Vegan Pumpkin Spice Halloween Cake Landscape image

Vegan Pumpkin Spice Halloween Cake (Gluten-Free)

This is THE cake to make for Halloween as it’s light and fluffy, ghoulish and show-stopping and it’s so easy to make. This Vegan Pumpkin Spice Halloween Cake is naturally vegan, easily gluten-free and comes complete with white chocolate ghosts.

This cake has been a long time coming after I asked my friend Holly (aka The Little Blog of Vegan) if she’d like to collaborate on a Halloween cake. Rather than going down the spooky route, we wanted to make a pink cake with ghosts and then we set about making our own cakes. You can see her cake online, too, and there are some further down this post, which is pink velvet flavour. My pink Halloween cake, on the other hand, is deliciously flavoured with pumpkin pie spices and decorated with the best cardamom pink buttercream.

Vegan Pumpkin Spice Halloween Cake on a small wire rack
Vegan Pumpkin Spice Halloween Cake
Vegan Pumpkin Spice Halloween Cake with a slice out of the cake
Vegan Pumpkin Spice Halloween Cake

What makes this Vegan Pumpkin Spice Halloween Cake so special?

This Halloween cake really is a show stopper and it is:

  • Light and fluffy
  • Spiced with pumpkin pie spices
  • Cakey and moist
  • Layered and coated with a vibrant pink cardamom buttercream
  • Decorated with homemade white chocolate ghosts
  • Topped with homemade pink marble pumpkin cake balls
  • Easy to make
  • Impressive and show-stopping
  • Naturally vegan and easily gluten-free

If you are already convinced by this cake, you can read on for the recipe card, or let’s see what goes into this cake.

Vegan Pumpkin Spice Halloween Cake cut out
Vegan Pumpkin Spice Halloween Cake
Vegan Pumpkin Spice Halloween Cake slice with a fork
Vegan Pumpkin Spice Halloween Cake

What ingredients do I need?

For the cake, I based this on my favourite 6-inch layer cake recipe.

  • Plant-based milk: any milk will do here like oat, almond, soya or coconut (from the carton).
  • Lemon juice or apple cider vinegar: this helps to bind the cake as it will curdle the milk like a buttermilk would do.
  • Caster sugar: this keeps the colour of the cake a bit lighter than if using coconut sugar but coconut sugar would also work.
  • Sunflower oil: I always prefer to bake this cake with a liquid oil as the texture is amazing. You could also use a light olive oil or vegetable oil.
  • Vanilla essence: for the flavour.
  • Self-raising flour: this is essential for the rise of the cake or if you are using a GF blend make sure it has xantham gum and is a flour that you use for other baking recipes.
  • Bicarbonate of soda: this adds a bit of extra rise to the cake.
  • Pumpkin pie spices: I always make my own blend as it takes less than 1 minute and always tastes amazing. Just stir together cinnamon, ginger, mixed spice and a pinch each of cardamom and nutmeg. If you don’t have the other ingredients, cinnamon and ginger are the most important ones.

For the method, just whisk together all the wet ingredients and then sift in the dry ingredients and whisk them together for a smooth batter. Divide between two cake tins and bake until golden brown. Then allow the sponges to cool fully before decorating!

For the buttercream:

  • Vegan butter: this is best if you can allow the butter to rest at room temperature for 1-2 hours until softened.
  • Icing sugar: for the buttercream this is essential.
  • Plant-based milk: to help create the fluffy texture.
  • Vanilla essence: for the flavour.
  • Cardamom: for a little spice but you can skip this and just use vanilla buttercream.
  • Pink food gel: this turns the buttercream from delicious and creamy to vibrant pink, delicious and creamy. A little goes a long way, and this is perhaps more pink than I’d usually go for. But if you can’t go all out for Halloween, then when can you?

How do I make the white chocolate ghosts?

These are so easy to make and really effective! Simply melt some dairy-free white chocolate, add a small teaspoon of chocolate to a piece parchment paper and drag the spoon downwards and then to the side to create the ghost tail. For the eyes and mouth, I used black sprinkles. You could also use sweets for the decorations. Allow the ghosts to set in the fridge and then peel them away carefully.

I love the pink swirl pumpkin cake pops – how do I make those?

The pumpkin cake balls are simple and similar to all my other cake ball recipes, although they use the same cake as the main layered cake. I made an extra Pumpkin Spice sponge cake, allowed it to cool and then made it into crumbs. Stir it together with 80g homemade caramel (this one) and roll into balls, I chose 3 different sizes and made about 16. Chill in the fridge while you melt 50g white chocolate. Place the chocolate in a shallow bowl and drop some pink food colouring in. Use a knife to swirl the colour though then dip in the balls. Insert a small pretzel stick and set in the fridge.

Vegan Pumpkin Spice Halloween Cake top down
Vegan Pumpkin Spice Halloween Cake
Vegan Pumpkin Spice Halloween Cake on a plate
Vegan Pumpkin Spice Halloween Cake

How can I decorate this Vegan Pumpkin Spice Halloween Cake?

