This 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!
Simple cake recipes are a common occurrence around here.
It’s no surprise that we make them on a very regular basis. We tend to try to use seasonal produce and that is why come Fall, we have a few favorites up our sleeve- applesauce cake, apple cake, and of course, a classic pumpkin cake.
Sure, we already have a 2 ingredient pumpkin cake that works as a treat, but this one is the show stopper, and it works as a layer cake too!
Why you’ll love this recipe
- No eggs, no. butter, no milk. This cake uses pantry staple ingredients that you probably already have on hand.
- Ready in 30 minutes. With just two minutes prep and 28 minutes baking time, this cake is fast.
- Made in one bowl. The batter is made in a single mixing bowl, so clean up is a breeze.
- Naturally vegan and gluten free. With no dairy in it and easily made gluten free, this is quite the diet friendly dessert!
The cake itself is moist, fluffy, and with a light and tender crumb. It’s sweet and with a light pumpkin flavor, and the cream cheese frosting gives it a little tang that takes it up a notch.
As we mentioned earlier, the ingredient list is very basic and there is no hard-to-find sweeteners or baking flours needed. Here is what you’ll need:
- 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.
How do you make a pumpkin cake?
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 cake to cool in the pan completely, before frosting.
Tips to make the best recipe
- 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 over-bake 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 without frosting, so if you’d prefer more of a snack cake, omit the frosting and bake this in a 9-inch square pan.
- 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.
More simple cake recipes to try
Frequently Asked Questions
Yes, if you’d like to make them this way, simply distribute the batter amongst a 12-count muffin tin and bake for 18-20 minutes. Alternatively, try 2 ingredient pumpkin muffins or healthy pumpkin muffins.
Swap out the all-purpose flour for a gluten-free blend and this cake is then suitable for celiacs. You could also try making almond flour pumpkin muffins instead.
Easiest Pumpkin Cake (No eggs, No milk, No butter!)
- 1 cup + 2 tablespoons all purpose flour gluten free, if needed
- 2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 cup sugar of choice * See notes
- 1/3 cup oil canola, vegetable, or refined coconut oil
- 3/4 cup Pumpkin puree not pumpkin pie filling
- 2 tablespoon maple syrup
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/4 cup water
- 1 cup cream cheese frosting
- 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.
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I made these last night and am not sure what I did wrong. I followed the non-paleo version and mine are good, but they are not “fluffy” as yours appear to be. Mine are more of a condensed moist cake that didn’t rise. They’re good!! I was also pleased to see that it worked well with my blood sugars. I used the small baking dish and cut into 12 equal pieces. Then I divided one piece in half. PERFECT! This will be added to my holiday dessert list even though it’s really “breakfast.” I just wish mine had risen like the picture shown.
Hi Robyn! It really depends on what nut butter, flour etc you use to achieve that consistency- Also whether you use homemade pumpkin/canned pumpkin etc 🙂
OH OK that makes more sense. Thanks 🙂
No worries, Robyn 🙂
Awesome recipe, and love all the options since people can be so touchy with certain ingredients and allergies, etc. (For me because I was finding the option I had all the ingredients to make : ) ) I love cake for breakfast, with fruit and yogurt of course. It’s necessary once in a while, especially with five kids. It makes me the cool mom and keeps me sane lol can’t wait to make this!
You are my kinda mom, Liz! 🙂
Was debating making either gluten free or paleo version but was surprised by how different the flour measurements were: 21/4 oats vs. 1/2 cup coconut. Also one is baking powder other is soda. Wondering if the paleo version has the right quantity of flour?? Thank you. Looks delicious.
Hi Karen, that is correct- coconut flour has a completely different texture.
I am such a bad reader! so I found the paleo version right underneath…. It’s still early.. right? Thanks dear!!
Hi, I’m making this yummy recipe right now 😅😂 but I can’t see how much water you used as I can’t find it on the recipe card. Thanks 😊!!
Hi! I’m sorry it is 1/4 cup, I have updated the recipe card!
This cake looks amazing!! 🤩 can the flour be substituted for almond or coconut to make it keto friendly?
Not for this recipe!
Fantastic recipe! Thank you! My vegan sister shared it with me, but I’ve fed it to many people who are not vegan and everyone loves it just the same.
So glad to hear that!
Could I use regular bottle breakfast maple syrup if I’m in a pinch – just cut down on the actual amount of sugar in the recipe?
Also can this be made in 6” cake pans? Wanting to make this for my daughters first birthday
I’m not sure- I’ve only tried this as written. You can, but need to reduce the cooking time.
Made this for a party, gluten-free, and topped with a spiced cream cheese frosting and was told one of the best cakes they ever had.