A tender moist crumb with a touch of chocolate, Vegan Pumpkin Cake with Chocolate Maple Drizzle is a crowd pleaser! Brown sugar, applesauce, coconut oil and pumpkin combine for a super moist vegan bundt cake while a touch of chocolate, cinnamon and buttery pecans offers interest and a bit of crunch. | This recipe is vegetarian and vegan.
Luckily, I was ready for it with this vegan bundt cake. I’ve made this cake several times, after making it for the first time last year. I’ve a thick spiral notebook full of recipes I’ve made, tested, remade and marked as ready, like this one. But there are plenty too that are just okay… still in the works. Not quite ready.
I’m putting the final touches on a buttery apple recipe for next week, so get your rolling-pin out and buy your favorite bag of flour.
When I tell people my secret ingredients in vegan baking, many are curious how it can be done and sometimes think I’ve used some strange, inaccessible ingredients. Then they taste the recipe with a skeptical eye, only for me to spy them reaching for another piece of… whatever.
Or here’s another scenario. Cake goes to a potluck or work. People love it, devour it… then ask for the recipe. They find said … whatever, has no eggs or dairy in it but instead has plant based subs such as coconut oil, applesauce or coconut or other nut milk.
They’re pleasantly surprised. And how….?
But I find if there’s a strong component such as chocolate, sweet potato, or spices for example., in a particular recipe, then formulating a recipe with plant based subs is an easy swap that’s virtually undetectable (I’m looking at you coconut haters). The eggs and dairy aren’t missed in these types of recipes.
I’ve seen and tasted it and have written about it before here. The more I bake, the more confident I am in these subs and sharing them in this space since I know for some Vanilla And Bean readers, this is imperative.
Because this vegan pumpkin cake contains chocolate and pumpkin, I decided to give it a go with my secret subs. It just works. The pecans add a buttery factor anyway – I think this is why I love them so much.
So if you’ve not tried plant based swaps in your baking, I hope you’ll give vegan Pumpkin Pecan Bundt Cake with Chocolate Maple Drizzle a try!
Ingredients for this Vegan Pumpkin Cake
Starting with room temperature ingredients is important so that the ingredients mix evenly and so the coconut oil wont solidify as you begin mixing. Here’s what you’ll need (see recipe card for details):
- Coconut Milk – full fat
- Maple Syrup – the real stuff!
- Cocoa Powder
- Unbleached All Purpose Flour
- Corn Starch
- Baking Powder and Soda
- Spices such as Cinnamon and Nutmeg
- Brown Sugar
- Apple Sauce
- Pumpkin Puree
Quick Guide: How to Make this Vegan Bundt Cake Recipe
The drizzle can be made several days in advance and if whipping up homemade pumpkin puree for this cake, bake and puree the pumpkin then freeze it, weeks in advance! In summary, here’s how to make this scrumptious pumpkin cake (see recipe card for details):
- First, make the maple drizzle by whisking the coconut milk, maple syrup and cocoa powder together. Whisk until smooth, then strain. Set in fridge to thicken while you make the cake.
- Second, prepare your bundt pan by oiling the pan with coconut oil including the center.
- Third, sift in the flour, corn starch, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt.
- Next, in a separate large mixing bowl, add the sugar, coconut oil, apple sauce, pumpkin puree and vanilla extract. Whisk until an emulsion is formed. Fold in the dry ingredients, then last the pecans.
- Last, pour the batter into the bundt pan and bake.
Allow to cool for about ten minutes before turning the cake out to cook completely. Super easy to make, this vegan pumpkin cake is tender, moist and such a crowd pleaser!
A Few Recipe Notes
- To flour or not to flour the bundt pan. I use a Nordic Ware bundt pan – nonstick. I simply use liquid coconut oil to throughly oil the pan. Brush the pan with a pastry brush getting all the nooks and crannies, as well as the center of the pan. No need for flour and I find it comes out beautifully every time.
