This moist pumpkin cake based on grandmas delicious recipe is the perfect coffee cake for autumn and winter, when pumpkin is in season. It’s quick and easy to make, tastes incredible and doesn’t require eggs, milk or butter!
The Best Pumpkin Cake (easy & moist)
I’ve shared many vegan pumpkin cake recipes here on the blog, but this quick coffee cake is definitely one of my favorites! Whether it’s with apples, nuts, chocolate, or the classic American “Pumpkin Pie“, moist pumpkin cakes are super versatile and real fall favorites!
If you love my carrot cake, this pumpkin cake will quickly become your new favorite too. Made with grated pumpkin, ground almonds or hazelnuts, and cinnamon, orange, and a creamy cream cheese topping, this flavorful cake is perfect for fall and winter!
Ingredients for the Recipe
- Hokkaido pumpkin (red kuri squash)
- Flour (all-purpose, wheat, spelt or gluten-free flour)
- Nut flour
- Baking powder & baking soda
- Raw cane sugar
- Organic orange (juice and zest)
- Soy milk
- Cream cheese (vegan)
- Powdered sugar
- Pecans or walnuts
As always, I recommend you first watch the recipe video and step-by-step instructions. You can find the full recipe with exact quantities in the recipe card below!
Step 1: Grate the pumpkin
Wash, halve, seed, and quarter the Hokkaido squash. Then finely grate with a vegetable grater. Also thinly grate the zest of the orange (but not the white layer, because it tastes bitter).
Step 2: Whip up the cake batter
First, combine all the dry ingredients (flour, ground nuts, baking powder, baking soda, sugar, cinnamon and salt) in a bowl. Then separately mix all the wet ingredients (orange juice, soy milk and oil). Now add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients. Add shredded pumpkin and orange zest as well and mix everything together to form a batter.
Step 3: Bake the cake
Pour the batter into the baking dish and bake the pumpkin cake in a preheated oven at 350 °F (180 °C) for about 50 minutes (cover with parchment paper after 30 minutes to prevent it from getting too dark). Then allow to cool completely.
Step 4: Prepare the cream cheese topping
For the creamy topping, just mix cream cheese with powdered sugar until creamy. Then spread on the cake and decorate with pecans or walnuts as desired. Enjoy your meal!
Here are some tips to bake the best pumpkin cake:
- Hokkaido pumpkin does not need to be peeled because the skin softens during baking. So you can grate the pumpkin, including the peel. If you use butternut squash or another type of squash instead, you will need to remove the peel as it is too hard and not edible.
- Do not over mix the batter. Stir the dry and wet ingredients just until they are combined. This will ensure that the batter doesn’t get tough and the cake rises nicely.
- Bake the pumpkin cake on the middle rack in the preheated oven to ensure even browning. Be sure to follow the baking time in the recipe and check the cake frequently to make sure it’s not getting too dark. If it browns too quickly, simply cover loosely with parchment paper.
- Freshly baked vegan cakes without eggs are always very soft and fluffy when they just come out of the oven and are still warm. Therefore, be sure to let the pumpkin cake cool completely after baking so that it sets and doesn’t fall apart when you cut it.
- Chocolate Pumpkin Cake: To make a chocolate cake, you can simply substitute cocoa powder for 25 grams of flour.
- Pumpkin Marble Cake: If you want to make a marble cake with this recipe, just prepare the cake batter first according to the instructions. Then pour about half of the batter into a separate bowl. Now add 1-2 tablespoons of baking cocoa and a dash of plant milk and mix everything into a chocolate batter. Then pour both batters into the baking pan and run a fork through it in a wavy pattern to give the cake a nice marble look.
- Pumpkin Crumble Cake: If you prefer a pumpkin cake with crunchy streusel topping, you can prepare the crumble according to this recipe and spread it on top of the cake batter after 15-20 minutes of baking time. For a nutty flavor and even more texture, you could add some ground or chopped nuts to the crumbles.
You can store the vegan pumpkin coffee cake for 3-5 days in an airtight container and placed in a cool place. If there is a cream cheese or whipped topping on the cake, it should be stored in the refrigerator. If the cake becomes drier after a few days, you can heat your piece in the microwave for a few seconds before eating. This will make it fluffy, soft and moist again and it will taste like it was freshly baked!
For longer storage, you can freeze individual pieces of cake or the entire cake without frosting. Just make sure that you separate the individual cake pieces beforehand with a piece of parchment paper and then place them in a freezer-safe container or seal them airtight in a freezer bag. You can then simply refrigerate the cake overnight and bring it to room temperature before serving. You can also quickly defrost individual pieces of cake in the microwave.
This Vegan Pumpkin Cake Recipe is:
- Without butter
- Quick and easy to make
- With vegetables
- Fluffy and soft
- Moist and tasty!
- With creamy topping
- The perfect cake for a cozy coffee or tea in autumn and winter!
More Vegan Pumpkin Dessert Recipes
If you love baking with pumpkin, feel free to check out the following cake and pie recipes too!
- Pumpkin Cheesecake Brownies
- Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Muffins
- Best Pumpkin Bread
- Chocolate Marble Pumpkin Bread
- Pumpkin Cheesecake Bars with Cinnamon Streusel
- Pumpkin Cake with Cheesecake Swirl
- Best Vegan Pumpkin Pie
- Pumpkin Doughnuts
- … or try my fluffy pumpkin buns, hearty pumpkin burgers or my delicious pumpkin gnocchi!
If you try this easy vegan pumpkin cake with cream cheese topping, feel free to leave a comment and rating below the recipe! And if you take a photo of your autumnal cake and share it on Instagram or Facebook, please tag me @biancazapatka and use the hashtag #biancazapatka so I don’t miss your post! Happy baking! 😊
Grandmas Moist Pumpkin Cake RecipeAuthor:
- 7 oz (200 g) Hokkaido pumpkin red kuri squash
- 1 ½ cup (g) flour all-purpose, wheat, spelt or gluten-free flour
- 1 cup (100 g) ground nuts / nut flour e.g. hazelnut or almond flour
- 2 tsp baking powder
- ½ tsp baking soda
- ⅔ cup (120 g) raw cane sugar
- 2 tsp cinnamon
- pinch of salt
- 1 organic orange juice and peel
- 100 ml soy milk
- 100 ml oil
*Note: Check out the recipe video + step-by-step pictures in the post above!
- Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C) and prepare a 8" (20 cm) baking dish.
- Wash, halve, seed and quarter the Hokkaido pumpkin. Then grate finely with a kitchen grater. Also thinly grate the orange zest (but not the white layer, because it tastes bitter).
- Combine all the dry ingredients (flour, ground nuts, baking powder, baking soda, sugar, cinnamon and salt) in a bowl.
- Squeeze the juice of the orange into a measuring cup. Add the soy milk and oil and mix everything together.
- Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients. Add grated pumpkin and orange zest and stir until just combined.
- Pour the batter into the baking pan and bake the pumpkin cake in the preheated oven for about 50 minutes (cover with parchment paper after 30 minutes to prevent the top from getting too dark). Then allow to cool completely.
- Mix cream cheese with powdered sugar until creamy and spread on the cake. Decorate with pecans or walnuts as desired and enjoy!
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