With the white chocolate ghosts and pumpkin cake balls, this cake is almost ready to go. I added some extra buttercream, coloured in different shades of pink and then added some white ghost sprinkles, too. (I use the sprinkles from Baking Time Club and you can save 20% with code AMY20).

Is this cake gluten-free and nut-free?

To make this Halloween cake gluten-free, simply use your favourited 1:1 GF flour blend for baking. The recipe is free from nuts, just make sure your plant-based milk is nut-free and gluten-free, if needed.

How long will this cake last?

This cake will last for 3-5 days in a sealed container or covered in the fridge or you can freeze un-frosted sponges for up to 1 month. Allow to de-frost at room temperature and then decorate the cakes as usual.

I know you will all love to see Holly’s Cake so here it is:

If you love this Vegan Pumpkin Spice Halloween Cake and want to make Halloween extra special, you can also try these recipes:

Vegan Pumpkin Spice Halloween Cake (Gluten-Free)

  • Servings: 8
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

This is THE cake to make for Halloween as it’s light and fluffy, ghoulish and show-stopping and it’s so easy to make. This Vegan Pumpkin Spice Halloween Cake is naturally vegan, easily gluten-free and comes complete with white chocolate ghosts.

Ingredients

    For the cake:
  • 240ml plant-based milk
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice or apple cider vinegar
  • 140g caster sugar
  • 80ml sunflower oil
  • 1 tsp vanilla essence
  • 210g self-raising flour or GF self-raising flour
  • 1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ginger
  • 1/4 tsp mixed spiced
  • Pinch nutmeg and cardamom, optional
  • A pinch of salt
  • For the Pink Buttercream:
  • 100g vegan butter, softened
  • 300g icing sugar
  • 1 tbsp plant-based milk
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla essence
  • Pinch cardamom, optional
  • Pink food gel
  • For decoration:
  • 50g white chocolate
  • Sprinkles
  • Cake balls*

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 160Fan/180*C and grease and line two 6-inch cake tins.
  2. Stir together the milk and lemon/vinegar and leave for 5 minutes to curdle. Now pour in the sugar, oil and vanilla and whisk until smooth.
  3. Sift in the flour, bicarbonate of soda, cinnamon, ginger, mixed spice, nutmeg and cardamom and add the salt. Whisk to reach a smooth batter but do not over-mix.
  4. Divide between the two tins and bake for 22-24 minutes until an inserted skewer comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes then remove from the tins and cool fully on a wire rack.
  5. Meanwhile, prepare the ghosts. Melt the chocolate and line a tray with parchment paper. Add a teaspoon of the chocolate mix to the paper and with the back of a tea spoon, spread the chocolate down to create a ghost shape. Repeat to make all the ghosts. Use black sprinkles to make the faces. Allow the ghosts to chill in the fridge for 20 minutes.
  6. Prepare the buttercream once the cakes are cool. Add the softened butter to a mixing bowl and use a standing or handheld mixer to beat until smooth. Gradually beat in the icing sugar, plant-based milk, vanilla, cardamom and pink food gel. Continue to beat for 2-3 minutes until really light, adding more milk if it’s too thick or more icing sugar if it’s too runny.
  7. If needed, slice the tops off of the cakes to make the tops level. Place one on a plate or serving platter. Spread on some buttercream and add on the second cake. Now add the buttercream all around the sides of the cake, using a tilted palette knife and smoothing the edges. Cover the top with the buttercream, too. If it’s warm, pop the cake in the fridge to keep the buttercream in place.
  8. Carefully peel the chocolate ghosts from the paper.
  9. If you have extra frosting, you can pipe on some stars/pumpkin shapes. Top the cake with the cake balls*, if using and decorate with the chocolate ghosts and some extra sprinkles.
  10. Store the cake in the fridge in a sealed container for 3-5 days or unfrosted cakes can be frozen for up to 1 month. Best eaten at room temperature.
  11. *for the cake balls, make one layer of Pumpkin Spice sponge cake (half the recipe above), allow it to cool and then make it into crumbs. Stir it together with 80g homemade caramel (linked above) and roll into balls, I chose 3 different sizes and made about 16. Chill in the fridge while you melt 50g white chocolate. Place the chocolate in a shallow bowl and drop some pink food colouring in. Use a knife to swirl the colour though then dip in the balls. Insert a small pretzel stick and set in the fridge.
Vegan Pumpkin Spice Halloween Cake Landscape image
Vegan Pumpkin Spice Halloween Cake

I look forward to hearing what you think of this Vegan Pumpkin Spice Halloween Cake so please let me know in the comments below. If you do make this cake, I’d love to see so please tag me in your creations, I’m @nourishing.amy on Instagram and use the hashtag #nourishingamy. I’m also on TwitterFacebook and Pinterest  – please say hello!

With pink Halloween cake love x

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