This vegan pumpkin cake with cashew buttercream is a healthier take on a traditional pumpkin spice cake. It’s dairy-free and made without refined sugar.
2 cups sprouted spelt flour (or a combination of 3/4 cup oat flour and 1 1/4 cup sprouted spelt flour)
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ginger
1/8 teaspoon cloves
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
1 1/2 cup organic pumpkin puree*
1/2 cup maple syrup
2 tablespoons ground flax + 5 tablespoons warm water (or 1/4 cup aquafaba*)
1/4 tablespoons almond milk
1/4 cup avocado oil or other neutral oil
Preheat the oven to 350F. Line an 8×8 pan with parchment paper.
Start by making the flax egg (if using aquafaba, sip this step). Combine the two tablespoons ground flax with the five tablespoons warm water. Stir and let sit of 10 minutes or until a thick gel forms.
In a large bowl combine the spelt flour (or spelt and oat flour), spices, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. In a medium bowl combine the pumpkin puree, maple syrup, flax egg (or aquafaba), almond milk and avocado oil. Add the wet ingredients to the bowl of dry ingredients. Stir gently to incorporate, being careful not to over-mix and stopping when the batter is just combined.
Pour the batter into the prepared baking pan. Use a spatula or back of a spoon evenly distribute the batter. Place in the middle rack of the oven for 35-40 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out completely clean.
Once out of the oven, let cool for five minutes, then lift up the sides of the parchment paper to remove the cake from the pan and transfer to a wire rack to cool. When the cake is completely cool, remove the parchment from the cake. You may need to use a large spatula to slide the cake onto the rack as you remove the paper from underneath.
To frost the cake, place one cup of cashew buttercream (recipe below) on top of the cake. Use a spatula to spread in an even layer. Add more cashew buttercream if needed. Slice and serve. Store leftover cake in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days.
I highly recommend using organic pumpkin. It’s much thinner than regular canned pumpkin like Libby’s and works best in this cake.
Aquafaba (the liquid drained from a can of chickpeas) is a great vegan egg replacement. All you need to do is strain a can of chickpeas, saving the liquid from the can.
Gluten-free option: I’ve made this with a combination of 1 1/4 cup spelt flour and 3/4 cup oat flour as well as 2 cups oat flour. The all spelt version is less fragile than the oat flour option. However, if you need the cake to be gluten-free, the oat flour cake is still delicious!