- The chocolate maple drizzle is made with cocoa powder, maple and coconut milk. I chose cocoa powder because I can easily control the chocolatey-maple flavor without making it too sweet. Be sure to strain the mixture using a fine mesh strainer so it’s smooth. It’s the first thing to make so it has time to set up in the refrigerator while the cake is baking and cooling. It needs to be thick enough so that it holds on to the cake rather than running off and all over the cake plate.
- I use homemade pumpkin puree in this recipe. If using canned pumpkin puree, whisk in a few tablespoons of water to loosen it a bit.
- When mixing the wet ingredients, it’s best to start with room temperature ingredients and very warm to the touch melted coconut oil. If the ingredients are too cold, the coconut oil will turn solid. It needs to stay in a liquid state so that an emulsion can be created. If it solidifies, after all the wet ingredients are together, gently warm the wet mixture in the microwave, 20-30 seconds at a time until the coconut oil turns to a liquid state again. Whisk again.
More Bundt Cakes to Love!
- Blueberry Cinnamon Yogurt Coffee Cake
- The Ultimate Chocolate Bundt Cake by Foolproof Living
- Gluten Free Chocolate Bundt Cake by Bojon Gourmet
- Pumpkin Spice Cake Bundt by Kitchen Confidant
Pumpkin Pecan Bundt Cake with Chocolate Maple Drizzle Recipe
For the Chocolate Maple Drizzle:
- 1/2 C (125g) Full Fat Coconut Milk from a can (leftovers can be frozen)
- 3 Tbs Maple Syrup
- 3 Tbs Unsweetened Cocoa Powder dutch process, I use Rodelle
For the Cake:
- 1 3/4 C (290g) All Purpose Flour
- 2 Tbs Corn Starch
- 1 Tbs Unsweetened Cocoa Powder dutch process, I use Rodelle
- 1 1/2 tsp Baking Soda
- 1 tsp Baking Powder
- 2 1/4 tsp Cinnamon ground
- 1 tsp Nutmeg ground
- 3/4 tsp Fine Sea Salt
- 1 1/4 C (265g) Dark Brown Sugar packed
- 3/4 C (140g) Coconut Oil virgin, unrefined - melted and warm to the touch
- 1 C (245g) Unsweetened Apple Sauce room temperature
- 1 3/4 C (425g) Pumpkin Puree room temperature (see note)* not pumpkin pie
- 2 tsp Vanilla Extract or vanilla bean paste
- 1 C (120g) Pecan Pieces chopped into small bits
For the Chocolate Maple Drizzle:
- Open the can of coconut milk and whisk the solids and liquids together. Measure out 1/2 cup and pour it into a medium bowl. Add the maple syrup and cocoa powder. Whisk until the ingredients are smooth. There may be a few lumps left, just do the best you can. Strain into a lidded storage container and set in fridge to thicken while you make the cake.
For the Cake:
- Throughly coat a 10" (25cm) bundt pan with coconut oil including the center. Using a pastry brush or paper napkin, be sure to get all the nooks and crannies. Set aside. Preheat the oven to 350F (180C) and set an oven rack in the center.
- In a medium mixing bowl, sift in the flour, corn starch, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt. Set aside.
- In a large mixing bowl, add the sugar, coconut oil, apple sauce, pumpkin puree and vanilla extract. Whisk until an emulsion is formed, until all the ingredients become incorporated and there's no separation. If the coconut oil solidifies, which it has for me before, gently warm the mixture in the microwave for 20 seconds at a time - the oil will melt again - give it a good whisk and you're off!.
- Add the dry ingredients to the wet in two batches, folding the ingredients together just until there are no patches of flour. Try not to over mix - think gentle folding. Add the pecan bits and gently fold them in. Pour the mixture into the prepared bundt pan and give it a gentle tap on the counter to tap out any air bubbles. Bake at 350F (180C) for 50 to 55 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. The cake will be springy under gentle pressure.
- Set cake, while still in the pan, on a cooling rack. Cool for 20 minutes, then turn out cake on to cooling rack. Allow cake to cool completely (several hours) before pouring the drizzle over the cake.
