Vegan Chocolate Pumpkin Cake Brownies

Vegan Chocolate Pumpkin Cake Brownies

These amazing Vegan Chocolate Pumpkin Cake Brownies are dairy-free, oil-free and so delicious, yet low-fat. These are soft like a cake, but dense and moist like a brownie. You get the best of both worlds with these wonderful vegan brownies!


I use to be addicted to Starbucks Pumpkin Loaf! I like the moist, sweet and mild pumpkin flavor. I like pumpkin...but not a pumpkin pie for instance I'm not typically a fan of. That's just too much pumpkin for me. Unless, of course, we are talking about this Cinnamon Roll Pumpkin Pie.

Anyhow, I use to go to Starbucks several times a week for a slice. Well at almost $2 a slice and the unhealthy ingredients, I decided to make my own little pumpkin dessert and added my own twist.


Instead of a pumpkin "loaf", I decided to make it chocolate flavored (naturally) and created little cake brownies. They are super soft like a cake, but dense and chocolatey like brownies, hence the name "cake brownies". I couldn't decide on just calling it either cake or brownies, so it got both, haha.  The best of both worlds.

These are just as yummy and moist as the Starbucks version...but without all the preservatives and other unwanted ingredients. Moist, chocolatey and super tender.

I topped them with dark chocolate squares, melted on top. Just because, hey, chocolate.


  • whole wheat pastry flour (OR all-purpose flour or half of each)
  • organic white cane sugar
  • light brown sugar (or coconut sugar)
  • cocoa powder
  • baking powder
  • pumpkin puree
  • almond milk
  • orange juice
  • vanilla
  • coconut butter
  • vegan chocolate chips

As you can see from the original comment section below on this post, it is from 2012, therefore from my old blog before I created The Vegan 8. That is why it has more than 8 ingredients. But the recipe is still incredible, easy to make and I've revamped it with these brand new photos, also made it oil-free and removed the crunchy topping, so it needed a new shining moment. Enjoy!

So, is it cake, is it brownies?? A little of both my friends and it's DELICIOUS whatever the heck you call it.

I cannot wait to hear what you think of these Vegan Chocolate Pumpkin Cake Brownies! Drop me feedback below after you make them.

Yields 16 brownies

Vegan Chocolate Pumpkin Cake Brownies

These amazing Vegan Chocolate Pumpkin Cake Brownies are dairy-free, oil-free and so delicious, yet low-fat. These are soft like a cake, but dense and moist like a brownie. You get the best of both worlds with these wonderful vegan brownies!

15 minPrep Time

30 minCook Time

45 minTotal Time

Recipe Image
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5 based on 6 review(s)


  • 1 cup (128g) whole wheat pastry flour (OR all-purpose flour or half of each)
  • 3/4 cup (120g) organic white cane sugar
  • 3 tablespoons (36g) coconut sugar
  • 3 tablespoons (18g) unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1/2 cup (120g) almond milk (or cashew or LITE canned coconut milk for a nut-free version)
  • 1/2 level cup (90g) dairy-free semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1/4 cup (60g) liquid melted coconut butter (pureed coconut) OR you can use softened coconut oil if you don't care about the oil
  • 1/2 cup (120g) cooked pumpkin puree
  • 1 tablespoon (15g) orange juice
  • 2 teaspoons (10g) vanilla


  1. Make sure to follow the steps in order of how the ingredients are listed to add in each step. This is important for the end result texture.
  2. Preheat the oven to 350°F and line an 8x8 square pan with parchment paper cut to lie flat going in both directions.
  3. In a large bowl, sift together the first 6 (dry) ingredients (flour through to salt).
  4. In a separate medium bowl, add the milk and chocolate chips and add to the microwave. Heat for 30 seconds, stir, then another 15 seconds and stir until completely smooth and melted.
  5. Add the coconut butter and whisk until smooth and then add the pumpkin, orange juice and vanilla and whisk again until smooth. It should be runny.
  6. Pour the melted chocolate mixture into the dry ingredients and gently whisk just until combined. Being careful not to overmix. It should be a smooth, but fairly thick batter. If you'd like an extra dose of chocolate, throw in some chocolate chips in the batter, or just sprinkle some on top. YUM.
  7. Add the batter to the pan and spread out the top evenly. Pick up the pan and jiggle it side to side so that the top evens out flat.
  8. Bake 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick comes out completely clean from the center. They will rise in the center like a cake and then flatten back out like brownies as they cool. Let them cool 1 hour at room temperature. I know this is hard! But trust me, they still finish cooking and firm up a ton as they cool, these are really soft and if you cut them too early, they will fall apart! Cut gently into desired sizes gently with a sharp knife. I did 16 squares. These need to be stored at room temperature, NOT the fridge, as the fridge will turn them into a mushy fudge texture. I love these served with hot coffee or tea! Yum!

