This festive vegan holiday cake will give you all the pumpkin spice feels! 

I love the toasty flavors of ginger, cinnamon and cardamon in this cake and I think you’re going to love them too. 

Vegan Holiday Cake served on a white plate

This is a great recipe to make if you’re having friends around over the festive season so keep this one in your back pocket for those special times. 

Looking for more vegan cake recipes? Try my favorite vegan lemon raspberry cake or carrot cake with vegan cream cheese frosting recipes.

Why you’ll love this vegan holiday cake recipe

  • It’s festive: The warm spices and maple flavors make this vegan holiday cake perfect for the holiday season. It’s a great dessert option for Thanksgiving, Christmas, or any winter gathering.
  • It’s moist and fluffy: The pumpkin puree and almond milk keep the cake moist and tender, while the baking powder ensures it rises and becomes fluffy. The end result is a delicious and satisfying cake.
  • It’s easy to make: This vegan holiday cake is simple and straightforward to make, with basic ingredients and easy-to-follow instructions. Even if you’re new to vegan baking, you can whip up this cake with ease.
  • It’s customizable: While this recipe is delicious as is, it’s also very customizable. You can adjust the spices, use a different type of non-dairy milk, or even swap the pumpkin puree for another pureed fruit or vegetable.
  • It’s topped with a delicious frosting: The vegan frosting for this cake is made with vegan margarine and coconut milk, and it’s sweetened with powdered sugar. It’s creamy and delicious, and it pairs perfectly with the spiced cake.
  • It’s a crowd-pleaser: Whether you’re serving this cake to vegans or non-vegans, everyone will love it. It’s a delicious and satisfying dessert that’s perfect for any occasion.

Vegan Holiday Cake Ingredients and substitution notes

  • Flour: You can use all-purpose flour or a gluten-free flour blend if you prefer. Keep in mind that gluten-free flours may result in a slightly denser cake.
  • Brown sugar: This adds a rich, caramel flavor to the cake. You can use coconut sugar or another type of natural sweetener as a substitute.
  • Baking powder: This helps the cake rise and gives it a light, fluffy texture.
  • Ginger, cinnamon, and cardamom: These warm spices are perfect for holiday baking and give the cake a delicious, festive flavor. Feel free to adjust the amount of spices to your liking.
  • Unsweetened almond milk: This is a great dairy-free milk alternative that adds moisture to the cake. You can use another type of non-dairy milk if you prefer.
  • Fresh lemon juice: This adds a tangy flavor and helps create a light and fluffy cake.
  • Oil: You can use any neutral-tasting oil, such as vegetable or canola oil. Coconut oil can also be used, but keep in mind that it may solidify at room temperature, so melt before adding to the recipe.
  • Pumpkin: This adds moisture and a natural sweetness to the cake.
  • Maple syrup: This is a natural sweetener that adds a delicious maple flavor to the cake. You can use another type of liquid sweetener if you prefer, such as agave.
  • Vanilla: This adds flavor and enhances the sweetness of the cake. Use pure vanilla extract for best results.
  • Vegan margarine: This is used to make the vegan frosting. You can use any brand of vegan margarine or butter substitute.
  • Powdered sugar: This is used to sweeten and thicken the frosting. Make sure your powdered sugar is vegan-friendly.
  • Coconut milk: This is used to make the frosting creamy and smooth. Use canned full-fat coconut milk for best results.
Vegan Holiday Cakes served on a wooden serving platter

Recipe variations and add-ins

  • Nuts: You can add chopped nuts to the vegan holiday cake batter for extra crunch and flavor. Walnuts, pecans, and almonds all work well.
  • Vegan Cream cheese frosting: Instead of the coconut milk frosting, you can make a vegan cream cheese frosting by mixing vegan cream cheese with powdered sugar and vanilla extract.
  • Citrus: Add some citrus flavor to the cake by stirring in some lemon or orange zest.
  • Apple or pear: Instead of pumpkin, you can use pureed apple or pear for a different flavor profile.
  • Caramel sauce: Drizzle some vegan caramel sauce on top of the frosting for a decadent touch.
  • Streusel topping: Top the cake with a crunchy streusel topping made from flour, brown sugar, and vegan butter.

