The ultimate fall cake, this gluten free pumpkin spice cake is just the thing for a special occasion! Molasses buttercream on top is the perfect finishing touch on this moist, flavorful cake.
This time of year has pretty much everyone craving all things pumpkin spice, doesn’t it?
This gluten free pumpkin spice cake is perfect with a hot cup of tea, or a scoop of dairy free ice cream. It’s a light and delicious cake that’s perfectly spiced. It would be perfect for a birthday, or even for a Thanksgiving dessert.
If you’re new to allergy friendly baking, this recipe is a good place to start. It’s relatively easy to make this, and the seasonal spices make this a crowd-pleasing dessert.
- Pumpkin Puree – I like to use canned pumpkin puree. Make sure it’s pumpkin only, not pie filling, which has lots of added ingredients. If you don’t have pumpkin, or can’t eat it, you could try butternut squash puree. If you can’t have pumpkin or squash, you could try applesauce, and make this into an apple spice cake.
- Gluten Free Flour Blend – I like to make my own gluten free flour blend to use in cake recipes. I find that it makes very light and fluffy cakes.
- Molasses – Molasses does give the frosting a little richer flavor, and makes it a nice caramel color, but the frosting can be made with out molasses if you prefer.
- Powdered Sugar – This is the best choice for making dairy free buttercream, and I don’t know of a substitute for that. If you want to reduce the sugar in this recipe, you could just dust the top of the cake with powdered sugar, or just drizzle melted chocolate or dairy free caramel sauce over the top instead of frosting.
Step by Step Instructions
- Combine the melted vegan buttery spread and sugars and mix together. Add the pumpkin and vanilla and stir well.
- Add the dry ingredients and stir well. The batter will be thick.
- Spread into a square baking dish and bake at 350 degrees for about 28 minutes.
- Allow cake to cool, then top with molasses buttercream frosting.
- There are tons of different gluten free flour blends available these days. If you use the one that works best for you, but you find that the consistency of the batter isn’t quite right, it may be because different flours absorb liquid differently. This should be a thick batter, but if it is dry or lumpy, add a little more liquid so that you can stir it easily and spread it into the pan.
- Alternately, if the batter is too wet, add a little more flour until the consistency is better.
- Don’t over-mix the batter.
- Line the pan with parchment paper so that the cake is easy to remove from the pan if you’d like to do that.
- Allow the cake to cool completely before frosting it. You don’t want the frosting to melt.
You can make this batter into cupcakes if you like. Just keep an eye on the baking time – it will be less. Start with 15 minutes and then check them and bake a little longer if needed.
I also have a gluten free pumpkin spice cupcake recipe if you prefer to just follow that.
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Gluten Free Pumpkin Spice Cake with Molasses Buttercream (Vegan).
For the cake:
- ⅓ cup vegan buttery spread melted
- ½ cup coconut sugar or brown sugar
- ½ cup organic cane sugar
- 5 Tablespoons pure pumpkin puree
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ⅝ cup water ½ cup plus 2 Tablespoons
- 2 cups gluten free flour
- 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
- 1¼ teaspoon cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon ground ginger
Make the cake:
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line a 9 inch square pan with parchment paper so that it hangs over two sides.
- In a large bowl, mix the melted vegan buttery spread and sugars together. You can use a mixer or a spoon to do this.
- Add the pumpkin puree, vanilla extract, water, and vinegar and mix well.
- Add the gluten free flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, nutmeg, cinnamon, and ginger. Mix well. The batter will be thick. If it seems very dry, and a little more water until you can stir it and spread it in the pan.
- Put the batter into the prepared pan and smooth it out with the back of a spoon.
- Bake at 350 degrees F for 28-32 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the middle of the cake comes out clean. Set the cake pan in a cooling rack to cool.
Make the molasses buttercream:
- Beat the vegan buttery spread and molasses together until smooth. Stop the mixer and add some powdered sugar. Continue to mix, stopping to add more sugar and milk until the frosting is smooth and spreadable.
- Once the cake is completely cooled, spread the frosting on top. Cover the leftover cake and store in the refrigerator.