Vegan pumpkin coffee cake - this delicious American style coffee cake consists of a moist, spiced pumpkin cake with a crisp pecan streusel topping and a layer of cinnamon sugar running through the middle.
It is the perfect autumnal cake to serve alongside a cup of coffee (or tea!).
I absolutely adore pumpkin cake and this vegan pumpkin coffee cake is no exception.
This is an American style coffee cake, which is not actually a cake that is flavoured with coffee as you might expect, but rather a cake that is served alongside coffee.
Coffee cakes are frequently topped with a layer of streusel (crumble), and may have a ribbon of cinnamon sugar running through the middle.
This one is flavoured with pumpkin puree and warming spices, and the streusel topping has added pecans for flavour and texture.
What Do I Need To Make Vegan Pumpkin Coffee Cake?:
Plain (all-purpose) flour: Just regular plain flour is best here. I do not recommend swapping it for wholemeal as that will make the cake too dense. I haven't tested this cake gluten-free.
Sugar: I like to use a mix of light brown soft and caster sugar. You can use all of one or the other if you want but the texture and colour of the cake may be slightly different.
Granulated sugar will work instead of caster. Do not swap the sugar for sweeteners or liquid sugars.
Baking powder and bicarbonate of soda (baking soda): You need to use both, they are not interchangeable.
Pumpkin spice + cinnamon: In the UK pumpkin spice is readily available online and you can also make your own - see below for instructions.
Salt: It may seem odd adding salt to sweet things but it really helps to bring out the flavour and balance the sweetness.
Tinned pumpkin puree: You need to use pure pumpkin puree, NOT pumpkin pie filling. It is available from many larger supermarkets in the UK, or online. See instructions below for how to make your own.
Oil: Any neutral flavoured oil that is liquid at room temperature will work. I tend to use sunflower, but a mild olive oil is also good.
Milk: Any variety of unsweetened non-dairy milk will work (except tinned coconut milk) but I like soy milk the best for baking as it has the highest protein content.
Vinegar: This reacts with the bicarbonate of soda (baking soda) to help the cake rise and give it a fluffy texture.
Vanilla: Optional but recommended.
Vegan butter: For the best results you need to use a cold BLOCK butter/margarine, NOT the spreadable kind in a tub which has too high a water content for baking. I use Naturli Vegan Block or Flora Plant butter.
Pecans: Adding some chopped pecans to the streusel gives it extra flavour and texture. Walnuts or hazelnuts would work well instead.
Cocoa powder: I add a teeny bit of cocoa powder to the cinnamon sugar layer just to make it darker in colour so that the layer stands out more. It doesn't really add to the flavour so feel free to omit it if you wish.
How To Make Vegan Pumpkin Coffee Cake:
(Full measurements and instructions can be found in the recipe card at the bottom of the page)
Start by preparing the crumble topping - mix plain flour, light brown soft sugar and pumpkin spice together in a bowl. Add the cold vegan block butter and rub it in until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs.
Stir in the chopped pecans then pop the bowl in the fridge while you prepare the cake batter.
To make the cinnamon sugar, stir together the sugar, cinnamon and cocoa powder in a bowl. Set aside.
To make the cake batter, whisk together the pumpkin puree, oil, milk, sugars, vinegar and vanilla in a large bowl.
Whisk in the pumpkin spice, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda and salt until well combined then whisk in the flour.
Spread half of the batter into a greased and lined deep 20cm/8in round cake tin. Scatter over the cinnamon sugar evenly.
Blob the rest of the cake batter on top and gently spread it out so that the cinnamon sugar is fully covered. Scatter over the streusel evenly.
Bake for 60-65 minutes until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean.
As with all of my baking recipes I really do recommend using the metric measurements with a digital scale rather than the cup conversions. Cups are a wildly inaccurate measuring system and you will get far better, more consistent results using a scale, not to mention that it is also easier and less messy than cups!
If you are using tinned/canned pumpkin puree, make sure that it is 100% pumpkin, NOT pumpkin pie filling.
The cake is ready when it is firm to the touch and a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean or with a few moist crumbs but no wet batter.
Make sure that the cake has cooled completely before you slice it as otherwise the texture can be a little gummy.
The cinnamon sugar layer is optional, the cake will still be great without it.
This vegan pumpkin coffee cake is definitely best eaten on the day it is baked while the streusel is crisp.
It will still be good for about 3 days if stored in an airtight container at room temperature, but the streusel will soften a bit as it absorbs moisture from the cake.
