Vegan pumpkin bread with maple frosting

Vegan pumpkin bread with maple frosting

vegan pumpkin bread

I am despairing a little bit as when I sat down to plan all my recipes up until Xmas, I realised that 75% of them are sweets!! What can I say, I love tarts, cakes and cookies, and in an ideal world, I would devote this blog to them alone. This would not be a very wise move, however, as I don’t just love making them…

So in a bid to inject some balance into my life, I tend to make more savoury dishes and punctuate them with an occasional sweet post. As balance isn’t something that the festive period is famous for, this rule will be thrown out in the upcoming months as I desperately need to get rid of all the festive dessert ideas percolating in my head while they are still seasonally appropriate. You don’t mind, do you? 😉 .

This vegan pumpkin bread is dedicated to one of my readers, Dominika, who emailed me the other day asking for a pumpkin bread recipe. As I happen to love pumpkin and Xmas spices, she was in luck. I was happy to oblige. I have had to make my own pumpkin puree as it isn’t something that the UK is big on and given how straight forward it is – I simply cubed and steamed my pumpkin and then blended it using a food processor – I was happy to do so. If you live in the US or any other country where pumpkin puree is an autumn staple, you’ll be able to make this bread in half the time.

This pumpkin bread is deliciously decadent, studded with crunchy pecans, beautifully enhanced with a range of autumn-reminiscent spices and topped with an indulgent maple frosting. One of my test versions included dark chocolate chunks in the bread too, but I concluded that it’s possibly too much. However, if you aren’t keen on frosting, but want to give it something a little bit extra, be sure to include those instead.

vegan pumpkin bread making

vegan pumpkin bread decorating

vegan pumpkin bread frosted

1kg / 2lb loaf
25 min
50 min
1kg / 2lb loaf
25 min
50 min

  • ¼ cup coconut cream (from a tin of full fat coconut milk, I use this brand)
  • 4 tbsp maple syrup, adjust to taste
  • 3 tbsp lemon juice
  • 2 tsp vanilla essence
  • 225 g / 1½ cups cashews, soaked overnight or in boiling water for 1 hr


  • 300 ml / 1¼ cups pumpkin puree*
  • 60 ml / ¼ cup mild tasting oil (if using coconut oil, melted)
  • 80 ml / 1/3 cup almond milk (or other thin plant milk)
  • 175 g / ¾ cup + 2 tbsp coconut sugar or demerara sugar**
  • 2 tsp lemon / lime juice (or white wine vinegar)


  • 225 g / 1¾ cups + 1 tbsp all purpose white flour, GF cake flour mix or buckwheat flour, sifted
  • 1¼ tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1½ tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ginger
  • ½ tsp nutmeg
  • ½ tsp allspice
  • ¼ tsp cloves
  • 5 green cardamom pods, seeds crushed
  • 150 g / 5 oz pecans, chopped coarsely

MAPLE FROSTING (make ahead if you can!)

  1. PLEASE NOTE that this recipe yields 1½ cups of frosting, enough to ice two cakes, but I do not recommend halving it as this is the smallest amount the blender can handle.
  2. Put all the liquid ingredients: coconut cream, maple syrup, lemon juice and vanilla extract at the bottom of the blender.
  3. Rinse the cashews and chop them roughly. If you own a very powerful blender (like a Vitamix or Blendtec) this step may be completely redundant, but with my average blender, this is the only way I can achieve a smooth consistency without adding too much liquid.
  4. Add about a quarter of the chopped cashews. Process until smooth then add another quarter and process until smooth. Continue until you’ve added all the cashews.
  5. Towards the end, the mixture will become very thick and heavy and your blender may struggle to turn. To remedy this, start making circles on the surface of your mixture (in the direction of the turning blades) with a spatula to prevent air pockets forming under the mixture’s surface. Be careful not to dip the spatula in too deep as you don’t want to accidentally touch the turning blades. If you follow the technique I’ve described above, there should be enough moisture in this recipe to turn the cashews into a smooth and creamy frosting.
  6. Place the mixture in the refrigerator for a few hours to firm up, or if you are pressed for time, place it in the freezer for 45 minutes.


