Gluten Free Pumpkin Cake with Cinnamon Frosting – This fluffy, perfectly-spiced pumpkin cake is what fall dreams are made of. It’s the best pumpkin cake I’ve ever tasted! (Gluten Free, Paleo-Friendly)
It wouldn’t be fall at my house without a new pumpkin recipe and this one is my current favorite. (At least until tomorrow, when I share another favorite…and the day after that when I share another favorite….)
We’re talking about GLUTEN FREE PUMPKIN CAKE!
Fluffy pumpkin cake laced with the perfect blend of warm spices and topped with a dreamy cinnamon frosting you’ll have daydreams about. It’s THE BEST pumpkin cake I’ve ever had (with or without gluten).
Milo (6) already wants it for his birthday in January.
It’s the real deal–the perfect fall treat or non-pie addition to Thanksgiving!
Here’s what makes it so amazing…
WHAT MAKES THIS GLUTEN FREE PUMPKIN CAKE AMAZING:
THE FLUFFY TEXTURE. The cake is almost impossibly light and fluffy. I honestly don’t think I’ve ever had a better pumpkin cake. The combination of pumpkin with almond flour and arrowroot means you get a moist, fluffy pumpkin cake.
THE CINNAMON FROSTING. This light cinnamon frosting is so dreamy you’ll be thinking about it long after your last bite. It feels like the perfect way to top this gluten free pumpkin cake. (If you’re paleo or need a naturally sweetened option, see the FAQ for some suggestions!)
IT’S PALEO FRIENDLY. The cake itself is just a quick swap away from being 100% paleo, and I’ve got a few paleo frosting options below you’ll love if you need a refined sugar free option.
THE BEST WAY TO TOP THIS GLUTEN FREE PUMPKIN CAKE? DREAMY CINNAMON FROSTING.
You know I love a good naturally sweetened frosting or glaze (see this amazing chocolate frosting, for instance). BUT. I really wanted a good, old-fashioned cinnamon frosting like the kind my grandma used to make. This is it. It’s just a few ingredients, but whipped together (a hand mixer makes it so easy!), they become light, soft, and the perfect combination of sweetness and spices.
- Organic Powdered Sugar (Again, see the FAQ for a naturally sweetened option!)
- A little butter or vegan butter
- A drizzle of milk (I use almond–use whatever you drink!)
- A *tiny* pinch of salt (optional–but does great things for balancing the flavor!)
A QUICK TIP FOR YOUR FROSTING: I like to look for powdered sugar that ONLY contains sugar (Safeway’s organic store brand has a good one!) for the best taste, but otherwise, I look for organic powdered sugar as I find there’s often less of the starch (cornstarch, arrowroot, tapioca starch) in it than in some of the less expensive brands. Less starch = better taste! Similarly, the better quality vanilla, the better the frosting.
FAQ + TIPS & TRICKS FOR THIS GLUTEN FREE PUMPKIN CAKE:
HOW TO MAKE IT PALEO. If you’re strictly paleo, you’ll want to use paleo-approved baking powder (or an additional 1/8 tsp. Baking soda + 1/4 tsp. Cream of Tartar. The rest of the cake is 100% paleo approved! As for the frosting, here’s what I recommend…
NATURALLY SWEETENED FROSTING OPTIONS. If you’re paleo, avoiding refined sugars, or simply want a different frosting option, you might like one of these:
- How to Make Paleo Powdered Sugar (then you can use it in my frosting recipe!) – Primal Palate
- Creamy Cashew Cream Cheese Frosting – Minimalist Baker
- Maple Pecan Glaze – Detoxinista
- Paleo & Vegan Medjool Date Caramel Sauce – Feasting on Fruit
CAN I SUBSTITUTE THE ALMOND FLOUR FOR SOMETHING ELSE? Not if you want the same result. I tested it with gluten free 1:1 flour, and even when I played with the amounts, the cake was dense and more dry. Also, you absolutely CANNOT substitute coconut flour for the almond flour. Coconut flour absorbs several times its own volume in liquid, so unless you adjust the amounts of flour and/or wet ingredients, it will not work. Swapping coconut flour 1:1 will give you a dry, crumbly, crusty cake. No bueno.