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  1. I know that loaf from Starbucks, it is delicious. Your version is much better, healthier and sounds just as good.
    • Thank you! Well, I'm certainly biased to mine and while it doesn't have the exact same flavor (more chocolatey) it is moist and cake like from the pumpkin (like Starbucks) and it is what inspired this recipe and met my craving! So, no need for the Starbucks version anymore! :)
  2. These look delicious! Thank you for sharing!
  3. I am definitely going to bake these! Fall = pumpkin anything for me :) (I pressed post comment too soon) :)
    • Thank you so much!! I agree...I have everything Fall on my mind!! Hope you enjoy them as much as I did! Love your new blog btw! :)
      • Thank you! You are so sweet! :)
      • Brandi, hey, just asking. . you can totally turn me down if you think this is lame. . I'm starting a thing called #FlyFridays. . just trying to get people to bake, share, pause, reflect and be thankful for what we have: Seriously, no need to even respond to this. . but if you'd like to join just one Friday, please let me know. thank you!
  4. [...] Chocolate Pumpkin Cake Squares [...]
  5. Um, that looks so much tastier and healthier than the starbucks version! I must admit I love pumpkin and that I'm totally down with pumpkin pie, but pairing it with chocolate puts it through the roof!
    • Aww thanks so much Somer!! I agree..chocolate makes everything BETTER! Ha! :)
      • It's the dang endorphins and antioxidants ;) Can't be beat! (or at least that's my excuse)
  6. [...] Chocolate Pumpkin Cake Squares ( [...]
  7. Yay. It's Fall, and that means it pumpkin time. I like this recipe. Looks great in the photo too!
  8. Tiffany Cockrell
    Making this today for minnie me and hubbt!!
    • Wonderful Tiff! I hope you love them..let me know and give me feedback later! Yay!
  9. Karol Abercrombie
    Can you substitute the grapeseed oil for another one? Coconut oil maybe?
    • Hi Karol-you can certainly try. Coconut oil is much heavier and concentrated than grapeseed so it might make the cakes more dense but it's worth a shot. Try it out and let me know how it turns out! Thanks for your comment :)
  10. They look so good!!
  11. [...] Chocolate Pumpkin Cake Squares ( Share this:Like this:LikeBe the first to like this. [...]
  12. Another "WOW" recipe! This looks so good. I have bookmarked and am going to definitely make these. Triple yummy!!!
    • Thank you so much Judy, I appreciate the compliment!! My friend made these for her husband and son and it won them over, when a kid approves it, I know I've won lol! They are the pickiest eaters on the planet! :) I hope you enjoy it!
  13. I love that loaf from Starbucks except for all the added ingredients that do not need to be in there. I need to try your recipe. I will try to substitute almond flour/coconut flour to make this gluten free. I will experiment and It I will let you know how it turns out. Great recipe, thank you!
    • Wonderful! That's a great idea, hopefully the coconut flour won't make it too dense and they hold together, but I'd love to hear if they turn out! ! Thank you so much for the comment! :)
      • Thank you! I will use very minimal coconut flour. I have many baking disasters before I learned how much liquid it can absorb. I'll probably use 80% almond and 20% coconut. It is all about experimenting after all isn't it? :) I'll share how it turns out when I bake it :)
      • Absolutely, I've had my fair share of disasters lol! I have coconut flour too and if I remember, on the bag it says to use like a 1/5 to 1 cup ratio of flour, so it's very minimal. I LOVE baking with almond flour, you just definitely have to combine it with another ingredient or it falls apart because of the lack of gluten...if the coconut and almond flour combo alone doesn't work, you can try adding a little corn starch or arrowroot powder....or even potato starch. Have fun experimenting! :)
  14. Looks divine Brandi!!! Can't wait to try these. LOVE the new Gravatar btw. : ) So pretty!
    • Awww thanks Lauren!! Hope you like them. They are my most popular recipe thus far...I guess because of Fall and them containing pumpkin. Thank you, I just had it lightened as a strawberry blondish color...was getting too many grays, LOL!! :)