  1. Warm up the oven to 180° C / 355° F and grease a 900 g / 2 lb cake tin with a few drops of oil.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, combine the pumpkin puree with the oil, almond milk, sugar and lemon juice in a large bowl. Mix very well.
  3. Sift the flour and the remaining dry ingredients into a smaller bowl and mix well. Alternatively, you could sift them straight into the wet ingredients, but make sure you combine everything thoroughly.
  4. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ones in three batches, mixing well each time.
  5. Mix until there is no dry flour left, but do not overmix (that’s only important if you are using a flour containing gluten)!
  6. Fold half the pecans into the cake batter gently.
  7. Transfer the batter into the prepared baking tin. It should be fairy thick.
  8. Bake for about 50 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out fairy clean (this cake should be moist). Remove the cake from the oven and allow it to cool down completely before removing from the tin and applying the frosting.
  9. Use a serrated knife to slice the cake – it produces neater looking slices.

*I made my own pumpkin puree by steaming cubed butternut squash (yes, it’s a type of pumpkin) for about 40 minutes and blending it in a food processor until smooth. You can use any fleshy pumpkin you like.

I used a 2 lb / 900 g cake tin of the following dimensions: 18.5cm / 7″ x 8cm / 3″ x 6cm / 2.5″. (I used one like this).

Although I give approximate US cup measurements for ease, I encourage you to weigh your dry ingredients when baking. Baking is a science and using cups for dry ingredients is an inherently imprecise measuring method. An incorrect measuring of flour can ruin a perfectly good cake, for example.

