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Soft Vegan Pumpkin Cake with Pumpkin Spice Buttercream Frosting

Posted Oct 22 2013 5:05am


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 averiecooks.com

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 averiecooks.com

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 averiecooks.com

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  iHerb.com . 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 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.

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

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 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.

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

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

Soft Vegan Pumpkin Cake with Pumpkin Spice Buttercream Frosting

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

Cake
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

Frosting
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. Evenly sprinkle the streusel topping over the top, using your fingers to break up large clumps if necessary.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. 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

Recipe from Averie Cooks . All images and content are copyright protected. Please do not use my images without prior permission. If you want to republish this recipe, please re-write the recipe in your own words, or simply link back to this post for the recipe. Thank you.

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

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

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 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 averiecooks.com

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 averiecooks.com

Fluffy Vegan Coconut Oil Banana Muffins averiecooks.com

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

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?

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