Vegan Pumpkin Crisp

This easy pumpkin crisp recipe features a pumpkin pie filling layer toped with a crumbly cake topping. Add some chopped pecans and drizzle with coconut whipped topping for the ultimate pumpkin dessert!

A pumpkin crisp bar sits on a white plate. It has a dollop of whipped cream on top. There's another bar on a plate and some nuts in the background.

I personally think eating pumpkins is something I do quite well. We all need to have a calling in life…who knows, that might just be mine! So I’ll begin the pumpkin eating tradition with this recipe for vegan pumpkin crisp.

I tested this vegan pumpkin crisp dessert several times to get it right. I used my vegan apple crisp and my vegan blueberry crumble recipes as inspiration.

It was the easy crumble topping on this one that really set it apart and added the special touch I was looking for.

Because it’s made with a cake mix it’s more like pumpkin crisp dump cake. In fact, it reminds me of this chocolate dump cake recipe. That means it’s easy to make, another added bonus!

Recipe Ingredients

You can find the full printable recipe, including ingredient quantities, below. But first, here are some explanations of ingredients and steps to help you make this recipe perfect every time.

Here are the ingredients you’ll need for this recipe:

  • Pumpkin puree — You’ll need 1 15 oz can of plain pumpkin puree
  • Full-fat coconut milk — I look for coconut milk with at least 12–15 grams of fat
  • Brown sugar — You can use light or dark, or make homemade brown sugar
  • Granulated sugar
  • Spices — We’ll use both ground cinnamon and pumpkin pie spice in this dessert.
  • Cornstarch
  • Yellow Cake Mix — Look at the ingredients to make sure the cake mix is made without eggs or dairy (You can also use Spice Cake Mix)
  • Vegan butter — My favorite is Earth Balance
  • Chopped pecans — This is optional, but adds a great touch.
A bowl of pumpkin puree has a spoon it. There is a pumpkin barely visible in the background.

What Pumpkin is Best for Pumpkin Crisp?

Pumpkin puree is made from the flesh of a squash, typically a smaller pumpkin than those you for jack-o-lanterns. It’s cooked and then mashed into a thick puree. You can make this yourself from scratch or buy it canned in the baking section of most grocery stores. Look for plain pumpkin puree or solid pack pumpkin, rather than pumpkin pie filling which oftentimes has other ingredients in it, like spices and sugar.

Why This Recipe is a Winner

  • RICH — Using coconut milk in the pumpkin pie filling keeps this dessert rich and delicious
  • FLAVORFUL — Brown sugar adds a rich, caramel-like flavor in every bite
  • EASY — Using a yellow cake mix makes this dessert easy to make.

Serving Suggestions

Serve warm slices with a dollop of your favorite non-dairy ice cream, like Vegan No-Churn Ice Cream.

A generous topping of Aquafaba Whipped Cream or this Coconut Whipped Cream is great on top, too!

A hand holds a spoon adding a dollop over pumpkin crisp bars. There are nuts in the background.

Frequently-Asked Questions

Does pumpkin crisp need to be refrigerated?

You should refrigerate your pumpkin dessert bars to preserve and keep them fresh. It will keep up to 5 days in the fridge.

What can I substitute for cornstarch?

If you don’t use cornstarch in your recipes, you can substitute arrowroot powder or tapioca starch.

Pumpkin Desserts

If you love these pumpkin crisp bars, you’ll want to try my vegan pumpkin bread or even my vegan pumpkin bars. And here are even more pumpkin desserts to try:

A pumpkin crisp bar has whipped cream on top. There is another bar in the background with pecans.

Vegan Pumpkin Dump Cake

Indulge yourself with this vegan pumpkin dump cake you'll be rewarded with a tender, pumpkin-filled center, with a delicious crust and crumbly topping.
5 from 1 vote
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Resting Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 55 minutes
Servings: 15
Calories: 252kcal


Pumpkin Pie Filling

  • 15 oz can pumpkin puree
  • 15 oz can full-fat coconut milk
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 4 tablespoons cornstarch

Crumble Topping

  • 1 package yellow or spice cake mix (see notes)
  • ½ cup vegan butter melted
  • ½ cup chopped pecan


For the Pumpkin Pie Filling:

  • Preheat your oven to 350°F/175°C. Prepare a 9×13 baking pan by giving it a light coating of vegetable spray.
  • Combine the pumpkin puree, coconut milk, sugars, cornstarch, and spices in a food processor. Pulse until smooth.
    Looking down on pureed pumpkin filling in a food processor.
  • Pour the pumpkin mixture into the prepared baking dish.

For the Crumble Topping

  • Open the box of cake mix and distribute it equally across the top of the pumpkin mixture. (See notes for an alternative to using cake mix)
  • Drizzle the top of the cake mix with melted vegan butter.
    Melted butter is being poured over cake mix in a baking pan.
  • Top with chopped pecans.
    A hand distributes chopped pecans on top of cake batter in a pan.
  • Bake for 40 minutes until the center is set and the topping is golden brown.
  • Remove the pan from the oven and set it aside to cool for 10 to 20 minutes. Serve while still warm with a dollop of your favorite non-dairy ice cream or vegan whipped cream.

Recommended Equipment

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Use either a yellow or spice cake mix. Check the label to ensure it’s dairy and egg-free.

Crisp Topping Alternative

If you prefer not to use a cake mix, here is a crisp topping alternative:
  • 1 cup instant oats
  • 1 cup flour (all-purpose, whole wheat pastry, or gluten-free)
  • 1/2 teaspoon each baking powder + baking soda
  • 1/2 cup vegan butter, cold, cubed
Stir together the dry ingredients, then use your fingers or a fork to press the cubed butter into the dry mixture. Pour this on top of the pumpkin mixture and bake as directed above.
Calories: 252kcal | Carbohydrates: 34g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 14g | Saturated Fat: 7g | Sodium: 58mg | Potassium: 158mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 29g | Vitamin A: 4700IU | Vitamin C: 2mg | Calcium: 31mg | Iron: 2mg

The nutrition information shown is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator and should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.


4 Responses to Vegan Pumpkin Crisp

  1. Avatar thumbnail image for MarlyMichelle Reply

    Hi. I don’t see chickpeas in the recipe above. Did you change it to omit them since the comment above was left? Or, is there a step where a chickpeas are necessary?

    • Avatar thumbnail image for MarlyMarly

      Hi Michelle. You have it right! This recipe initially used chickpeas as a thickener for the filler. I since adapted it to be more like a traditional pumpkin pie filling and switched to coconut milk combined with cornstarch. I hope you enjoy this recipe. Happy Thanksgiving!

  2. Avatar thumbnail image for MarlyMandy Reply

    5 stars
    What would you recommend as a substitute for the chickpeas in this recipe? Chickpeas are NOT my friend, unfortunately! Would the texture be horribly off with a can of pumpkin puree and a can of pumpkin pie mix?

    • Avatar thumbnail image for MarlyMarly

      Hi Mandy. I used the chickpeas as a replacement for the milk that you might find in a typical pumpkin pie recipe. So, as a replacement you could substitute a 15oz package of tofu. Just whip it up in a food processor until it’s smooth. That should work just fine!

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