Rich & Spicy Chocolate Pumpkin Cake (Vegan!)

best vegan chocolate cake

You will not be disappointed with this gorgeous, delicious dark chocolate cake! It might not be quite the right time of year when everyone is oooh-ing and aaahhh-ing over pumpkin, but it doesn’t matter. I encourage you to drop everything and make it now.

This recipe is respectfully and lovingly adopted from The Conscious Kitchen. This was a beautiful blog full of amazing recipes and stunning food photos- and the most decadent truffles and cupcake ideas- but this blog is no longer with us. Try making this cake and be amazed by its depth of flavor, hot and spicy kick, and chocolate richness. I have had equal success with canned pumpkin puree and homemade mashed sweet potatoes or homemade pumpkin puree (I’ve also made this with cherry preserves instead of pumpkin!).

I made this for a holiday party a few years ago and people LOVED it. Topped with foraged pink peppercorns and fresh rosemary for a holiday vibe.

best vegan chocolate cake

Spiced Chocolate Pumpkin Cake with Whipped Ganache

3 oz chopped dark chocolate
¾ cup pumpkin purée -or- homemade sweet potato or pumpkin puree
½ cup liquid (water or coffee)
2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
½ cup packed brown sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla
¼ cup liquid coconut oil
½ tsp sea salt
¼ cup cocoa powder
1 cup all purpose flour
½ tsp baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon each ground nutmeg, ground allspice, and ground cloves
⅛ teaspoon ground cayenne pepper

  1. Preheat oven to 350. Prepare an 8” cake pan (round or square) with parchment on the bottom and oiled sides.
  2. Break chocolate into small pieces into a glass bowl, and place over a saucepan of boiling water to gently melt.  Stir the chocolate constantly and remove the bowl from atop the pan when just melted (this is the fake double-broiler method).
  3. In a medium bowl, whisk together the pumpkin/sweet potato, liquid, vinegar, sugar, vanilla, oil and sea salt.
  4. In another large bowl, sift together the cocoa powder, flour, baking soda and baking powder. Add in spices and whisk to combine.
  5. Pour liquid into dry mixture while whisking until combined in a smooth batter. Pour in melted chocolate and whisk well to combine. Scrape batter into prepared pan and bake 30-40 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.
  6. Cool on a rack for 10 minutes, then remove from pan and continue cooling.  Let cool completely before frosting- it is actually good to put the cake in your freezer for about an hour to make sure the cake keeps its shape.

Whipped Ganache

The Conscious Kitchen wrote, “feel free to leave out the margarine if you prefer. It will be a firmer and dryer ganache and you will want a pinch of salt if omitted. If needed, soften with a little additional non-dairy milk and give gloss with agave.”

8 oz. chocolate, chopped (use a mix of semi-sweet- about three chocolate bars or one bag of chocolate chips)
3/4 cup non-dairy milk
½ cup Earth Balance (one stick) at room temperature
2 tablespoons agave nectar
1 teaspoon vanilla

  1. Place chopped chocolate in a large glass bowl
  2. In a small saucepan or in the microwave, heat non-dairy milk until just boiling. Pour over the chocolate and let stand one minute, then begin to whisk slowly (hand or electric). Whisk until smooth, then add Earth Balance, agave and vanilla. Whisk about 3 minutes or until smooth and thick, but still glossy and light.


This post may contain some affiliate links. Currently I am affiliated with Avocado and Mountain Rose Herbs, and Amazon Affilaites to support my favorite supplements and superfoods. If you purchase something from these links I make a small commission that supports my work and keeps the site running. Thanks for supporting Vibrant Wellness Journal! 


About Andrea Bertoli 597 Articles
A vegan chef, cookbook author, wellness educator, writer, surfer, and yogi based in Honolulu. Follow my delicious adventures on Instagram


  1. If you know me, you would now that I have spent countless hours in the kitchen playing with recipes and tasting delicious (and not so delicious) creations. This creation, however, takes the cake. Just the smell of the dry ingredients and the wet ingredients individually was something I’ve never experienced. Delicious beyond measure. The consistencies were spot on as well. After completely mixed, the texture and aroma were exquisite. I’ve never had a texture like this. Seriously amazing!!!! And this is all before tasting it. Simply lovely! Stay beYOUtiful Andrea!

    • i am stoked you like it stacey! I’ve also spent countless hours in the kitchen making less-than delicious creations- it’s all part of the process- and I’ve found I learn so much from my mistakes. you should try to gingerbread too- another super easy and delicious cake for your holiday festivities <3

  2. The spiced chocolate pumpkin cake sounds incredible. My husband loves anything pumpkin – throughout the year, not just around autumn. We moved to Florida 3 years ago and the baking here just isn’t the same as home (New York). If you love pumpkin cake, I recommend you check out CrumbCakeCreations for
    New York Style Crumb Cakes. To die for! We order around the holidays and enjoy thoroughly.
    This recipe looks really easy – I’m going to give it a shot and see what the grandkids think!

3 Trackbacks / Pingbacks

  1. happy birthday cooking class! « bakery manis
  2. Crafting a Green World | The home for green crafts and tutorials!
  3. Spotted: Homemade Pumpkin Spice Latte, and 17 More Pumpkin Recipes |

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.