- Before serving, give the drizzle a good stir. Do a test pour on the back of a spoon to see if the drizzle is the consistency you're after for the cake. It needs to be thick, but no so thick it doesn't drizzle. If it's too thick, let it come up to room temperature a bit. Pour over and around on cake. Serve any extra with individual slices or save it for ice cream :D .
- The cake will store in a covered container, at room temperature for up to three days.
I made this for a co-worker’s birthday. No substitutions. It was absolutely perfect, and everyone loved it! I’ll definitely be making this again. Tastes and smells like fall comfort food.
Hooray Kristi! Thank you for giving the recipe a go and coming back and leaving a note. I’m SO happy to hear everyone enjoyed the cake!
I made this for the 3rd time yesterday and it didn’t fail like always. I used a very light olive oil from Costco, and put 1/4 tsp of corn starch which thickened up the drizzle really well. For that I used agave syrup because it’s what I have. Also didn’t put the nuts because I forgot. Also didn’t have nutmeg spice so I just subbed with pumpkin spice. The house smelled so good when I was baking it! Thank you again, Traci!
Hi Mechelle! Thank you for your note, giving the recipe a go and sharing your subs! So happy to hear you’re enjoying the cake!
This is the second time I am making it! This time lightened it up a bit and used 1/2 applesauce and 1/4 cups of oil and 1/2 cups of almond flour. Also didn’t/ couldn’t make the drizzle today as I’m out of chocolate powder. For the cake, I used a tbsp of my chocolate protein powder instead. No pecans either! With all the changes, I am happy to report that my 8 year old baby and pickiest water likes it very much! Thank you so much for the keeper recipe!
Made this during our corona virus lockdown. I just happened to have all the ingredients. My husband and I thoroughly enjoyed it and I will definitely make it again. Thanks for sharing.
Hi Kristina! Such a good time bake… Thank you for your note and rating. So happy you had all the ingredients on hand and that you and your husband enjoyed it!
I forgot to mention that I omitted the pecans because I didn’t have any. Still very good!
Made this the other day for our Life Group for church on Saturday and it was a hit! Definitely keeping this recipe! Thanks for sharing!
This cake looks scrumptious! I’m allergic to nuts except peanuts. I may just omit the pecans. I did consider adding peanuts but that may throw off the taste. I really want to taste this delicious looking cake.
Hi Tori! Feel free to leave the nuts out… it’ll be fine! LMK if you give it a go. It really is simple to pull together!
Just came across your blog while browsing pinterest. :) Question, though: Have you tried using cassava flour in a recipe like this? My kiddos can’t have wheat or nut flours, so I’m curious if you’re familiar with using cassava flour at all? I’ve only made crackers with it before. Beautiful blog! Pinning all the things! :)
Hi Brooke! Thank you for kind words, pinning and stopping by! I’ve never tried using cassava flour, so I’m completely unfamiliar with it. My friends at Bob’s Red Mill have a nice selection of cassava flour recipes though. I hope this helps!
The cake looks so delicious. I can smell it. Is it possible to use cake flour instead of plain flour and cornstarch? Since cake flour already has cornstarch? What do you suggest? Thank you very much.
Hi Sara! I’m not sure what plain flour is, so I’m unable to recommend it. I’ve only made/tested this recipe as written.
Sarah @ Making Thyme for Health
My lord, this has to be the most beautiful and enticing cake I’ve ever seen. It is just stunning. I’m kind of wishing I would have made this instead of the pumpkin pie for Thanksgiving, lol. But there’s still Christmas! ;)
Oh Sarah! I’m blushing… thank you so much. :D It’s never too late for cake!!
I love this cake and that it is vegan! I know many people are turning vegan for health reasons and this is a perfect holiday cake that can be made throughout the season! It is stunning! My favorite shot is the ingredient shot. It has shades of orange,brown and white which are so pretty!!! and ofcourse the drizzle shot!! BEautiful post! :)
Thank you Amisha! Food is so colorful.. I love ingredient shots too.
