Pumpkin Cake

5 from 80 votes

This vegan pumpkin cake is moist and fluffy and full of delicious fall spices. Made in just one bowl and using simple ingredients, there are no eggs, no milk, and no butter needed! 

vegan pumpkin cake

Vegan Pumpkin Cake

We love our vegan pumpkin recipes. On rotation at the moment is pumpkin pancakes, pumpkin cheesecake, and this delicious pumpkin cake

Pumpkin cake is one of my favorite fall staples. There’s nothing more comforting than a slice of pumpkin cake with a cup of coffee or cup of tea, to avoid the afternoon slumps. What I love about this cake is just how simple it is to make, and uses basic pantry staple ingredients. You won’t need any eggs, any milk, or any butter to make this, but you’d never tell.

The cake itself is moist, fluffy, and with a light and tender crumb. It’s sweet and with a light pumpkin flavor, and the vegan cream cheese frosting gives it a little tang that takes it up a notch.

Made in just one bowl and ready in just 30 minutes, you can do what I did and serve this for a holiday party or after-dinner dessert. I simply tripled the ingredients and made it a pumpkin layer cake! 

pumpkin cake

How do you make a pumpkin cake?

Please see the recipe card further along in the post for exact quantities of ingredients and the full method.

The Ingredients

  • All purpose flour– Either plain all purpose flour or gluten free flour can be used. I used Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free Baking flour, as it works as a cup for cup replacement for standard flour. If you use another brand of gluten free flour, be sure that it contains xanthan gum in it. 
  • Baking powder– Gives some rise and fluffiness to the cake. 
  • Salt– Brings out the natural sweetness of the cake, and a must for any good baked good!
  • Pumpkin pie spice– A fabulous fall spice mix, this intensifies the pumpkin flavor. If you don’t have pumpkin pie spice, use a mix of cinnamon, ginger, cloves, and allspice. 
  • Cinnamon– Even though the pumpkin pie spice already has a little cinnamon in it, adding more gives it a more intense flavor hit. 
  • Pumpkin puree– Unsweetened pumpkin puree, not pumpkin pie filling. I used homemade pumpkin puree but you can use the canned variety. If you use the latter, your cake will be a little darker in color. 
  • Sugar of choice– A mix of white sugar and brown sugar is best, but use whichever you have on hand. Like the pumpkin puree, if you use all brown sugar, your cake will be much darker. 
  • Oil of choice– Any neutral flavored oil can be used. Coconut oil (refined), vegetable oil, or even canola oil are all fantastic options. 
  • Maple syrup– Adds extra sweetness and gives the cake a more tender and moist texture. You can also use agave nectar. 
  • Vanilla extract– A must for any good cake or baked recipe! 
  • Water– To mix everything together! If you’d prefer to use milk, unsweetened almond milk or any plant based milk will work well. 
  • Cream cheese frosting– Optional, but highly recommended. I used my cream cheese keto frosting, subbing out the butter for vegan butter and the cream cheese for dairy free cream cheese. 

The Instructions

In a small bowl, add your flour, baking powder, and salt, and mix until combined. In a separate bowl, combine the rest of your ingredients, and mix until combined. Gently fold through the dry ingredients until just combined. Transfer the cake batter into an 8-inch cake pan. Bake at 180C/350F for 30 minutes, or until a skewer comes out clean. Remove from the oven and allow the cae to cool in the pan completely, before frosting. 

vegan pumpkin cake

Can I make this recipe as pumpkin muffins or cupcakes? 

If you’d prefer to make pumpkin muffins or pumpkin cupcakes instead of a cake, make the following changes to the recipe.

Grease a 12-count muffin tin with muffin liners. Pour the batter amongst the 12 muffin cups, around 2/3 full, to allow them to rise. Bake for 18-20 minutes, or until a skewer comes out clean from the center and the tops bounce back slightly when touched. 

Tips to make the best pumpkin layer cake

  • The ingredients provided make a single layer cake and frosting. For a 2 layer cake, double the ingredients and bake in 2 cake pans. For a 3 layer cake, triple the ingredients and bake in 3 cake pans. 
  • Do not overbake the cake, as it continues to cook as it cools down. Once a skewer comes out clean from the center, the cake is done.
  • Don’t be worried if your cake comes out darker in color than what I pictured. If you use canned pumpkin or brown sugar, your cake will be considerably darker. 
  • This pumpkin cake tastes delicious sans frosting, so if you’d prefer more of a snack cake, omit the frosting and bake this in a 9-inch square pan. 

