Healthy Pumpkin Cake (Paleo)

Healthy Pumpkin Cake made grain-free, refined sugar-free, dairy-free, and paleo friendly. This easy-to-bake pumpkin cake is warmly-spiced and healthy enough to eat for breakfast.

Healthy Pumpkin Cake made grain-free, refined sugar-free, dairy-free and paleo. With a dairy-free maple glaze for optimal deliciousness!

If I know you at all, I have a sneaking suspicion this is the exact cake you’ve been craving.

Okay, perhaps that was a massive projection, but this is the exact cake I have been craving not only recently, but for several autumns past.

Imagine this: all the colors and flavors of fall jam packed into one healthy pumpkin cake. It comes together lightning fast, and gifts your taste buds an utter explosion of pumpkin flavor.

Have I mentioned it’s healthy? 

Recipe Features:

  • Lower in sugar than a regular cake, but perfectly sweet.
  • Paleo
  • Grain-free, gluten-free
  • Oil-Free
  • Easy to make Vegan (see notes)
  • Refined sugar-free
  • Easy to make sugar-free/low-carb (see notes)
  • Moist, fluffy, delicious

My secret ingredient to keep the cake lower in added sugar?: Ripe banana. The cake is mostly sweetened with one ripe banana (I can’t taste it over the pumpkin and pumpkin pie spice, but if you have ultra sensitive taste buds, you may be able to).

Let’s discuss the ingredients in detail.

Healthy Paleo Pumpkin Cake - naturally sweetened, dairy-free, grain-free, made with almond flour and sweetened with banana and coconut sugar

Ingredients for Healthy Pumpkin Cake:

Canned pumpkin puree: The pumpkin portion of this pumpkin adventure. I use canned pumpkin puree, but you can use homemade roasted and mashed pumpkin. 

Egg: Used to bind and fluff up the cake, we just need one egg to work some magic.

Banana: Used to give the cake natural sweetness so that only a small amount of added sweetener is necessary. As long as the banana is very ripe and you use enough pumpkin pie spice, you don’t taste the banana at all.

Almond Flour: The base of the cake! Almond flour keeps the cake grain-free and paleo-friendly. You can also use hazelnut flour or a combination of almond flour and tapioca flour for a fluffier cake.

Coconut Sugar: Bringing natural sweetness to the cake, we use coconut sugar, which is lower on the glycemic index than cane sugar. If you use cane sugar in your baking, replace the coconut sugar with either granulated cane sugar or brown sugar.

Pumpkin Pie Spice: The secret ingredient that brings the cake the fully leaded pumpkin-fall flavor. Without the pumpkin pie spice, the cake won’t have that warm cinnamony spice essence. If you don’t keep it on hand, use a combination of cinnamon, ground ginger, ground cloves, and nutmeg.

Sea Salt & Baking Soda: Used to leaven the cake, baking soda helps keep the cake together. Sea salt enhances the flavor of the cake and also makes it taste sweeter without the need for more sugar. Be sure to add it for a rich and flavorful cake!

Now that we have the ingredients down, let’s bake it up!

Healthy Grain-Free Pumpkin Cake with Maple Glaze - gluten-free, refined sugar-free, dairy-free, healthy cake recipe

How to Make Healthy Pumpkin Cake:

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and oil an 8” x 8” cake pan (or line with parchment paper).

Mash the banana in a mixing bowl until creamy, then whisk in the egg and pureed pumpkin until well-combined.

how to make healthy banana cake

In a separate bowl, stir together the almond flour, coconut sugar, pumpkin pie spice, baking soda, and sea salt (dry ingredients).

how to make healthy banana cake

Add the flour mixture to the bowl with the pumpkin mixture and stir until combined.

how to make healthy banana cake

Transfer the cake batter to the prepared cake pan and smooth into an even layer.

Bake on the center rack of the preheated oven 25 to 32 minutes, until edges are golden-brown and cake tests clean.

how to make healthy banana cake

Allow cake to cool at least 30 minutes before slicing and serving.

how to make healthy banana cake

If desired, whip up the maple glaze for drizzling or smearing on top of the cake.

