Vanilla Pumpkin Layer Cake

This vanilla pumpkin layer cake is the perfect introduction to my rather extensive series of Autumnal recipes. It’s light, fluffy, sweet and honestly SO delicious. I don’t know about you,  but I’m insanely obsessed with anything and everything pumpkin the second that Autumn rolls around. This cake is just all of those wondrous pumpkin flavours combined and is guaranteed to have you coming back for a second slice! 

The sponge cake itself is actually just a simple vanilla cake recipe. This is then sandwiched together with a dreamy layer of pumpkin spiced buttercream frosting and a gooey caramel centre. The whole cake is then coated in more of that heavily frosting and decorated with these cute little DIY golden cherries! I’ve seen quite a few of these circulating the internet and think they’re a really fun way to jazz up a cake and add a touch of glam! 

Why you should make this vanilla pumpkin layer cake

  • It’s easy to make 
  • Perfect for Autumn and anyone who’s obsessed with pumpkin flavours, like me! 
  • It’s a completely vegan and dairy free recipe 
  • Bakes in only 30 minutes and doesn’t require lots of fancy ingredients 
  • Is perfect to get you in the mood for pumpkin season 
  • Has a super indulgent caramel centre 

What will you need to make this cake

  • Caster sugar: this recipe calls for caster sugar for the sweetener of choice. I always try and use an unrefined golden caster sugar where possible. 
  • Olive oil: to keep the recipe dairy free, I love using olive oil in my bakes. It also helps to achieve a super light and fluffy sponge texture.
  • Vegan stick butter: it’s imperative that you do make sure to use a stick butter variety wherever this is called for. In this recipe, I use a block of vegan butter alternative to make the frosting. Using a block/stick butter will help to insure that you have a super creamy, thick consistency. Whereas a spread will create a really runny buttercream. 
  • Non-dairy yoghurt: I love adding a plant based yoghurt into my sponge cakes for additional moisture. It doesn’t alter the taste of the cake and helps to create a really soft, bouncy sponge! 
  • Spices: A key element in this Autumnal recipe! I’ve used ground cinnamon, nutmeg and mixed spice in this recipe. These will become staples in your cupboards over the next few months! 
  • Icing sugar: This will be used to add sweetness to the buttercream frosting. 
  • Vegan caramel: I’ve added a generous helping of vegan caramel sausage to the centre of the cake. This then oozes out as you cut into each slice, which is so delicious! You can either make this yourself or use a store bought caramel. 

Vanilla Pumpkin Layer Cake

Prep Time20 minutes
Cook Time30 minutes
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: Baking
Keyword: pumpkin spice


Sponge Cake

  • 100 ml olive oil
  • 210 g caster sugar
  • 210 ml soy milk
  • 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 220 g plain all purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/3 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • pinch salt

Buttercream Frosting

  • 250 g Vegan stick butter ( I use the brand FLORA)
  • 300 g icing sugar
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp ground mixed spice/pumpkin pie spice


  • 3 heaped tbsp vegan caramel sauce


  • 150 g fresh cherries
  • Gold cake decorating spray/dust


  • Preheat your oven to 180c fan and line two loose bottom cake tins with parchment paper. I've used 18cm cake tins for this recipe.
  • In a jug, combine the soy milk and apple cider vinegar, stir together and set aside for 5 minutes to allow to thicken. This will create your vegan buttermilk alternative.
  • In a large mixing bowl, use a wooden spoon to beat together the olive oil and caster sugar. Then, whisk in your vanilla extract and buttermilk mixture.
  • Once combined, sift the dry ingredients and fold these into the wet mixture. Stir everything together until you're left with a smooth cake batter, then divide this between your two cake tins.
  • Place these into the preheated oven for 30 minutes, until beautifully risen and golden. Remove the cakes from the oven and allow them to all completely on a wire cooling rack.
  • Meanwhile, you can whip up your spiced buttercream frosting. Begin by using an electric hand mixer or stand mixer to beat the butter until pale and fluffy. Then, little by little, add in your icing sugar whilst mixing.
  • Repeat this process until all of the sugar is well incorporated then add your spices and adjust to taste.
  • To assemble the cake, spread a layer of frosting onto one of your sponge cakes, making a small well in the centre. Add in your caramel sauce, then place the second cake on top.
  • Coat the entire cake in the buttercream, then use a cake scraper and palette knife to smooth the edges and create a really even finish. I find using a cake decorating turntable makes this even easier, but it's not essential!
  • To decoarate, I've added little piping swirls around the edge and topped with some homemade golden cherries. To make these, simple use your finger to pat the edible gold glitter onto the cherries- so simple!

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