Vegan pumpkin coffee cake with a thick cinnamon swirl and generous pecan crumble! This cake is moist, ridiculously delicious and easy to make, just like my regular vegan coffee cake!
What to expect from this cake
FLAVOR: Each bite is packed with warm spices and pumpkin flavor and will warm you up from head to toe.
OCCASION: This sweet treat is perfect for breakfast or dessert during Fall or on Thanksgiving! It doesn't have coffee in it but is perfect with a hot cup of coffee.
Ingredients for the vegan pumpkin coffee cake
The full list of ingredient quantities and instructions are in the gray recipe card at the bottom of this post.
Notes about the ingredients
Light brown sugar and/or granulated sugar. Light brown sugar provides the best flavor while granulated sugar allows the color of the pumpkin to shine. For the best of both worlds, use 50/50 light brown sugar and granulated sugar. If you want a refined sugar-free cake, you can use coconut sugar, however your cake will be darker in color.
Pumpkin puree. I've tested this recipe with Libby's canned pumpkin puree and homemade pumpkin puree and they both work wonderfully!
Baking powder AND soda to make sure the pumpkin cake is fluffy!
Even though this cake is eggless, you don't need any special egg replacers such as a flax egg.
Preparing the crumb topping and cinnamon layer
To prepare the crumble, add all ingredients to a bowl and mix until it is crumbly. There shouldn't be any pockets of butter or flour but the mixture should be 'chunky' like a typical crumble topping.
To make the cinnamon sugar layer, simply mix your sugar with cinnamon until there are no lumps.
Preparing the cake batter
The cake batter comes together in one large bowl! You can mix the batter using a whisk or spatula or with a hand mixer.
Simply add all the wet ingredients to a bowl and mix until combined. Add all your dry ingredients and mix through. The batter is thick but will bake beautifully!
Assembling the vegan pumpkin coffee cake
First, pour half of the cake batter into your cake pan and smooth the surface (the batter is quite thick).
Liberally sprinkle the cinnamon sugar on top. And finally, pour over the remaining cake batter. You may need to smooth the surface again.
The last step is to scatter the streusel topping on top. It may look like A LOT of crumble but it will all stick when the cake bakes.
Baking top tips!
My top tip for baking the cake is to keep an eye on the crumb topping. It's high in nuts and sugar so it may brown quickly.
If your crumb topping is already golden brown but your cake is still uncooked, cover your cake pan with a baking tray or aluminum foil (as long as they don't touch the cake).
This traps in the heat and forces the middle of the cake to cook, rather than the outside. Alternatively, you can reduce the oven heat by 50-60°F (10-15°C).
Customizing this coffee cake recipe
This cake will bake well in an 8-inch square cake pan or 9-inch round cake pan. Your cakes will be thinner so will bake in less time. Try checking your cake at the 35-minute mark.
- If you want to make a layer cake, check out my vegan pumpkin cake.
- For a pumpkin loaf, I recommend following my vegan pumpkin bread recipe. You can still use the cinnamon swirl layer and pecan streusel from this recipe!
- Or for muffins, check out my vegan pumpkin muffins recipe.
Sweet potato has more starch than pumpkin so the cake will have a different texture. Instead, I recommend checking out my vegan sweet potato cake recipe.
I haven't tested this recipe to be gluten-free however, it may work with a high-quality gluten-free flour such as King Arthur's measure for measure. It may also work with half almond flour and half gluten-free all-purpose flour.
More easy vegan pumpkin recipes
Vegan Pumpkin Coffee Cake
- ½ cup (50g) pecans, or walnuts, chopped (or use an extra or an extra 2 tablespoons / 15g of flour to make nut-free)
- ½ cup (65g) all-purpose plain flour
- ¼ cup (55g) vegan butter, or coconut oil, softened
- 3 tablespoons (40g) packed light brown sugar, granulated sugar or coconut sugar
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Cinnamon sugar layer
Pumpkin Cake ingredients
- 1 cup (200g) pumpkin puree, canned or homemade (not pumpkin pie filling)
- ¾ cup (190g) dairy-free milk
- ⅓ cup (85g) neutral flavored oil
- ⅓ cup (65g) packed light brown sugar
- ⅓ cup (65g) granulated sugar, or more light brown sugar (note 2)
- 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar, white vinegar or lemon juice (optional)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract, optional
- 2 cups (250g) all-purpose plain flour, spoon and leveled
- 3 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice, (note 4 for homemade blend)
- 2 ½ teaspoons baking powder
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- Pinch of salt, optional
- Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F). Grease or line the bottom and sides of an 8-inch (20 cm) round springform or loose-bottom cake pan with parchment paper.
- In a small bowl, add all the ingredients. Use your finger tips or a spoon to mix until everything is well combined. There shouldn't be any pockets of flour or butter.
Cinnamon sugar layer:
- In a small bowl, mix the ingredients until well combined.
Prepare the cake:
- Add the wet ingredients (pumpkin puree, dairy-free milk, oil, sugars, vinegar and vanilla) to a large mixing bowl. Whisk until combined.
- Add the rest of the ingredients and mix until there are no big lumps.
Assemble the cake:
- Pour half of the pumpkin cake batter into your prepared pan and smooth the surface with a spoon. Sprinkle the cinnamon sugar on top. Pour the remaining batter into the cake pan and smooth the surface. When you smooth the final layer of cake batter, it will not want to stick to the cinnamon sugar layer so just do what you can.
- Sprinkle the crumble on top of the cake (there'll be a lot of crumble).
- Bake the cake for 50-60 minutes. At the 30-minute mark, if the cake is browning too quickly on top, cover the cake pan with an oven-safe tray or aluminum foil. The cake is ready when you can insert a toothpick in the middle and there is no wet batter on it (a few moist crumbs are fine).
- Allow the cake to rest in the cake pan for at least 10 minutes then remove the sides of the pan to fully cool. To serve, dust the top with powdered sugar or drizzle with a simple glaze (note 5 for glaze).
- The cake can be kept at room temperature for 1 day or in an airtight container in the fridge for 3 days. This coffee cake freezes well for up to 1 month (store the slices individually if you're not serving a crowd).
- For a darker cinnamon swirl, add 1 teaspoon of cocoa powder to your cinnamon sugar mixture to intensify its color.
- Granulated sugar makes the cake lighter and fluffier whereas light brown sugar provides more flavor. I used a combination of both sugars.
- To spoon and level your flour, fluff up the flour in its container, use a spoon to add flour to your measuring cup, and level it off with a knife. Using your measuring cup to scoop flour out of the container will pack in too much flour and result in a dense cake. Alternatively, use the gram measurements for the best results.
- To make your own pumpkin spice blend, use 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon, ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg, ¼ teaspoon ground ginger and ¼ teaspoon ground cloves.
- To make a simple vanilla glaze, mix 1 cup (100g) of powdered sugar, 1-2 tablespoons of dairy-free milk and 1 teaspoon vanilla until smooth. Or replace the milk with maple syrup for more flavor. Add more sugar to make it thicker or more milk to make it more runny.
This recipe was originally published in 2020 and updated a few times since then.
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