Pumpkin Spice Cake

This easy pumpkin spice cake recipe creates a tender cake with a gorgeous, creamy, spiced frosting. Make this vegan pumpkin cake from scratch using only 10 simple ingredients plus the frosting. This cake comes together quickly meaning soon you’ll be enjoying all the deliciousness!

Try this Vegan Vanilla Frosting or even this Vegan Chocolate Frosting for something different.

Two slices of pumpkin spice cake are on plates with forks beside them.

I love all the pumpkin recipes during the fall. To be completely honest, I love pumpkin all year round! This cake is a perfect example because the pumpkin keeps it nice and moist and that cream cheese frosting adds gooey goodness to every bite. It’s true, I’m a frosting girl!

Why This Recipe is a Winner

  • Pumpkin puree adds lots of moisture, color, and flavor, creating a dense and delicious cake
  • Cornstarch helps to create a lighter crumb, softens the protein in the gluten, and acts as a binder
  • Pumpkin pie spice adds the perfect blend of seasonings, delivering a delicious seasonal flavor to this fall dessert.


You can find the full printable recipe, including ingredient quantities, below. But first, here are some explanations of ingredients and steps to help you make this recipe perfect every time.

  • Lemon — We’ll use both the zest and the juice of the lemon.
  • Oats — I used rolled oats for this recipe, but you can substitute instant oats.
  • Chia — We’ll add some ground chia seeds to create a thicker texture. You can use whole chia seeds; I just prefer ground because it creates a smoother finished texture.
  • Syrup — I used maple syrup, but you can substitute agave nectar.
  • Milk — We’ll use almond milk for the best overnight oats! Substitute your favorite plant-based milk.
  • Yogurt — I love adding some plant-based yogurt (plain, unsweetened) for an even more tangy flavor.
  • Protein Powder — I add some vanilla protein powder for increased flavor and nutrients. If your protein powder is not sweetened, you may want to add an extra teaspoon or two of sweetener.
  • Cornstarch — We’ll use cornstarch to thicken the lemon curd topping.
  • Turmeric — A pinch of turmeric makes that lemon curd sunny yellow.

How to Make Pumpkin Spice Cake from Scratch

  1. Stir together the wet ingredients, from the water to the vanilla.
  2. Combine and stir the dry ingredients, from the flour to the spices.
  3. Stir the pumpkin mixture into the bowl with the flour mixture.
    Pouring pumpkin batter into a bowl with flour.
  4. Pour the batter into the prepared cake pan.
    Cake batter is being poured into a white rectangle cake pan.
  5. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes until a tester comes out clean or mostly clean.
  6. Allow the cake t to cool completely before adding frosting.

Tip: You can stir in some add-ins to the batter, like chopped pecans or dairy-free chocolate chips.

Frost and Serve

This vegan pumpkin cake is delicious without frosting, but I highly recommend serving it with my vegan cream cheese frosting. Be sure to allow it to cool completely before frosting it.

A close-up of a slice of cake with a fork holding one bite in front of the cake.

Ever experience a cake failure? Here are my best tips on how to fix undercooked cake.

Does Pumpkin Cake Have to Be Refrigerated?

Pumpkin cake will keep at room temperature for up to 4 or 5 days. So, if you’ll be eating it within that time-frame, it will be fine. However, if it’s unusually warm in your kitchen or if you will be taking longer to eat it, it should be refrigerated.

Two slices of pumpkin cake , one in front of the other, with forks beside each slice.

Marly’s Tips

  • Create a pumpkin spice birthday cake by adding candles or baking it as a layer cake.
  • Make pumpkin spice cake muffins by distributing the batter into muffin pan compartments. Cook them for 20 to 25 minutes.

Most recipes for pumpkin spice cake use canned pumpkin puree, meaning you can make this delicious cake all year round!

Vegan Pumpkin Recipes

A single slice of vegan pumpkin cake on a plate with a fork beside it.

That’s it for this ultimate pumpkin spice cake!

A single slice of vegan pumpkin cake on a plate with a fork beside it.

