Pumpkin Cake with Spiced Buttercream

It’s that time of year!!!!! Halloween is just around the corner, so that means from here until the New Year, it’s all about pumpkin. This pumpkin cake with spiced buttercream is definitely the pumpkin treat to take to all your holiday parties!

Love it or hate it, pumpkin is such a holiday flavor!  I am in the “love it” group for sure.  I love the flavor and texture pumpkin brings to dishes, and I particularly love baking with pumpkin.  Like baking with bananas, I think baking with pumpkin creates an unbeatable, moist, delicious crumb!  So to kick off pumpkin season, I had to create a pumpkin cake.

This is THE Pumpkin Treat!

I’m sure you’re being hit with pumpkin recipes left and right, so here are a few reasons why this pumpkin cake is the one you should spend your time on:

  • It’s super easy!!!  AND IT’S A ONE-BOWL RECIPE!!  Yes, that means quick and easy clean up.  Can’t beat that!
  • This recipe can be made vegan or not, I created it to work either way!  Use butter, use Earth Balance, use eggs, use flaxseed, whatever you choose, this cake will be DELICIOUS!  And I’ve got all the options already listed and figured out for you in the recipe.  Easy!
  • Make it gluten free!  Simply sub out the flour with your favorite gluten free flour blend, and you’ve got a gluten free pumpkin cake.
  • SPICED buttercream.  Need I say more?  You thought you loved classic buttercream, just wait until you try this buttercream with pumpkin pie spice!  WOW.  My daughter and I eat it straight off the spoon.  (Am I a terrible mother????)
  • This recipe makes a 9×13 inch cake, so it’s the perfect size for bringing to work or holiday parties!

Real quick before I send you down to the recipe, I need to make a recommendation that will forever change your cake frosting experiences. 

Don’t use a knife. 

If you use a knife to spread frosting, it will just be super frustrating and take forever. Ok, if it’s all you have, use a knife.  But then head on over to Amazon and order this offset spatula [aff. link] so you don’t ever have to frost cakes or cookies with a knife ever again.  I am telling you, an offset spatula will make frosting anything soooo much easier! 

Click to view or purchase my favorite offset spatula set on Amazon [aff. link].

It’s actually really fun to frost treats when you have the right tool, and an offset spatula is the right tool!  Here is my very favorite.  [aff.link]  I use it all the time.  For frosting, smoothing batter, or smoothing a casserole before baking, there are so many uses for this tool.  And it’s not expensive so you just need to do it!

Alright, now go ahead and start pumpkin season right with this delicious pumpkin cake!

5 from 1 vote

Pumpkin Cake with Spiced Buttercream

It’s that time of year! Halloween is just around the corner, so that means from here until the New Year, it’s all about pumpkin. This pumpkin cake with spiced buttercream is definitely the pumpkin treat to take to all your holiday parties!
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time30 mins
Total Time45 mins
Servings: 16
Print Recipe


Wet Ingredients

  • 1 cup pumpkin, from a can
  • 1 ½ cups brown sugar
  • ½ cup sugar
  • ½ cup coconut milk, from a can
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • ½ cup butter, regular or vegan, ALMOST melted (microwave the butter until it just about starts to melt)
  • 1 flax seed egg, (2 Tbsp ground flax seed + 3 Tbsp water)
  • OR
  • 2 eggs

Dry Ingredients

  • 1 cup almond flour
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 ½ tsp baking soda
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
  • ¾ cup chocolate chips, optional (use if not frosting the cake)

For the Spiced Buttercream

  • ½ cup butter, regular or vegan, at room temperature
  • 3 cups powdered sugar
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract, the real stuff!
  • 2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
  • 2 Tbsp almond milk, or milk of choice (but I really, really recommend using almond milk!!)


Preheat the oven

  • Preheat the oven to 375 degrees, and grease a 9x13 inch glass baking dish.

Make the flaxseed "egg"

  • If using, start by making the flaxseed egg. Simply whisk together 2 Tbsp ground flax seed and 3 Tbsp water in a small bowl. Set aside for about 5 minutes until the mixture gets goopy. Your flax seed egg is ready!

Combine the wet ingredients

  • In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the pumpkin, brown sugar, and sugar.
  • Once incorporated, add in the coconut milk and vanilla extract. Stir to combine, then mix in the butter. Now stir in the eggs or flax seed “egg.”

Add the dry ingredients

  • To the large bowl with the wet ingredients, add the flour, almond flour, baking soda, salt, and pumpkin pie spice. (Now is also the time to add in the chocolate chips if you are making this pumpkin cake with chocolate chips and no frosting.)
  • Stir everything together until you have a thick, smooth batter. Be careful not to overmix!

Bake the cake

  • Pour the batter into your greased 9x13 inch glass baking dish. Smooth the top, and make sure the batter is evenly distributed. An offset spatula works great here!
  • Bake the cake at 375 degrees for 30 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out mostly clean.
  • Let the cake cool to room temperature before frosting, or enjoy without frosting after the cake has cooled for at least 10 minutes.

Make the buttercream

  • In a food processor (my preference, but you may also use a hand held or stand mixer), add the butter, powdered sugar, salt, vanilla extract, pumpkin pie spice, and 1 Tbsp almond milk. Pulse to get things going, then mix/process until smooth. It should be pretty thick!
  • Now add the remaining 1 Tbsp almond milk. Mix/process until that last Tbsp of almond milk has thinned the frosting out a bit, and the buttercream is smooth, creamy, and still thick enough to hold its shape. Buttercream is done!

Frost the cake

  • Once the cake has cooled, use an offset spatula to frost the cake. You may use a knife if you don’t have an offset spatula, but I highly HIGHLY recommend getting one! An offset spatula will make your life so much easier!
  • Also keep in mind that the cake will be easier to frost if the frosting is at room temperature. If the frosting is cold, it will not spread as easily!

Serve and enjoy!

  • Serve this pumpkin cake with a large glass of almond milk and enjoy!


Wait for the cake to come to room temperature before frosting so the frosting doesn't melt!
Make sure the frosting is at room temperature when you frost the cake. If the frosting is cold, it will be difficult to spread.
This cake can easily be made gluten free by subbing out the flour with your favorite gluten free flour blend.
This cake can be made vegan or not by following the options listen in the recipe.

© Copyright 2021 Vanguard of Hollywood

This Post Has 2 Comments

  1. Katerina

    5 stars
    Hmmm, this looks marvelous! I definitely fall into the “love pumpkin” camp too and the spiced buttercream sounds dreamy!

    1. Shannon

      Thank you so so much!!! Such a holiday flavor, absolutely love pumpkin! ❤️

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