top of page

Oil-Free, Dairy-Free Pumpkin Cake!

Pumpkin season is in full swing. I had a craving for pumpkin, and I love cake, so let's put them together!

Typically pumpkin cake calls for 1 cup of vegetable oil. One cup of oil contains approximately 1,984 calories. That's a lot of calories. However, in baking, most of the time, you can substitute oil for unsweetened applesauce. You use the same measurements; so if a recipe calls for 1/2 cup oil, use 1/2 cup of unsweetened applesauce.

For 1 cup of applesauce it is just 108 calories. So now you don't have to feel as bad when eating this cake. So go ahead and give it a try!


2 cups cake flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon salt

2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice

1 cup unsweetened applesauce

1/4 cup ground flaxseed

3/4 cup water

1 cup packed brown sugar

1/2 cup sugar

1 cup canned pumpkin puree

1 teaspoons pure vanilla extract


1. Preheat oven to 350°F (177°C). Cut parchment paper to fit baking pans, and grease sides of pan.

2. Sift together cake flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and pumpkin pie spice.

3. To make flaxseed mixture, add the 1/4 cup ground flaxseed with 3/4 cup water and allow to sit for 3-5 minutes.

4.. In a separate bowl whisk together pumpkin puree, vanilla extract, applesauce, and flaxseed mixture. Add the sugar and brown sugar and stir until combined.

5. Pour wet ingredients with the dry ingredients and mix until completely combined.

6. Distribute batter evenly between the two cake pans. Bake for 35-37 minutes. Insert a toothpick into the center of the cake, and if it comes out clean it is ready.

7. Remove makes from the oven and let them rest on a wire rack and allow them to cool completely.

Cream Cheese Frosting


8 ounces dairy-free cream cheese, softened to room temperature (Tofutti)

1/2 cup (115g) dairy-free butter, softened to room temperature (Earth Balance)

3 cups (360g) confectioners' sugar

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract (I used vanilla soy milk)


In a large bowl add the dairy-free butter and dairy-free cream cheese and use a mixer to beat together until it is smooth and creamy. Add the confectioners sugar and vanilla. Mix on a low speed for about 3 minutes until the frosting is a little thicker and combined.

Spread the frosting on the completely cooled cake. Evenly distribute the frosting on the layers.

Ground flaxseed is a great substitute for eggs in baking. It has many benefits: no cholesterol, omega-3, fiber, and lower in calories.

Simply take 1 tablespoon ground flaxseed and combine it with 3 tablespoons water. Stir it and let it sit for 3-5 minutes to emulsify. Then it's ready to be used for baking.

Using applesauce in place of oil makes for a cake that is much less in calories, and super moist.

Most frostings will call for vanilla extract, and mine does as well. However, when making this video I realized I did not have any vanilla extract, so instead I used the same amount of vanilla soy milk. It came out just as delicious

Since the frosting does use a dairy-free butter, this does contain oil. However, simply skip the butter and use extra dairy-free cream cheese, or use some nut milk instead.

Are you a pumpkin person?

  • I'll pass on pumpkin

  • Give me PUMPKIN everything!

1,304 views7 comments

Recent Posts

See All
bottom of page