How to make Vegan Pumpkin Cake:

Replace the egg with one flax egg. To do so, combine 1 tablespoon of ground flax seed with 3 tablespoons of water in a small bowl and stir well. Allow mixture to sit, stirring occasionally, until thick like a beaten egg, about 15 minutes. Once mixture is nice and thick and resembles a beaten egg, proceed as normal.

How to Make Low-Carb Pumpkin Cake:

Omit the banana and add ¼ cup avocado oil or melted coconut oil. Use ¼ cup sugar-free sweetener of choice instead of the coconut sugar. Everything else in the recipe remains the same!

Recipe Adaptations:

  • Replace almond flour with hazelnut flour
  • Omit the banana and add ¼ cup avocado oil, algae oil or melted coconut oil.
  • Replace the coconut sugar with ¼ cup granulated sugar-free sweetener of choice.
  • Add ½ cup chocolate chips.
  • Add ½ cup chopped walnuts or pecans.
  • Frost with Vegan Cream Cheese Frosting 

More Healthy Cake Recipes:

Dive on in!

Healthy Paleo Pumpkin Cake - naturally sweetened, dairy-free, grain-free, made with almond flour and sweetened with banana and coconut sugar

Healthy Pumpkin Cake

Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: almond flour, banana bread, coconut sugar, dairy free, gluten free, paleo, pumpkin
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Servings: 1 8-inch cake
Calories: 150 kcal
Author: Julia

Healthy Pumpkin Cake made with almond flour, sweetened with banana and coconut sugar

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Ingredients

Maple Glaze (Optional):

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and oil an 8” x 8” cake pan (or line with parchment paper).

  2. Mash the banana in a mixing bowl until creamy, then whisk in the egg and pureed pumpkin until well-combined.

  3. In a separate bowl, stir together the almond flour, coconut sugar, pumpkin pie spice, baking soda, and sea salt (dry ingredients).

  4. Add the flour mixture to the bowl with the pumpkin mixture and stir until combined. Transfer the batter to the prepared cake pan and smooth into an even layer.

  5. Bake on the center rack of the preheated oven 25 to 38 minutes, until edges are golden-brown and cake tests clean. Allow cake to cool 20 minutes before slicing and serving.

  6. If desired, make the maple glaze to spread on top of the cake.

Maple Glaze (Optional):

  1. Add ingredients for the glaze to a microwave-safe bowl and microwave in 10 second increments, stirring very well in between, until melted, about 20 to 30 seconds total. Taste glaze for flavor and if desired add cinnamon, nutmeg, sea salt, or more pure maple syrup to taste.

Recipe Notes

Nutrition facts calculated for cake only (without the glaze)

Nutrition Facts
Healthy Pumpkin Cake
Amount Per Serving (1 of 12)
Calories 150 Calories from Fat 72
% Daily Value*
Fat 8g12%
Carbohydrates 14g5%
Fiber 3g13%
Sugar 10g11%
Protein 6g12%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

Healthy Grain-Free Paleo Pumpkin Cake with Maple Glaze - gluten-free, refined sugar-free, dairy-free, healthy cake recipe. Paleo Pumpkin Cake recipe made with almond flour #healthy #pumpkin #pumpkinspice #glutenfree #grainfree #breakfast #dessert #recipe

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Comments

  1. Shirley

    Perfect timing! I am babysitting the grandkids tonight and will make a pumpkin cake for them! It will be a nice healthy treat. I will have to add in the chocolate chips, right?!

    Reply
    1. Julia Post author

      Hi Jen,

      I don’t have experience with creamed coconut in the carton, unfortunately, so I’m not too sure how it would work out. I imagine you could add some liquid to it in order to soften it up and then it would work nicely, but without having tried it, I’m not sure how much liquid. Let me know if you give it a whirl! xoxo

      Reply

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