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. If you choose to bake it ahead of time, just store it in the refrigerator, then let it come to room temperature before serving.
The pumpkin puree will keep this gluten free cake from drying out. Be sure to wrap the cake pan well with plastic wrap.
Can you make pumpkin cake with fresh pumpkin?
Yes, if you prefer to use fresh pumpkin, that will be fine. You can learn how to make homemade pumpkin puree here.
Gluten free vegan ingredients
- gluten free flour blend (you need a blend – not just straight almond flour or rice flour)
- baking soda, baking powder, salt
- pumpkin pie spices, like cinnamon, nutmeg, and ginger
- oil or vegan buttery spread
- pure pumpkin puree
How to make vegan frosting
It’s easy to make frosting that’s dairy free and vegan. This decadent buttercream is made with vegan buttery spread, cocoa powder, powdered sugar, and non-dairy milk.
Use any non-dairy milk that works for your diet. Some good choices are coconut milk, oat milk, rice milk, or flax milk.
You’ll need to use a mixer to whip the vegan buttery spread with the cocoa powder. Then alternate adding the powdered sugar and non-dairy milk and mix until you get a smooth, spreadable consistency.
This frosting has a great chocolate flavor that goes so well with this pumpkin spice cake.
- 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.
How many servings are in a 9×13 cake?
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.
Can you freeze this pumpkin sheet cake?
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.
More allergy friendly Thanksgiving recipes
If you’re looking for more ideas for your holiday table, try this dairy free chocolate pudding pie, or this vegan gluten free cornbread stuffing. You may also like this post about gluten free and vegan Thanksgiving recipes.
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Fluffy Gluten Free Vegan Pumpkin Cake with Chocolate Frosting.
Take a break from pie, and make a delicious pumpkin sheet cake topped with a rich chocolate buttercream frosting. This recipe is easy to make ahead of time and is gluten free and vegan.
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
For the frosting:
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 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 non-dairy milk until all the powdered sugar is gone and the frosting is a smooth, spreadable consistency.
Frost the cooled cake, then store in the refrigerator if not serving the same day. This cake can be made up to one day ahead of time.
My gluten free flour mix works very well in this recipe.
If you don’t need to be gluten free, you can use all-purpose flour.
This cake can be made the night before you need to serve it. The pumpkin puree will keep it moist.
If you prefer vanilla frosting, try my dairy free buttercream frosting on top of this cake.
Store leftover cake in a pan covered with plastic wrap, or an airtight container. It will stay fresh for about 3 days.
This post was originally published in November 2016.