24 g
24 g
4 g
6 g
47 g
*per serving
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11 reviews, 25 comments
This is delicious.. really cardomeny and a great way of using pumpkin (we have a ginormous one left over from Halloween). I used sunflower seeds instead of cashews for the frosting which worked OK, not as lovely white but tasted nice. Another great recipe from this site :)
    Thank you Yanika, I am so happy to hear that you enjoyed it and thanks for letting me know. PS: this is a new version of this cake that I've been making lately and the frosting is to die for - thought you may enjoy this one too. x Ania
Lea Baudner:
Amazing recipe, tried it multiple times already and it's definitely foolproof!
For the next time, I'd like to make it with less/no sugar as I'm using another type of artificial sugar - now my question: Is the sugar necessary for anything else but the sweet taste? E.g. to hold it all together, etc.?
Thank you in advance :)
    Thank you, Lea! I’m delighted to hear that you enjoyed this cake so much that you made it several times already and I really appreciate you taking the time to leave this lovely review. As for the sugar, yes, it does contribute more than just sweetness to cakes. Sugar is responsible for that shiny browned crust, adds moisture and structure too so I would not recommend getting rid of it completely. I have no experience of using artificial sweeteners, I'm afraid. x Ania
Hi Ania, I've been cooking from your recipes for quite some time now and thought I'd finally leave a reply. I absolutely adore this bread! The flavour reminds me of Dutch Kruidnoten, which I haven't had in a long time, so I thoroughly enjoyed this amazing pumpkin bread. The consistency is just perfect (I used buckwheat flour), it's all very well balanced. Will definitely be making this more often! It also freezes very well, which is a plus as I would otherwise eat it all in a day or two..
Just a wee question, do you reckon I could use pumpkin seeds in stead of pecan nuts, or is there something else nut free that you could recommend? I'll be making this for friends, hopefully soon, but it has to be nut free.
Thank you so much for all your amazing recipes!
    Aw, thank you so much for your kind words, Aicha! I'm delighted to hear that you enjoyed it so much. As for your question, yes, absolutely. They should work just fine - perhaps it may be a nice idea to toast them a little in the oven first (180° C / 355° F for approx. 8 minutes). Other than pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds are the only other replacement that comes to mind. Hope this helps! Ania
Just made it yesterday and this recipe is definitely a keeper! It looks great even without the frosting, it's moist and easy to make (I roasted my pumpkin). Had only cane sugar so subbed the original suggestion for that (much less sugar went in as cane sugar is sweeter). Thank you Anita for sharing another great recipe!
    Thanks Kasia, I'm so happy to hear that! Ania
Theresa Maday:
I made the pumpkin bread with buckwheat flour and half the sugar and it was delicious. The addition of cardamom makes this loaf really special. I’m always looking for recipes using it. Lovely addition to a cup of tea as autumn rolls in.
    Hi Theresa,
    I am so pleased to hear that! I am too a big fan of pumpkin (awaiting pumpkin season with excitement) and cardamom, speaking of which you may enjoy my latest cookie recipe that is flavoured with this beautiful spice :) . Thank you for taking the time to review and rate this recipe - much appreciated! x Ania
This recipe is truly amazing. I made it with just the 3/4 cup sugar and 100g pecans as i find it a bit to nutty for me. This is a keeper it freezes well. Did not make the frosting and i must say with a cup of something hot and a nice slice of this bread good way to start the day. Thanks
    I'm delighted to hear that, Geraldine! Thanks for letting me know! Ania
Pumpkin bread made, its delicious 😋
Blender indeed killed with the frosting maple, but it was worth it😉
    So glad to hear that you enjoyed my pumpkin bread, but worried about your blender comment? I hope you don't mean it literally! x Ania
Your site is beautiful with great content. Stumbled upon it a couple of days back and tried this cake without the frosting. Used coconut milk. Was very happy with the crumb, one of the best I have made. Query: never used coconut sugar, used regular sugar because that is what I had on hand. Is coconut sugar much sweeter than regular sugar? I missed the taste of salt.. Could I add some? Would definitely make again.
    Thanks, Radhika! I'm glad to hear that you are enjoying my content and I am even more glad that you enjoyed my pumpkin bread. To my mind coconut sugar is less sweet than regular sugar, but that's not a common wisdom. Normally people use it in the same quantity as cane sugar. Could you add some salt? Sure thing, if that's what you like. Hope that helps! Ania
I brought this to a vegan "Friendsgiving" potluck. It was a big hit! Really moist and incredibly flavorful! Everyone wanted the recipe, so you now have 20 more readers of your blog. Thanks for this great recipe!
    I'm delighted to hear that, Lisa! Thank you so much! Ania
Thanks for sharing! Does it keep long?
    It never keeps long in my house as it gets eaten, but it should be no different to other cakes of this time (2-3 days in the fridge). Ania
I love 💕 this pumpkin bread. It is so delicious 😋 we had half of it already . Thank you for such a wonderful recipe.
    My pleasure, Nicoleta! I'm delighted to hear that! Ania
Lovely Ania! Do you think this would work as muffins? And how stable is the frosting? It's about 23-24C here.
I haven't commented up until now but I simply have to thank you for your recipes, each and every one I have tried has worked like magic!
    Aw, thanks so much, Mona! I'm delighted to hear that! The frosting is stable, but it does need refrigeration to thicken and I would not be comfortable exposing it to direct sunlight / heat for very long. Hope that helps! Ania
Nancy Baxter:
Your pumpkin bread with the maple frosting looks inviting but I cannot locate your 'maple frosting' recipe. Help, please.
    Hi Nancy,
    Please take another look, the frosting recipe is there! It's the very first item under INGREDIENTS and METHOD. Hope that helps! Ania
Ania, thank You very much! This bread is just amazing! So delicious!
Love everything about the pumpkin, but this bread is Just TOP! Will definitely make this again and again!
Thank you!
And your Lemon drizzle cake also is very very tasty!
    Thank you, Svetlana! I'm soooo pleased to hear that you enjoyed it so much xx Ania
Philip Roche:
I have often looked at your recipes and tried some. I had a dinner party and wanted a nice desert so turned to you. I adapted your desert a little hope you don't mind?
The dinner was a success and the desert was good. The mouse was really nice.
    I'm glad to hear that, Philip! Of course, I do not mind people tweaking my recipes, whatever gets your creative juices flowing is good :) Ania
Hello, it is very difficult to find coconut cream in Turkey. What do you suggest to use instead of it? Thanks
    Perhaps use other plant milk - only just enough to get the mixture smooth in the blender (and as little as you can get away with) and a tablespoon of melted coconut oil to help it set. Hope that helps! Ania
Darn, I'll just have to make 2 cakes then!! :) this looks beyond amazing. That frosting, oh my word!! I feel a little mean as I use your blog and your recipes literally all the time, but don't tend to comment. I just wanted to say a massive thank you for your blog. The recipes are soo good and always turn out amazing. I have your site on my favourites so I can pop and see what's new. Always amazing, always exciting, never boring! Thank you 💚
    Aw, thanks so much Lauren! That's sooo lovely to hear! Your comment has truly made my evening :) x Ania
I love this! Sweet recipes are always the best, especially at this time f year! I'm looking forward to all the recipes you'll be posting leading up to Christmas. There's nothing better than curling up with a cuppa and a slice of cake when it's chucking it down outside.
    Aw, thanks, Laura! I hope you will not be disappointed :) And yes, absolutely agree, especially about a slice a cake ;) Ania
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