Okay, I PROMISE I’ll let up on the pumpkin after this one. But I had to post this. Depriving you of this insanely delicious cake would be a serious crime, and I wouldn’t be able to live with myself.
A year ago at this time, I wasn’t in school, so I spent most of my free time baking. I made so many recipes I thought my head was going to explode. And my roommates wanted to kill me because there was so much food in the apartment.
I was determined to make the absolute best Thanksgiving dessert in the history of desserts. I won’t lie, I really wanted to impress my family. They always give me shit for being such a health nut, and I was desperate to prove that healthy food tastes way better than unhealthy food.
I stumbled across a recipe for a pumpkin spice cake with cream cheese frosting, and I was sold. I baked the cake, and…Oh. My. Gosh. Socks were knocked off. The cake was gone in a night. Mission accomplished. If my dad’s obsessed with it, you know it’s the real deal. He is the king of junk food, and he even asked me to make it again.
I’ve honestly been dreaming about that cake ever since. Cakes seem very grand though, so I always feel like I need an “occasion” to bake one. I’ve been waiting for the holiday season to roll around again so I would have an excuse, and Halloween was the perfect opportunity to recreate that oh-so-glorious pumpkin spice cake!
After a few tries, I got it. NAILED IT. Everyone was fighting over this cake, and my friends were texting me begging for slices. Everyone was welcome, of course! When people are that desperate for more cake, you know it has to be good.
I also feel like it’s very visually appealing. Like, messy-pretty. The cream cheese frosting looks like cinnamon marble, and the layers give it that extra oomph. So if you wanna impress your boyfriend…you know what to make. 😉
While recipe testing, I actually came up with two different recipes that were both amazing. It took my roommates and me all week to finally decide which of the two cakes I should post. One was more pumpkin-y, richer, and denser, and the other was a little less pumpkin-y, lighter, and fluffier. We ended up deciding on the latter because it tastes more like a “normal person cake,” if you know what I mean.
Anyways, I’m extremely proud of this. So many of you were begging for the recipe, SO HERE IT IS. The cake is pumpkin-heaven. It’s moist, fluffy, not too sweet, not too bland. The sweetener in this cake is xylitol, which isn’t the best, but it’s also what allows this cake to taste exactly like a regular old junk food cake without being a toxic mess. Xylitol is low on the glycemic index and doesn’t spike blood sugar levels, so it is much better than traditional cane sugar. So hey, it’s not perfect, but it’s still pretty healthy as far as cakes go. If you’re celebrating with a cake, I doubt you’re trying to eat a 100% perfectly healthy meal, anyways. Life is about balance and enjoyment, right?
Let’s focus on why this is Addicted to Lovely approved. Obviously, it’s gluten-free. It’s also dairy-free, soy-free, grain-free, and technically “sugar-free” because xylitol is a sugar replacement. There’s really nothing offensive in this, per usual. And of course, it’s so delicious that I’m literally drooling just thinking about it.
The cake is not vegan because there are quite a few eggs in there. If you’re vegan and want to experiment, I’d recommend upping the pumpkin and replacing some of the eggs with flax eggs! I haven’t tried it myself, but I think it could probably work.
The “cream cheese” frosting is what really makes me die over this recipe. Traditional cream cheese frosting is made by combining cream cheese, butter, and powdered sugar. So what does a girl with food allergies do? She uses fake cream cheese, coconut butter, and a powdered sugar replacement, obviously.
Go to the vegan cheese section in your grocery store and see what’s available. If they have Daiya plain cream cheese, use that. But if they have Kite Hill, that’s the real winner. I’m obsessed with Kite Hill because they have the cleanest fake cheese on the market. It’s all about ingredients!
To replace the butter, I went with my favorite – coconut butter. To replace the powdered sugar, you literally just blend xylitol until it looks like powdered sugar. Easy enough. BOOM.
I’m really really really into this recipe. It is so heavenly, and every person who has tried it loves it. If you’re looking for the perfect Thanksgiving dessert recipe, I would HIGHLY recommend this. Not like I’m biased or anything. So. Let’s bake!
Pumpkin Spice Cake with Cinnamon “Cream Cheese” Frosting (Gluten-free / Dairy-free)
Makes: 1 large cake
Total Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
- 1/4 cup melted coconut oil
- 1 cup organic pureed pumpkin
- 1 tablespoon maple syrup
- 2 tsp vanilla
- 8 eggs
- 1 cup granulated xylitol
- 1 tsp sea salt
- 2 tsp baking soda
- 1.5 cup almond flour
- 1/2 cup coconut flour
- 2 tsp cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp ginger
- 1/2 tsp nutmeg
- 1/2 tsp cloves
- 1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
- 16 ounces softened plain vegan cream cheese (Daiya or Kite Hill)
- 1 cup coconut butter
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 cup powdered xylitol (use a blender or food processor to blend the granulated xylitol until it’s powdered)
- 2 tsp cinnamon
- Preheat the oven to 350* F and grease two round 9×1.5 inch pans with coconut oil.
- Use an electric mixer to beat together the coconut oil, pumpkin, xylitol, maple syrup, eggs, and vanilla.
- Once everything is thoroughly mixed, add in the dry ingredients – salt, baking soda, almond flour, coconut flour, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, cloves, and pumpkin pie spice. Use the electric mixture to combine everything together.
- Pour half of the batter into each of your pans and bake for about 45-50 minutes. Put a toothpick in the center of each cake to see if it’s done. If the toothpick comes out clean, it’s ready to come out of the oven!
- Allow the cakes to cool for about 30 minutes.
- While the cakes cool, make the frosting. Beat together the cream cheese and the coconut butter until they are well-combined. Add in the vanilla and the powdered xylitol, and mix again until it’s all combined.
- When the cakes are cooled, frost the cake with your frosting. First frost the top of one cake, then place the second cake on top of that frosted cake. Then frost the top of the second cake, and the sides of both. After you’ve frosted the cake, sprinkle the cinnamon on top and spread it around with your frosting utensil of choice.
- Enjoy! If you don’t finish the cake the same day, store the leftovers in the fridge so the frosting stays fresh!
Easy enough, right? If you make this, PLEASE take a picture and tag me! And tell me what you think! This also pairs quite nicely with vanilla ice cream….just sayin’. XO