It’s that time of the year where we all are craving pumpkin spice everything! The only thing that can make a slice of warm and fluffy vegan pumpkin cake better? A thick layer of vegan salted caramel frosting! This Vegan Pumpkin Sheet Cake with Salted Caramel Frosting is sure to be your new favorite Fall Dessert.
How to Make a Pumpkin Sheet Cake From Scratch
The best part of making a sheet cake is that you can make it in ONE pan and it only takes 25-30 minutes to bake into the perfect fluffy moist cake.
First things first- make the cake batter. This cake is incredibly moist because of the canned pumpkin and coconut oil. If all you have on hand is a vegan butter, it should be okay to substitute this 1:1 for coconut oil in this recipe. I like to make this cake by whisking all the wet ingredients together and then sifting the dry ingredients together in a separate bowl before adding them into the wet ingredients. This helps to make sure the spices and baking powder/baking soda are well dispersed!
Once the wet and dry ingredients are mixed together, you’ll pour it into a 9*13 baking dish with parchment paper inside. If you are wondering why I use parchment paper, it is really to make removal of the cake from the baking dish super easy. If you prefer to just cut the slices right out of the pan, this cake also bakes well without any parchment paper (just make sure to grease the pan or it will stick).
An Easy Vegan Cake Recipe
This vegan pumpkin cake is so easy that it can be prepped in about 10 minutes and baked up in 25-30 minutes. Honestly, the part of this recipe that takes the most time is making the vegan salted caramel frosting. I will tell you- it is WORTH the extra time, but if you want a more simple frosting recipe you can follow the vegan vanilla buttercream recipe I used in these Vegan Vanilla Cupcakes instead (just make sure to double it for this cake!)
How to Make Vegan Salted Caramel Frosting
The first step to making the perfect salted caramel frosting is making salted caramel. I personally like to make my salted caramel the day before to spread out my time in the kitchen and to give it more time to set and thicken in the fridge. After the caramel sets, it’s just a matter of whipping it with the vegan butter, vegan shortening, and powdered sugar to form a fluffy caramel frosting.
How Long Does the Caramel Take to Make?
After reaching a boil, this vegan salted caramel needs about 35-40 minutes to simmer and thicken to the right consistency and caramel flavor. Then it needs at least 1 hour to “set” in the fridge. You don’t want to overcook your caramel sauce so make sure to watch it closely and stir when needed towards the end of the cooking time.
How is caramel made?
There are many ways to make caramel including the wet method (sugar and water) or dry method (cooking the sugar until it turns into a liquid). This recipe is slightly different than those traditional methods because it is made with coconut milk. The caramel needs more cooking time, however, I find it’s a little more forgiving and develops a deeper caramel flavor because of that extra time!
Should I stir the caramel while cooking?
Honestly, not really. Stirring the caramel too much will splash sugar onto the sides of the pot and lead to sugar crystals forming. This will make the caramel gritty and that would be unideal. If any sugar does stick to the sides, use a pastry brush coated in water to brush it back into the pot. I really only stir the caramel once or twice until the last 5 minutes or so to make sure it doesn’t overcook or burn.
How long does salted caramel keep?
This vegan salted caramel will keep in the fridge for 2 weeks in a closed container. It will thicken quite a bit, so you may need to warm it up to get that drippy caramel consistency back. This recipe includes extra caramel to drizzle on top of the cake, so there will be some leftovers after making the frosting. No judgments if you eat it by the spoonful!
ALWAYS Add Extra Salted Caramel!
After that, all you have to do is add 6-8 Tbsp of the vegan salted caramel to the frosting to get that delicious caramel flavor. The most important step in making this Vegan Pumpkin Cake? Save some salted caramel to drizzle on top! Not only does it make this cake look gorgeous, but it tastes great too.
The Perfect Fall Sheet Cake
I can’t wait for you all to make this moist and delicious Vegan Pumpkin Sheet Cake with Salted Caramel Frosting! Let’s be honest, this cake will be front and center at our Vegan Thanksgiving celebration this year. While I don’t like to pick favorites on my blog, I am going to break my own rules and say this is my favorite dessert recipe I have made this Fall season. Enjoy!
If you are looking for other vegan cake & cupcake recipes on SGTO, Check out these Fan Favorites:Print
Vegan Pumpkin Cake:
- 1 cup pumpkin puree
- 3 flax eggs (3 Tbsp ground flax with 9 Tbsp water, left to sit for 5 minutes)
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 1/4 cup nut milk
- 1/4 cup melted coconut oil
- 2 tsp vanilla bean paste/extract
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 tsp salt
- 2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp baking soda
Vegan Salted Caramel Frosting:
- 1 cup vegan butter
- 1/2 cup shortening
- 1/2–3/4 cup powdered sugar
- 6–8 Tbsp cold salted caramel (plus 1/4-1/2 cup more to top the cake)
Vegan Salted Caramel:
- 13.5 oz can full-fat coconut milk
- 1 cup turbinado sugar (coconut sugar also works)
- 2 tsp vanilla bean paste/extract
- 1 tsp salt
- First make the Vegan Salted Caramel. Add the coconut milk, sugar, and vanilla bean paste to a saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to a summer and cook for 35-40 minutes until the caramel is amber in color and thicker. Remove the caramel from the heat and place in a closed container in the fridge to “set” for at least one hour.
- While the caramel is in the fridge, make the vegan pumpkin cake. Preheat the oven to 350F and line a 9*13 inch pan with parchment paper to start.
- Next, add the pumpkin puree, flax eggs, sugar, brown sugar, nut milk, melted coconut oil, and vanilla to a large bowl and whisking together.
- In a separate bowl, sift together the all purpose flour, pumpkin pie spice, salt, baking powder, and baking soda. Once sifted, gradually add the dry ingredients to the mixing bowl of wet ingredients and whisk together until a smooth batter forms.
- Pour the batter to the 9*13 inch pan lined with parchment paper and bake for 25-30 minutes or until the cake is cooked through.
- Remove the cake from the oven and let cool. While the cake is cooling, make the salted caramel frosting.
- Add the vegan butter and shortening to a mixing bowl and beat with an electric mixer until cream.. Next, slowly add in the powdered sugar and 6-8 Tbsp of salted caramel and continue to mix together until a smooth frosting forms.
- Once the cake has completed cooled, top with the vegan salted caramel frosting. As a final step, drizzle 1/4-1/2 cup of additional salted caramel on top. Enjoy!
I prefer to make the vegan salted caramel the day before I cook the cake and make the frosting, but all of it can be made on the same day
Cake can be stored in a closed container in the freezer up to 1 month
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