Gluten-Free Pumpkin Cake – Downshiftology

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by Sil Pancho

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12.27.2021


This is the most amazing gluten-free pumpkin cake recipe (if I do say so myself) for the holidays. It’s soft and moist with just the right amount of sweetness and pumpkin flavoring. And the luscious cream cheese frosting really takes it over the top.

A slice of gluten-free pumpkin cake on a plate

This Fluffy Gluten-Free Pumpkin Cake Is What Holiday Desserts Are All About

Don’t be fooled by the word gluten-free, because this pumpkin cake is anything but dry and bland. Instead, it’s a pumpkin riff on everyone’s favorite paleo chocolate cake that’s incredibly light, airy, and SO moist. I’m swapping cacao powder for creamy pumpkin puree, gliding a cream cheese frosting across the top, and sprinkling chopped pecans for a nutty, festive touch. Trust me when I say this tastes just as good as it sounds.

It’s also a lot easier to make than you think! Just whip up the cake batter, pour it into a pan, pop it in the oven, and make the frosting while you wait for it to cool.

If you’ve got pumpkin lovers at any holiday festivities, I guarantee this gluten-free pumpkin cake will steal their hearts. AKA – this belongs on your list of must-make Christmas and Thanksgiving desserts.

Gluten-free pumpkin cake ingredients on a counter.

What’s In This Pumpkin Cake?

This gluten-free pumpkin cake has my usual triumvirate of flours, plus a few extra ingredients you might need to pick up – such as pumpkin puree, cream cheese, and powdered sugar. Here’s what you’ll need.

For the base of the cake, you’ll need:

  • My infamous flour trio: After much recipe testing, I’ve found that a blend of almond flour, tapioca flour, and coconut flour results in the most soft and moist cake ever.
  • Coconut Sugar: Coconut sugar is ideal for this recipe because the sugar crystals allow for small air pockets to help give it extra fluff.
  • Pumpkin Spice: Just a tablespoon for the perfect amount of pumpkin goodness!
  • Baking Soda + Apple Cider Vinegar: My go-to blend to help any baked goods rise. You could always sub with baking powder.
  • Eggs: This recipe calls for 4 large eggs to add into the wet mixture.
  • Pumpkin Puree: To make it easy, grab a can of pumpkin puree (and not pumpkin pie filling). But if you’re feeling ambitious, feel free to whip up your own puree with fresh pumpkin!
  • Coconut Oil: You can use refined or unrefined – either way you won’t taste the coconut flavor. You could also use a light-flavored vegetable oil.
  • Vanilla Extract: You’ll need just a touch of sweet vanilla flavor.
The frosting ingredients for gluten-free pumpkin cake on a counter.

If the cream cheese frosting looks familiar, it’s because it’s the same recipe used in my gluten-free carrot cake. Here’s what’s in it.

  • Cream Cheese: I love using cream cheese for a thick, luscious texture with a slight tang. Perfect for a frosting!
  • Butter: You’ll need just one stick of unsalted butter, but you can also use ghee.
  • Vanilla Extract: One teaspoon of this to give the frosting a little oomph.
  • Powdered Sugar: Make sure to use confectioner’s sugar! Alternatively, you can make your own right at home with my easy powdered sugar recipe.

Find the printable recipe with measurements below.

How To Make The Best Gluten-Free Pumpkin Cake

For this gluten-free pumpkin cake, I’m using a 9×13-inch pan (23×33 cm) pan instead of a round one. This makes it much easier to slice into squares and serve at a party. But before we start baking, grease the pan with butter or coconut oil and preheat the oven to 350°F (177°C).



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