Gluten-free Pumpkin Cake by Allison

Gluten-free Pumpkin Cake 

Pumpkins, pumpkins everywhere.   With October in full swing and Halloween just around the corner, one can see all the different varieties of pumpkins stacked on top of one another at the farmers’ markets. Pumpkins were for carving when I was younger, or even for coloring as I won a “pumpkin decorating” content at the co-op one year by drawing hair on my pumpkin with a marker, I’m sure that was the deciding factor in me bringing home the grand-prize!

When my Mom made her fabulous pumpkin cake, she used Libby’s canned pumpkin, and the cake turned out delicious every time. When I moved to Prague there was a shop where I could purchase the infamous Libby’s canned pumpkin, but the supply was not consistent as I’m sure people were hoarding cans of this coveted goodness to squirrel away for Thanksgiving or another yummy dish of some sort for the future. During my second year in Prague, the shop closed and was replaced by a museum, which was not conducive to impressing cake lovers in my social circle with my amazing pumpkin cake.

Liezel suggested I try roasting my own pumpkin instead, so when I ventured into uncharted pumpkin roasting territory and made my first cake with homemade pumpkin puree, the result was better, way better. So goodbye Libby’s canned pumpkin, so long, farewell and I don’t think I’ll ever need you again. I’ve got bags of frozen pumpkin puree in my freezer ready and waiting to become future and fabulous pumpkin cake. When I had to go gluten-free nearly two years ago, I thought the days of eating to-die-for pumpkin cake were over, but I was so wrong. Luckily, this happens to be one of those recipes where a direct substitution of gluten-free four and gluten-free baking powder work magically, thank goodness my life is not without pumpkin cake after all.


  • 4 eggs
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 cups pureed pumpkin
  • 2 cups gluten-free flour (Marks & Spencer gluten-free flour blend works great for this recipe)
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon gluten-free baking powder (can be found at Interspar)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon*
  • 1/2 teaspoon ginger*
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves*
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg*

* May substitute all these ingredients with 1 tablespoon and 1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice.

Cream cheese frosting (optional)

  • 4 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 3/4 cups powdered sugar
Roast the pumpkin
Cut your pumpkin into quarters, core and remove seeds. Place skin-side up and flesh side down on a roasting pan and add water to cover the bottom of the pan. Roast at 200 degrees for 45 minutes to an hour,  Baked until pumpkin flesh tests uniformly tender when fork is inserted. Let cool, discard the skin of the pumpkin and add the pumpkin to a blender or food processor and blend until smooth.
Prepare the cake
Preheat oven to 170 degrees C. Combine first four ingredients in a large bowl. Using a wire whisk, mix together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and spices; add to pumpkin mixture and mix well. Pour into greased 9″ x 13″ pan. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes. Cool. Beat together the cream cheese, butter, and vanilla extract, gradually add powdered sugar. Frost cooled cake. Cut and share with friends! Enjoy!

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