With pumpkin puree and maple syrup instead of refined white sugar, coconut oil swapped for butter, and gluten-free flour, this pumpkin maple pecan cake is wonderful as a fall dessert or an afternoon snack with a cup of spiced tea. Just mix, pour and bake.
Fall Baking: Pumpkin Maple Pecan Cake
As weather cools and fall arrives, we naturally think of pumpkins and warm spices for favorite flavors. After developing an applesauce-honey cake for a cookbook I kept going and created this pumpkin-maple cake to post for you.
Even though I’ve used maple syrup here as a natural sweetener, it’s still sugar to our bodies and sugar consumption is something we need to monitor for a healthy diet. Cakes like this are an occasional treat in our house and half the time I end up sharing it with friends and neighbors.
Mix, Pour and Bake
You will need baking parchment to line the bottom of the 9″ square baking pan. Even with a non-stick pan, the parchment liner and spray assure that the cake releases easily from the pan after baking. Baking parchment is widely available. Look for it next to the foil and plastic wrap at the grocery store, at cooking stores, or online.
Whisk your dry ingredients together in a bowl and mix the liquid ingredients together in a food processor. If you don’t have a food processor, get a good arm workout by whisking until smooth in a medium bowl. Stir the dry ingredients into the wet, stir in nuts and zest, then pour into the pan to bake.
Maple Syrup: Choose real maple syrup, not the fake artificially colored and flavored stuff that is really just corn syrup.
Spices: You can use pure cinnamon and clove, but blends works too. Try Five Spice, a blend of cinnamon, star anise, anise seed, ginger and clove or a blend called Pumpkin Pie Spice.
Coconut oil is a healthy replacement in this recipe for butter making it dairy-free. Choose unrefined, extra virgin organic coconut oil. Coconut oil has saturated fat, yes, but it is a medium-chain fat that has health benefits and can be part of an overall diet. Need more info? Read here.
I buy Trader Joe’s already toasted and chopped pecans to save time but you can chop and toast your own. Toast the nuts in the oven at 300° on a rimmed baking sheet until you can smell them, just a few minutes. They should be golden. Cool and use for the cake. Toasting brings out their flavor.
Pumpkin Maple Pecan Cake
- 9″ square metal non-stick baking pan
- 2 1/2 cups gluten-free flour blend 13 1/4 ounces, Bob’s Red Mill
- 2 teaspoons baking powder aluminum free
- 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/8 teaspoon ground clove
- 2 large eggs
- 1-15 ounce can pumpkin puree NOT pumpkin pie filling
- 3/4 cup + 1 tablespoon real maple syrup
- 1/2 cup unrefined coconut oil melted
- 2 teaspoons vanilla
- 3/4 cup chopped toasted pecans
- Zest of 1 large orange optional
- Pre-heat oven to 325°F. Gather all ingredients and a 9″ square metal non-stick baking pan. Spray the pan and line bottom with a square of parchment cut to fit.
- Combine flour, baking powder, soda, cinnamon, salt and clove into a medium bowl and whisk to combine well. In the bowl of a food processor, add eggs, pumpkin, syrup, oil and vanilla. Pulse to combine until smooth. Alternatively, whisk wet ingredients together in a bowl by hand until smooth.
- Add wet ingredients into dry and stir until smooth. Stir in nuts and orange zest. Pour cake batter into baking pan and bake approximately 35-40 minutes or until golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean with a few moist crumbs.
- Cool cake in pan for 10 minutes. Remove cake by placing a wire cooling rack over the top and flipping cake over, holding on to the rack. It should come right out. Then carefully turn cake right side up. Enjoy warm or cool.