Healthy Pumpkin Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting
I shared this epic cake last fall and I still think it might be the BEST dessert you could eve make this season. With all of the epic cake recipes I have on the site (hiii peanut butter banana cake) you know ya girl had to throw down.
This incredible healthy pumpkin cake is perfectly moist thanks to my fav siggi’s pumpkin & spice yogurt, filled with cozy pumpkin pie spices and just so happens to be gluten free and naturally sweetened.
Mind-blowing? I mean, just LOOK AT IT. Fluffy and delicious with a thick cinnamon cream cheese frosting. I tested this one for you quite a few times, so trust me when I say this one is pumpkin perfection. You know the drill: bake this beauty up, snap a photo and let me see your cake creations on social.
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What makes this pumpkin cake “healthier?”
I lightened up this pumpkin cake with a few ingredients you can feel good about. Don’t worry, it tastes just as indulgent as it looks!
- Gluten free. We’re using a mix of almond flour and oat flour to keep the pumpkin cake more nutritious and also gluten free (GF friends rejoice!). Please know I haven’t tested it with other flours.
- Naturally sweetened. This cake is naturally sweetened with unrefined sweeteners like coconut sugar and pure maple syrup to give it a wonderful flavor.
- Filled with vitamins. We’re using pure pumpkin right in the batter of this cake, which gives it a boost of vitamin A and C, fiber plus antioxidants.
Everything you’ll need to make this healthy pumpkin cake
Whenever I say “the best” I really mean it! Not only is this gluten free pumpkin cake loaded with pumpkin pie spices and flavor, but it’s also made with ingredients you can feel good about. Win-win-win. Here’s what you’ll need to make it:
- Pumpkin puree: be sure to use 100% pumpkin puree and not pumpkin pie filling. It gives the cake plenty of moisture and wonderful pumpkin flavor, plus it’s easy to make yourself with our helpful tutorial here!
- Eggs: you’ll need 2 eggs in this cake recipe.
- Sweetener: as I mentioned, we’re naturally sweetening the pumpkin cake with coconut sugar and some pure maple syrup. Don’t forget the vanilla extract, too.
- Yogurt: the key ingredient to super moist pumpkin cake is yogurt! I love it with siggi’s Pumpkin & Spice flavor. It’s SO delicious and adds a wonderful boost of protein. Their vanilla flavor would also be perfect!
- Coconut oil: for a little extra moisture you’ll also need some melted coconut oil.
- Flour: we’re keeping this healthy pumpkin cake gluten free with almond flour and oat flour. Best combo.
- Spices: get that true, cozy fall flavor with pumpkin pie spice! See below for tips on making your own.
- Baking staples: you’ll also need baking soda & salt.
- For the frosting: fall in love with this luscious cinnamon cream cheese frosting made with cream cheese, butter, powdered sugar, vanilla, cinnamon and a little milk to thin it out.
Make your own pumpkin pie spice
Don’t have any store-bought pumpkin pie spice? It’s so easy and fun to make on your own! Simply add the following to the dry ingredients:
- 1 ½ teaspoons cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon nutmeg
- ½ teaspoon ground ginger
- ½ teaspoon allspice or ground cloves
Customize your pumpkin cake
As always, I recommend baking up the recipe as-written, but here are a few simple ingredient swaps that will still make this healthy pumpkin cake delicious:
- Swap your sweetener. Feel free to use brown sugar for the coconut sugar and honey for the maple syrup.
- Skip the coconut oil. You can also use melted butter or vegan butter instead of coconut oil in the cake.
- Keep it dairy free. I’ve actually tested this pumpkin cake using the siggi’s plant based cups and it worked amazingly well (vanilla and cinnamon was perfect). Then be sure to use dairy free cream cheese and vegan butter in the recipe.
- Try it vegan. I think that 2 flax eggs should work well in this cake but please note that I haven’t tested it. Let me know in the comments if you do, and then follow the instructions for keeping it dairy free, too!
A note on flours
I would not recommend substituting the almond flour or oat flour in this gluten free pumpkin cake as the texture will change. Good news: you can make your own oat flour right at home! Check out our full tutorial and measure out 1 cup.
The best healthy pumpkin cake made in one bowl
- Prep your pan. Line an 8×8 inch pan with parchment paper and spray it with nonstop cooking spray.
- Mix the wet ingredients. In a large bowl mix all of the wet ingredients together (except the melted coconut oil) until smooth. Mix in the melted and cooled coconut oil last.
- Add the dry. Mix in all of the dry ingredients with a wooden spoon until the batter is smooth and combined.
- Bake it up. Pour the pumpkin cake batter into your prepared pan and bake it up!
- Cool, frost & devour. After the cake has cooled, beat together all of the ingredients for the cinnamon cream cheese frosting. Frost the cooled cake, sprinkle a little cinnamon on top, slice and enjoy!