CAN I MAKE IT VEGAN? I haven’t tried this without eggs, but I’d LOVE to know how it goes if you try it with flax eggs, additional pumpkin, or a powdered egg replacer!
HOW TO STORE YOUR GLUTEN FREE PUMPKIN CAKE. We keep ours covered in the refrigerator, and it’ll last 3-4 days in the fridge. You can also freeze it for about 1 month in a freezer-safe bag.
LOVE THIS PUMPKIN CAKE? YOU MIGHT ALSO LOVE:
- The Best Healthy Pumpkin Recipes (all my pumpkin recipes in one spot!)
- Gluten Free Chocolate Zucchini Cake
- Almond Flour Lemon Cake
- Almond Flour Banana Cake with Chocolate Ganache
- The PERFECT Gluten Free Brownies (also Paleo!)
HELPFUL FOR THIS RECIPE:
Gluten Free Pumpkin Cake with Cinnamon Frosting – This fluffy, perfectly-spiced pumpkin cake is what fall dreams are made of. It’s the best pumpkin cake I’ve ever tasted! (Paleo-Friendly)
FOR THE GLUTEN FREE PUMPKIN CAKE:
- 3/4 cup pumpkin puree (not pie filling)
- 3 eggs
- 1/3 cup pure maple syrup
- 1/4 cup avocado oil
- 1 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
- 1 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp. nutmeg
- 1/2 tsp. cardamom
- 1/4 tsp. salt
- 1 tsp. baking soda
- 1/2 tsp. baking powder
- 2 cups almond flour
- 1/2 cup arrowroot or cornstarch
FOR THE CINNAMON FROSTING:
- 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
- 2 Tbsp. butter, vegan butter, or ghee (softened)
- 2 Tbsp. pure maple syrup
- 1–2 Tbsp. milk (I use almond milk–use whatever you drink)
- 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
- 1/4–1/2 tsp. vanilla
- pinch salt (optional)
FOR THE GLUTEN FREE PUMPKIN CAKE:
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line an 8×8″ or 9×9″ square pan with parchment paper.
- In a large bowl, combine pumpkin puree, eggs, maple syrup, avocado oil, vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg, cardamom, and salt. Whisk until smooth.
- Sprinkle over almond flour, arrowroot, baking soda, and baking powder. Stir until just combined.
- Pour batter into prepared baking dish and smooth the surface with a spatula.
- Bake at 350 degrees F. for 25-30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean with just a few moist crumbs.
- Allow cake to cool completely before adding frosting.
FOR CINNAMON FROSTING:
- Add powdered sugar, softened butter, syrup, 1 Tbsp. milk, cinnamon, 1/4 tsp. vanilla, and a pinch of salt.
- Whip with a hand mixer until completely smooth, adding more milk as needed. (Add milk about 1 tsp. at a time. so you don’t thin it out too much.)
- If your frosting is too thin, add more powdered sugar. If it’s too thick to be smooth and spreadable, add milk 1 tsp. at a time.
- Spread frosting over cooled cake. Slice and enjoy!
NUTRITION FACTS = CAKE ONLY (since I know many of you will want to make it with a naturally sweetened frosting.)
CINNAMON FROSTING NUTRITION FACTS. If you’re adding the cinnamon frosting, you’ll add approximately 93 cal + 1.5g fat + 0g protein + 20.5g carbs + 20.2g sugar + 147mg sodium per serving
- Category: Dessert, Cake
- Method: Baking
- Cuisine: American
Keywords: gluten free pumpkin cake, pumpkin cake with cinnamon frosting, cinnamon frosting, gluten free pumpkin cake with cinnamon frosting, gluten free pumpkin cake with cinnamon icing, pumpkin cake with cinnamon icing, cinnamon icing, paleo pumpkin cake, paleo friendly pumpkin cake