Super Moist Pumpkin (or Carrot) Spice Cake [vegan]

This was a cake I made when I needed an alternate vegan option alongside my very not vegan birthday cake some time ago. I wanted something that didn’t feel like the vegan option, just something that’s accidentally vegan. Substituting most ingredients in a cake is usually fine, but there’s two I sometimes struggle with: eggs and butter. I deal with the first one by avoiding any cake recipe that relies on eggs for its structure. But butter can be harder. Non dairy spreads are hit or miss sometimes, and I sometimes feel like they give an odd flavour to the cake. It just kinda tastes fake. But one awesome way of substituting butter (or even non-dairy fats) is with a fruit or vegetable puree.

Cakecrumbs' Moist Pumpkin Cake 00

Veggie purees can be used in most cakes to substitute out half the fat content (or all if you’re trying to be super health conscious). Once I’d made the decision to go the veggie puree route, the choice was immediate: pumpkin cake.

Cakecrumbs' Moist Pumpkin Cake 01

I had a batch of pumpkin puree in the freezer that I’d been looking for the perfect excuse to use. I quickly whipped up the cake batter before folding in the vibrant pumpkin.

Cakecrumbs' Moist Pumpkin Cake 02

I spent so much time being fancy with the other cake I decided to make this one completely rustic. I did lament my lack of owning a really pretty bundt pan, but went with what I had. I popped this in the oven while I fluffed around with the more complex cake.

By the time it was ready to come out of the oven, my house was full of aroma of pumpkin and spices. It smelled amazing. Cameron constantly hinted at getting a slice as soon as I’d turned it out of the tin.

Cakecrumbs' Moist Pumpkin Cake 03
The cake was a massive hit. So much so that Cam’s mum asked me to make it again for her birthday a week later. It was upon revisiting it that I ran into a massive snag. I must have left the pumpkin puree defrosting on the counter top for far too long this time, because when I opened the container it smelled kinda weird. It wasn’t a terrible off smell but enough that I didn’t trust using it.

I had no time to run to the shops to get more pumpkin and that was my last batch of puree. So I scrambled around the house for other options. I started poking around my veggie drawer in my fridge and came across a heap of carrots. I’d substituted carrot for pumpkin in a tonne of other recipes, so why not this one?

Cakecrumbs' Moist Pumpkin Cake 04

The carrot puree turned out to be a life saver. There were subtle differences between the two cakes, and in the carrot one you find the vegetable doesn’t break down as much so you get tiny flecks of orange carrot dispersed throughout it. Both were wonderful and enthusiastically demolished.

Super Moist Pumpkin/Carrot Cake
425g (15oz) fresh pumpkin or carrot, sliced

125ml (4.2fl oz) almond or coconut milk

180ml (6fl oz) vegetable oil

1 tbsp apple cider vinegar

180g (6.3oz) caster sugar

165g (5.8oz) firmly packed brown sugar

225g (8oz) plain flour

2 tsp vanilla extract

2 tsp ground cinnamon

1 tso ground ginger

1/2 tsp ground nutmeg

1/4 tsp ground cloves

1/4 tsp ground all spice

1 tbsp baking powder

1 tsp bicarbonate soda

(you may substitute spices for 2 tablespoons of pumpkin spice mix if you prefer)

for the icing

1 tsp lemon juice

2 tbsp almond or coconut milk

240g (8.5oz) icing sugar, sifted


  1. To make the vegetable puree, cook vegetables until they are just tender. You can do this by roasting them, boiling them in a pot of water, steaming them over one, or heating them in a microwave. Strain the veggies if needed, then puree them using a food processor or stick blender.
  2. Place a sieve over a medium bowl; line with a paper towel. Transfer vegetable puree into sieve and leave it to sit until it cools to draw out excess moisture.
  3. Preheat oven to 180°C (160°C fan-forced/350°F). Grease a large bundt tin (with a non-dairy fat if baking this for non-dairy requirements) and coat lightly with flour.
  4. Combine liquid ingredients together with sugars in a large jug; whisk to combine.
  5. In a large bowl sift together the remaining dry ingredients.
  6. Make a well in the centre; add liquid ingredients. Gently stir in the flour until just combined. Fold in the cooled vegetable puree.
  7. Pour into bundt tin and bake for 50 – 55 minutes. Remove from oven; allow cake to cool inside the tin for 10 minutes before turning out onto a wire rack to cool completely

For the icing
Combine ingredients in a medium size bowl and whisk until combined well. pour over the bundt cake. Top with nuts or any desired toppings.


11 thoughts on “Super Moist Pumpkin (or Carrot) Spice Cake [vegan]

  1. I made this yesterday and it was delicious! very, very moist but had a lovely texture. First time I have ever made a cake that did not use eggs or butter so this was a positive experience. Thanks for the recipe.

    • Because I live in a country that uses the metric system I am not familiar with measuring in ounces, so I use a straight and accurate conversion. The decimal points give an exact conversion from grams to ounces. If you wish to round the numbers that ball is completely in your court.

  2. Pingback: Carrot Spice Cake – @herbivorouslion's recipe archive

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