Pumpkin Spice Chocolate Chip Layer Cake (Vegan Gluten-Free)

Three layers of delicious and fluffy Pumpkin Spice Chocolate Chip Layer Cake with chocolate cream cheese yoghurt frosting, pecans and dark chocolate ganache combine in this vegan, wholesome and gluten-free cake.

If you love all things pumpkin spice and chocolate chip then this is the cake for you. It has three layers of light, fluffy and tender pumpkin sponge cake made with real pumpkin and pumpkin spices all sandwiched together with the best cream cheese and yoghurt protein mousse frosting. To take this cake to a real showstopper, I love the dark chocolate ganache on top which is just dark chocolate and coconut cream. I’ve added pecans and sprinkles on top for a cosy, autumnal feel.

A Pumpkin Spice Chocolate Chip Cake with three layers
Pumpkin Spice Chocolate Chip Layer Cake

Why will I love this cake?

This cake is amazing:

  • Light, fluffy, tender and spongey
  • Moist, warmingly spiced and chocolatey
  • Made with real pumpkin and pumpkin spices
  • Comes together in one bowl in 10 minutes or less
  • Easy to make
  • Naturally egg-free, dairy-free and vegan
  • Easily nut-free and gluten-free
  • Great to make for celebrations, parties and gatherings
  • Delicious for all the family to enjoy
  • Makes a small 6-inch layer cake perfect for 8 slices
  • Filled with luscious heathier cream cheese and yoghurt frosting
  • Made with wholesome ingredients
  • Topped with 2-ingredient dark chocolate and coconut cream ganache

If you already love the sound of this layer cake then skip ahead to the recipe card below. Or, first let’s discuss the recipe in more detail.

What ingredients do I need?

You can see the ingredients in full in the recipe card and see my favourites in the “shop the recipe” section below.

For the sponges:

  • Plant-based milk and apple cider vinegar: when mixed together, this creates a homemade buttermilk which is great for binding egg-free batters.
  • Pumpkin puree: I use tinned pumpkin puree but you can also make your own. Make sure it’s 100% pumpkin as the only ingredient.
  • Thick coconut yoghurt: this adds moisture and healthy fats and makes the cakes really spongey. I use the Cocos Organic natural or vanilla yoghurt here as they are really thick and creamy.
  • Olive oil: or you can use sunflower oil to make the cakes light and cakey.
  • Coconut sugar: to keep this refined sugar free, I love baking with coconut sugar as it’s caramel-like in flavour and colour but you can use golden caster or light brown sugar, too.
  • Vanilla essence and salt: for flavour.
  • Self raising flour: to keep this cake really light. If using gluten-free flour, make sure it’s a 1:1 baking flour blend that contains xanthan gum to help bind the batter.
  • Raising agents: to add extra rise.
  • Pumpkin pie spices: for all the flavour. You can follow the recipe as it is, or use ½ tbsp cinnamon with ¼ tsp ginger, 1/8 tsp allspices and a pinch each of cardamom and clove.
  • Dark chocolate chips: or use a bar of chocolate, chopped up, for adding into the cake sponges. The smaller the batter as it makes it easier to slice the cake once decorated.

For the frosting:

  • Thick coconut yoghurt: as above.
  • Vegan cream cheese: I love adding cream cheese to frosting as it’s less sweet and adds a great tanginess. I use the Cocos Organic one as it’s totally natural and made with great gut healthy ingredients. NUSH is also a great one to use.
  • Maple syrup: to make the frosting silky smooth. You can also use agave syrup.
  • Cocoa powder: to make the frosting rich and chocolatey.
  • Vegan chocolate protein powder: this thickens the frosting making it sturdy enough to hold the cake together while being really thick and luscious.
  • Pecans: for adding in between the cakes and on top. If make this cake nut-free, swap these for chopped chocolate.
  • Dark chocolate: for the ganache, You can use your favourite dark chocolate here, I like at least 70%.
  • Coconut cream: this is the solid part of a chilled tin of full-fat coconut milk and you can also find pure coconut cream in small tins, too.

Is this gluten-free and nut-free?

Yes this is easily gluten-free as long as you use gluten-free flour blend that you’d use 1:1 in other bakes. As for nuts, skip the pecans for more chocolate and check all of your other ingredients for nuts like chocolate, milk, yoghurt and cream cheese.

A slice of Pumpkin Spice Chocolate Chip Layer Cake on a plate
Pumpkin Spice Chocolate Chip Cake Slice

How do I make this?

This cake is so easy to make despite being a showstopper and I use the Salter Bakes Stand Mixer which is so easy to use and is quiet and lightweight, too.

