How To Ace Thanksgiving Dessert With This Grain-Free Pumpkin Cake Recipe
By Pamela Salzman
It wouldn’t be the season without at least one dish that is pumpkin-flavored, am I right? And let me tell you, there will be no need to light your favorite pumpkin-flavored candle for your next dinner party after you prepare this amazing grain-free pumpkin cake. While fall is still here (and winter is visible on the horizon), delight your guests with the perfect fall staple – pumpkin cake. We promise there will be guaranteed satisfaction.
2 cups fine blanched almond flour (not almond meal)
½ cup cassava flour, arrowroot powder, or tapioca flour
2 teaspoons aluminum-free baking powder (look for grain-free baking powder if necessary)
½ teaspoon baking soda
¾ teaspoon sea salt
¾ teaspoon ground cinnamon*
¾ teaspoon ground nutmeg
½ teaspoon ground ginger
½ teaspoon ground cloves
¼ cup melted unrefined virgin coconut oil or olive oil + more for greasing the pan
3 large eggs, at room temperature
1 cup pumpkin puree (NOT pumpkin pie filling) or half a 15-ounce can
½ cup pure maple syrup or honey
2 Tablespoons apple cider vinegar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Optional add-ins: currants, raisins or diced dates, chopped pecans
8 ounces of cream cheese, at room temperature (dairy or dairy-free)
3 Tablespoons pure maple syrup
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon (omit for a basic frosting)
Candied Pumpkin Seeds:
Unrefined coconut oil or unsalted butter for greasing
1 Tablespoon pure maple syrup
1 Tablespoon brown sugar
pinch of sea salt
¼ cup hulled pumpkin seeds
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease an 8-inch or 9-inch cake pan, preferably a springform pan. Line the bottom with a piece of unbleached parchment paper, if desired.
- Place all cake ingredients, except optional add-ins, in the bowl of a food processor fitted with the standard metal blade or in a blender. Process until well combined and smooth.
- Pour the batter into the prepared pan, smoothing the top with a spatula.
- Bake in the middle of the oven for 35-45 minutes or until the cake is lightly browned and a toothpick comes out clean. Baking time will depend on your oven as well as the size pan you use. Cool for 10 minutes, then run a knife around the edge of the pan, remove the cake and cool on a cooling rack. Cool completely before frosting. Cake can be made several days ahead and kept in the refrigerator, well-wrapped. Bring to room temp before serving. -over-
- Prepare the frosting: beat together cream cheese, syrup and cinnamon until smooth. If using dairy cream cheese, it is helpful to use an electric mixer. You can use a whisk for dairy-free cream cheese. Frosting can be made a few days ahead and kept refrigerated.
- Prepare the candied pumpkin seeds: Preheat oven or toaster oven to 375 degrees. Line a small baking sheet with unbleached parchment paper and lightly grease the paper.
- In a small saucepan, whisk together the maple syrup, brown sugar and salt over medium heat. Stirring constantly, cook until mixture is foamy, about 2 minutes. Stir in pumpkin seeds and toss to coat. Quickly spread out mixture on prepared parchment. Bake for 10 minutes, turning after 5 minutes. (Check early if your oven runs hot.) Remove from the oven to cool at room temperature where they will harden. Candied seeds can be prepared several days in advance.
*Or use 2 ½ teaspoons of your favorite pumpkin pie spice instead of all four individual spices.