Pumpkin Gingerbread with Spiced Buttercream

Pumpkin Gingerbread with Pumpkin Spiced Buttercream @ TheGreenForks.com #vegan

I’m finally back from the nice lil’ Holiday break I appointed myself :)

And boy did I need it after all those hours planning and working in the kitchen!

It payed off though because we ended up having a very pleasant Thanksgiving. Thank goodness! Having a terrible first healthy, vegan Holiday would have been quite the set back for us to keep on truckin’ with this diet… but since all went smoothly and our meal ended up delicious, we’re good to go! (Although it would have been nice if Scarlett would have eaten something other than the rolls…)

Pumpkin Gingerbread with Pumpkin Spiced Buttercream @ TheGreenForks.com #vegan

I have a few ideas to improve for our Christmas meal though. The food was good this time around, but there are definite areas that could use some work… haha.

So to reward myself for a Holiday well played, I whipped up a wonderful Pumpkin Gingerbread with Spiced Buttercream.

Pumpkin Gingerbread with Pumpkin Spiced Buttercream @ TheGreenForks.com #vegan

I’ve been wanting to make it for a very long time since first seeing it on Oh She Glows. It was one of those recipes you stumble upon and just can’t get out of your head.

I tried to change things up from her recipe though. For some reason the idea of a loaf didn’t really appeal to me. I really wanted to make this in a 8-inch square pan. But I didn’t think there would be enough batter. So I made approximately 1 1/2 times the recipe, kind of guestimating the values since they measured up funny. After mixing everything together I realized that I had made WAY too much for a square pan. This amount of batter was more suited for two 8-inch rounds. So I baked up some cake rounds, doubled the frosting recipe, and served myself up some cake :)

Pumpkin Gingerbread with Pumpkin Spiced Buttercream @ TheGreenForks.com #vegan

And this was actually my first time having a frosting made from that Earth Balance butter stick stuff. The first vegan cake I made had a cooked frosting using millet flour and coconut oil. Oddly enough, I actually preferred the frosting made from millet flour. Which I guess is good since it is the healthier option, right? haha.


Oh! I wanted to share this photo with you too. It’s my cart with all my Thanksgiving groceries in it. I went shopping the Tuesday before and my bagger was completely baffled by my purchases. He just looked at me and said, “This is the healthiest Thanksgiving purchase I have ever seen”.

When somebody says that to you, that is when you know you are doing things right : D

Pumpkin Gingerbread with Pumpkin Spiced Buttercream @ TheGreenForks.com #vegan

*This cakes texture is more towards that of a quick bread than of a traditional, fluffy layer cake.*

Smart Substitutions:

  • Instead of canola oil, use melted coconut oil or applesauce.
  • You may use coconut sugar or sucanat in place of the regular sugar, but it will not be as sweet.

5.0 from 1 reviews
Pumpkin Gingerbread with Spiced Buttercream
Serves: 12
  • 1⅓ cups canned pumpkin
  • ⅓ cup pure maple syrup
  • 1 cup sugar
  • ½ cup canola oil
  • ⅓ cup blackstrap molasses
  • ¼ cup non-dairy milk
  • 1½ teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 chia/flax eggs (1 tablespoons ground chia/flax seeds + 3 tbsp water)
  • 2¼ cups unbleached all-purpose flour (or light/sifted spelt flour)
  • 1 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1½ teaspoon baking powder
  • 1½ teaspoon sea salt
  • ½ cup toasted chopped walnuts, optional
  • ½ cup chopped crystallized ginger, optional
  • 1 cup Earth Balance Butter Stick, softened
  • 3½ cups confectioners' sugar
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 2 TABLESPOONS pumpkin pie spice
  • 2 tablespoons non-dairy milk (as needed to thin out to desired consistency)
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Line two 8-inch round cake pans with parchment paper and lightly grease.
  2. Combine pumpkin purée, maple syrup, sugar, oil, molasses, non-dairy milk, vanilla, and chia egg in a medium-sized mixing bowl; set aside.
  3. In a large bowl, combine the dry ingredients, whisking to evenly distribute. Add the wet mixture to the dry, and stir until just combined. Stir in the toasted nuts and ginger, if using.
  4. Pour the batter into the pan and bake for 35-40 minutes or until toothpick inserted comes out clean. Cool completely on wire rack before frosting.
  5. FOR THE FROSTING: In the bowl of a stand mixer (or using a hand held mixer), whip the Earth Balance until smooth. Add the confectioners' sugar and blend on low until sugar is absorbed, stopping to scrape the side of bowl as needed. Now add in the vanilla, pumpkin pie spice, and non-dairy milk (if needed). Gradually increase the speed to medium and beat until light and fluffy, 1 to 2 minutes.
Toast the walnuts on a baking sheet in a 350°F oven for about 10-12 minutes or until golden.
Add some chopped crystallized ginger for fun!

Inspired by Oh She Glows


11 Responses to “Pumpkin Gingerbread with Spiced Buttercream”

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  • Mandy December 4, 2013, 12:52 am

    Do you think it would be okay to substitute coconut oil or avocado oil in place of the canola?

  • Mandy December 4, 2013, 12:53 am

    .. and coconut sugar in place of white sugar?

  • lmachell December 5, 2013, 8:49 am

    You could make though substitutions for sure, but it will affect the level of sweetness and the flavor to a degree. But I still think it will come out.

  • Ashley December 9, 2013, 3:33 pm


    I just stumbled on your blog and I love it! What a great concept of healthier living/eating. I’ll definitely try out your recipes. I just followed you on Pinterest, so those million re-pins are me!


  • Laura Dembowski December 12, 2013, 7:53 pm

    I want to take a bite right through the screen! Looks amazing!

  • Rebecca December 16, 2013, 2:39 am

    I made this and it turned out pretty well!! However, my frosting was a little runny and tastes pretty salty… Any tips for next time?

  • lmachell December 20, 2013, 6:28 am

    I guess less salt and milk? You have to be careful with milk, only adding it a little at a time to frosting until you get the right consistency. You may or may not need it all. And the salt- just be sure to use a sea salt. Sea salt is naturally less salty tasting than most store-bought salts.

  • Yolanda Stopforth December 25, 2013, 4:46 pm

    This recipe is fabulous! I tried it out today instead of Christmas cake and it was a huge hit. I couldn’t go vegan since it’s hard enough being a vegetarian in South Africa without trying to find an egg replacement, but it was still awesome. Thanks