Gluten Free Pumpkin Cake

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Gluten-Free Pumpkin Cake is packed with delicious fall flavors and also uses healthier ingredients. You’ll only need one bowl and a wooden spoon to whip this dessert together.

Image of Gluten-Free Pumpkin Cake on a plate with ice cream on top ready to be eaten.

Gluten-Free Pumpkin Cake

If you’ve enjoyed these flourless pumpkin muffins or have tried this healthy pumpkin bread, I know you are going to love this healthier Gluten-Free Pumpkin Cake.

Check out this dense, flavor-packed, fall-flavored treat that’s made with better-for-you ingredients. It’s also a snap to whip up — you only need one bowl, pretty standard ingredients, no hand mixers, and one baking pan. 

With oat flour instead of wheat, applesauce in place of lots of oil, coconut oil (a healthier oil), an egg, pumpkin puree, and plenty of spices, this truly is made with better-for-you ingredients. I have to say, though, the nutritional value does go way down if you serve it with a ginormous scoop (or two) of vanilla bean ice cream…but since you are “saving” all those calories anyway… 🙂

Process shots-- images of the cake batter being made showing the wet and the dry ingredients being made and mixed together and then the dough being put in the prepared tin

How to make Gluten-Free Pumpkin Cake

The descriptions below correlate with the photo collage above.

  1. Add all the wet ingredients to a large bowl: The canned pumpkin, applesauce, melted-and-cooled coconut oil, egg, almond milk, and vanilla extract.
  2. Mix the wet ingredients:  Stir until well combined.
  3. Wet ingredients finished!
  4. Add in all the dry ingredients: Measure cinnamon, allspice, nutmeg, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and dark chocolate chips.
  5. Mix: Until ingredients are completely combined.
  6. Transfer: Spoon the cake batter into a greased and floured (with oat flour) 9-inch cake pan. Bake!

Process shot-- images of the oat flour being made for Gluten-free Pumpkin Cake

How to make oat “flour”

If you have quick oats or old fashioned oats, you can have oat flour in a flash!

  1. Place the oats (you can use old fashioned or quick oats, but not steel cut oats) into the bowl of your food processor or small blender jar.
  2. Pulse the oats until ground into a powder-like consistency that resembles flour (see photo above on the right).
  3. Stir the oats around if needed to be sure all the oats are finely ground and there aren’t any full oats left. 
  4. Make sure to measure your oat flour after it’s been turned to flour and not in the original whole oat form.

Images of Gluten-Free Pumpkin Cake fresh out of the oven and ready to be eaten.

Quick tips

  • Use good quality, thick canned pumpkin: My favorite brand of canned pumpkin is Libby’s® (not sponsored). A lot of other brands water down the pumpkin and if it is watery, that affects the texture and taste of this cake. Press out excess liquid from wet pumpkin with a few paper towels. While we’re talking about canned pumpkin, make sure you’re using 100% canned pumpkin and not pumpkin pie filling.
  • A lot of pumpkin recipes call for a full can of pumpkin. Gluten-Free Pumpkin Cake only needs 1 cup. (Ideas on how to use leftover pumpkin are included below!)
  • Ensure all the products you are using are indeed gluten free. While all the ingredients listed are naturally gluten free, they are sometimes made in facilities with gluten. To be safe, always check the labels of what you’re using.
  • Melted coconut oil: If you add hot melted oil to the cake, it will clump. Melt the oil and then wait for it to completely return to room temperature before adding it in.
  • Generously grease the pan: Before adding any of the pumpkin cake batter, make sure to prepare the pan.

How to use leftover pumpkin:

With the leftover pumpkin, you’ve got plenty of options for how to use it up. Here are some of our favorites.

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Gluten-Free Pumpkin Cake*

5 from 3 votes
Gluten-Free Pumpkin Cake is packed with delicious fall flavors and also uses healthier ingredients. You'll only need a bowl and a wooden spoon to whip this dessert together.
Print Recipe

Gluten-Free Pumpkin Cake*

5 from 3 votes
Gluten-Free Pumpkin Cake is packed with delicious fall flavors and also uses healthier ingredients. You'll only need a bowl and a wooden spoon to whip this dessert together.
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Keyword Gluten Free Pumpkin Cake
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 55 minutes
Servings 10 servings
Calories 235kcal
Cost $4.35

Ingredients

  • 1 cup canned pumpkin (not pumpkin pie filling and not an entire can!)
  • 1/4 cup applesauce
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk (vanilla flavored)
  • 1/4 cup melted coconut oil
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1 cup oat flour (regular oats that have been blended in a blender) See Note 1
  • 1 and 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon allspice
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup dark chocolate chips

