Pumpkin Cake

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This pumpkin cake is a delicious, healthy recipe that makes a festive fall dessert. This is the perfect recipe for a bake sale or last-minute dinner guests.
Pumpkin cake is a delicious, healthy recipe that makes a festive fall dessert. This is the perfect recipe for a bake sale or last-minute dinner guests.

Fall is here, so it’s pumpkin time in my house. I’ve been perfecting this pumpkin cake for years. It’s one of my favorite treats in the fall, and I can feel good about eating it.

I find that pumpkin recipes don’t need nearly as much oil or added moisture as other baked goods because the pureed pumpkin is so moist. This recipe uses gluten-free flour, but it also works well with white whole wheat flour. Frosting is optional, and I think the cake tastes great with or without the frosting.

Pumpkin Cake

This pumpkin cake is a delicious, healthy recipe that makes a festive fall dessert
Print Recipe
Prep Time:15 minutes
Cook Time:30 minutes
Total Time:45 minutes

Recommended Equipment


Ingredients for the Cake

  • 1 3/4 cups gluten-free flour
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 4 eggs
  • 1/4 cup melted coconut oil
  • 2/3 cup maple syrup
  • 1/3 cup applesauce
  • 2 cups pumpkin puree

Ingredients for the Icing

  • 1/4 cup palm oil shortening or softened butter
  • 2 tbs softened solid coconut oil
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tbs milk (dairy or non-dairy)


  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and grease a 9 x 13 inch baking dish.
  • In a medium bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt.
  • In a large bowl, combine the eggs, coconut oil, maple syrup, applesauce, and pumpkin puree.
  • Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and stir until well-combined.
  • Bake for 30-40 minutes, until the cake is set and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
  • To make the icing, combine all ingredients in a stand mixer and mix until well-combined and smooth.
  • When the cake has completely cooled, spread the icing in a thin layer on the cake. If you want a thick layer of frosting, double the recipe.

Approximate Nutrition Info

Calories: 188kcal | Carbohydrates: 25g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 9g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Cholesterol: 41mg | Sodium: 324mg | Potassium: 124mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 13g | Vitamin A: 4960IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 45mg | Iron: 1mg
Servings: 16
Calories: 188kcal
Cost: $.45 per serving

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Pumpkin Cake Price Breakdown

This cake costs $7.16 to make, or $.45 per piece.  This pumpkin cakes uses lots of healthy ingredients, so you can feel good about serving it to your family.


  1. Ahhhh this cake is simply amazing! I realized I only had three eggs when I was finished combining the dry ingredients…oops! So I subbed the fourth egg for 1/4 cup of Greek yogurt. I also used organic oat flour and replaced the oil with more applesauce. To reduce the sugar I replaced the maple syrup with Truvia baking blend. Such a wonderful, healthy, guilt-free recipe! Thanks so much 🙂

  2. My cake is cooling now, so excited! Question: does this need to be stored in the fridge after being frosted or can it sit on the counter for a day or two (if it lasts that long!)? Thanks!

    1. I hope you like it, Sarah! You can store it on the counter for a couple days. If you need to store it for longer, I recommend cutting it into pieces and freezing it. Enjoy!

      1. The cake is so yummy, however my frosting is brown and not as fluffy as yours. This is my first attempt at a non-powdered sugar frosting, so I guess I just need to get the hang of it.

      2. I hope it tastes okay! I think the coloring in my picture is a little off because the frosting does come out slightly brown with the maple syrup. You can always leave the frosting off – it tastes great both ways.

      3. The frosting tasted good, just not so pretty. But Annemarie, the cake is SO good! I can’t wait to make this again soon!

  3. Thank you so much for your recipes. I started “eating clean” in January and had the crazy notion that that meant no more sweets lol. I do have a question on the flour I’ve been using oat flour for some recipes. Can I do that with this? If not would coconut flour work or be too sweet? Otherwise I have to go shopping immediately 🙂

    1. Nathalia, this recipe converts well between my gluten-free flour and whole wheat flour. I haven’t baked with oat or coconut flour, but I think they would work fine here because of the high moisture content. Let me know if you try it!

    1. My doctor suggests that GF is not the best for me. Can this me made equally well with regular flour or would other parts of the recipe need to be adjusted?

  4. I love anything pumpkin, and I also love how simple this recipe looks! Thanks for sharing, I can’t wait to try baking it.

    1. I hope you like it, Dana! I’ve made it twice in the last week – we can’t get enough of it in my house.

  5. I’m a fan of everything pumpkin related 🙂 This cake looks nice and moist, I love how pumpkin really does take the place of some of the oil/butter.

  6. I had a Starbuck’s pumpkin cake yesterday (too sweet) and thought I gotta make some of that soon. I love the frosting squiggles on your cake, looks nicer than a big smear (though I won’t be opposed to eating that, either!) Thanks for posting your GF recipe! 🙂

    1. As much as I love a bakery muffin, they’re always too sweet for me. And I have a big sweet tooth, say that’s saying something! The frosting squiggles are a fun presentation, but it does taste the same no matter how you smear it on.

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