This Gluten Free Pumpkin Layer Cake is made from scratch and screams of fall. Spiced with fall spices and layered with decadent cream cheese frosting you can enjoy the fall flavours without the gluten.
I love the fall colors; the light green, orange and in between shades. It’s a magical and cosy time with leaves turning color in front of your eyes and sweaters coming out of the closet. I love to see the bright orange color adorning every store front. The color of humble pumpkin. Humble ? you ask. Yes, growing up pumpkins didn’t carry much importance in our meals. They were delegated to a side dish. They sure didn’t make an appreance in our festive table. Rather, as a vegetable one should consume once in a while. I was excited to see all the drama surrounding pumpkin when I moved to Europe. That it’s a star at least for a few months.
Gluten free & less sugar
I’ve been wanting to make a Gluten free pumpkin layer cake for a long time. I didn’t get a chance to make a pumpkin cake back when I was eating gluten. But now it has to be a gluten free cake so I can enjoy. The cake didn’t disappoint. My family couldn’t tell the difference and nobody knew there was pumpkin inside until I told them. My friends who are not gluten free enjoyed the cake and loved it. Don’t take my word for it. You have to make this and taste for yourself.
And the frosting, is the classic cream cheese frosting that I have used but I reduced the sugar to a mere 1.5 cups. That’s a win in my book. The sugar content is very less in this cake compared to other pumpkin cake recipes you will find.
This gluten free layer cake with cream cheese frosting is
- moist and delicious
- nobody can tell it’s gluten free
- uses way less sugar than other cake recipes you will find
- has a crunchy walnut and pumkin seed topping
Topping and Assembly
The walnut and pumkin seed topping gives the crunch the cake needs and is easy to make. It nicely rounds up all the flavours and textures of a pumpkin as a whole. Oh, and the cinnamon; the quintessention fall spice. I have used generous amount in the cake and the topping.
As you can see; this is my first time frosting a cake this big. I had fun frosting this cake with my son Ahyaan and we had a few stressful moments and quite a good laugh. I always had an aversion to overly sweet frostings on cake. I like to have my cakes plain. But, a pumpkin cake deserves a cream cheese frosting. I was able to reduce the sugar and I’m pleasently surprised how good it tastes with the cake. Don’t skip the frosting. It doesn’t need to be perfect and if we first timers can do a decent frosting you can too.
Learn from my mistakes
Here are few issues you might run into and how to avoid those:
- Always make sure the Gluten Free flour blend you buy has added gum in it (xanthan or guar). The gum acts as a binder as this flour has no gluten. You can make this cake with All purpose flour if gluten is no problem for you. Just swap flours 1:1.
- I have added 1/2 cup of ground almonds to give texture and lessen the mouthfeel that cakes sometimes give when made with just gluten free flour. If your flour blend has no grainy mouthfeel, then use 3 cups of gf flour or swap for 3 cups of ap flour.
- Cool the cakes on a wire rack completely before frosting.
- If you make the frosting early, leave it in the fridge until you use it.
If you don’t have canned pumpkin puree, roast deseeded pumpkin slices on 400F for 30 minutes. Scoop the flesh and puree in a blender or food processer.
Gluten Free Pumpkin Layer Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting
- 2.75 cups gluten Free flour
- 1/2 cup almonds ground
- 2 tsp baking Powder
- 1/2 tsp baking Soda
- 1 tsp salt
- 2 tsp cinnamon powder
- 1 tsp ground ginger or 1/2 freshly grated ginger
- 1/2 cup softened butter
- 1/2 cup oil
- 1.25 cups raw cane sugar
- 3 eggs large
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1.5 cups pumpkin puree
- 1/2 cup whole milk
Cream Cheese Frosting
- 16 oz cream cheese softened
- 4 tbsp butter softened
- 1.5 cups powdered sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
Walnut and Pumpkin Seed Topping
- 1/2 cup walnut pieces
- 1/4 cup pumpkin seeds
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 1 tbsp honey
- Preheat the oven to 180C/350F. Grease and flour two 9-inch round cake tins and set aside.
- In a bowl add GF flour, ground almonds, baking powder, baking soda, spices and salt. Mix well.
- In a separate bowl fitted with a stand or hand mixer add in softened butter and sugar and cream until fluffy.
- Add in oil and beat for 20 seconds and then add eggs one at a time mixing after each addition.
- In three separate increments add dry flour mixture, pumpkin puree and milk in this order. Occasionally scrape down batter after each addition.
- Distribute batter evenly in cake tins and bake for 30 - 35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.
- Remove cakes from oven and allow to cool on a baking rack for 30-60 minutes. Ring a knife around cake edges before removing from tins.
- In a bowl whisk together powdered sugar, salt and spices.
- Cream the cheese and butter until light and fluffy. Add in powdered sugar and vanilla to cream cheese mixture mixing another 1 minute.
- To frost cake, start by placing one cooled cake layer on a cake stand. Top with cream cheese frosting. Repeat with the other layer. Frost the sides of the cake then top the cake with the remaining frosting.
- Heat a pan on medium. Add walnut pieces, pumpkin seeds and honey. Heat until the mixtures comes together and is dry.
- Add cinnamon. Mix well. Take off the heat and let it cool. Top the cake with nut and seed topping.
- You can keep the frosted cake in the fridge for 3 to 4 days.
- If you don't have canned pumpkin, use roasted and pureed pumpkin.