Indulge in this gluten-free pumpkin cake's moist and rich texture, which perfectly complements the flavors of the smooth, fluffy cream cheese frosting. Enjoy this easy gluten-free Fall dessert that is perfect for the Holidays!
Imagine a gluten-free cake that's soft and fluffy and bursts with pumpkin spice's rich, comforting taste. Well, it's real! This gluten-free pumpkin spice cake is more than just a dessert; it's ideal for those seeking a gluten-free option throughout the season.
Its perfect balance of softness and warm spice flavor makes it a delightful choice whenever you're in the mood for a delicious pumpkin dessert. And it is perfect for holidays such as Thanksgiving and Christmas where you have pumpkin lovers. No one will notice this cake is gluten-free and it will be a hit!
If you're craving the cozy flavors of fall, try whipping up a batch of homemade pumpkin waffles. And, of course, no autumn feast is complete without a slice of classic pumpkin pie. These simple and comforting pumpkin recipes bring the essence of fall straight to your kitchen, making every bite a celebration of the season.
Moist, Fluffy, Gluten-free Pumpkin Cake
This cake has the softness of a perfectly moist texture and the lightness that makes it irresistibly fluffy. Adding pumpkin gives it a warm and cozy touch, making it a great treat for people who are sensitive to gluten or want to enjoy a tasty pumpkin dessert. This gluten-free pumpkin cake is a simple and satisfying treat that everyone will love, whether they eat it alone or with a whipped cream.
There is nothing scary in the ingredients to make this gluten-free pumpkin cake.
- Pumpkin Puree: This is the plain pumpkin in a can. You do NOT want a pumpkin pie filling in a can for this pumpkin cake. You also do NOT want to use a more watery canned pumpkin puree. A few of the organic brands tend to contain more water. For this recipe, I use Libby's 100% pure pumpkin cans that are gluten-free. You can also make homemade pumpkin puree if you want a fresh pumpkin taste.
- 1:1 Gluten-free Flour: The King Arthur brand 1:1 blend that contains xanthan gum works excellently in this recipe. You want a blend that has lighter gluten-free flour and xanthan gum. If your flour blend does not include xanthan gum, add a teaspoon before mixing it into the batter.
- Arrowroot Starch: If you can't find arrowroot starch, substitute it with corn or potato starch.
- Baking Powder: Make sure your baking powder is fresh and not expired for the best results.
- Baking Soda: It is a key ingredient as it helps the batter to rise and gives the final product a light and fluffy texture.
- Sugar: Sugar adds sweetness to the batter and helps to brown and caramelize the edges. You can also replace it with all brown sugar or coconut sugar if you prefer.
- Brown Sugar: It is excellent to use as it adds a rich and molasses-like flavor to the batter.
- Light Cooking Oil: Light cooking oil in this gluten-free cake also makes it a dairy-free cake. I use avocado oil, but you can use any light cooking oil.
- Eggs: Helps to bind the ingredients together.
- Vanilla: Vanilla extract adds a subtle and aromatic flavor to the batter, enhancing the overall taste.
- Spices: You'll need cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, and salt. You can also swap the spices with a pumpkin spice blend.
Grain-free cake - If you want to make this gluten-free pumpkin cake completely grain-free, you can do so by switching out the 1:1 gluten-free flour for cassava flour by weight. This will make it a cassava flour cake that is completely grain-free. Just make sure you whisk the cassava flour before measuring it by weight because it settles a lot.
Grain-free baking tip: Baking powder typically contains corn, so if you avoid grains, you might want to make your own.
- 4 Tablespoons Cream of Tartar
- 2 Tablespoons Baking Soda
- 2 Tablespoons Arrowroot Starch
- Mix them and then measure them like regular baking powder. Store in an airtight container.
Dairy-free pumpkin cake - This gluten-free pumpkin cake is already gluten-free. Typically, I frost the cake with a maple cream cheese frosting, which would make the cake not dairy-free. To keep the frosting dairy-free, substitute the butter and cream cheese for dairy-free alternatives or substitute palm shortening in equal parts. It will still be delicious.
How to Make the Best Gluten-Free Pumpkin Cake?
- Combine the dry ingredients in a mixing bowl and keep aside.
- Combine wet ingredients in a mixing bowl, ensuring a smooth blend. Mix until combined.
- Slowly add dry ingredients to the wet mixture, folding until thoroughly combined.
- Fold it in until no dry ingredients remain.
- Transfer the pumpkin cake batter to a 9x13 baking pan.
- Slide the pan into the oven and bake until a toothpick inserted comes out nearly clean.
- Let the cake cool on a wire rack for 45 minutes. Then only apply the cream cheese frosting.
- And it's ready. Enjoy!
Cream Cheese Frosting for Pumpkin Cake
- I enjoy topping this gluten-free pumpkin spice cake with a luscious maple cream cheese frosting layer. The delightful taste of the frosting complements the rich pumpkin spice flavors in the cake. You can find the recipe for the cream cheese frosting below in the recipe card.
- If you prefer, you also have the option to make a classic buttercream as an alternative to the cream cheese frosting.
- Please refer to the allergen notes for those aiming for an entirely dairy-free option, including the icing.
Tips For the Best Gluten-Free Pumpkin Cake
- Measure flours by weight- Measuring gluten-free flour by weight will give the most consistent results when making this gluten-free pumpkin cake.
