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pumpkin cake on marble cake stand

Vegan Pumpkin Cake (Gluten Free + Paleo)

  • Author: thebananadiaries
  • Prep Time: 60
  • Cook Time: 35
  • Total Time: 1 hour 35 minutes
  • Yield: 12 1x
  • Category: dessert
  • Method: baking
  • Cuisine: American


Deliciously decadent gluten free and vegan pumpkin cake with a dairy free pumpkin spice buttercream frosting! This cake is shaped into a pumpkin and so fun to make and eat!



Chocolate Pumpkin Cake:

  • 3 cupcassava flour
  • 1 1/4 cup cacao powder
  • 1 cup coconut sugar
  • 3 tsp baking powder (or 1 tsp baking soda + 2 tsp vinegar)
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp espresso powder (optional)
  • 1 tbsp pumpkin pie spice
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 2 1/4 cups pea milk, coconut milk, or almond milk
  • 2  cups pumpkin puree 

Vegan Pumpkin Spice Buttercream:

  • 2 cups vegan butter, softened but still cold
  • 56 cups powdered sugar or coconut sugar, pureed into powdered sugar
  • 1 tbsp turmeric powder 
  • 1 tsp beet powder, or natural food dye
  • 1 tbsp pumpkin pie spice
  • Optional: 1/2 cup pumpkin puree


Chocolate Cake:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350F and line three 6-inch springform pans with parchment paper.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together cassava flour, cacao powder, pumpkin pie spice, coconut sugar, baking powder, baking soda, optional espresso powder, and sea salt.
  3. Add in unsweetened applesauce, dairy free milk, pumpkin puree, apple cider vinegar, and vanilla extract. Mix either with a spoon or hand mixer until thoroughly combined.
  4. Divide batter evenly amongst the 3 pans and place into the oven to bake for 30-35 minutes.
  5. Remove the cakes from the oven and let cool for 15 minutes before leveling out.
  6. Let cool completely before frosting.

Pumpkin Spice Frosting:

  • Place softened vegan butter into a large bowl and use a large hand mixer to beat the butter until whipped.
  • Sift in the powdered sugar or coconut sugar in increments, continuing to beat the mixture the entire time.
  • Add in the food coloring and continue to mix until fluffy.
  • Store in the fridge until ready to frost.

Assembly of Pumpkin Shaped Cake:

  1. Once the layers have cooled, stack them on a cake stand or plate, smearing about 1/3 cup frosting in between the first and second layers, and the second and third layers.
  2. Place into the fridge to chill for 30 minutes.
  3. Remove from the fridge and sculpt the cake into the shape of a circle or oval.
  4. Score the cake for the pumpkin ridges, and gently carve into the cake to create the ridges.
  5. Crumb coat the cake and place it back into the fridge to chill for 30 minutes.
  6. When you’re ready for the final frosting, remove the cake from the fridge and frost it all around, using a frosting knife.
  7. Place the cake back into the fridge to harden the frosting for 30 minutes, if you want to smooth the frosting over.
  8. If you want to smooth the frosting, remove it from the fridge and use gloves or clean hands to rub the frosting smooth.
  9. Serve and enjoy!


For completely Paleo frosting: use coconut sugar rather than powdered sugar, but puree the coconut sugar in a food processor to make into a powder. Your frosting will be more caramel colored.

For the pumpkin color: use either turmeric and beet powder or natural food dye for coloring.

Keywords: pumpkin cake, vegan pumpkin cake, gluten free pumpkin cake, pumpkin shaped cake