When you have a crowd to feed for the holidays, it can be difficult to find the perfect dessert. This gluten free vegan pumpkin cake is frosted with a rich, decadent chocolate icing that’s out of this world. Pumpkin fans will love this moist, tender sheet cake that’s easy to make, and even easier to eat.
What are your Thanksgiving plans?
If you’re hosting, one thing that may be on your mind is the dessert table. Who doesn’t love all the wonderful holiday desserts?
And if you are baking for those who have food allergies, you probably want to make sure that your desserts are not only delicious, but also free of the most common allergens.
Now, I know some of you like to have a pumpkin pie…it’s tradition. I hear you loud and clear. We make my gluten free vegan pumpkin pie each year.
And some of you, (including my family!) insist on at least one apple pie. This vegan apple tart is delicious with a yummy crumble topping.
But if you’re in the mood for cake instead of pie, or if you have any children who just aren’t pie fans, this pumpkin sheet cake may be just the recipe you’re looking for.
It’s a gluten free and vegan pumpkin cake covered with chocolate frosting. Rich, delicious, dairy free, and allergy friendly chocolate buttercream frosting.
This is an easy recipe to whip up, and it’s free of the top allergens. In fact, we like to make this for occasions other than Thanksgiving, since it’s quick and easy, and always a crowd pleaser.
This pumpkin sheet cake can feed a crowd, and it can even be prepared the day before serving.
- Gluten Free Flour Blend – Make sure you use a blend – not just straight almond flour or rice flour.
- Spices – Cinnamon, nutmeg, and ginger add a wonderful fall flavor to this cake.
- Oil or Vegan Buttery Spread – You can use either organic canola oil or melted vegan buttery spread for making the cake.
- Sugars – Both organic cane sugar and light brown sugar are needed in this cake recipe. You could use coconut sugar or date sugar instead of the brown sugar if you prefer.
- Pumpkin Puree – You need pure pumpkin puree, not pie filling. Libby’s is the brand that we use. If you prefer to use fresh pumpkin, that will be fine. You can learn how to make homemade pumpkin puree here.
- If you’re not gluten free, you can use all-purpose flour or spelt flour.
- If you’re not dairy free, feel free to use regular butter.
- Out of pumpkin? Try squash puree or mashed sweet potatoes.
- You can top this with vanilla frosting if you prefer, or dust the top of the cake with powdered sugar or cinnamon sugar.
Step by Step Instructions
- Whisk the dry ingredients together, then add the wet ingredients, and stir to combine.
- Pour the batter into a 9×13 pan and smooth it out evenly.
- Bake at 350 degrees F for about 30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the cake comes out clean.
- Once the cake is cool, make the chocolate frosting.
- Spread the chocolate frosting onto the cooled cake.
- Slice the cake and enjoy!
You can get 16-18 servings out of a 9×13 cake pan. I like the slices to be a little larger, so I usually do four rows with four pieces in each row. You could also do six rows with three pieces in each row to get 18 pieces.
If you want to make this cake way ahead of time, I would recommend making the cake and freezing it. Then you could thaw it out and make the frosting before serving. The texture of the frosting may change slightly if you freeze a frosted cake.
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Gluten Free Pumpkin Sheet Cake with Chocolate Frosting.
For the cake:
- 3 cups gluten free flour
- 1 ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ¾ teaspoon baking powder
- ¾ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
- 1 ½ teaspoon cinnamon
- ¾ teaspoon ginger
- ¾ cup organic cane sugar
- ¾ cup light brown sugar
- ⅔ cup organic canola oil or melted vegan buttery spread
- 1 ⅛ cup pure pumpkin puree
- 1 ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- ½ cup water
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
- Place the gluten free flour blend, baking soda, baking powder, salt, spices, and sugar in a large mixing bowl. Whisk together.
- Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and put the pumpkin puree, organic canola oil, vanilla extract, and water inside. Stir everything together until smooth.
- Pour the batter into a 9×13 pan and smooth out with the back of a spoon. Bake at 350 degrees F for about 28-32 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.
- Let the cake cool completely, then make the frosting.
- Put the vegan buttery spread in a mixing bowl and beat until fluffy. Add the unsweetened cocoa powder and mix. Keep mixing, and alternate adding the sifted powdered sugar and the water until all the powdered sugar is gone and the frosting is a smooth, spreadable consistency.
- Frost the cooled cake, then slice and serve. This cake can be made the day before you want to serve it.
This post was originally published in November 2016.