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Vegan Pumpkin Cake with Cinnamon Brown Butter Frosting

Taste the flavors of fall in this simple Vegan Pumpkin Cake recipe! Topped with a spiced cinnamon brown butter frosting, you’ll want to eat this all autumn long.

side view of vegan pumpkin cake on a tray topped with brown butter frosting

Ingredients Needed for this Recipe

  • 15 oz. pumpkin puree (1 can, nearly 2 cups)
  • 1/2 cup neutral oil (canola, avocado)
  • 1/3 cup plain yogurt of choice 
  • 1 1/4 cups organic cane sugar
  • 1 tsp white or apple cider vinegar 
  • 2 TBS baking powder
  • 3/4 tsp baking soda
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp nutmeg
  • 1 tsp pumpkin pie spice (optional)
  • 2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 3/4 tsp sea salt

As you can see, the ingredients needed for this recipe are fairly standard and likely things you have in the pantry currently.

How can you bake a cake without eggs?

Eggs typically play a fundamental in baking as they provide structure in recipes and assist in rising.There are a few secrets to baking a cake without dairy or eggs. The below chart details some swaps you can try in many recipes to achieve a similar effect.

Vegan Egg SubstitutesMeasurements for 1 Whole Egg
Vinegar and Baking Soda1 tsp. baking soda + 1 Tbsp. vinegar
Plant-based yogurt¼ cup plant-based yogurt
Aquafaba (water from a can of beans)3 Tbsp. aquafaba
Mashed banana, apple sauce, or pumpkin¼ cup
Ground flaxseed1 Tbsp. ground flaxseed + 3 Tbsp. water

In today’s recipe, we are actually using a combination of the yogurt, pumpkin, and vinegar/baking soda techniques!

Vegan cakes also will typically require more flour than traditional cakes, as that additional flour helps the overall structure remain more in tact. This post from Bon Appetit has some additional information.

slice being taken out of a pumpkin cake

How to Make a Vegan Pumpkin Cake

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line a 9-inch cake pan with parchment paper.

2. In a large bowl, whisk pumpkin puree, oil, yogurt, sugar, and vinegar.

3. In a smaller bowl, combine baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, optional pumpkin pie spice, flour, and salt. Slowly pour wet into dry, folding to combine. Try not to over-mix, just combine until there are no visible flour spots. 

4. Pour mixture into prepared cake pan and tap the pan on the counter to release any air bubbles. Bake on the center rack for 50-65 minutes, until a tester (like a toothpick) stuck inside the cake comes out clean (without any crumbs). Let cool before frosting.

How to Make Vegan Cinnamon Brown Butter Frosting

To prepare this frosting, melt butter in a skillet on the stove. To brown it, cook over medium heat until the water inside starts to evaporate and it smells nutty. This normally takes 5-7 minutes. You should see little brown pieces forming. Remove from heat and let cool. Add in powdered sugar, vanilla, almond milk, and cinnamon. Stir to combine and chill until ready to use.

two slices of cake shot from overhead

Topping Ideas

For decoration, you are welcome to add some additional toppings to the cake, including:

How to Store Pumpkin Cake

As this cake is oil based, it will stay moist very naturally. As I recommend with nearly all cakes, this is best stored on the counter, where it will keep for 4-5 days, wrapped or in a lidded container. Unless your kitchen is naturally very warm (above 80 degrees F), it will keep best at room temperature and not in the refrigerator. Refrigeration will speed up how quickly your cake dries out.

vegan pumpkin cake on a tray topped with brown butter frosting

I hope you love this recipe and that you get to enjoy it with friends and family this autumn and winter! Please be sure to leave a comment and rating if you give it a try.

Other Vegan Cakes to Try

Red Wine Chocolate Cake

Vegan Olive Oil Cake

Grapefruit Poppyseed Loaf Cake

Print
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side view of vegan pumpkin cake on a tray topped with brown butter frosting

Vegan Pumpkin Cake with Cinnamon Brown Butter Frosting


  • Author: Emily
  • Total Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
  • Yield: 8 large slices 1x
  • Diet: Vegan

Description

Taste the flavors of fall in this simple Vegan Pumpkin Cake recipe! Topped with a spiced cinnamon brown butter frosting, you’ll want to eat this all autumn long. 


Ingredients

Scale

For vegan pumpkin cake (all ingredients at room temperature):

  • 15 oz. pumpkin puree (1 can, nearly 2 cups)
  • 1/2 cup neutral oil (canola, avocado)
  • 1/3 cup plain yogurt of choice 
  • 1 1/4 cups organic cane sugar
  • 1 tsp white or apple cider vinegar 
  • 2 TBS baking powder
  • 3/4 tsp baking soda
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp nutmeg
  • 1 tsp pumpkin pie spice (optional)
  • 2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 3/4 tsp sea salt

For cinnamon brown butter frosting:

  • 1/2 stick vegan butter, like Miyokos
  • 2 1/4 cups powdered sugar
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3 TBS almond milk
  • 1 tsp cinnamon

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line a 9-inch cake pan with parchment paper. Oil the sides lightly. 
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk pumpkin puree, oil, yogurt, sugar, and vinegar.
  3. In a large bowl, combine baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, optional pumpkin pie spice, flour, and salt. Slowly pour wet into dry, folding to combine. Try not to over-mix, just combine until there are no visible flour spots. 
  4. Pour mixture into prepared cake pan and tap the pan on the counter to release any air bubbles. Bake on the center rack for 50-65 minutes, until a tester (like a toothpick) stuck inside the cake comes out clean (without any crumbs). 
  5. While cake is cooling, prepare frosting by melting butter in a skillet on the stove. To brown it, cook over medium heat until the water inside starts to evaporate and it smells nutty. This normally takes 5-7 minutes. You should see little brown pieces forming. Remove from heat and let cool. Add in powdered sugar, vanilla vanilla, almond milk, and cinnamon. Stir to combine and chill until ready to use.
  6. Using a spatula, frost the cake once it is completely cool. Store cake on the counter, covered, for 3-5 days. 

Notes

Nutrition information is calculated for the cake alone, without frosting.

  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 60 minutes
  • Category: Dessert

Nutrition

  • Serving Size: One eighth of recipe
  • Calories: 414 calories
  • Sugar: 33.6 grams
  • Sodium: 224 milligrams
  • Fat: 16.2 grams
  • Saturated Fat: 3.2
  • Unsaturated Fat: 13 grams
  • Trans Fat: 0 milligrams
  • Carbohydrates: 63.1 grams
  • Fiber: 2.7 grams
  • Protein: 4.2 grams
  • Cholesterol: 0 milligrams

Keywords: pumpkin, cake, fall, brown butter

Portrait of Emily, founder of Garlic Head

About the Author

Hi, I'm Emily! Garlic Head is a plant-based recipe website for all eaters who want to easily, affordably, and sustainably incorporate more vegetables into their diets. My recipes focus on entertaining-style cuisine, perfect for celebrating all of life's little moments! Meet me here.

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Garlic Head is a plant-based community founded by me, Emily. I focus on providing affordable, simple, & healthy recipes for entertaining.

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