Vegan Holiday Cake Top tips

  • Use room temperature ingredients: Be sure to use room temperature ingredients for your cake batter. This helps ensure that everything mixes together evenly and the cake rises properly.
  • Don’t overmix: Overmixing the batter can cause the cake to become tough and dense. Mix until the ingredients are just combined and then stop.
  • Grease and flour the pan: Be sure to grease and flour your cake pan to prevent the cake from sticking. You can also line the bottom of the pan with parchment paper for extra insurance.
  • Measure accurately: Baking is a science, so it’s important to measure your ingredients accurately. Use a kitchen scale if you have one, or be sure to level off your dry ingredients when measuring with cups.
  • Use fresh spices: Using fresh spices, such as ground ginger and cinnamon, will give your cake the best flavor. Check the expiration date on your spices before using them, as they can lose their potency over time.
  • Let the cake cool before frosting: Let the cake cool completely before frosting it. If the cake is still warm, the frosting will melt and slide off.
  • Chill the frosting: Chill your frosting in the fridge for a few minutes before frosting the cake. This will help it firm up and make it easier to spread.
  • Add decorations: Add festive decorations to your vegan holiday cake, such as sprinkles, edible glitter, or fresh berries, to make it extra special.
  • Have fun and enjoy! Baking is supposed to be fun, so don’t stress too much about getting everything perfect. Have fun in the kitchen and enjoy the delicious results!

Make ahead of instructions and storage

You can make the cake ahead of time and freeze it until you’re ready to assemble and decorate. Wrap it tightly in plastic wrap before freezing. Thaw it out in the fridge overnight before assembling it.

You can also make the vegan frosting ahead of time and store it in the fridge. When you’re ready to use it, let it come to room temperature and then beat it with an electric mixer until it’s smooth and fluffy.

Store the finished cake in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4 days.

If you’re storing the cake unfrosted, wrap each layer tightly in plastic wrap and store at room temperature for up to 2 days, or freeze for up to 2 months.

If you’re storing the cake with frosting, you can also store the cake in a cake carrier or under a large overturned bowl to protect it from getting crushed in the fridge.

Vegan Holiday Cakes


Can I make this cake gluten-free? 

Yes, you can make this vegan holiday cake gluten-free by using a gluten-free flour blend in place of the all-purpose flour. Be sure to use a blend that is formulated for baking, as some gluten-free flours can have a gritty texture. You may also need to adjust the amount of liquid in the recipe to achieve the right consistency.

Can I use a different type of vegan milk in this recipe? 

Yes, you can use any type of vegan milk that you prefer in this recipe. Unsweetened almond milk is used in the recipe, but you can substitute with soy milk, oat milk, or any other plant-based milk of your choice. Just make sure to choose an unsweetened variety to keep the sweetness level of the cake consistent.

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Vegan Holiday Cake served on a white plate

A Most Wonderful Vegan Holiday Cake

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  • Author: Chef Ani


This is a great vegan holiday cake recipe to make if you’re having friends around over the festive season so keep this one in your back pocket for those special times. 



Dry Ingredients: 

  • 1 cup flour
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon cardamom

Wet Ingredients: 

  • 2/3 cup unsweetened almond milk
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup oil
  • 1/4 cup pumpkin
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla


  • 3/4 cup vegan margarine
  • 3/4 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 tablespoon coconut milk


  1. Preheat oven to 350F.
Prepare a pan (13 x 9in), grease the bottom, then line with parchment paper.
  2. In a small bowl mix almond milk and lemon juice, set aside for 10 minutes.
  3. Next, add the remaining wet ingredients to the wet mixture, stir gently.
  4. In a large bowl mix together all the dry ingredients.
  5. Pour the wet mixture into the dry mixture and blend together until combined. It may seem slightly lumpy.
  6. Add to baking pan, spread out gently.
  7. Bake for 13-15 minutes, until the top springs back when lightly touched.
Let cool completely on a cooling rack.


  1. In a standing mixer, mix (on high) margarine until fluffy (about 5-10 minutes).
  2. Then slowly add the sugar a spoonful at a time, while blending on low.
Finishing up with the coconut milk.
  3. Spread icing on cake when it has completely cooled. Store in fridge, but let it soften at room temperature 1-2 hours before serving. See video for ideas of how to serve.


If you want to serve this as a rolled cake, cut the baking powder in half. This will make it less fluffy and therefore less likely to crack. When it comes out of the oven, let it sit for about 5 min. Then roll in a towel, generously sprinkled with powdered sugar. When completely cooled, gently unroll the cake. Don’t worry, it may crack, but it will come together when rolled back up. Spread the icing in a layer across the whole cake, gently roll back up. If cracking initially, don’t worry, it is the last layer that really counts. Sprinkle with powdered sugar.

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