Vegan Pumpkin Pecan Cake (Gluten-free)

It’s pumpkin-everything season. Pumpkin Spice Latte. Pumpkin Pie. Pumpkin Soup. Pumpkin carving. Pumpkin candles. And my latest obsession, Pumpkin Cream Rooibos Tea. And here’s one more for ya—Pumpkin Pecan Cake. This is a have-a-friend-over-for-coffee kind of cake.

She’ll never guess it’s vegan and gluten-free. She’ll ask you for the recipe. You’ll top off her coffee (or pumpkin cream tea) and chat away.

Vegan Pumpkin Pecan Cake (Gluten-free)

The best way I can describe this dessert is a cross between carrot cake and coffee cake. It’s very moist and has a pumpkin seed-pecan crumb topping that steals the show. With about 300 calories and 17 grams of fat per serving, it’s definitely a TREAT. People too often assume vegan equals healthy.

Just because it’s vegan doesn’t mean you should have a second piece. A single piece is definitely worth the splurge, though.

Vegan Pumpkin Pecan Cake (Gluten-free)

I promise that this will be the only pumpkin recipe you see on 86 Lemons this season. One can only take so much pumpkin.

If you haven’t had your fill, then here are a few other vegan pumpkin recipes you might enjoy:  Pumpkin Oatmeal Cookies, Pumpkin Pie Smoothie, Pumpkin Spice Turnovers, Harvest Vegetable Stew in Mini Pumpkins.

Vegan Pumpkin Pecan Cake (Gluten-free)

So October is half over. Fall is way too short. At least in Michigan, it is. Winter doesn’t officially begin until December 21. But here in the land of ice and snow, the white stuff comes as early as October. I wish I didn’t know about the predictions for a winter equal to or worse than last year.

At least last year I had hope of milder weather. This year, no hope. Just doom and gloom. Oh boy, this post is going downhill fast. I’ll let it go. Ugh. Let it go. Another snow reference.

And…back to fall. Enjoy the gorgeous fall colors, the cool, crisp air, the beautiful sunsets, and the Pumpkin Pecan Cake.

Vegan Pumpkin Pecan Cake (Gluten-free)

Vegan Pumpkin Pecan Cake (Gluten-free)

Recipe type: Dessert
Cuisine: Vegan, Gluten-free, American
Serves: 12


Dry Ingredients:

  • 1 cup raw pecan pieces
  • 2 Tbsp ground flaxseed
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
  • ¼ tsp ground cloves

Wet Ingredients:

  • ¾ cup pitted Medjool dates (12), soaked*
  • 1 15 oz can pure pumpkin
  • ¼ cup pure maple syrup
  • 1 Tbsp coconut oil
  • 2 Tbsp almond milk
  • 1 tsp blackstrap molasses
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract

Crumb Topping Ingredients:

  • ½ cup raw pecan pieces
  • 2 Tbsp vegan butter spread (such as Earth Balance)
  • 2 Tbsp brown sugar
  • ½ cup roasted, unsalted pumpkin seeds


  1. Preheat oven to 350. Brush bottom and sides of 9×9 pan with a thin layer of coconut oil.
  2. Pulse 1½ cups oats in food processor until finely ground; transfer to large bowl. Pulse 1 cup pecan pieces in food processor until coarsely ground; transfer to bowl with oats. Add remaining whole oats and dry ingredients to bowl and stir until well combined. Set aside.
  3. Drain soaked dates and pulse in food processor until almost smooth. Add remaining wet ingredients to food processor and pulse until well combined.
  4. Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients; stir until completely incorporated. Transfer mixture to prepared pan; spread to evenly distribute. Bake at 350 for 10 minutes.
  5. Meanwhile, prepare crumb topping by pulsing pecans, butter and brown sugar in (clean) food processor just until very coarsely ground. Add pumpkin seeds and pulse just 2 or 3 times to combine (most of the seeds should remain whole).
  6. Remove cake from oven. Evenly distribute crumb topping over top of cake. Return cake to oven and bake 15-20 minutes more, until crumb topping just begins to brown and toothpick inserted in middle comes out clean.
  7. Allow to cool completely before cutting cake into 12 pieces.


*Dates should be soaked in warm water for about 10 minutes.

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5 thoughts on “Vegan Pumpkin Pecan Cake (Gluten-free)”

  1. This looks great! I love that it doesn’t call for specialty flours. I always have rolled oats on hand but am often deterred from gluten free baking because I never seem to have all at once all of the flours required by the recipes!

  2. I love this cake – that crumble on top looks fantastic! I love baking with oat flour and this cake looks so incredibly delicious and moist :) Pinned :)


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