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.

Soft Vegan Pumpkin Cake with Pumpkin Spice Frosting — This is a fast, easy pumpkin cake that you'd never guess is vegan! I topped it with a spiced buttercream frosting for even more pumpkin flavor! 

Pin This Recipe

Enjoy AverieCooks.com Without Ads! 🆕
Go Ad Free

4.88 from 8 votes

Soft Vegan Pumpkin Cake with Pumpkin Spice Buttercream Frosting

By Averie Sunshine
This is a fast, easy pumpkin cake that you'd never guess is vegan! I topped it with a spiced buttercream frosting for even more pumpkin flavor! 
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 27 minutes
Cooling Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 7 minutes
Servings: 12
Save this recipe to your email
Enter your email and we’ll send it to you!
Please enable JavaScript in your browser to complete this form.

Ingredients  

Cake

  • ¾ cup pumpkin puree, not pumpkin pie filling
  • ¾ cup granulated sugar
  • ¼ cup light brown sugar, packed
  • cup coconut oil
  • ¼ 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
  • ¾ teaspoon ground cloves
  • ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • pinch salt, optional and to taste
  • 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder

Frosting

  • ¼ 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 coffee creamer, or sub non-dairy milk
  • pumpkin pie spice, for sprinkling

Instructions 

Cake:

  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Stir in the flour and baking powder until just combined, don’t overmix. Batter is quite thick.
  • Turn batter out into prepared pan, smoothing the top lightly with a spatula.
  • 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.
  • 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.

Frosting:

  • In a large mixing bowl, combine (vegan) 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.
  • 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.
  • Sprinkle pinches of pumpkin pie spice over the frosting before slicing and serving cake. 

Notes

Storage: 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.

Nutrition

Serving: 1, Calories: 190kcal, Carbohydrates: 39g, Fat: 4g, Saturated Fat: 2g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g, Cholesterol: 10mg, Sodium: 97mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 36g

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

More Vegan Fall Recipes: 

Pumpkin Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies— (Vegan if you substitute the butter for margarine). These pumpkin oatmeal cookies are bursting with chocolate chips in every bite! They’re thick, hearty, perfectly chewy, and not at all cakey.

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies— (Vegan if you substitute the butter for margarine). Between the molasses, pumpkin pie spice, and pumpkin pie spice extract that I used, these pumpkin chocolate chip cookies beautifully showcase the flavors of fall!

 

Soft Vegan Pumpkin Bread — If you want to make a believer out of anyone who doubts that vegan baked goods can taste amazing, this recipe will change their mind!

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

Chocolate Chip Vegan Pumpkin Muffins — These vegan pumpkin muffins are studded with mini semi-sweet chocolate chips. Plus, they’re packed with five different warming spices, which makes then extra flavorful! 

Vegan Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Muffins - Easy Recipe at averiecooks.com

Vegan Apple Cinnamon Muffins— These apple cinnamon muffins are studded with BIG chunks of apple! They’re so easy to make and are perfect for a quick snack or breakfast to-go.

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

Sweet Potato Muffins — The muffins are super soft and tender in the interior with slight chewiness around the edges. They’re springy, moist, fluffy, light, and accidentally vegan but you’d never guess it. 

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

4.88 from 8 votes (4 ratings without comment)

Leave a Comment

Please note: I have only made the recipe as written, and cannot give advice or predict what will happen if you change something. If you have a question regarding changing, altering, or making substitutions to the recipe, please check out the FAQ page for more info.

Recipe Rating




Comments

  1. 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!

  2. 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!! :)

    1. 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!

      1. 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.

      2. 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 :)

  3. 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.

  4. 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!

    1. 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!

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

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

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

  8. 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

  9. 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! :)

    1. 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!

  10. 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

  11. 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!!

  12. 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! :-)

    1. 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!

  13. 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

    1. 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 :)