Instructions

  • PREP: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour (with oat flour or regular flour if not gluten intolerant) a 9-inch round baking pan. Make sure to be generous and flour it well as it can be tricky to get out! Alternatively, line the pan with parchment paper and lightly spray with non-stick spray.
  • WET INGREDIENTS: In a large mixing bowl add 1 cup pumpkin (blot with a paper towel if it is excessively wet), 1/4 cup applesauce, 1/2 cup almond milk, 1/4 melted coconut oil (measure when melted, let cool to room temperature before adding), 1 large egg, 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract, and 1/2 cup of sugar.
  • MIX: Whisk until ingredients are well combined. Add in the 1 cup oat flour (See Note 1), 1 and 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon, 1 teaspoon allspice, 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg, 1 teaspoon baking soda, 1 teaspoon baking powder, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and 3/4 cup dark chocolate. Mix until batter is combined.
  • BAKE: Pour the batter into the prepared baking pan and bake for 40-50 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean when inserted. Be careful to not over-bake the cake as that will take away a lot of the moistness/softness of it.
  • COOL: Cool the cake for about 10 minutes before transferring out of the cake pan onto a wire rack to allow it to further cool. This cake is best cooled thoroughly to room temperature. Right out of the oven it is very moist and needs a couple of hours to firm up a bit.
  • STORAGE: Cake is best if used within 1-2 days of making. Store loosely covered at room temperature. The moistness increases as it's stored.

Recipe Notes

*Confirm all of your ingredients are indeed gluten free and processed in a gluten-free facility. 
Note 1: Making oat flour is easy and can be done in about a minute or less. Here's how:
  1. Place the oats (you can use old fashioned or quick oats, but not instant) into the bowl of your food processor or small blender jar.
  2. Pulse the oats until they are ground into a powder-like consistency that resembles flour (see photo above on the right).
  3. Stir the oats around if needed to ensure that all the oats have been finely ground and there aren't some full oats left. 
  4. Make sure to measure your oat flour measurement for this gluten free pumpkin cake after it's been turned to flour and not in the original whole oat form.

Nutrition Facts

Serving: 10servings | Calories: 235kcal | Carbohydrates: 30.9g | Protein: 3.7g | Fat: 11.8g | Cholesterol: 18.6mg | Sodium: 146.6mg | Fiber: 2.7g | Sugar: 21.1g

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17 Comments

    1. I haven’t tried subbing out all of the sugar for honey and wouldn’t recommend it. I don’t believe the texture or taste would be very great

  1. 5 stars
    HI
    This looks luscious! Pumpkin and Chocolate are great together. But I am way down here in New Zealand, so I will have to make my own pumpkin puree, what volume do I need?
    Thank you, Gabrielle

  2. I’m going to sub in carrot or butternut puree, ’cause that’s what i have in excess right now!

    I encourage you to give bean brownies another shot – not that they’re necessarily healthier, but because they can be delicious and I hate to see things treated unfairly. I use a recipe that adds flour (sub gf if you need) as well as the beans – otherwise they’re gooey. But beans – and most are interchangeable, including chickpeas – even in small amounts will keep any brownie or cake recipe from becoming dry. And, like a grain of wheat or oat, they are merely a seed and are a tasteless base to carry other flavours – like chocolate!

    1. Awesome!! You will have to let me know if you like it with the butternut or carrot puree! 🙂 Ahh I totally wish I liked black bean brownies but haven’t ever liked a version I’ve tried. I think we’ve tried them 3 or 4 times and haven’t ever like them much 🙁

      1. 5 stars
        I used canned carrots when I didn’t have pumpkin. It was wonderful! My daughter loved it! I’ve made the pumpkin/chocolate chip with oat flour muffins about 11 times in 2 months. I keep them in the freezer and pop in the microwave when I want some. Heavenly! Thanks Chelsea.

        1. Oh awesome!!! So glad to hear you enjoyed this cake! 🙂 And what a compliment!! I’m thrilled you’ve made and enjoyed the muffins so many times, makes my day! 🙂

  3. Can I substitute cocoa powder for the chocolate chips? Looking to stay away from the processed chips. I buy organic baking cocoa, would that work? Do you have an alternate recipe that’s chocolaty that would use no chips?

  4. I would need to use the gluten free oats, so do I need Xanthan Gum? I want to make sure before trying these so I don’t mess it up. Thanks!

  5. Just made this cake with sweet potato instead of pumpkin and it was wonderful!!! Please tell me you have a recipe for chocolate peanut butter cake!

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