Pumpkin Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting is my favorite cake to eat in the Fall.
Honestly, it's in my top three favorites, period. While I prefer to make this cake during the months of September-December, there may be times when I make it in the Spring/Summer just for kicks. However, this cake will always be my number-one choice for Halloween day.
Aromatic and warm spices such as cinnamon, pumpkin pie spice, and vanilla extract take the flavor of this cake to the next level. Your house will smell like Autumn while it's baking (and the cake tastes just as good as it smells). This cake also has a perfectly tender and fluffy, yet moist crumb.Jump to Recipe
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Looking for More Gluten Free Baked Goods?
Best Gluten Free Carrot Cake – Moist, with Cream Cheese Icing - This cake has very similar spices and flavors used, except it uses carrots instead of pumpkin. This is my spice cake of the Spring, while this pumpkin cake is my spice cake of the Fall and Winter.
Pumpkin Muffins | Gluten Free Muffins with Cream Cheese Drizzle - A delicious pumpkin breakfast muffin.
What makes Gluten Free Pumpkin Spice Cake so good?
- Creamy Organic 100% Pumpkin Puree (not pie filling). Tip: If using organic canned pumpkin, I highly recommend Thrive Market's brand for its nice and thick consistency. (Get 40% off your first order + sometimes a gift.) I do not recommend Farmer's Market Foods' brand of organic canned pumpkin because I tested it in a batch of pumpkin cookies and found it to be too watery and the color wasn't as vibrant.
- Pure Vanilla Extract, duh.
- Ground Cinnamon.
- Pumpkin Pie Spice. Tip: I made my own (keep reading below on how), but you can do whatever is easier for you.
- Homemade Cream Cheese Frosting. It comes together with few ingredients and tastes 10x better than anything you can buy at the grocery store. And without all of the cheap fillers and chemicals, too.
To Make a Batch of Homemade Pumpkin Pie Spice:
- 3 tbsp. ground cinnamon
- 2 tsp. nutmeg
- 2 tsp. ground ginger
- 1 ½ tsp. ground allspice
- 1 ½ tsp. ground cloves
Whisk together. Store in a little glass jar. Tip: Use 2 teaspoons for this recipe.
How to Make Gluten Free Pumpkin Spice Cake:
- Preheat oven to 350 F. Grease two 8-inch cake pans with a pat of butter or cooking spray. Set aside.
- To a large mixing bowl, add dry ingredients (gf all-purpose flour, granulated sugar, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, pumpkin pie spice). Whisk until well-combined.
- Add in the wet ingredients (can of 100% pumpkin puree, oil, eggs, and vanilla extract). Whisk until the batter is smooth.
- Pour batter into prepared cake pans and smooth the tops with a silicone spatula. You can also tap them on the counter a few times to help settle the mixture.
- Bake 15-20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Tip: All ovens vary in cooking time, so keep an eye on your cakes while they bake so as not to burn them.
- In the meantime, chop walnuts or pecans so they're ready for the top of the cake, and whip up Homemade Cream Cheese Icing.
How to Make Homemade Cream Cheese Icing:
- To a large mixing bowl or bowl of an electric mixer, add room temperature butter and cream cheese. Beat until smooth and creamy. Add powdered sugar one cup at a time, alternating with milk. Add in vanilla extract and a pinch of salt and beat until the icing is completely smooth. Tip: I like my icing to be a little thick but still easily spreadable for this recipe, but you can add in a tbsp. more milk if you want a thinner icing. I also like to eat this cake cold and store it in the refrigerator. The icing develops a thin, crisp shell on the outside and keeps its smooth and creamy interior this way.
- Once cakes have cooled completely, ice the cakes using a silicone spatula and sprinkle chopped nuts over the top. Refrigerate and serve cold.
Gluten Free Pumpkin Spice Cake
For the Pumpkin Spice Cake:
- 2 cups high quality gluten-free all purpose flour (I use Great Value or Bob Red Mill's GF 1-to-1 flour, NOT their GF all purpose, which contains garbanzo bean/chickpea flour.)*
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 2 tsp. baking powder
- 1 tsp. baking soda
- ½ tsp. salt
- 2 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
- 1 ½ tsp. ground cinnamon
- 1 15 oz. can organic 100% pumpkin puree (not pie filling)
- 1 cup vegetable oil/canola oil (or neutral oil of choice)
- 4 large eggs
- 1 ½ tsp. pure vanilla extract
- ½ cup chopped nuts (for topping) (walnuts or pecans)
For the Homemade Cream Cheese Icing:
- 1 stick unsalted butter room temperature
- 4 oz. cream cheese (½ block) room temperature
- 3 ½ cups powdered sugar
- 2 tbsp. milk
- 1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
- pinch of salt
- Preheat oven to 350 F. Grease two 8-inch nonstick cake pans with a pat of butter or cooking spray. Set aside.
- To a large mixing bowl, add dry ingredients (GF all purpose flour, granulated sugar, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, and pumpkin pie spice). Whisk until well-combined.
- Add in the wet ingredients (can of 100% pumpkin puree, oil, eggs, and vanilla extract). Whisk until batter is smooth.
- Pour batter into prepared cake pans and smooth the tops with a silicone spatula. You can also tap the pans on the counter a few times to help settle the mixture.
- Bake 15-20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Since cooking time in ovens vary, please keep an eye on the cakes as they bake.
- Remove cakes from oven once done and allow to cool completely, about an hour. Tip: I prefer to leave them in the pan as they cool. Once ready to assemble, I run a butter knife around the edges a few times, place my hand gently on top of the cake, flip the pan over, and the cake comes out clean and rests on my hand. Then, I place the cake on the cake stand and repeat with the other layer.
- In the meantime while cakes are cooling, chop nuts and prepare the icing.
- To Make the Homemade Cream Cheese Icing: In a large mixing bowl or bowl of electric mixer, add room temperature butter and cream cheese. Beat until smooth and creamy. Add in powdered sugar one cup at a time, alternating with the milk. Add in vanilla extract and a pinch of salt and beat until smooth.
- Assemble cakes and ice between the two layers, cake top, and sides. Sprinkle the top with chopped nuts. Refrigerate and serve cold.