baking gluten-free naturally sweet

Gluten-Free Pumpkin Cake with Maple Cream Cheese Frosting

12 November 2021

Thanksgiving is two weeks away – that came up fast. I’ve ordered my (very large) turkey and am planning out the rest of the meal. Simple is key this year as we’ll be 10 for dinner. I’ll be doing some of the holiday dishes while my mom and others will be contributing too. I’ve been guilty of overloading the dinner table on previous Thanksgiving meals, and I’d like to keep things simple this year! Simple also helps with any dietary needs, and I’m always cooking with an eye toward vegetarian/vegan, healthy, and also gluten-free and low-sugar. This is why this lovely pumpkin cake would make a wonderful addition to the dessert selection.

This is the pumpkin cake of my dreams — lightly sweetened with maple sugar and topped with a tangy cream cheese-Greek yogurt frosting. You could also make this recipe as a loaf, skipping the frosting but adding a handful of dark chocolate chips or toasted, chopped walnuts.  The combination of almond flour and pumpkin flour is one of my favorites; the two together make for a lovely crumb with a bit of heft. The applesauce stands in for a bit of the oil, though you could use 2/3 cup olive oil if you want the cake to be a little richer.

Could you include this on your Thanksgiving table? Bien sur, and it it will work delightfully as an after-Thanksgiving treat when you’re tidying up after the big meal. It can also be packaged up nicely to send home with any dinner guests.

I’ll  be sharing a few more Thanksgiving-relevant recipes next week, just in time for prep to get into full swing.

Til next time — N x

Pumpkin Cake with Maple Cream Cheese Frosting

A gluten and refined-sugar free pumpkin cake.
Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 55 mins
Course Dessert
Servings 12


For cake

  • 1 1/2 cups finely ground almond flour
  • 1 1/2 cups gluten-free oat flour
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 1 cup maple sugar
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 (15-ounce) can pumpkin purée or 2 cups pureed pumpkin
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

For frosting

  • 4 oz cream cheese at room temperature
  • 1/4 cup Greek yogurt (I used nonfat)
  • 1-2 tbsp maple syrup


Make cake

  • Heat the oven to 350 F. Well grease a springform pan. You could also use a square pan, lined with parchment, and two small loaf pans. The parchment will help the cake come out easily.
  • Whisk together the flours, spices, baking soda, and salt in a medium bowl.
  • In a large bowl, whisk together the applesauce, oil, and maple sugar. Add the eggs one at a time, whisking until each is incorporated. Whisk in the pumpkin purée and vanilla extract until very smooth and well combined.
  • Stir and whisk in the flour mixture and mix just until flour is no longer visible.
  • Transfer batter to the prepared pan, spreading into an even layer.
  • Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean, 55 to 60 minutes. Remove from oven and cool for 10 minutes in the pan on a wire rack. Gently flip the cake out onto the rack and cool completely.

Make frosting

  • In a large bowl with a mixer, cream the cream cheese and yogurt until fluffy. Add the vanilla and the maple syrup one tablespoon at a time. Taste, and add more maple syrup if wished. Spread the top of the cake with the frosting.


If you cannot have oats, try 1 1/2 cups of sorghum flour. 
Keyword gluten-free, lightly sweet, refined sugar-free

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