Essential cake-baking tips
This gluten free pumpkin cake is easy to make right in one bowl, but I also have a few essential tips & tricks to ensure that it comes out perfectly every time:
- Use room temp ingredients. Be sure that your eggs are room temperature and your coconut oil is cooled before you mix the wet ingredients together otherwise the cold eggs will coagulate with the hot coconut oil. Simply run your eggs under warm water for a few minutes to bring them to room temp. This goes for the cream cheese and butter in the frosting, too, so that you can easily beat it together! Do not microwave the butter or cream cheese or it will ruin the frosting. Simply set out the ingredients before you begin baking your cake and by the time it’s done baking and cooling they’ll be ready to go!
- Pack your almond flour. That’s right, you’ll want to pack the almond flour just like you would with brown sugar, No need to pack the oat flour.
- Cool the cake. Before adding that fluffy cream cheese frosting, be sure that your cake is completely cooled otherwise the frosting will melt on top.
How to store & freeze this pumpkin cake
- To store: feel free to keep the healthy pumpkin cake at room temp for one day. After that, I recommend storing the cake covered in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
- To freeze: feel free to freeze this cake either frosted or unfrosted for up to 2 months. I recommend freezing it unfrosted for best results. Wrap the cake in plastic wrap, then aluminum foil and then place the pumpkin cake in a zip-top freezer bag. When you’re ready to serve it, simply thaw it in the refrigerator overnight, let the cake come to room temperature, frost it and serve it.
Tools you’ll need
Check out all of our favorite kitchen essentials here.
More fall treats you’ll love
Get all of my dessert recipes here!
I hope you love this healthy pumpkin cake! If you make it be sure to leave a comment and a rating so I know how you liked it. Enjoy, xo!
Blow Ya Mind Pumpkin Cake with Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting (gluten free!)
Total Time 1 hour 15 minutes
The best healthy pumpkin cake with luscious cinnamon cream cheese frosting that’s seriously blow ya mind delicious. This one bowl, gluten free pumpkin cake is naturally sweetened, perfeclty moist thanks to yogurt, and filled with cozy pumpkin spices. An amazing fall dessert that’s great for holidays!
- Wet ingredients:
pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie filling)
eggs, at room temperature
coconut sugar (or sub brown sugar)
pure maple syrup (or sub honey)
(5.3 oz) container yogurt (I like siggi’s 2% pumpkin & spice or 0% vanilla)
virgin coconut oil, melted and cooled (or sub melted butter/vegan butter)
- Dry ingredients:
packed fine blanched almond flour
oat flour, gluten free if desired
pumpkin pie spice
- For the cinnamon cream cheese frosting:
cream cheese (or dairy free cream cheese), at room temperature
butter, at room temperature
powdered sugar (add an extra ¼ cup if you like a sweeter frosting)
milk of choice, to make creamy and spreadable
- To garnish:
- Extra cinnamon
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line a 8×8 inch pan with parchment paper and spray with nonstick cooking spray.
Add pumpkin puree, eggs, coconut sugar, pure maple syrup, siggi’s yogurt, vanilla extract to a large bowl and whisk together until well combined. Finally stir in melted and cooled coconut oil until well combined.
Next, add dry ingredients: almond flour, oat flour, pumpkin pie spice, baking soda and salt. Mix together with a wooden spoon until well combined.
Pour batter into the prepared pan. Bake for 30-40 minutes or until a tester comes out clean. Allow the cake to cool completely before frosting.
To make cinnamon cream cheese frosting: Beat cream cheese, butter, powdered sugar, vanilla, cinnamon and milk together on medium speed for a minute or until smooth. Spread over cooled cake. Sprinkle a little dusting of cinnamon on top to make it extra pretty. Cut the cake into 12 slices and enjoy! Cake should be stored covered in the fridge after a day or so.
To make dairy free: use plant based yogurt such as siggi’s vanilla and cinnamon plant based cups. I’ve tested it with this and it is delicious! You can also use dairy free cream cheese and vegan butter. Or feel free to make my simple vanilla buttercream from my almond flour sugar cookie recipe using vegan butter sticks, but I do suggest doubling the frosting.
To make cake vegan: I think this cake would work well with 2 flax eggs but please know I have not tested this version.
If you don’t have pumpkin pie spice: you can sub 1 ½ teaspoons cinnamon, ½ teaspoon nutmeg, ½ teaspoon ground ginger and ½ teaspoon allspice.
Wanna get crazy? Add a ½ cup of chocolate chips to the batter before baking. YUM.
Servings: 12 servings
Serving size: 1 slice
Saturated fat: 8.9g
Recipe by: Monique Volz // Ambitious Kitchen | Photography by The Mindful Hapa