Vegan Pumpkin Cupcakes - Try this easy and delicious pumpkin and spice filled treat this fall! It's topped with a coconut milk whipped cream to make this cupcake reminiscent of pumpkin pie. It FINALLY feels like fall in Southern California so I am celebrating with these vegan pumpkin cupcakes!  I just couldn’t bring myself to make pumpkin anything or cozy dishes while it was still 80 plus degrees over here. And even though I catch myself wanting to say, “OMG, it’s so cold!” (when it’s under 60 degrees–I know, I am a major wuss) I’ve been stopping myself and remembering that this cold crisp weather was exactly what I was wishing for a few weeks ago.

These cupcakes are the perfect thing to bake if you want your place to smell like warm spices and get in the mood for the upcoming holidays!  I love that you can make these guys with minimal tools–no electrical appliances needed so you can bake these just about anywhere where there’s an oven, a large bowl, and a whisk or spoon.  They also keep very well and I actually preferred how the cupcakes and coconut milk whipped topping tasted on the second and third day.  I kept them refrigerated on a plate wrapped with paper towel and either ate them immediately out of the fridge or if I had the patience, I would let it get to room temperature first before devouring.

Vegan Pumpkin Cupcakes - Try this easy and delicious pumpkin and spice filled treat this fall! It's topped with a coconut milk whipped cream to make this cupcake reminiscent of pumpkin pie. Vegan Pumpkin Cupcakes - Try this easy and delicious pumpkin and spice filled treat this fall! It's topped with a coconut milk whipped cream to make this cupcake reminiscent of pumpkin pie. Most pumpkin cupcakes are topped with a cream cheese frosting but I wanted something that wasn’t as heavy.  I decided to pipe coconut milk whipped cream on top for a lighter frosting option to make the cake more reminiscent of pumpkin pie.  I am sure you have seen the Pinterest posts about how you can turn a can of coconut milk into whipped cream and it totally works!  It was pretty cool and I’m glad I finally got to try it.  Before I started, I did some research and came across Tasty Yummy’s super helpful Tutorial Tuesdays post.  She does a wonderful comparison between different brands of coconut milk and what the results look like.  I used her tutorial to choose a coconut milk that would yield stiff peaks as I wanted to be able to pipe it on the cupcakes.  A few things that I discovered about coconut milk whipped cream…

1.) It was very easy to pipe and totally held together.  I was worried it might melt or get soft but it never did.  Quite the opposite–if you put it in the fridge it will harden so that it keeps its form but when you bite into it, it is still light and creamy.

2.) I felt like adding vanilla extract gave it a weird flavor so I would opt out of using that next time and removed it from the ingredients list.

3.) I also feel like powdered sugar tastes funny in any type of frosting so for a sweetener I chose agave nectar.  I started with a teaspoon, tasted it, and continued sweetening from there.

4.) It does have a coconut flavor so I was afraid my boyfriend who dislikes all things coconut would not like it.  I asked him to try just the cupcake first, then jut the frosting, then together in one bite.  He actually couldn’t tell the frosting was made from coconut and liked the lightness of it.  I was also a little worried he might feel like the coconut and pumpkin clashed, but he said that was fine too (on the second and third day I felt like I couldn’t taste the coconut flavor anymore)! So even if you are not a huge coconut fan, it might be worth a try but if you feel like playing it safe I would use another non-dairy whipped topping or the more traditional cream cheese frosting.

Coconut Milk Whipped Cream
Above is the type of coconut milk I used and how it looked in the can, scooping it out, and what the liquid looked like once I got all the solid parts out.  I think I will try another brand next time to see if I like the flavor or texture better.  Have you tried whipping up some coconut milk?  Let me know which brands of coconut milk you like and if you have any tricks or tips!

I hope you enjoy these pumpkin pie inspired cupcakes and I’m looking forward to cooking and baking more seasonal fall foods!

Tools Needed: 1 large mixing bowl, a whisk, 1 or 2 cupcake pans, paper liners, and a wire rack (optional).  For the frosting you will need an electric hand mixer or stand mixer, piping bag, and a piping tip.  I used a round tip about 1/2″ in diameter.

Recipe Notes:  I use Ener-G brand egg replacers when I bake.  After looking up the weight of an average egg, I was able to determine that 1 1/2 egg substitute recipe = 1 egg. So when using this egg replacer, I use 2 1/4 tsp of powder + 3 TBS of warm water to make one egg.  I figured this out because in the past I have felt that 1 egg replacer didn’t seem like it was enough to substitute the liquid you’d get more a regular egg.  I’ve been using the above formula for some time now–it seems to work well and I have not run into any issues.

The cupcake recipe is a vegan version of Martha Stewart’s Pumpkin Cupcakes.


Prep Time: 25 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Total Time: 45 minutes

Yield: 20 Cupcakes


    For the Cupcakes:
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon freshly grated ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/8 teaspoon clove
  • 1 cup packed light-brown sugar
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) vegan butter, melted and cooled
  • 4 egg replacers
  • 1 can (15 ounces) pumpkin puree
  • For the Coconut Milk Whipped Cream
  • 2 cans of coconut milk
  • 1 tsp of agave nectar (or more if you'd like)
  • 1 tsp of ground ginger (optional)


    For the Cupcakes:
  1. Preheat the oven to 350F.
  2. Line the cupcake pan(s) with liners. Set aside.
  3. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the melted butter, egg replacers, and sugars together until incorporated.
  4. To the wet mixture, add the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and clove. Whisk until all ingredients are well combined.
  5. Whisk in the pumpkin puree.
  6. Divide the batter evenly among the liners, filling each about 3/4 full.
  7. Bake for about 20-25 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center of a cupcake comes out clean.
  8. Remove from the oven and let it cool a bit so they are easier to handle. Transfer the cupcakes to a wire rack to cool completely before frosting.
  9. For the Coconut Milk Whipped Cream:
  10. Open the two cans of coconut milk without tilting or shaking them. Using a spoon, take out the solid parts and transfer to a large bowl. Remove all the solids until you reach the liquid part. Save the liquid for future use.
  11. Using an electric hand mixer or stand mixer with a whip attachment, whip on medium/high until the cream becomes light, fluffy, and stiff. It took me about 4 minutes to reach the desired consistency.
  12. Add the agave nectar and ginger. Mix well then taste test it and add more nectar and / or ginger if needed.
  13. Spoon the whipped cream into the piping bag with a piping tip attached. Pipe swirls of the cream on top of each cupcake.
  14. Dust the tops lightly with ground cinnamon. I placed the container of cinnamon about 12" above each cupcake. With my index finger I tapped the container firmly, only once each time, to sprinkle the cinnamon on top of the frosting. I did two taps per cupcake to cover most of the cupcake.
  15. Serve immediately or refrigerate until ready to serve.


Prep time includes making the cupcakes as well as the coconut milk whipped cream.

This entry was posted in Cupcakes and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *