This incredibly rich and moist chocolate pumpkin cake is full of decadent chocolate and wonderfully spiced with warming fall flavors for the ultimate vegan Halloween cake! Naturally eggless, dairy free, and perfect for all eaters, vegan or not!

vegan chocolate pumpkin cake

The ultimate chocolate pumpkin cake

Chocolate and pumpkin seems like an odd combination, but trust me, it really works. The ultra rich chocolate cake melds so perfectly with the warming spices that accompany pumpkin. This chocolate pumpkin cake is truly the vegan cake to make this season. It’s a shockingly amazing combination that is just so satisfying.

Both layers are super moist and soft, thanks to pumpkin being found in both the chocolate cake layers and the pumpkin spice layer. And much like the tang of cream cheese frosting complementing the sweetness of pumpkin cake, the richness of cocoa actually balances the overall cake, making it not too sweet, and not too overwhelming in spices.

This is truly the ultimate Halloween cake. Not to mention, you’d never know it’s vegan, eggless, and dairy free! The pumpkin puree replaces the eggs found in traditional pumpkin cake recipes, so it’s actually even easier!

slice of vegan pumpkin cake

What you’ll need to make this vegan pumpkin cake:

  • Flour: You can use gluten free 1:1 baking flour, such as Bob’s Red Mill in the blue bag, or keep it regular by using all-purpose flour.
  • Pumpkin spices: This will only be going into your pumpkin spice cake layer, but you can technically add it to the chocolate as well! Pumpkin spice is typically a blend of cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and cloves. You can purchase it in stores or make your own.
  • Pumpkin puree: Yes, pumpkin is going into both cakes! Even the chocolate! The pumpkin will also act as the egg replacement you would typically find in more traditional pumpkin cakes.
  • Cocoa powder: I recommend using cocoa powder over cacao powder, as you’ll get a much darker and richer taste. It will also help the cakes to rise, thanks to the higher acidity in cocoa powder that reacts with the baking soda.
  • Vegan butter: This helps keep that extra moisture in the cake while providing a super tender and fluffy texture. I recommend Miyoko’s for the best tasting vegan butter.
sliced chocolate pumpkin cake

How to make a chocolate pumpkin cake (overview)

For the full written instructions and ingredient measurements, see the bottom of this post in the recipe card. You can also hit the “jump to recipe” button at the top of this post! Here, we’ll go over a brief overview of the steps, along with providing visuals for a better understanding of the recipe.

This cake can be made over the span of two days if it’s easiest. You can make the cake part the first day, then store the cakes wrapped tightly at room temperature. The following day, you can assemble your vegan pumpkin cake!

Here’s how to make a chocolate pumpkin cake:

  1. Make the chocolate cake first.

    I always like to start with the biggest task first, which would be making two cake layers of the same kind. This is much like making my vegan chocolate cake, only we’re swapping in pumpkin puree for applesauce.

  2. Then make the pumpkin spice cake.

    Once the chocolate cake layers are in the oven, you’ll make the pumpkin spice cake. This recipe is adapted from my vegan pumpkin spice cake to be just one layer. There’s also an option to make the entire cake a chocolate pumpkin cake, listed in the recipe card below.

  3. Assemble your cake.

    Once all of the cake layers are baked and cooled, you can assemble your cake! I used chocolate buttercream frosting (vegan of course), but I give some options in the next section for other flavors.

  4. Decorate your Halloween cake!

slice of pumpkin cake

How to decorate a pumpkin cake:

Because this is a chocolate pumpkin cake, I wanted to keep with the theme and use vegan chocolate frosting. However, because of the wonderful spices in this pumpkin cake, you could really go with anything.

Instead of chocolate frosting, try a vegan cream cheese frosting with pumpkin spices or a naked-style cake with chai-spiced vegan buttercream in between.

For decorations, this pumpkin cake is your blank canvas! Here are some ideas:

  • Make vegan buttercream pumpkins, like I did. I piped a glob of orange buttercream onto a piece of parchment paper. Then I used a smaller round tip and piped strips up the buttercream ball to create the effect of the pumpkin. Finally, I used remaining chocolate frosting to pipe a stem and green to pipe leaves
  • Use vegan Halloween sprinkles. I love the new ones at Sweetapolita! They’re so cute!
  • Have fun with vegan fondant and make your own fondant pumpkins!

This ccake is the perfect elegant yet delicious and fun vegan Halloween cake for any party, kids and adults alike! You can decorate it however you please, and have it fit your Halloween style.

It’s also a wonderful cake to serve at a vegan Thanksgiving dinner or even more towards Christmas.

You’re just going to love this decadently rich and wonderfully spiced chocolate pumpkin cake!

More vegan pumpkin recipes you’ll love:

The Ultimate Vegan Pumpkin Cake

Vegan Pumpkin Coffee Cake

Super Moist Vegan Pumpkin Muffins

Want to save this recipe for later? Add it to your favorite recipe board on Pinterest!