Pumpkin Spice Cake

This moist pumpkin spice cake can be made in less than an hour. Enjoy it with a creamy, dairy-free cream cheese frosting.
5 from 3 votes
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Total Time: 55 minutes
Servings: 15
Calories: 280kcal


  • 2 cups water
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • cup vegetable oil
  • 1 ¾ cups granulated sugar
  • 1 cup pumpkin puree
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour (See note)
  • 3 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 2 tablespoons pumpkin pie spice
  • Vegan Cream Cheese Frosting


  • Heat oven to 350°F/175°C. Spray a 9×13 baking pan with vegetable spray
  • In a medium-size bowl combine the water, vinegar, oil, sugar, and pumpkin. Stir to combine. Set aside.
  • In a separate bowl, stir together the flour, cornstarch, salt, baking soda, and spices. Whisk until well combined. Create a well in the middle of the flour ingredients.
  • Pour the pumpkin mixture into the bowl with the flour mixture. Use a whisk to stir until well-combined.
  • Pour the batter into the prepared cake pan and bake for about 35 to 40 minutes. Insert a tester in the center. If it comes out clean or mostly clean (with only a few crumbs), the cake is done. If not, return it to the oven and bake for another 5 minutes or so.
  • When the cake is done, remove it from the oven and allow it to cool completely before adding the Vegan Cream Cheese Frosting.

(The products above contain sponsored links to products we use and recommend)


For flour, you can use whole wheat pastry flour, gluten-free baking flour, or all-purpose flour.
The nutritional estimate is based on the cake without the cream cheese frosting.
Calories: 280kcal | Carbohydrates: 46g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 10g | Saturated Fat: 8g | Sodium: 305mg | Potassium: 66mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 24g | Vitamin A: 2542IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 14mg | Iron: 2mg

The nutrition information shown is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator and should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.

This post was originally published in 2012 and was updated to include new photos, new text, and an updated recipe in 2020.

A photo shows two slices of cake and the text below it reads, best vegan pumpkin cake.

Whatever vegan pumpkin desserts you’re making and munching on, enjoy!

Also, I created a quote graphic with one of the original photos from this post. Here you go.

Two birds on a landing next to the ocean. The text on he photo reads: Birds have wings, souls have dreams.

10 Responses to Pumpkin Spice Cake

  1. Avatar thumbnail image for MarlyKatherine Reply

    My cake is in the oven…..I guessed on the vanilla at 1 teaspoon. Would you clarify please? Thanks!!!

    • Avatar thumbnail image for MarlyMarly

      Hi Katherine, I hope you like this cake as much as we do! Actually, the recipe steps inadvertently mentioned vanilla, so thanks for your comment. I removed it. However, adding a teaspoon of vanilla is absolutely fine. My apologies for the confusion!

  2. Avatar thumbnail image for MarlyTara @ Unsophisticook Reply

    5 stars
    Such a gorgeous color — looks delicious!

  3. Avatar thumbnail image for MarlyMiss @ Miss in the Kitchen Reply

    Pumpkin spice cake sounds so great right now!

  4. Avatar thumbnail image for MarlyJulieD Reply

    This looks so good, Marly!! I love the addition of chickpeas!!

  5. Avatar thumbnail image for MarlyBrenda @ a farmgirl's dabbles Reply

    Nice to meet you, Marly! Beautiful cake…a pumpkin spice cake always goes over like crazy around here!

  6. Avatar thumbnail image for MarlySommer@ASpicyPerspective Reply

    That is one gorgeous cake Marly. I go a little overboard o pumpkin this time of year. 🙂

  7. Avatar thumbnail image for MarlyPam Reply

    I just want to tell you that I made your scrambled tofu for lunch and it was delicious! I never made it with the starch/soy milk slurry, and that made the texture so much better. A little hot sauce on the finished product and some daiya cheddar shreds, and I was good to go. Thanks! Can’t wait to browse through the rest of your blog!

    • Avatar thumbnail image for MarlyMarly

      Wow, Pam, Thanks so much for your kind comments. So Glad you liked the scrambled tofu. I love that recipe too. It’s a perfect breakfast to get the day started on the right foot!

  8. Avatar thumbnail image for MarlyMaggie Muggins Reply

    Living in the prairies, I really miss the ocean at times, but I do adore watching the leaves change colours during Fall.
    That pumpkin cake looks so perfect, light and fluffy with just the right amount of icing, yum!

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