Laura | Tutti Dolci
Such a stunner – that chocolate maple drizzle is calling my name. I love pumpkin with chocolate, so thank you for this beauty! :)
Oh my goodness, Larua… it’s SO good on ice cream too! OMG!
I made this last weekend (as written!) and it turned out amazing! It’s super moist but not gooey, and the drizzle was really good. Only downside, since I whisked everything by hand and didn’t use a mixer was a tired arm! I will say the drizzle was a little looser than I expected. It didn’t look that way, and I thought it wouldn’t even pour after taking it out of the fridge, but it slowly ran down the cake and onto the plate. I thought the cake was cool, but it might have been slightly warm still, but it sure tasted great. I took it to bunco and everyone loved it (and was surprised it was vegan).
Thank you for your note, Hilary! Hooray for the surprise at bunco! You know, I whisk everything by hand too for this recipe… a good workout indeed, hehe! I think coconut milk thickness varies from brand to brand, so that may have been why it didn’t thicken perhaps as much as anticipated (unless the cake was slightly warm). I’ll make a note of the coconut milk I use for the drizzle. SO happy y’all enjoyed it! And thank you for your note. I appreciate it! :D
Goodness! This looks WONDERFUL!
Thank you so much, Jennifer!
Such a gorgeous presentation, bundt cakes are always stunners! Love the combination of maple, pumpkin, and chocolate, a perfect profile of fall flavors!
Hiii Luci! Thank you for your note… they are SO pretty aren’t they? I’m tempted to get a different bundt pan, but my tiny kitchen wont have it! I love chocolate and pumpkin too ;D .
This bundt cake is perfection of flavors and looks. Such a good treat my dear. I would take this over tarts any day. Love the pecan in it. Your posts one of the most detailed and so well laid out. Love the drizzle on the cake. In fact, I do enjoy vegan cakes so much, I find it less buttery(just the weird me), I should give this a try soon.
Thank you Ash! The pecans are such a nice addition and add just a pop of texture throughout. I do love butter, but enjoy it in moderation… Mostly in cookies and pastry :D I hope you enjoy the cake my dear xo
Alexandra | Occasionally Eggs
But your vegan chocolate shortbread is so good, Traci! Although coming from a person who hasn’t had butter in years, maybe I’ve forgotten how good it is? Hah. I will definitely be making this for Graham and I sometime soon! That shiny chocolate glaze is just calling my name.
I agree! I get it, Alexandra! I think you’ve forgotten. It is an occasional food for me anyway, so taking advantage of it’s flavor when I do have it is a must! I hope you and Graham enjoy the cake… that glaze is magic on bourbon vanilla bean ice cream! (Cashew Based! :D ) xo
What a beauty Traci (that drip…) – I agree that there are so many ways to enliven the taste and keep the moist factor in baking while still meeting dietary needs or preferences. Thank you for sharing your top tips. Also appreciate how hard you work to get those recipes tasting just right before sharing. I’m looking forward to your all butter shortbread ;o)
Right… that drip is everything! Thank you Kelly! I’m working on a triple chocolate mocha cookie that’s all buttery.. I’m going for a soft texture… shortbread to follow :D After all, it’s cookie season!
What a beautiful cake Traci! That glaze has my heart! xx
Thank you so much Natasha! :D
Geraldine | Green Valley Kitchen
This is one good looking cake, Traci! Love the pumpkin and chocolate combo – so good together! Like your recipe, I usually use apple sauce as an egg replacer when baking and it works well. I haven’t tried flax seed as a replacement – have you tried that yet? Have a great weekend!
Thank you Geraldine! It happens almost every time I work with Pumpkin… the chocolate makes an appearance! It’s a perfect pair. I find apple sauce does work well in some recipes, others not as much. It really just denpends on what I’m trying to achieve. I haven’t been able to get the texture I want in cookies, but in cakes, it’s an easy swap. I need to test some more cookies! I’ve only tried flax a few times in baking and I’ve not gotten it to work for me. :/ I may be doing something wrong. xo
This is just beautiful! I may just have to add this to my Thanksgiving dessert table! Thanks so much for sharing Traci <3
Thank you Liz! I hope you enjoy the recipe!
