Vegan Pumpkin Cake with Pumpkin-Spice Buttercream Frosting from Cooking with Pumpkin By Averie Sunshine

Pumpkin is all the rage these days, and we love it. But pumpkin is much more versatile than it is given credit for and can be enjoyed year-round. With over 55 mouth-watering recipes like Fudgy Pumpkin Brownies with Fudgy Ganache and Cheesy Baked Pumpkin Mac’n’Cheese, Averie Sunshine’s Cooking with Pumpkin: Recipes That Go Beyond the Pie clearly proves that there is much more to this fruit (yeah, did you know that pumpkins were berries?) than pie and lattes.

Cooking with Pumpkin is a budget-friendly cookbook that includes simple yet delicious recipes, many of which are vegan-friendly. Check out this healthy and yummy recipe that no one will ever know is vegan.

Vegan Pumpkin Cake

Vegan Pumpkin Cake with Pumpkin-Spice Buttercream Frosting

Prep: 10 minutes           Bake: About 27 minutes

Total: 1 hour, to allow for cooling time

Makes one 9 by 9-inch pan, 9 to 12 generous pieces


¾ cup pumpkin purée

¾ cup granulated sugar

¼ cup light brown sugar, packed

⅓ cup coconut oil, in melted state (vegetable or canola oil may be substituted)

¼ cup unsweetened plain or vanilla almond milk (other milks may be substituted, including coconut, soy, rice, cow), preferably at room temperature

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

1 cup plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

2 teaspoons baking powder


¼ cup unsalted butter, softened (half a stick; or substitute vegan buttery spread)

2 cups+ confectioners’ sugar

3 to 4 tablespoons pumpkin-spice-flavored coffee creamer, or as needed (milk, cream, or vegan milk may be substituted)

Pumpkin pie spice, for sprinkling

Preheat oven to 375ºF. Line a 9 by 9-inch pan with aluminum foil and spray with cooking spray, or grease and flour the pan; set aside.

Make the cake. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together pumpkin, sugars, coconut oil, milk, molasses, vanilla, cinnamon, pumpkin pie spice, allspice, cloves, nutmeg, and salt, if using, to taste.

Tip: Using room-temperature 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 dangling, but no batter.

Allow cake to cool in pan, on top of a wire rack, for at least 30 minutes before turning out unto the rack to finish cooling completely.

While cake cools, make the frosting. In a large mixing bowl, combine butter, 2 cups confectioners’ sugar, and 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, adjusting the sugar and creamer ratios slightly and as necessary.

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 at least 3 weeks.

Sprinkle pinches of pumpkin pie spice over the frosting before slicing and serving. Cake will keep airtight at room temperature for up to 5 days. I personally am comfortable storing buttercream-frosted items at room temperature; if you prefer to store in the fridge, note that the cake will dry out more quickly Unfrosted cake will keep airtight in the freezer for up to 4 months.

Find this recipe on Averie Sunshine’s blog, Averie Cooks, here.

For another Cooking with Pumpkin recipe, be sure to take a look at the recipe for Pumpkin-Chocolate Chip Bundt Cake with Chocolate Ganache, also on this blog, here.

Cooking with Pumpkin: Recipes That Go Beyond the Pie was published by The Countryman Press in October 2014, and can be bought for $16.95 on, or at bookstores and online retailers.


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