- Use ingredients at room temperature - This applies to both the cake and frosting ingredients. For a moist and fluffy cake, it is important to have the ingredients at room temperature.
- Use a 9x13 pan for the best thickness and texture - This gluten-free cake batter is made for a larger pan. If you want to bake it off in smaller pans, you can, but the baking time must be adjusted.
- Line your baking pan with parchment paper- Lining the baking pan with parchment paper makes removing the full cake easy to cut into the perfect little gluten-free pumpkin bars to share.
- Remove the cake from the pan before it's fully cool - Let it rest for 5-10 minutes. Then, remove the cake from the pan and place it on parchment paper or wire rack to finish cooling. This will help keep the cake from getting soft from the residual heat in the pan as it cools.
- Let the cake fully cool before frosting- Let the cake cool at room temperature for at least 45 minutes before frosting. This will keep the frosting from sliding off the top of the cake.
How to Store Pumpkin Cake?
- Because I tend to make this pumpkin cake with a cream cheese frosting, I typically store it in a container in the fridge.
- This pumpkin cake will last a week in the fridge.
- What I love about this cake is that it does not get stiff when stored in the fridge, so you can enjoy it immediately without waiting for it to come to room temperature again before eating it.
- If you aren't using a cream cheese frosting, keep this gluten-free cake at room temperature for up to 3 days. Just ensure it is thoroughly cooled before storing it in a container.
Can I Freeze Pumpkin Cake?
For best results, I suggest to freeze this pumpkin cake without the frosting. Once the cake is cooled, wrap it in cling wrap, store it in a freezer-safe container, and freeze for up to 3 months. Defrost in the refrigerator, let the cake come to room temperature, and then top with fresh cream cheese frosting.
More Gluten-free Desserts
As delicious as these gluten-free pumpkin bars are, not everyone loves pumpkin. Here are a few more gluten-free cakes to share this season.
Moist Gluten-free Pumpkin Cake
For the gluten-free pumpkin cake.
- 1 ½ Cups 1:1 Gluten-free Flour 185 grams
- ½ Cup Arrowroot Starch 45 grams or Corn Starch
- 2 Teaspoons Baking Powder
- 1 Teaspoon Baking Soda
- 2 Teaspoons Cinnamon
- 1 Teaspoon Nutmeg
- ¼ Teaspoon Ground Ginger
- 1 Teaspoon Salt
- 1 15 Ounce Can Pumpkin Puree
- 4 Large Eggs
- 1 ½ Cups Sugar
- ½ Cup Brown Sugar Dark
- 1 Cup Avocado Oil or Neutral Cooking Oil
For the maple cream cheese frosting.
- ½ Cup Butter Soft
- ¾ Cup Cream Cheese At room temperature
- 4 Cups Powdered Sugar
- 2 Tablespoons Maple Syrup
- 2-3 Teaspoons Milk of Choice
For the Cake
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees, line a 9x13 baking pan with parchment paper and coat with a non-stick cooking spray.
- In a medium bowl, combine the gluten-free flour, arrowroot starch, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and spices (cinnamon, nutmeg, and ginger) and whisk together.1 ½ Cups 1:1 Gluten-free Flour, ½ Cup Arrowroot Starch, 2 Teaspoons Baking Powder, 1 Teaspoon Baking Soda, 2 Teaspoons Cinnamon, 1 Teaspoon Nutmeg, ¼ Teaspoon Ground Ginger, 1 Teaspoon Salt
- In a separate bowl, whisk together the pumpkin, eggs, sugar, brown sugar, and oil. Whisk the wet ingredients together until combined.4 Large Eggs, 1 ½ Cups Sugar, ½ Cup Brown Sugar, 1 Cup Avocado Oil, 1 15 Ounce Can Pumpkin Puree
- Fold the bowl of dry ingredients into the wet bowl until combined and no dry ingredients remain visible.
- Pour the batter into a greased parchment lined baking pan.
- Transfer the batter to the oven and bake for 30-40 minutes. The cake will look dark golden in color, and a toothpick or fork will come out clean.
- Allow the cake to cool for 10 minutes before carefully pulling it out of the pan to finish cooling on a wire rack. Cool completely for at least 45 minutes before applying frosting.
For the Frosting
- Cream together the butter and cream cheese until it is light and fluffy.½ Cup Butter, ¾ Cup Cream Cheese
- Add the powder sugar and whisk until combined.4 Cups Powdered Sugar
- Slowly add the milk and maple syrup and whisk until desired thickness.2 Tablespoons Maple Syrup, 2-3 Teaspoons Milk of Choice
- Spread the cream cheese frosting over the cooled cake.
- Serve the cake immediately or store it in the refrigerator for later.
- 1:1 Gluten-free Flour. - The King Arthur brand 1:1 blend containing xanthan gum works excellently in this recipe. You want a blend that has lighter gluten-free flour and xanthan gum. If your flour blend does not contain xanthan gum, add a teaspoon to the flour before mixing it into the batter.
- Pumpkin puree. - This is the plain pumpkin in a can. You do NOT want a pumpkin pie filling in a can for this pumpkin cake. You also do NOT want to use a more watery canned pumpkin puree. I've found a few of the organic brands tend to contain more water. For this recipe, I use Libby's 100% pure pumpkin cans that are gluten-free. You can also make homemade pumpkin puree if you want a fresh pumpkin taste.