  15. I have made your stunning pumpkin spelt squares & they were superb!! Yummy yummy Yummy! xxx
    • That's wonderful Sophie!! So glad to hear that, I appreciate you trying so many of my recipes! :)
  16. This looks sooooo delicious! Like you, I love the pumpkin flavor but not when it's too much like in pumpkin pie. Can't wait to try these out with a hot cup of tea one evening soon :)
    • Oh wonderful Amanda! I hope you love it as much as me and my friends who've tried it do!! I just love them with some warm Chai tea and the squares slightly warm...mmmmmmm.... :) Thank you so much for your comment! :)
  17. Tiffany Cockrell
    I luv luv luv these pumpkin squares! I have made them three or four time for friends&they luv these too!!! They are so most thick and soft. It can pass for a birthday cake that's how good these are!!
    • I am so happy to hear that Tiffany!! So glad everybody, including your son, loves them!! Thank you! :)
  18. My daughter is going to absolutely love this blog of yours!!!
    • Oh that's wonderful!! Thank you so much for sharing it, she can join and receive all my recipes by email if she'd like. I really appreciate you sharing it!! :)
  19. This looks soooo delicious! I love your use of whole grains and orange juice in this chocolately pumpkin recipe! I might have to try that combo soon!
    • Thank you so much Erika! It really is so yummy and amazing warmed up with some hot coffee or tea! Enjoy! :)
  20. I love the recipe but something occurred to me.I had heard that vegans do not use cane sugar because of the bone charcoal that is used in the processing.Do you know if that is true? I love meatless foods, but I have to admit to still being a bit of a hypocrite, meat-wise.There may be hope for me yet.
    • Yes, that is true for regular white sugar you buy, but that's why I listed organic evaporated cane juice. It is not processed to the degree of regular white sugar. It even says vegan on my bag :) Same with the brown sugar. :)
      • Here's the link on it. If you type in vegan it tells you all the info on the process :)
  21. Thanks for the info.I try to take all into consideration.I want to teach people how to understand and entertain people of differing sensitivities,(physical, religious, moral) on my blog. I try to include vegan alternatives to many recipes, as well.
    • Absolutely, no problem! Yes, I understand. Whenever I entertain or have a party I have vegan and "regular" food too of course. I don't expect people to only eat vegan just because I am. Luckily though, everybody who has eaten my vegan food and especially desserts have all loved them and requested them so I've gotten lucky lol! :) My blog however is dedicated to my husband and I's vegan lifestyle, it was a necessity for health reasons and a choice we are very happy with. People certainly don't have to be vegan to enjoy the food though, thats for sure!
  22. Oh, absolutely! I have more request for recipes of my vegan offerings than meat dishes whenever I have a buffet ,party , etc. I love it!
  23. Thank you, Brandi~ this dessert is FaBuLoUs!!! My husband loves it as much as I do!!
    • Oh, I'm so happy to hear that Susan!! Thank you so much for trying the recipe, I'm truly honored! Thanks a million :)
  24. kahht
    Oh this looks so scrumptious! Great recipe.
  25. Starbucks pastries are crazy! Love the idea of a healthier twist. Thanks for the inspiration.
  26. I love all you recipes!! I just made this for my husbands birthday! I subbed 3/4almond & 1/4coconut flour and they turned out great. Must cool completely. Will make again! Thank you for making my life better!!!!!
      Nicole! Yay, that is so wonderful to hear that it worked out gluten-free as well...I have been meaning to make a gluten-free many recipes and so little time, haha. Thanks so much for making it and leaving feedback, I really love hearing it!
  27. This cake was amazing!! It was so moist and with a perfect balance of chocolate and pumpkin!! Thanks for posting this great recipe.
      Thanks a million Vince for the lovely feedback and tagging me on Instagram with your beautiful photo! I'm so happy you enjoyed the cake :)
  28. My daughter made these over the weekend - easy to make and OMG they are delicious! Thank you!
      I'm so happy to hear that, thank you so much Carrie for the feedback! I really appreciate it! :)
