This gluten free pumpkin snack cake is as easy as can be to make! Simple ingredients and full of flavor with spices. Delicious for dessert or breakfast.
This cake makes a great addition to Thanksgiving meals. The cream cheese buttercream frosting is optional but oh so delicious.
It is full of warm spices like cinnamon, cloves, and allspice. I love it super spicy but obviously, you can adjust it to what you like.
Best of all it’s gluten free and dairy free!
Free from: wheat, gluten, dairy (optional), casein (optional), fish, shellfish, soy, sesame, peanuts, tree nuts, coconut, corn, celery, and more
My family is big into snacking cakes. We love them for having a cup of coffee in the morning, with a cup of tea in the afternoon, and of course cake after dinner. Basically we love cake all day long! And what’s awesome about this pumpkin snack cake is how easy it is to mix up.
Full disclosure: This post contains affiliate links and you may view my full disclosure by clicking here.
Pumpkin - The star of the show is pure pumpkin puree! I love to use Libby’s brand for the best tasting pumpkin. Trader Joe’s also is a great option.
Non-dairy milk - I always make this cake dairy free and have had great success with both creamy oat milk and unsweetened rice milk.
Apple Cider - This secret ingredient is what gives this cake a little kick! If you can’t find apple cider, you can swap for apple juice. Note that apple cider is a non-alcoholic version.
You’ll also need:
- Brown sugar
- Olive oil
- Gluten free flour
- Baking powder and baking soda
Best Gluten Free Flour
There are so many different gluten free flours out there that it can be challenging to know which ones to use! For this recipe, I’ve used both King Arthur Measure for Measure and my own Homemade Gluten free flour recipe with great success.
That isn’t to say that you can’t use other brands, I just haven’t tried them. If you use a different flour blend, you may need to add more or less liquid ingredients to balance the other flour.
First, prep your oven by placing the rack in the middle of the oven and preheating it to 350F. Prepare an 8-inch round or 9-inch round cake pan with a light coating of a neutral oil. I also like to line the bottom of the pan to make it easier to remove after baking. Set this aside while you make the cake.
Next, in a small bowl, sift or whisk together all the dry ingredients: gluten free flour, cornstarch, spices, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set this aside.
In a large bowl, add the pumpkin, brown sugar, eggs, olive oil, milk of your choice, apple cider, and vanilla. Whisk this together. It takes a few minutes for it to come together so just keep mixing until it does!
Now slowly add the dry ingredients to the wet. I switch over to a spatula from my whisk at the point, but a whisk would still work. Gently mix the dry ingredients in until the batter is thick and delicious.
Transfer the batter to your prepared cake pan and bake uncovered for 40-45 minutes. You’ll know the cake is done when it has pulled away from the edges of the pan and a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake removes cleanly.
Let the cake cool on the countertop in the pan for 15 minutes before removing it onto a cooling rack. Make sure it is totally cool before frosting!
The pictures here show a maple buttercream frosting, but honestly, I most often just give this cake a light dusting of powdered sugar! That makes this cake even easier to mix up.
Here are a few other ideas for how to spice up this cake:
Pumpkin Chocolate Chips - Prepare the cake as directed, then fold in ⅔ cup chocolate chips before transferring to the pan. Bake as directed.
To make this corn free, replace the cornstarch with tapioca flour in an equal amount. Make sure that your powdered sugar is also corn free. My favorite is Wholesome Ingredients Powdered Sugar for a vegan and corn free mix!
How to Store
Store the cake if unfrosted on the countertop in a container for up to 3 days. If frosted, keep in the fridge for up to 5 days.
This cake can be frozen after baking. Make sure to wrap it in an airtight container and it will keep for up to 3 months.
If you try these out, please leave a comment below! This provides helpful feedback to both me and other readers. And if you want more delicious, dietary friendly recipes you can subscribe to my newsletter and follow along on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook!
- mixing bowl
- mixing spoon
- measuring cup
- measuring spoon
- 8-inch round or 9-inch round pan
- parchment paper
- hand mixer or stand mixer (optional)
- 1 cup pumpkin
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 2 eggs
- ½ cup olive oil
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- ¼ cup milk of choice
- ¼ cup apple cider
- 1 ¼ cup flour
- ¼ cup cornstarch swap tapioca flour if avoiding corn
- 1 tablespoon cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon cloves
- 1 teaspoon allspice
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ¼ teaspoon salt
Maple Buttercream (optional)
- ½ cup butter of your choice
- ¼ cup cream cheese of your choice
- 3 cups powdered sugar
- 1 tablespoon maple syrup or milk of choice
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- ¼ cup chopped pumpkin seeds
- Preheat the oven to 350F. In an 8-inch round or 9-inch round pan, generously grease and line with parchment paper. Set aside.
- In a small bowl, sift together the gluten free flour, cornstarch, cinnamon, cloves, allspice, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
- In a large mixing bowl with a whisk, combine the pumpkin, olive oil, brown sugar, milk, apple cider (or apple juice), and vanilla. Mix well, making sure to stir for at least 1 minute.
- Now add the dry ingredients to the wet. Mix well with a spatula, making sure to scrape the sides and the bottom of the bowl. Pour the batter into the prepared baking pan.
- Bake for 40-45 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the thickest part of the cake pulls out clean.
- Let it cool in the cake pan for 10 minutes before transferring to a cooling rack. Cool completely before frosting, if desired. Cake is also delicious plain or with a sprinkle of powdered sugar on top.
Maple Buttercream Frosting
- In a large bowl with a hand mixer or a stand mixer with the whisk attachment, whip together the butter and cream cheese until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes.
- Add sugar, maple syrup (or milk), and vanilla. Mix again until smooth, about 4 minutes.
- Frost the top of the cake and sprinkle it with pumpkin seeds. Enjoy!