Every year, my grandma makes a pumpkin cake just like this one on Thanksgiving. Her cake is a staple on the dessert table along with pumpkin pie and pumpkin pie accessories like whipped cream and ice cream in seasonal flavors. While the pumpkin in autumnal recipes is usually shrouded with a spice blend, the actual pumpkin flavor really stands out in this recipe. It’s sweet, but not too sweet, and shines in its simplicity with just a hint of cinnamon. When I became vegan, I missed her pumpkin cake, and was determined to recreate a vegan version.
After a few experiments, I found that a modified version of the Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cupcakes recipe from Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World yields the best results. I double the recipe, leave out the chocolate, and throw some cream cheese frosting on top. Simple! The cupcake recipe doesn’t have any “extras” like nutmeg, cloves, or other baking spices. Just a touch of cinnamon like in the original recipe.
This cake is really easy to make and comes together quickly. Which is perfect if you need to round out your Thanksgiving dessert table, bring a dish to your family’s celebration, or want to send the recipe to your mom so you have something to eat for dessert.
Like my ugly, warty yellow pumpkin? It rules. Now make this recipe, then eat it for breakfast and dessert everyday. If you want to add a little something, raspberries or sliced strawberries are delicious on top.
Get the recipe:
- 2 cups canned pumpkin
- 2/3 cup canola oil
- 2 cups sugar
- 1/2 cup non-dairy milk
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 3/4-1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
Cream cheese frosting:
- 8 ounces vegan cream cheese, (usually 1 tub)
- 2/3 cup margarine
- 2 1/2 cups powdered sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
For the cake:
- Preheat oven to 325°F.
- Stir together pumpkin, oil, sugar, milk, and vanilla extract.
- Sift in the flour, baking powder and soda, cinnamon, and salt.
- Mix until just combined.
- Pour batter into a 9×13-inch baking pan sprayed with cooking spray or coated with oil.
- Bake for 35-45 minutes, or until the center of the cake is firm and fully cooked (test with a toothpick, if necessary). Let the cake cool.
For the cream cheese frosting:
- While the cake is cooling, make the frosting.
- Whip together the cream cheese and margarine in a stand mixer or large mixing bowl.
- Add 2 1/2 cups powdered sugar and vanilla, and beat until smooth. Add an additional 1/2 cup powdered sugar if the frosting is runny. It should be a little drippy, but not liquid.
- Frost the cooled cake. Store in the refrigerator.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 12 Serving Size: 1 slice
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 589Total Fat: 29gSaturated Fat: 6gTrans Fat: 2gUnsaturated Fat: 22gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 257mgCarbohydrates: 80gFiber: 2gSugar: 58gProtein: 5g
All nutritional information presented within this site are intended for informational purposes only. I am not a certified nutritionist and any nutritional information on seitanbeatsyourmeat.com should only be used as a general guideline. This information is provided as a courtesy and there is no guarantee that the information will be completely accurate. Even though I try to provide accurate nutritional information to the best of my ability, these figures should still be considered estimates.
I found that the cream cheese frosting is excellent with fruit. Keep that in mind if you have any leftovers!
If you’re looking for some vegan Thanksgiving inspiration or planning a vegan Thanksgiving menu, follow along with my Vegan Thanksgiving Recipes Pinterest board.
This recipe was originally published in November 2013, and the post has been updated.