Every bite of this moist pumpkin cake with cream cheese frosting is a celebration of fall. It’s a refreshingly different way to enjoy the pumpkin flavors you love.
Gluten-Free Pumpkin Cake
This pumpkin cake is like a cross between carrot cake and pumpkin pie. It’s perfectly moist with a rich and creamy frosting.
In this recipe, I’ll show you how to bake the perfect fall cake and how to make homemade cream cheese frosting. The frosting is incredible. You can use it in so many different ways. Add it on top of cupcakes or use it on other cinnamon-based cakes.
I don’t know about you, but I don’t need an excuse to eat a slice of cake. This is made from whole ingredients and is good for you, that you can eat it guilt-free.
There are a lot of different ways you can make this recipe, and I’ll share some of my favorite ingredient swaps at the end of this post.
I just know you are going to love how this tastes! It’s the perfect cake for fall birthdays, brunch, or just because you’re craving something with pumpkin in it.
Ingredients needed to make pumpkin cake
When you use whole ingredients, you can taste the difference. Here is a bit more information about what I used:
- Almond Flour: This is what keeps the cake gluten-free. Use 2 1/2 cups of blanched almond flour, not almond meal.
- Baking Soda: This interacts with the other ingredients to create fluffy cake, so use a teaspoon in the batter.
- Pumpkin Pie Spice: Use about two tablespoons to make it tastes like pumpkin pie.
- Salt: Add just enough salt to enhance all the flavors in this gluten-free cake recipe, about 1/4 a teaspoon.
- Eggs: This is an emulsifier and helps all the ingredients in the cake stick together – you need 3 large eggs.
- Pumpkin Puree: Both fresh and canned pumpkin will perfect in this cake. You need 1/2 a cup of real pumpkin puree. Do not use pumpkin pie filling.
- Coconut Oil: Add 1/4 a cup to prevent the cake from becoming too dry.
- Maple Syrup: Sweeten the cake with 1/2 a cup of real maple syrup.
- Vanilla: Add a teaspoon of real vanilla extract to give the cake a deeper flavor profile.
- Mini Chocolate Chips: These are optional, but they taste delicious when you add them to the cake. Add about 3/4 a cup.
Homemade cream cheese frosting
- Butter: You need 2 tablespoons of unsalted butter. If you use salted butter, don’t add extra salt to the frosting.
- Cream Cheese: It takes an entire package of cream cheese to make the frosting. Let it soften first before you try to whip it up.
- Maple Syrup: Just like you did with the cake, add 3 tablespoons of maple syrup to the cake to sweeten it naturally.
- Vanilla: You only need one teaspoon of pure vanilla extract to elevate the richness of the frosting.
- Salt: Add a pinch (1/8 teaspoon) of salt to make all the other flavors more pronounced.
Kitchen tools required
This recipe uses very basic kitchen tools. Here is what I used:
- 8×8 Baking Dish
- Mixing Bowls
- Hand Mixer
For measuring, you will need 1 cup, 1/2 cup, 3/4 cup, 1/4 cup, 1 tablespoon, 1/4 teaspoon, and 1/8 teaspoon.
How to make a pumpkin cake with cream cheese frosting
This recipe is pretty easy to make, even if you have never made a homemade pumpkin cake before!
First, preheat the oven to 350F and grease an 8×8 baking dish.
Then, mix flour, baking soda, pumpkin pie spice, and salt in a medium bowl. Set it aside.
Next, add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix them together.
Stir in the chocolate chips. Pour the cake batter into the baking dish and bake for 35-40 minutes or until the toothpick inserted comes out clean. Let cool.
While baking, use a hand mixer to beat together frosting ingredients until smooth. Once the cake has cooled completely, frost.
Enjoy your cake!
Below are some common homemade pumpkin cake questions. Don’t see the answer you’re looking for? Leave a comment at the bottom of this post!
Can I turn this cake into cupcakes or bars?
Yes, you can definitely turn this cake into pumpkin cupcakes or even dessert bars. Just bake the batter in your preferred baking trays and then top with the cream cheese frosting.
How many carbs are in pumpkin cake with cream cheese frosting?
This all depends on how big of a slice you cut and eat. There are about 35 grams of carbs in each slice if you cut it into 9 slices.
Is pumpkin healthy for you to eat?
Yes, pumpkin is a very nutritious winter squash. It’s high in both vitamin A and vitamin C. It’s also a fantastic source of gut-healthy fiber.
How do I make this a keto-friendly cake recipe?
Wondering if you can use a different type of meat and vegetables? There are a few ways you can!
Mix in some shredded zucchini or carrots to give it a boost in fiber and nutrition.
Instead of almond flour, you can use your favorite gluten-free flour. If you want the frosting to taste like pumpkin pie, too, then sprinkle some cinnamon and nutmeg into it.
This pumpkin cake is the perfect thing to make ahead of time. Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator. It will stay fresh for up to 5 days.
This cake freezes really well too. If you want to freeze it, don’t add the frosing. Wrap the unfrosted cake tightly in plastic wrap and then cover it in foil. This keeps all the air out of it.
It will stay fresh in the freezer for up to six months. Then, either thaw it on the counter for 6 hours or in the refrigerator overnight.
If you liked this recipe, you’ll want to try these!
There are so many healthy and delicious dessert recipes where this one came from. Try one of these next!
All recipes by Erin Morrissey and Photos by Sierra Ainn
- 2.5 cups almond flour
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 2 tbsp pumpkin pie spice
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 3 eggs
- 1/2 cup pumpkin puree
- 1/4 cup melted coconut oil
- 1/2 cup maple syrup
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 3/4 cup mini chocolate chips
- 2 tbsp butter, softened
- 1 package cream cheese, softened
- 3 tbsp maple syrup
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 1/8 tsp salt
- Preheat oven to 350F and grease an 8×8 baking dish.
- In a medium bowl, mix together flour, baking soda, pumpkin pie spice, and salt.
- In a large bowl, whisk together three eggs, pumpkin, coconut oil. maple syrup, and vanilla.
- Add wet ingredients to try and mix together.
- Stir in chocolate chips. Pour into baking dish and bake for 35-40 minutes or until toothpick inserted comes out clean. Let cool.
- While baking, use a hand mixer to beat together frosting ingredients until smooth. Once cake has cooled completely, frost.
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