  29. a question.. Should I cook the pumpkin to soften it before I use it in this recipe?
      I'm so sorry I missed this comment Yael!! Yes, I used canned pumpkin puree for this, definitely needs to be cooked first. Please let me know what you think of them!
  30. I never drink OJ, so I don't have it in the house. Any ideas for a workable substitute? I assume lemon or lime juice would be too tart? I also always have pomegranate juice. Help! ;-)
      Any juice will work! :)
  31. I made these brownies and they tasted amazing! My boyfriend ate half of it at once! Haha
  32. Meg
    I made these on Sunday, with a few mods, and they are delicious! I omitted the topping because I just wanted straight up cake/brownies, but I'll try it next time. I also added small amounts of ground allspice and cinnamon, to heighten the "pumpkin spice" factor. The texture is moist and cakey and oh so goodie good. Everyone in my household loved them, and they go well with a scoop (or two) of homemade vanilla veeg ice cream. Thanks for this lovely recipe! It's a nice way to usher in early autumn.
      Oh, I'm so very happy to hear that Meg, thank you so much for the lovely review!
  33. Who makes oil free chocolate chips. . . and where can I buy them? How is coconut oil not an oil?
      I used coconut butter, I did not use coconut oil. My original recipe when I first wrote this in 2012 I used grape seed oil. The coconut butter I tested this week with and it gives just as good of a result. I listed coconut oil in parentheses for those who want to use the oil, since I always get asked that question. As far as chocolate chips, chocolate contains natural cocoa butter. Oil-free refers to not adding oil as a listed ingredient like vegetable oil, canola, etc. like in my original recipe. I do not believe there is chocolate chips without any fat by a brand out there because cocoa butter is the natural ingredient that makes it chocolate and set up. There is such a thing as carob chips but they taste nothing like chocolate and would not work the same here. If you want something that doesn’t use any chocolate chips, try these instead. Just omit the chocolate chips added to the batter. I do think they taste best with them, but that’s up to you. They are a low-fat recipe.
  34. Once again, you’ve come up with a recipe that I simply HAVE to make as soon as I see it! These brownies are delicious, soft and chocolatie. My family licked the batter from the bowl and they smelled so good straight from the oven, it was difficult waiting to slice into them, but it was worth it!
      Oh yay, that is the best news! So happy you loved them Peggy, thank you so much for the wonderful review!!
  35. Forgot to hit the five stars with my comment above!
  36. Recipe looks wonderful, but I'd like to know if the amount of sugar can be reduced or is there a good substitute for the sugar like maybe MonkFruit or ??? Also, can these be made gluten free? Thank you!!
      Hi Linda! You can try reducing it if you like, but I'm afraid they will taste bitter, so just a warning, haha. They are not overly sweet at all. Since there is both melted chocolate and cocoa powder in these, the sugar helps to counteract the bitterness. You could try reducing the white sugar by a 1/4 cup but just a warning they may taste too bitter. My daughter loves these but actually thinks they could be sweeter, haha! You could try monkfruit, sure, I have never tried that stuff so I have no idea how it tastes or bakes up but let me know if you try! As far as gluten-free, I have never tried these as a gluten-free version so I really can't give advice without having tested it personally. My best suggestion would be to try the King Arthur Gluten-free All-purpose flour (gum-free), it is the rice and starch blend. I've found the best results with that brand when swapping out regular flour.
  37. Pumpkin and chocolate?! Oh god I wouldn't be able to control myself with these brownies! I'll bookmark this and make it for my cheat day in a few days!!
      Haha, that sounds like a plan!! Let me know what you think of them when you make them!
  38. What can I use instead of coconut butter? I'm allergic :/ Should I just sub vegetable oil?
      Hi Emily! Yes, my original recipe I used grape seed oil, so I think vegetable oil should work fine. Use 60g of oil since it’s funnier than the coconut butter.