Storing and freezing cake

  • To store: If your cake is unfrosted, you can store it at room temperature, covered, for up to 5 days. If frosted, or if you’d like the cake to keep longer, store it in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks. Let the refrigerated cake sit at room temperature for 30 minutes before serving. 
  • To freeze: Place slices of cake in a freezer friendly container and store in the freezer for up to 6 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator.

gluten free pumpkin cake

More vegan fall desserts to try

pumpkin cake recipe

Pumpkin Cake

This pumpkin cake is moist, fluffy, and topped with a dairy free cream cheese frosting! Made with no eggs, no milk, and no butter, this vegan pumpkin cake is also gluten free!
5 from 80 votes
Print Rate
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes
Servings: 12 Slices
Calories: 198kcal
Author: Arman



  • Preheat the oven to 180C/350F. Grease a 9-inch cake pan and set aside.
  • In a small bowl, mix together your flour, baking powder, salt, pumpkin spice, and cinnamon. In a mixing bowl, add the rest of your ingredients and mix until combined.
  • Gently fold through your dry ingredients until just combined. Transfer to the greased cake pan. Bake for 30 minutes, or until a skewer comes out just clean.
  • Remove from the oven and let cool completely, before frosting.


* You can use white sugar, brown sugar, coconut sugar, or sugar free substitutes. Use a mix of them or just one kind. If you use brown sugar or coconut sugar, your cake will be darker in color. 
TO STORE: If your cake is unfrosted, you can store it at room temperature, covered, for up to 5 days. If frosted, or if you'd like the cake to keep longer, store it in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks. Let the refrigerated cake sit at room temperature for 30 minutes before serving. 
TO FREEZE: Place slices of cake in a freezer friendly container and store in the freezer for up to 6 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator.


Serving: 1slice | Calories: 198kcal | Carbohydrates: 34g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 7g | Sodium: 180mg | Potassium: 66mg | Fiber: 1g | Vitamin A: 2383IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 61mg | Iron: 1mg | NET CARBS: 33g
Tried this recipe?Give us a shout at @thebigmansworld or tag #thebigmansworld!

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    50 thoughts on “Pumpkin Cake

    1. I just cooked and mashed a pumpkin yesterday. And I have about 1 cup left. Your timing is spot on 🙂

      I feel like the sooner people start to get crazy about Christmas the less I want to engange in it. Random fact: Most Germans put their trees up on the 24th December. So when I see people/ bloggers decorating Christmas trees in November I find it sooooo odd!

      P.S. I like the spoon! So unique 🙂

    2. I feel like all of your recipes are specifically made for me! Just the other day I was thinking about how I could have pumpkin in a different form other than oatmeal and pancakes for breakfast. Thanks for coming in clutch at the perfect time 🙂

    3. Oh this one is right up my alley (again), mate! Pumpkin everything is starting to take over here. I saw pumpkin yogurt pretzels the other day at the store, and I thought they sounds good. Laura pointed out that they probably are good…for 3 pretzels. After that, they’d be too much. And then I saw pumpkin Cheerios, too. I think companies are learning that pumpkin sells! You know what I need? I need a company that sells this pumpkin cake…and I need them to open up a location in my basement. Is that too much to ask? 🙂

    4. Great recipe! Thank you Arman. But I have a question: do I need to cook first the pumpkin and then smash? In general, if I want to use pumpkin for baking – does it need to be cooked first? )) Or not always?

    5. So Oats make a really amazing fluffy cake; and I love that you shared a pumpkin cake that everybody could pretty much eat! And I think it’s almost crazy how retailers are so quick to get to racing through all the holidays; it kind of makes me happy that I don’t work in retail? I don’t know, maybe I’ll work in retail some day.

      🙂 What’s your favorite brand of pumpkin?

    6. Hi Arman, this is the most interesting recipe I’ve seen while poking around today for something new and cool to make. I was not in on the protein frosting ‘secret’ and a healthy frosting is something I’ve wanted to find for a while! Thanks! Pinned this one for later.

    7. I’m slowly getting into the pumpkin spirit. It’s taking a while since it’s still beastly hot around these parts, but I won’t last much longer!
      As far as expired chocolate goes, I’m almost positive I’ve eaten it. My version of dessert is to keep a bag of semi-sweet chocolate chips in a high cabinet and grab a handful a couple times a month. Lord only knows how long I’ve dragged one bag on!

    8. Idk what’s wrong w me. On first glance I thought it said “breast cake.” That’s after your last recipe was pornographic. I promise I’m not crazy!

    9. Always happy to see a cake for breakfast recipe! I don’t know what my problem used to be, but I always, always let my chocolate expire and turn white. I wasn’t the biggest fan of sweets when I was younger so all my chocolate gifts used to go off. Crazy considering chocolate doesn’t last 24 hours in my house now!

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