This easy vegan pumpkin crunch cake from scratch is elevated with a buttercream frosting and a divine candied walnut or pecan crunchy topping. It's simple enough to be enjoyed as a coffee cake with your espresso, serve as a birthday cake or grace a festive holiday table.
In a large mixing bowl sift the flour. Add the sugars and remaining of the dry ingredients. Whisk together until well combined.
2 cups all purpose flour, 1 cup light brown sugar, 1/2 cup granulated sugar, 2.5 tsp cinnamon, 1 pinch grated nutmeg, 1 tsp baking soda, 2 tsp baking powder, 1/2 tsp salt
In a separate bowl whisk together the pumpkin puree, olive oil, vinegar and and vanilla.
15 oz can pumpkin puree, 1/4 cup light olive oil, 2 Tbsp apple cider vinegar, 2 tsp vanilla extract
Pour the wet mixture on top pf the dry mix and using a spatula fold everything together until combined. The batter will be thick but the cake will be moist, do not fret.
Prepare a 9 inch round springform pan lined wit parchment paper. Pour the cake batter inside and spread evenly with a spatula.
Transfer the cake pan to the preheated oven and bake for 45 to 55 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out almost clean. (Baking times vary depending on the oven so keep a close eye on it, mine was perfectly done at exactly the 45 minute mark).
Transfer the cake to a cooling rack and carefully release the spring form pan for the air to circulate. Allow to cool off completely.
Make the Frosting
Add the soft butter with the frosting ingredients to a mixer with a whisk attachment. Beat on low speed for about 5 minutes until everything is incorporated and a homogenous frosting is achieved.
Using a serrated knife carefully slice the cake in half horizontally so you end up with 2 cake layers. Discard the parchment paper and place one layer of the cake on a cake stand or plate.
Spread 3/4 of the frosting all over it then top with the second cake layer. Using a spatula spread the rest of the frosting all over the top and the sides.
Make The Walnut Crunch Topping
Transfer the candied walnuts or pecans to a food processor and using the pulse button chop them up into small pieces. You’ll want some crunchy texture but also some finer grind.
1.5 cups candied walnuts
Sprinkle the chopped nuts on top of the cake and gently press them into the frosting to stick. Keep one hand to the side of the cake to catch some of the falling nuts and pat them gently into the frosting on the side of the cake to get a nice coverage all over. (Messy is ok so do not worry too much about it, this is a rustic simple cake, we are looking for delicious not perfection).
Store on the kitchen counter in a cake box / keeper for up to 5 days or loosely covered with an upside down bowl, parchment paper or aluminum foil. Since this cake is vegan it doesn’t contain dairy or eggs so there’s no need to refrigerate it, they dry out that way anyways.
Yes you can also freeze this cake, I suggest cutting into thick slices and placing them individually in lidded freezer proof containers. Thaw out on the kitchen counter when the cravings hit.
Cake Storage - Store on the kitchen counter in a cake box / keeper for up to 5 days or loosely covered with an upside down bowl, parchment paper or aluminum foil. Since this cake is vegan it doesn’t contain dairy or eggs so there’s no need to refrigerate it (it dries out that way anyways).The cake can also be frozen, I suggest cutting into thick slices and placing them individually in lidded freezer proof containers. Thaw out on the kitchen counter when the cravings hit.
Baking Times - Keep in mind that baking times vary depending on the oven so keep a close eye on it, mine was perfectly done at exactly the 45 minute mark.