This is truly the best ever vegan gluten-free pumpkin cake! Not only that, but it is oil-free and the texture is perfection! It is also only 8 ingredients and topped with a delicious vanilla buttercream frosting with fresh pumpkin spices!
VEGAN GLUTEN FREE PUMPKIN CAKE
I am not kidding when I say this is one of my best cake recipes I’ve written over the years. It is impossible to detect it is both gluten-free and oil-free. It is that good! I sent half the cake to my parents and they both said how amazing it was and couldn’t wait for me to post the recipe!
This recipe was a labor of love. I posted this Best Vegan Pumpkin Cake before and it is phenomenal, but I received so many messages continually come through ever since posting it, for a gluten-free version. Since I always aim to make my gluten-free versions as delicious as the regular wheat ones, I tested it over and over and over. I’m happy to say the wait is worth it!
The texture is unbelievable. It is so light, soft, fluffy and not dense or mushy at all like so many gluten-free vegan baked cakes can be. I changed a couple of techniques that I hadn’t done before on my cakes and it was part of this magical vegan gluten-free pumpkin cake success.
I topped it with my vegan vanilla buttercream frosting, freshly grated nutmeg and freshly ground cinnamon and it was just divine! The frosting just makes it the perfect crowd-pleaser and extra fancy, but if you want to skip the frosting, a dusting of powdered sugar, fresh nutmeg and cinnamon will still be just as delicious!
(Only 8 main ingredients needed. Full details and measurements on the recipe card below.)
- Oat flour: This flour makes this cake gluten-free and what makes this cake so soft. It needs to be finely ground so that the cake is nice and fluffy and not dense. This is why I always buy my oat flour, since it’s never as fine by grinding it at home. I use the Bob’s Red Mill gluten-free oat flour.
- Cornstarch: Cornstarch works with the oat flour to make the cake so fluffy. Using all oat flour results in a very dense cake and nobody wants that. The cornstarch replaces the eggs and gluten and works beautifully here.
- Baking powder
- Pure maple syrup: This keeps the cake refined sugar-free.
- Pumpkin spices: I use my homemade pumpkin spice blend, but have also provided a short throw together blend on the recipe card below if you don’t already have a batch of my blend made up.
- Lite coconut milk: This is basically the ONLY fat in this cake, so since the cake is oil-free, this milk is very crucial to the moisture and texture being light and fluffy. You do not want to use low-fat milks or thin milks like almond, cashew, rice or soy. This cake is made with oat flour, which can be dense and chewy, so using soy milk, which is high protein, would make this cake excessively chewy. If you are allergic to coconut, I would suggest trying a homemade cashew milk instead, as store-bought cashew milk is mostly fillers and will NOT yield the same results. To make homemade cashew milk, see recipe card below. Please note, I have not trialed this personally, but suspect it will work very well, similar to the coconut milk. FYI, you do NOT taste any coconut milk in the cake. This is why I use the canned lite milk, as it’s very creamy, but doesn’t taste like coconut in the finished product, like full-fat would. I use the Sprouts brand “lite coconut milk”, but another brand that works well is the Thai Kitchen lite. Please do not use the Polar brand, it is fillers and very little actual coconut and will ruin the texture of the cake.
- Molasses: This is another magical ingredient in this cake for both depth of flavor and moisture. I use regular molasses, not blackstrap, as regular is sweeter and milder in flavor. You can find regular molasses at most grocery stores, even Walmart and Target. You do not want to use the blackstrap, as it’s very bitter and much darker.
HOW TO MAKE VEGAN GLUTEN FREE PUMPKIN CAKE
Step 1: Combine the dry ingredients in a large bowl and whisk well.
Step 2: In a separate medium bowl, combine the wet ingredients until smooth.
Step 3: Pour over the dry ingredients and whisk gently just until smooth and combined. Do not overmix. It should be smooth and pourable.
Step 4: Pour the batter into an 8×8 baking dish (I used stone) that has been sprayed with nonstick spray.
Step 5: Bake at 400° for just 23 minutes or until a toothpick is clean from the center. A couple of dry crumbs are ok, but there should be no batter. Cool 1 hour before frosting (if using) or decorating with powdered sugar/spices. Slice and serve. Gluten-free cakes need to be completely cooled so that they finish cooking, or they can have an unbaked texture if sliced too early.
MORE VEGAN CAKE RECIPES
- Vegan Lemon Cake
- Vanilla Sheet Cake
- Vegan Gingerbread Cake
- Gluten-free Vegan Funfetti Cake
- Vegan Chocolate Chip Cake
- Almond Butter Cake
- Vegan Gluten-free Vanilla Cake
Vegan Gluten-free Pumpkin Cake (Oil-free!)
- 1 cup + 2 tablespoons (144g) superfine oat flour (See notes why this is important)
- 6 tablespoons (48g) cornstarch
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- 2 teaspoons pumpkin spice (I use my homemade blend, see notes for easy quick mix)
- scant 3/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
- 1/2 cup + 1 tablespoon (135g) canned lite coconut milk (See notes!) shaken well first
- 1/2 cup + 1 tablespoon (180g) pure maple syrup
- 2 tablespoons (40g) regular molasses, not blackstrap (see post info)
- 1/2 cup (120g) pumpkin puree
- Optional: Vegan vanilla buttercream frosting, freshly ground nutmeg and cinnamon (ONLY DO A HALF RECIPE)
- I always recommend to use a scale for accuracy when baking, following MY gram weights listed, since we all measure differently. This greatly improves your chance for success and lessons room for error. You never need cups or to compare them to the weights, just use the scale and bowl and make sure to hit zero before adding each ingredient. My recipes are 100% tested specifically using my exact weights and your results will turn out as mine this way.
- I use this scale.
- Preheat the oven to 400°F (204°C). Yes, this cake is different and is baked at 400°F instead of the traditional 350°F. It makes a difference!
- Lightly spray an 8x8 baking dish (I used stone) with nonstick spray. The cake releases easily and beautifully this way. Otherwise, the cake will stick badly without it.
- To a large bowl, add the oat flour, cornstarch, baking powder, pumpkin spice and salt. Whisk well.
- In a separate medium bowl, combine the milk, syrup, molasses and pumpkin until completely smooth. Pour over the dry ingredients and whisk gently just until smooth and combined. Do not overmix. Oat-based batters can cause dense results if they are overmixed.
- Pour the batter into the dish and give it a good shake side to side to even out the top.
- Bake for just 23 minutes or until a toothpick is clean from the center. Each cake I tested was perfect at this time. A couple of dry crumbs are ok, but there should be no wet batter.
- Cool 1 hour before frosting (if using) or decorating with powdered sugar/spices. Slice and serve. Gluten-free cakes need to be completely cooled so that they finish cooking, or they can have an unbaked texture if sliced too early. So be patient!
- To decorate the cake to make it extra fancy, I topped it with my vegan vanilla buttercream frosting, freshly grated nutmeg and freshly ground cinnamon and it was just divine! But if you want to skip the frosting, a good dusting of powdered sugar, fresh nutmeg and cinnamon is still just as delicious! Or you could add my simple cream cheese glaze! Store this cake at room temperature sealed well, so it stays moist. It keeps well for up to 3 days.
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