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Almost healthy enough you can eat it for breakfast, this Gluten-Free Pumpkin Cake is a more nutrient dense take on the classic. It’s moist, tender and totally delicious. Top it with a maple cream cheese frosting, or homemade fluff. Either way, it will be welcome at any celebration or holiday dinner (or just a regular tuesday afternoon)!
Paleo Pumpkin Cake
We’ll never stop loving new pumpkin recipes! And this new Gluten-Free Pumpkin Cake is an absolutely delicious addition to the annual pumpkin recipes we all love to make. Aside from the fact that this pumpkin cake is just darn delicious, our version is so much more nutrient-dense and healthier than a traditional cake. The cake itself is also dairy-free and paleo, plus we give options below for changing out the cream cheese frosting.
We wanted to keep this cake simple, so the batter is made all in one bowl, and we’ve made it a sheet cake! That way, no need to fuss with layers and decorating techniques.
It’s the perfect cake to serve at a celebration, family holiday, or an afternoon snack!
Pumpkin Cake Ingredients
- Pumpkin Puree (homemade or canned)
- Oat Flour
- Coconut Flour
- Pumpkin Pie Spice (make it homemade!)
- Maple Sugar or Coconut Sugar
- Avocado or Coconut Oil
- Baking Powder + Baking Soda
- Cream Cheese
- Maple Syrup
Pumpkin: Feel free to use really any type of squash puree here! Or even sweet potato puree!
Flour: This recipe is specifically made for the use of coconut and oat flour together. Unfortunately, we cannot suggest substitutes.
Sugar: To make this using unrefined sweeteners, we’re suggesting maple sugar or coconut sugar for the cake. You cannot substitute honey or maple syrup as it adds too much additional liquid. We haven’t tried brown sugar, but we think it would work as a replacement.
Maple Syrup: If you don’t want to use maple syrup to sweeten the cream cheese frosting, you can swap it out with organic powdered sugar!
Oil: Any type of neutral oil used for baking will work here. You could also use melted butter, though we really preferred the texture and moisture level with neutral-tasting avocado oil (we like Chosen Foods).
Eggs: We haven’t tested this with an egg substitute. Because this recipe relies on four eggs to make the structure work, we are hesitant to try it with an egg substitute. If you do, please let us know how it goes!
Tips for Making Maple Cream Cheese Frosting
We LOVED how this cream cheese frosting came out using just maple syrup as the sweetener. At first, when you are making it, you might think it won’t come together. But keep whipping it as eventually, the frosting will thicken up to a lovely consistency.
Our best tip is to make sure your cream cheese has been at room temperature for about an hour. This helps achieve the creamiest frosting. In addition, make sure to beat it well before you add the maple syrup!
Dairy-Free Frosting Options
We’ve opted to top this with a maple cream cheese frosting, but you can feel free to use either a dairy-free cream cheese with this recipe or instead pair it with our Marshmallow Fluff recipe which is dairy and refined sugar-free. This cake is also delicious by itself and can be served alone, but this gluten-free pumpkin cake uses less sugar than most traditional pumpkin cakes so you may notice it more without a frosting.
Tips for Making Gluten-Free Cake
- Sift your oat and coconut flour first if they are lumpy. It makes it easier to fully incorporate.
- Use an electronic kitchen scale if you have one. It makes it easier to measure the gluten-free flours, and we’ve included grams in the ingredient list.
- Gluten-free cakes are a little trickier to check when they are done. Some signs to look out for: the cake is nice and golden brown, it has completely puffed up throughout, cracks are not uncommon, when you stick toothpick it should come out clean, and when you gently press in the center of the cake it will spring back as opposed to leaving a dent (which is a sign it is underdone).
- Let the cake cool completely before frosting.
- The cake can be made up to one day in advance. Leave it at room temperature covered until ready to frost.
- We direct you to use a parchment paper sling to bake the cake in. If you plan to serve the cake inside of the baking pan you do not need to use this. If you want to take the cake out and serve on a different platter the sling will help you easily take it out of the pan.
- Once it is frosted it needs to be kept in the refrigerator. It can be assembled up to two days in advance. Like most cakes, it will get moister each day it sits.
Doubling the Recipe
We’ve written this recipe to be baked in an 8″ square baking pan, which will make 9 servings. However, we’ve also tested baking this in a 9×13″ cake pan to make 12-16 servings, and it works really well. When doubling the recipe, you will need to double everything. The baking time will increase by about 10 minutes, for a total bake time of about 38-42 minutes.
If you like this healthy cake recipe, check out these others:
- Gluten Free Hostess Cupcakes
- The Best Gluten-Free Chocolate Cake
- The Best Gluten-Free Layer Birthday Cake
- Caramel Upside Down Honey Cake
Watch the video:
Gluten Free Pumpkin Cake
- 4 large eggs
- 1 cup maple sugar or coconut sugar
- 1 cup pumpkin puree homemade or canned
- ¼ cup avocado oil or melted coconut oil
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- ¾ cup 90 grams oat flour
- 1/2 cup 56 grams coconut flour
- 1-1/2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
- 1-1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- Pinch fine sea salt
- 8 ounces cream cheese cubed, (at room temperature for 1 hour)
- 1/3 cup maple syrup
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Preheat oven to 350ºF. Prepare a 8 x 8" square baking dish by coating with cooking spray and making a parchment paper sling. Set aside.
- Add the eggs, maple sugar, pumpkin, oil and vanilla to a large bowl and whisk together until fully combined.
- To the bowl add the oat flour, coconut flour, pumpkin pie spice, baking powder, baking soda and salt mix it together until it's fully combined.
- Transfer the batter into the prepared baking dish and smooth down the top with an offset spatula.
- Baking in the middle rack for 30-35 minutes, or until the top is puffy and it springs back when lightly pushed down in the middle.
- Transfer to a cooling rack and let cool completely.
- Add cream cheese to the bowl of an electric mixer. Mix on high speed for 2 minutes, until very smooth, scraping down the bowl once or twice. Add maple syrup and vanilla and beat on high speed until lightened and fluffy, about 2-3 minutes.
- Spread the frosting on top of the pumpkin cake.
- Cut into 9 slices and serve.