I have been making this recipe for something like 30 years now – the original version comes from one of the first cookbooks I ever owned. It has been such a favorite that I even shared it with Bernard, my baker-friend in Rennes, who adapted it for his boulangerie-pâtisserie.

Here, I’ve put my own spin on it and made it vegan. (Though no one could tell it’s vegan.) That way everyone can enjoy its moist, spicy loveliness. AND, I’ve added a pretty clever frosting (if I do say so myself) made with pumpkin purée which lends it a gorgeous orange (and 100% natural) color.

2 Tbs. flaxseed meal
1/3 cup hot water
1 cup flour
2 ½ tsp. baking powder
½ tsp. baking soda
½ tsp. salt
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
½ tsp. ground nutmeg
½ tsp. ground ginger
pinch ground cloves
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1 cup sugar
¾ cup pumpkin purée

¼ cup pumpkin purée
zest from 1 orange
1 ½ cups confectioners’ sugar

Preheat the oven to 350˚F. Grease a 9- x 9-inch square pan with oil, line the bottom of the pan with parchment paper, then grease the parchment paper.

Whisk the flaxseed meal with the water in a large bowl. Let thicken 10 minutes.

Whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and all the spices in a separate bowl.

Whisk the oil into the flaxseed slurry. Then add the sugar, followed by the pumpkin purée. Fold in the flour mixture with a spatula.

Spread the batter in the prepared pan, and bake 25 to 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes, then unmold and cool completely.

To make the frosting : Blend all ingredients in a mini food processor until smooth, adding more confectioners’ sugar if necessary to obtain a spreadable consistency. Frost the pumpkin cake, cut into squares, and decorate with candy corn. Makes 16 squares