How To Make Your Own Pumpkin Pie Spice:
Pumpkin pie spice blend isn’t readily available outside of the US. In the UK the closest thing we have is mixed spice (though M&S have started selling pumpkin spice and it is available online), but it is a different blend of spices to pumpkin spice so it’s not the best thing to use if you want a true pumpkin spice flavour.
The good news is that it is really easy to make your own using a few common spices – cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, cloves and allspice.
To make it, just mix together 3 Tbsp ground cinnamon, 2 tsp ground ginger, 2 tsp ground nutmeg, 1 tsp ground cloves and 1 tsp ground allspice.
You can easily halve the recipe if you only want to make a small jar of it, but the homemade pumpkin pie spice will keep in an airtight container for ages and is perfect for using in all your autumnal and festive bakes.
How To Make Pumpkin Puree:
I used tinned pumpkin puree to make this vegan pumpkin coffee cake which I get from Sainsbury’s; it can also be found in some Tesco’s, Waitrose and on Ocado and Amazon. In the supermarkets it is often hidden away in a little ‘American section’ in the world foods aisles.
If you can’t find it however it is also really easy to make your own; you just need to halve, de-seed and roast an eating pumpkin (NOT a carving one) or a butternut squash until it is tender then scoop the flesh out of the skin and puree it until smooth.
Roast it at around 200C/400F/gas mark 6. The time it takes will very much depend on how large the pumpkin/squash is so just cook it until the flesh can easily be pierced with a fork.
I don’t recommend boiling the pumpkin to cook it as that will make the puree too wet.
More Vegan Pumpkin Recipes:
I've made a lot of pumpkin recipes for the blog, here is a selection of them:
- Vegan pumpkin pecan babka
- Vegan pumpkin scones
- Vegan pumpkin spice latte cake
- Vegan pumpkin pie
- Vegan pumpkin muffins
- Vegan pumpkin bread
- Vegan pumpkin ice cream
- Vegan pumpkin cake with maple pecans and cinnamon buttercream
If you tried this recipe let me know how it went! Rate it, leave a comment or tag @domestic_gothess on Instagram and hashtag it #domesticgothess
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Vegan Pumpkin Coffee Cake
- 75 g (½ cup + 2 Tablespoons) plain (all-purpose) flour
- 45 g (3 ½ Tablespoons) light brown soft sugar
- 1 teaspoon pumpkin spice
- 60 g (¼ cup) vegan block butter cold and diced
- 50 g (1 ¾ oz) pecans roughly chopped
- 40 g (3 Tablespoons) light brown soft sugar
- 2 teaspoons cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon cocoa powder
- 260 g (1 cup + 4 teaspoons) pumpkin puree
- 85 g (100ml (⅓ cup + 4 teaspoons)) neutral oil
- 120 ml (½ cup) unsweetened non-dairy milk
- 80 g (6 Tablespoons) light brown soft sugar
- 80 g (6 ½ Tablespoons) caster or granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon vinegar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 ¼ teaspoons baking powder
- ½ teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
- 2 teaspoons pumpkin spice
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 250 g (2 cups) plain (all-purpose) flour
- Preheat the oven to 180°C/160°C fan/350°F/gas mark 4. Grease a deep, loose-bottomed 20 cm/8 in round cake tin and line the base and sides with baking parchment.
- Start by preparing the crumble topping - mix the plain flour, light brown soft sugar and pumpkin spice together in a bowl. Add the cold, diced vegan block butter and rub it in using your fingertips until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs, is clumping together and no lumps of butter remain. Stir in the chopped pecans then pop the bowl in the fridge while you prepare the cake batter.
- To make the cinnamon sugar, stir together the sugar, cinnamon and cocoa powder in a bowl. Set aside.
- To make the cake batter, whisk together the pumpkin puree, oil, milk, brown and caster sugars, vinegar and vanilla in a large bowl.
- Whisk in the pumpkin spice, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda and salt until well combined then whisk in the flour. Mix until no dry lumps remain but be careful not to overbeat the batter.
- Spread half of the batter across the base of the prepared tin. Scatter over the cinnamon sugar evenly.
- Blob the rest of the cake batter on top and gently spread it out so that the cinnamon sugar is fully covered.
- Scatter over the streusel evenly and extremely gently pat it down just slightly; don't press it into the batter.
- Bake for 60-65 minutes until the cake is firm to the touch and a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean.
- Leave the cake to cool in the tin for 20 minutes, then carefully turn it out onto a wire rack and leave to cool completely before slicing.
- See post above for tips, details and step-by-step photos.
- As with all of my baking recipes I really do recommend using the metric measurements with a digital scale rather than the cup conversions. Cups are a wildly inaccurate measuring system and you will get far better, more consistent results using a scale, not to mention that it is also easier and less messy than cups!