  • Whisk together the wet ingredients: until smooth.
  • Sift in the dry ingredients: and whisk to a smooth batter.
  • Fold in the chocolate chips: being careful to not over-mix the batter.
  • Divide between the three cake tins: and smooth over the tops.
  • Bake for 28 minutes or until springy: and allow to cool.
  • Whisk together all the frosting ingredients: until smooth and thick.
  • Melt together the dark chocolate and coconut cream: for the ganache.
  • Trim the cake tops to make them flat: this is important so that the layers are even and sturdy.
  • Spread ½ the frosting over one cake: and spread it out. Add some pecans to the middle.
  • Top with the second cake and more frosting: more pecans and add the third cake.
  • Pour over the ganache and spread out: adding some pecans and sprinkles.

How long will this last?

This cake will keep for 2-3 days in the fridge in a sealed container although best enjoyed at room temperature so allow it to sit for 30 minutes. You can freeze the unfrosted cakes for 1 month, wrapped up well, and allow to defrost before filling and decorating.

The inside texture of the Pumpkin Spice Chocolate Chip Layer Cake
Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Three Layer Cake

What else can I bake?

If you’re looking for more seasonal bakes:

A Pumpkin Spice Chocolate Chip Cake with three layers

Pumpkin Spice Chocolate Chip Layer Cake (Vegan Gluten-Free)

Yield: 8-10
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 28 minutes
Total Time: 48 minutes

Three layers of delicious and fluffy Pumpkin Spice Chocolate Chip Layer Cake with chocolate cream cheese yoghurt frosting, pecans and dark chocolate ganache combine in this vegan, wholesome and gluten-free cake.


For the Cakes:

  • 360ml plant-based milk
  • 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 200g pumpkin puree
  • 90g thick coconut yoghurt
  • 90ml olive oil
  • 200g coconut sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla essence
  • 360g self-raising flour
  • 1 tbsp pumpkin pie spices
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • ¼ tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 90g dark chocolate chips

For the Frosting:

  • 160g thick coconut yoghurt
  • 60g vegan cream cheese
  • 2 tbsp maple syrup
  • 2 tbsp cocoa powder, sifted
  • 2 tbsp chocolate protein powder, sifted
  • ½ tsp cinnamon or pumpkin spice
  • 40g pecans, crushed

For the Chocolate Ganache:

  • 80g dark chocolate, chopped small
  • 30g coconut cream*
  • Sprinkles


  1. Preheat the oven to 160Fan/180ºC and grease three 6-inch cake tins and line the bottoms with parchment paper.
  2. Stir together the milk and vinegar and leave to rest for 5 minutes to curdle.
  3. For the cake batter: add the milky mix, pumpkin puree, yoghurt, oil, sugar and vanilla to the mixing bowl and whisk together on a low speed until combined. Now sift in the flour, pumpkin pie spices, baking powder and bicarbonate of soda. Add a pinch of salt and whisk again on low to reach a smooth and uniform batter – be careful to not over-mix. Now use a spatula to fold in the chocolate chips.
  4. To bake: divide the cake batter equally between the three cake tins and smooth over the tops. Bake in the middle of the oven for 28 minutes, or until risen, springy and an inserted skewer comes out clean.
  5. To cool: leave the cakes in the tins for 10 minutes then carefully lift out to cool fully on a wire rack. Pop the cakes in the fridge until you need them, this makes them easier to decorate and slice later.
  6. For the frosting: whisk together the yoghurt, cream cheese, maple syrup, cocoa powder, protein powder and pumpkin spices until smooth and luscious.
  7. Make the ganache: add the chocolate and coconut cream to a heatproof bowl and gently warm together until glossy and smooth (either in the microwave at 5-10 second intervals or over a pan of simmering water).
  8. Assemble the cake: slice the tops off the cakes so they flat (eat these scraps). Place on cake on a plate and cover with half the frosting. Sprinkle on some pecans and top with a second cake. Add the rest of the frosting, smooth over and add more pecans. Top with the third cake and now pour over the ganache. Spread the ganache over the top while it’s still warm. Decorate with pecans and sprinkles.
  9. Use a large knife to slice the cake into pieces and enjoy straight away.
  10. Cover any leftovers and keep airtight in the fridge for 2-3 days or you can freeze the sponges, wrapped well, before frosting for 1 month. Allow to defrost before decorating.

Shop the recipe

Stay in touch

I look forward to hearing what you think of this Pumpkin Spice Chocolate Chip Layer Cake so please let me know in the comments below and leave a star review above. If you do make this, I’d love to see so please tag me, I’m I’m @nourishing.amy on Instagram and use the hashtag #nourishingamy. I’m also on TwitterFacebook and Pinterest  – please say hello!

With pumpkin spice love x

p.s. this recipe was first made with Salter and their stand mixer which I love although all opinions are my own and this blog post is not sponsored.

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