I guess this week turned into an impromptu Pumpkin Week around here! After baking up the vegan pumpkin doughnuts on Monday, I still wanted to bake this easy pumpkin cake recipe that has been rattling around in the back of my head since last week. I’ve been looking for a super easy, go-to pumpkin dessert that doesn’t take much time (30 minutes for this cake, check!) and doesn’t require ingredients that I don’t always have around (check!). The best part about this easy pumpkin cake is that it’s obviously vegan, doesn’t require more than one bowl, and can be thrown together from start to finish to cooling in under an hour. Pumpkin dessert perfection!
I tested this recipe out on a group of our friends last weekend, taking the best results to a get together we went to on Saturday night. While the middle of the cake never got baked (too much batter in a too small pan, eek), I cut out the edges and took them anyway. The pumpkin cake was a HIT, with some people claiming that it was ‘the best thing ever’ and others asking if there was more, or were those the last 3 pieces on the plate? I think that meant it was time to test it out again and make the final tweaks, easy pumpkin cake crowd pleasers are hard to come by!
Usually, with vegan cakes, the things I struggle with the most are making sure the cake doesn’t dry out and putting enough of a binder in so that it also sticks together when the cake is cut and served. In a typical cake recipe, eggs are the binder and do both of these jobs, adding moisture to the batter and holding everything together so that by the time the cake cools, the pieces hold together beautifully. For this easy pumpkin cake, I used ground flaxseed as my vegan egg substitute of choice, since it can hide easily amongst the pumpkin puree and spices in the cake, and a healthy dose of olive oil to keep everything moist. Typically I will use either coconut oil or olive oil in a vegan baking recipe, depending on the amount of oil needed and the ability for the baked good to stay solid at room temperature. Since coconut oil is solid at room temp and olive oil isn’t, I went with olive oil for this pumpkin cake to keep the end result moist, but not too tough or dry after a few days.
If you don’t have or don’t like spelt flour, feel free to use whole wheat flour in place this recipe. I had spelt on hand and wanted this easy pumpkin cake to be more of a hefty cake, rather than the fall apart kind. I haven’t used any sort of gluten-free flour substitute in this recipe yet, but if you do, please let me know! If you want to make this pumpkin cake to serve a crowd, just double all of the ingredients and bake in a 9×13 pan, for just a bit longer. This would make a perfect Halloween dessert and is great for parties!
Hope you have a wonderful rest of the week and Halloween weekend! What are you dressing up as this weekend? I think I’m going to go with a classic Rosie the Riviter costume, simply because it will be easy and, most importantly, warm! We are forecasted for snow and frost on Saturday night (not ready!), so staying dry and warm is going to be my #1 concern at this point.
Happy Pumpkin Week!
Easy Pumpkin Cake (Vegan)
One bowl, easy pumpkin cake that is vegan and takes just 30 minutes to come together!
- 1/3 cup granulated sugar
- 1/3 cup pure maple syrup
- 1/3 cup olive oil
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 cup pumpkin puree
- 2 tablespoons ground flaxseed
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- Dash of ground nutmeg
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 tablespoon cornstarch or potato starch
- 1 cup plus 1 tablespoon spelt flour
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease a loaf pan with olive oil and set aside.
In a large bowl, whisk together the granulated sugar, maple syrup, olive oil, vanilla, pumpkin puree, and flaxseed meal. Whisk until smooth.
To the same bowl, add the cinnamon, nutmeg, salt, baking powder, baking soda, cornstarch, and spelt flour. Whisk until no lumps remain.
Pour batter into the prepared loaf pan, spreading the batter evenly.
Bake for 20-25 minutes, until the middle of the cake springs back lightly with touched or a toothpick inserted in the middle, comes out clean.
Allow the cake to cool before cutting and serving, topping with cinnamon or whipped coconut cream.
- Whole wheat flour can be used in place of spelt flour
- If you prefer canola oil over olive oil, that will work just fine in this recipe too!