Photo of orange sponge cake sandwiched with creamy white frosting topped with orange and purple flowers on a green cake stand against a purple background

Gluten-Free Vegan Pumpkin Cake

This Gluten-Free Vegan Pumpkin Cake is moist and fluffy, slathered with a delicious cream cheese frosting and refined sugar free.
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Keyword gluten-free pumpkin cake, vegan pumpkin cake, vegan thanksgiving dessert
Prep Time 25 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Servings 8
Calories 410kcal
Author Rhian Williams


For the cake:

  • 60 g coconut oil (or sub olive or vegetable oil)
  • 150 ml unsweetened almond milk (or any other plant-based milk)
  • 6 tablespoons pumpkin purée
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar (ensure gluten-free if necessary)
  • 8 tablespoons maple syrup (or sub any other sweetener)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Pinch salt
  • 150 g ground almonds (almond meal) *
  • 150 g gluten-free flour blend (or sub plain flour if not gluten-free)
  • 4 teaspoons baking powder (ensure gluten-free if necessary)
  • 1/4 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda (baking soda)
  • 1 teaspoon mixed spice (pumpkin pie spice) (or a mixture of nutmeg, cloves and cinnamon)

For the cream cheese frosting:

  • 400 g tin of full-fat coconut milk **
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 3 tablespoons maple syrup (or sub any other sweetener)
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract


For the cake:

  • Preheat oven to 180 degrees Celsius (350 degrees Fahrenheit)
  • Place the coconut oil in a large bowl and melt over a saucepan of boiling water or in the microwave (skip this step if not using any other oil)
  • Once melted, add the milk to the same bowl along with the pumpkin purée, vinegar, maple syrup, vanilla, salt and ground almonds
  • Sift in the flour, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda and mixed spice
  • Divide mixture between two greased baking tins lined with baking paper (I used two 7inch/18cm baking tins)
  • Bake in oven for around 15 minutes until risen slightly and an inserted skewer comes out clean
  • Once out the oven, transfer cakes from baking tins onto a wired rack to leave them to cool completely before applying the frosting

For the frosting:

  • You’ll need to keep your tin of coconut milk in the fridge overnight for the rich creamy bit to separate from the watery bit at the bottom. Make sure it is full fat coconut milk, otherwise this separation won’t happen and you won’t be able to make this cream!
  • Open the tin upside down – the coconut cream will be at the bottom and you can just pour off the watery liquid (save this for adding to soups or smoothies)
  • Place the thick, creamy part into a bowl
  • Add the lemon juice, maple syrup and vanilla extract
  • Use an electric whisk (or a manual one and a lot of elbow grease) to whip up the coconut cream until light and fluffy

To frost and decorate the cake:

  • Place one half of the cake onto a plate or cake stand, and spread half of the frosting onto it
  • Place the other half of the cake on top of that and use rest of the frosting to spread on top
  • Best when fresh, but keeps covered in the fridge for up to a few days


*You can alternatively use almond flour
**You can alternatively use 200g (7oz) coconut yogurt


Calories: 410kcal | Carbohydrates: 38g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 28g | Saturated Fat: 16g | Sodium: 70mg | Potassium: 397mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 18g | Vitamin A: 1750IU | Vitamin C: 2.4mg | Calcium: 201mg | Iron: 3.3mg