Enjoy this 3-tier Vegan Pumpkin Cake any time of day! It’s made with easy-to-find ingredients and topped with cinnamon buttercream and healthy salted caramel sauce.
This vegan pumpkin cake is insane and I’m pretty positive you won’t know it’s vegan! It’s also made with easy ingredients, like all purpose flour, milk and canned pumpkin, which I think is important if you’re at all intimidated by vegan baking.
I originally created this recipe in 2016, but I just went back and re-tested it to make sure it still lived up to its reputation. The cake itself is the exact same recipe–I forgot how good it tasted–but I decided to switch up the icing. Originally, I used a cashew cream icing, but the problem was that it was too thin, so then I had to use a lot of powdered sugar to thicken it.
The easiest solution was to use a simple cinnamon buttercream instead, and honestly, I’m not mad about it. It’s easier to prep and you really can’t go wrong with buttercream. The cinnamon isn’t too overpowering either, which is a good thing.
WHY THIS VEGAN PUMPKIN CAKE IS SO GOOD
- The cake is just the right amount of pumpkin and spice
- It’s topped with cinnamon buttercream, which may or may not be the icing of my dreams
- The caramel drizzle is vegan-friendly and pairs perfectly with pumpkin
HOW TO MAKE THE PERFECT VEGAN PUMPKIN CAKE
Mix the ingredients, but don’t over-mix: When baking, I like to mix the dry and wet ingredients separately, then mix them together until the batter is smooth. However, it’s important that you don’t over-mix or else the cake can end up being too dense in texture, which we don’t really want for cake!
Line your cake pans: This step may seem a little tedious, but there’s nothing worse than baking a cake and then having it stick to your cake pan. So, I like to place one of the cake pans on parchment paper, then trace a circle around it three times and cut out three parchment circles and place them on the bottom of my cake pans. This ensures that the cakes will come out when they’re inverted onto a cooling rack.
Use a serrated knife: If your cake has a bit of a dome on top (mine usually do), it’s important to use a serrated knife to carefully slice the dome part off. Simply place the knife on the cake where the dome starts, then rotate the cake while running the knife along the edge of the dome. Once you make a full circle, the dome should come off easily.
Ice the cake, but don’t freak out if it’s not perfect: I know the irony in that sentence since I’m supposed to be telling you how to make the cake “perfect”, but the truth is that the icing doesn’t have to completely cover the cake. It’s “in” these days to create semi-naked cakes, and that’s exactly what this is. I like using my offset icing spatula for icing cakes because I think it’s way easier than using a regular knife, but other than that, I just make sure the icing is covering the majority of the cake.
SHOULD I ADD THE CARAMEL SAUCE?
Maybe! If you like your cake on the sweeter side, then yes you should definitely add it. If not, feel free to skip this step and completely omit it.
CAN I MAKE THIS IN A DIFFERENT SIZE CAKE PAN?
This cake is a 3-layer cake made in three 6″ cake pans. But, you can use two 9″ cake pans instead if you prefer.
CHECK OUT THESE OTHER VEGAN DESSERT RECIPES
- Vegan Vanilla Cake with Chai Icing
- Vegan Chocolate Birthday Cake
- Walnut Vegan Pumpkin Pie
- Vegan Chocolate Zucchini Cake
Original post date: Sept. 2016 // Updated: August 2019
Vegan Pumpkin Cake
- 2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
- 1 1/2 cups raw cane sugar or sub white sugar
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp nutmeg all spice, cloves
- 2 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 2 cups almond milk
- 1/2 cup coconut oil melted
- 1 cup canned pumpkin
- 2 tsp apple cider vinegar
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
for the buttercream:
- 1/2 cup dairy free butter softened
- 2 tbsp almond milk
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 3 cups powdered sugar
- Preheat oven to 350°.
- Heat coconut oil in a microwave safe dish or over the stove until melted and then set aside so that it cools a bit.
- In a large bowl, combine flour, sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, all spice, cloves, baking soda, baking powder, and salt; set aside.
- In a separate bowl, combine milk, pumpkin, vinegar, and vanilla; stir well and then pour in coconut oil.
- Fold wet ingredients into dry ingredients and stir to combine, but be careful not to over mix.
- Line three 6" pans with coconut oil and then pour batter evenly into the pans, pounding them down on the countertop a few times to even out the batter.
- Bake cakes for 30-35 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean.
- Remove cakes from the oven and allow them to sit for 10 minutes before inverting them onto cooling racks. Wait until cakes are completely cooled before icing.
- For the icing: place all ingredients into a blender and pulse until a thick cream has been created. If you have trouble getting everything to mix, add a bit of water 1 tbsp at a time.
- To assemble: slice the "dome" off of each cake layer. Place a large spoonful of icing on the top of one cake, using a spatula to smooth it out before placing the second cake overtop of the first layer, repeating this process for the next layer. Use the rest of the icing to ice the sides of the cake. Top it off with some of the caramel sauce.