  39. Hi is book available to be delivered to Australia
      Hi Elizabeth, no it's not shipped in Australia, however you can order a kindle version off of Amazon if you are interested!
  40. Love seeing your emails and this recipe came at a perfect time! As I checked to see if I had my ingredients, I began to wonder if I could add nuts to the batter, and if I needed to modify the recipe? I want to add chopped pecans, almonds, and hazelnuts. Help!
      Hi Mzee, sorry for the delayed response! Yes, you could add chopped nuts if you like that would be delicious!
  41. The beautiful, cake-y, almost twin to my pumpkin brownies! I mean same week...close enough. I rarely got food at starbucks when I used to go (usually the massive vanilla frappuccino was plenty😂) but the pumpkin loaf when it was around was always one of my favorites too. They really do nail the texture, although honestly it's SO sweet...too sweet really. And of course compared to these doesn't have nearly enough chocolate involved lol. You can call them brownies or cake who cares, these look like they have the perfect balance of fluffy and fudgy going on and that's all I care about. You always manage to get baked goods so insanely moist with so little fat, it's amazing. Although I do find pumpkin really good for that, much better than applesauce even though I use them almost interchangeably. This one definitely deserved the update🤗 And after the past 3 days of work, I definitely deserve one of these with a big scoop of ice cream right about now😋
  42. Hey Brandi I made these brownies today, they were really good. My 15-year-old daughter didn’t even ask if they were vegan! At the beginning of the recipe you list the ingredients you need listed almond butter, but in the recipe it calls for coconut butter. Could you use either one? I actually bought coconut and made my own butter; but I was wondering if you could use almond butter or peanut butter in place of the coconut butter? Thanks for all your recipes so far, I can’t wait to get my vegan 8 cookbook!
      Hi Lonna! I'm so happy to hear how much you enjoyed these, yay! Oops, sorry for the confusion, I've fixed it. I had tested it with almond butter and originally had that, but found they were too dense for my liking, so I tested with coconut butter and it was SO much more perfect, so that is what it is best with. Since coconut butter is so buttery and more of an oily consistency, it gives a better, lighter texture. My daughter did like them with almond butter though. You can try it out with peanut butter or almond butter if you like and see if you like it! Use 64g worth. And definitely make sure you do not store them in the fridge. When I did that with my almond butter batch, it made them really mushy and fudge-like, not in a good way, haha.
  43. Daaaaang. All I see is gooey chocolate and I want in! Like I'd eat that entire darn pan. So watch out elastic waistband, I'm comin for you!
  44. Hi Brandi! How long will these keep at room temperature? Making them now! Thanks for your awesome recipes! Anxiously waiting arrival of Cookbook!🤗
      Hi Sahara! Oh, they will keep a good 3-4 days at room temperature and stay moist! I just keep them in the pan and cover the top tightly with foil and it's perfect :)
      • They turned out amazing!!! Thank you so much!🤗
          Yay! Thrilled to hear that!
  45. Would rice flour work in this recipe? I would like to make these gluten free and I don't have almond or coconut flour.
      Hi Heather! No, I wouldn’t use rice flour alone, that will make them too gooey dense. Almond or coconut flour wouldn’t work here anyways. As far as gluten-free, I have never tried these as a gluten-free version so I really can't give advice without having tested it personally. However, my best suggestion would be to try the King Arthur Gluten-free All-purpose flour (gum-free), it is the rice and starch blend. I've found the best results with that brand when swapping out regular flour.
  46. Lea
    Thanks for the cookbook. I ordered two, one for my friend. It's done well and love the pictures! Everything I've made from it so far is marvelous. :) ~Lea
  47. Lea
    AND they're now in the oven for the table at our vegan Txgiving potluck tomorrow. The leftover in the bowl was scrumptious.

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