Mary Ann | The Beach House Kitchen
I think you know my love for bundt cakes Traci, and this one certainly does not disappoint! That chocolate glaze looks just amazing! I can’t wait to try this one out with your plant based swaps! Thanks so much for sharing this gorgeous dessert Traci! Happy Weekend!
Thank you Mary Ann..! what is it about bundts that makes them so lovely?
Looks beautiful! Thanks again. Now for the purchase of a bundt pan.
I was gifted a Wilton flower bundt pan and made this beauty today. It turned out more like a mud cake, which happens to be my favourite kind of cake, so I was loving it! ..with a gooey rich centre.
I made a few swaps since I didn’t have all the ingredients:
I went totally nuts with this which is ironic since I was completely out of nuts, so I omitted them.
Only light brown sugar so I added 1 T molasses to 1 cup packed light brown sugar
No applesauce, so I used 3/4 cup avocado and 2 T olive oil
1 extra T cocoa powder, and 2 tsp. extra pumpkin spice with 1 T. Bourbon
And .. I couldn’t help throwing in a cup of super dark chocolate chips to the bundt batter, which is probably why it turned into that yummy, gooey, rich chocolatey mud middle.
I ended up making a coffee cocao maple drizzle:
No coconut milk so I used 1/2 cup dark rich coffee mixed with 4 T’s rich coconut butter, 4 T’s maple syrup and 4 T’s unsweetened cocoa powder.
It turned out so lovely and Yummy! Yay! My first bundt/mud cake was a total success! I’m so proud.
Now to buy all the ingredients and actually make “this” cake as instructed above ;) Thank you so much for the inspiration and lovely recipe!
Thank you for your note Sabell and sharing your take on this cake! That’s the fun of recipes, making them your own, if so inclined. Hooray for making a bundt too!
Abby @ Heart of a Baker
Ohh pumpkin and chocolate?! I am IN! I think I normally go for pies on Thanksgiving, but this year I think I’m going to switch to this beauty of a bundt cake!
I’m with you, Abby.. I’m in love with the combination too :D I hope you enjoy the recipe! xo
I’m always looking for something besides pumpkin pie for Thanksgiving as I’m the only one who indulges in that. This covers both pumpkin and chocolate in one swoop (that glaze could cover anything and be good I think!) plus I think leftovers with coffee for breakfast the next day might be calling my name as well!
Right? And as much as I love pie.. I’m a cake fan for Thanksgiving as well. Leftovers are even better with coffee in hand!
Traci, this cake is gorgeous! And the overhead shot of the ingredients is stunning! I know I should never be surprised by the beauty of your posts but they always catch me! Have a great day, my friend! xo
Thank you, Annie! Winter squash is so photogenic! xo
Liz @ Floating Kitchen
Oh my gosh, Traci. This bundt is a looker! Love the flavor combo and I too love surprising people with vegan baked goods and seeing the shock on their face. Lol. It’s good to open peoples minds sometimes! I hope you have a fabulous weekend!
LOL – right? For some, the word vegan is so stand offish.. Vegan food is good food! Alright my dear… you too have a fabulous weekend! xo
Karen @ Seasonal Cravings
Love, love, love. This is simply gorgeous and I love all of your step by step photos. This would be a welcome addition to any holiday table!
Awhh.. thank you Karen! That means so much. :D
Tessa | Salted Plains
This is a beauty, Traci. That chocolate maple drizzle sounds divine – oh my! It is so funny the reaction when people realize what ingredients were missing, yet, they wouldn’t have known otherwise. I kind of love it – whole food for the win! xoxo
Thank you lady! I love surprising people at how good vegan food can be… and how approachable the recipes are! FTW! xo