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. It was the crumble topping 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!

Why This Recipe is a Winner

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

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.

Ingredient Spotlight

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.

How to Make Vegan Pumpkin Crisp

If you are wondering how to make this creamy pumpkin crisp, you’ve come to the right place. Just follow these instructions and you’re good to go!

  1. Combine the pumpkin pie filling together in a bowl and pour it into a baking dish.
  2. Sprinkle the cake mix equally across the top of the pumpkin mixture. 
  3. Drizzle the top of the cake mix with the melted vegan butter.
  4. Top with chopped pecans.
  5. Bake for 40 minutes until the topping is golden brown.
  6. Remove from the oven and let it cool for 10 to 20 minutes.
  7. Serve warm.

Step One: Make Pumpkin Pie Filling

This is a pumpkin crisp with sweetened condensed milk in the filling. Because we’re making this dairy-free, we’ll use a simple coconut milk condensed milk which works perfectly. Here’s how to make it:

  • Combine Ingredients — Combine the pumpkin puree, coconut milk, sugars, cornstarch, and spices in a bowl. Stir vigorously to combine. If your coconut milk is somewhat solid, you can use a mixer or food processor to make this step faster. Or, heat the coconut milk in the microwave for 20–30 seconds to make it smoother.
  • Pour — Pour the pumpkin mixture into the prepared baking dish.

Step Two: Crumble Topping

  • Sprinkle Cake Mix — Open the box of cake mix and distribute it equally across the top of the pumpkin mixture. 
  • Drizzle Butter — Drizzle the top of the cake mix with the melted vegan butter. Then top with chopped pecans.

Step Three: Bake

Remove the dish from the oven and set it aside to cool for 10–20 minutes. Be sure to serve warm slices with a dollop of favorite non-dairy ice cream, like Vegan No-Churn Ice Cream or this Coconut Whipped Cream.

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

And this recipe allows me to add another one to my list of 100 Things to Do with Chickpeas. I know. Chickpeas. Who’d have thought? But it works. If you don’t believe me, maybe you’ll just have to make this recipe for yourself. Of course, you could also just ask my family.

Frequently-Asked Questions

Does pumpkin crisp need to be refrigerated?

You should refrigerate your pumpkin dessert bars to preserve it and keep it 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, 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 Crisp

Indulge yourself with these pumpkin crisp bars and 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

Ingredients

Pumpkin Pie Filling

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

Crumble Topping

  • 1 Package of Yellow or Spice Cake Mix* (see notes)
  • ½ cup vegan butter melted
  • ½ cup chopped pecan

Instructions

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 bowl. Stir vigorously to combine. If your coconut milk is somewhat solid, you can use a mixer or food processor to make this step faster. Or, heat the coconut milk in the microwave for 20 to 30 seconds to make it smoother.
  • 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.
  • Drizzle the top of the cake mix with the melted vegan butter. Then top with chopped pecans.
  • 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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Notes

Regarding the cake mix, use either a yellow or spice cake mix, whichever one you want, but check the label to make sure it does not contain dairy products or eggs.
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.

Enjoy!

2 Responses to Vegan Pumpkin Crisp

  1. 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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