Moist Chocolate Pumpkin Cake (Vegan + Gluten Free)

If you make this recipe, please be sure to leave a comment and a rating ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ below. This helps others to find the recipes! As always, I absolutely love to see your beautiful creations on Instagram and Pinterest, so be sure to tag me there as well!

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vegan chocolate pumpkin cake

Vegan Chocolate Pumpkin Cake

  • Author: thebananadiaries
  • Prep Time: 15
  • Cook Time: 32
  • Total Time: 47 minutes
  • Yield: 16 1x
  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: American
  • Diet: Vegan

Description

This incredibly rich and moist chocolate pumpkin cake is full of decadent chocolate and wonderfully spiced with warming fall flavors for the ultimate vegan Halloween cake! Naturally eggless, dairy free, and perfect for all eaters, vegan or not!


Ingredients

Units Scale

Chocolate Pumpkin Cake Layers:

  • 200 ml unsweetened dairy free milk, room temperature
  • 1 tsp apple cider vinegar (to be mixed with dairy free milk milk)
  • 265 grams all-purpose flour or gluten free 1:1 baking flour + 1 tbsp arrowroot or cornstarch
  • 40 grams cocoa powder
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 150 grams granulated sugar
  • 130 grams salted vegan butter (I recommend Miyoko’s), room temperature
  • 125 grams pumpkin puree, room temperature
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

Pumpkin Cake Layer:

  • 100 ml unsweetened dairy free milk, room temperature
  • 2/3 tsp apple cider vinegar (to be mixed with dairy free milk milk)
  • 160 grams all-purpose flour or gluten free 1:1 baking flour + 1 tbsp arrowroot or cornstarch
  • 2 tsp pumpkin spice blend
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 75 grams granulated sugar
  • 65 grams salted vegan butter (I recommend Miyoko’s), room temperature
  • 80 grams pumpkin puree, room temperature
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

Vegan Frosting:


Instructions

  1. Please read all instructions before beginning.
  2. Prep: Preheat the oven to 350F. Line three 8″ cake pans with parchment paper. Measure out all ingredients. Mix the dairy free milk and apple cider vinegar together for the chocolate cake layer, then set aside. Repeat for the pumpkin cake layer, then set aside.
  3. Make the chocolate cake layers: In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, and baking soda. Set aside. In a stand mixer with paddle attachment or a large bowl and a hand mixer, cream the vegan butter until fluffy, about 2-3 minutes. Add in the sugar, and cream together again until the sugar begins to slightly dissolve into the vegan butter, about 2-3 minutes. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and bottom of the bowl as needed. Then add in the pumpkin puree, and mix again on medium speed until combined. To the mixture, add in about half of the flour mixture, along with half of the buttermilk. Mix on medium speed until the flour starts to combine with the wet. Add in the remaining flour mixture and buttermilk, and mix again just until there are no more dry streaks. 
  4. Bake the chocolate cake: Divide the batter into two of the baking pans, and place into the oven. Bake for 30-32 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean.
  5. Make the pumpkin cake layer: While the chocolate cake is baking, make the pumpkin cake layer. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, spices, baking powder, and baking soda. Set aside. In a stand mixer with paddle attachment or a large bowl and a hand mixer, cream the vegan butter until fluffy, about 2-3 minutes. Add in the sugar, and cream together again until the sugar begins to slightly dissolve into the vegan butter, about 2-3 minutes. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and bottom of the bowl as needed. Then add in the pumpkin puree, and mix again on medium speed until combined. To the mixture, add in about half of the flour mixture, along with half of the buttermilk. Mix on medium speed until the flour starts to combine with the wet. Add in the remaining flour mixture and buttermilk, and mix again just until there are no more dry streaks.
  6. Bake the pumpkin cake layer: Pour the batter into the remaining cake pan, and place into the oven to bake for 30-32 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean. 
  7. Cool the cake layers: Once all the layers are baked, transfer them to a cooling rack to cool completely before frosting. There should be no warmth to the touch. 
  8. Frost the cakes: When the cakes are ready to be assembled, make the chocolate buttercream frosting according to the directions. Stack the chocolate cake on the bottom, followed by chocolate frosting, then the pumpkin cake layer, followed by frosting, then finally the last chocolate cake layer. Frost the entirety of the cake. 
  9. Decorate: Place the cake into the fridge for the frosting to set. You can top with vegan ganache and homemade vegan buttercream pumpkins as well! 
  10. Slice and enjoy: Serve and enjoy! Store any leftovers in an airtight container and in the fridge for up to 7 days or in the freezer for up to 3 months.

Notes

Option for all chocolate pumpkin cake:

  • 300 mL unsweetened dairy free milk, room temperature
  • 2 tsp apple cider vinegar (to be mixed with dairy free milk milk)
  • 400 grams all-purpose flour or gluten free 1:1 baking flour + 1 tbsp arrowroot or cornstarch
  • 60 grams cocoa powder
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 230 grams granulated sugar
  • 170 grams salted vegan butter (I recommend Miyoko’s), room temperature
  • 190 grams pumpkin puree, room temperature
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

Keywords: chocolate pumpkin cake, vegan pumpkin cake, vegan halloween cake