I wanted something special to celebrate National Pumpkin Day that I knew Tony could eat and would love, so I merged several of his dessert and flavor favorites into this scrumptious pumpkin apple pie cake, complete with optional dairy-free cream cheese frosting. Since I knew he would eat it for breakfast, too (the man cannot resist leftover desserts in the morning!) I used more wholesome ingredients, including a gluten-free flour blend that’s stocked with protein, ancient grains and heat-stable probiotics.
Love that pan? I know I do! I’m testing out the new Les Naturels Bakeware from Revol and am seriously in love. This is the square baker (As Seen in Williams-Sonoma) – it works like a dream, is so easy to clean, goes from oven to table to the refrigerator, is totally eco-friendly and toxin-free, and it’s beautiful!
I usually make my own gluten-free flour blend on the fly for each recipe, but honestly, there isn’t any way I can mimic the nutritious benefits of Enjoy Life’s All-Purpose Flour Mix. (That flour blend has been discontinued. See the recipe.) And for some reason, I keep feeling the need to put it to the test. Whenever a package claims something as bold as “swap equally for regular all-purpose flour with any recipe”, I simply must find fault. Yet it has worked like a charm, with just a slightly different flavor vibe and crumb, even when I opt to test sans eggs (and vegan) like my base recipe for this pumpkin apple pie cake!
Check the dairy-free cream cheese frosting recipe; it’s different from the others as it contains no dairy-free margarine! It is creamier and has a simpler flavor that we adored.
I mean seriously, look at that tender, moist and cohesive crumb! Can you believe there is absolutely no xanthan gum, guar gum, eggs or gluten in this? Yes, it really didn’t crumble at all when I sliced it, but, there is a trick and a little patience involved. You must wait for this pumpkin apple pie cake to cool completely … and I mean completely! When making it without gluten and without eggs, and really, to allow the flavors time to develop, I make it at least 8 to 12 hours in advance – either the night before, or in the morning, whichever you prefer. Tony agreed, this “snack cake” it is worth the wait.
Special Diet Notes: Pumpkin Apple Pie Cake
By ingredients, this recipe is dairy-free / non-dairy, egg-free, gluten-free, nut-free, peanut-free, soy-free, vegan / plant-based, vegetarian, and generally top food allergy-friendly!
If you prefer eggs in this pumpkin apple pie cake, you can omit the flaxseed, reduce the milk alternative to 1/3 cup and beat 2 large eggs into the wet mixture.
For a refined sugar-free pumpkin apple cake, you can use coconut sugar or your favorite granulated “sugar” in place of both the white and brown sugars. With the coconut sugar, I recommend grinding it in a spice grinder first, and note that the cake will be slightly less sweet, but still tasty! For the cream cheese frosting, you can actually used your sweetener of choice in place of the powdered sugar, even just a few tablespoons of honey or agave nectar tastes great! It’s a softer frosting, but still spreadable and awesome.
- 2 cups all-purpose gluten-free flour (can sub all-purpose flour if you don't need gluten-free)
- 1¼ teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
- 1 teaspoon baking powder (1/2 teaspoon above 3000 ft)
- ¾ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1½ cups peeled, diced apple (I use Granny Smith)
- 1 cup pumpkin puree
- ½ cup packed brown sugar (see post above for unrefined option)
- ⅓ cup sugar (see post above for unrefined option)
- ¼ cup rice bran oil (or other neutral baking oil)
- ¼ cup maple syrup
- 3 tablespoons ground flaxseed
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ⅔ cup unsweetened dairy-free milk beverage, lukewarm
- Preheat your oven to 350º and grease a 9-inch baking dish.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the flour blend, pie spice, baking powder, cinnamon, baking soda, and salt. Stir in the apples, to coat.
- In a mixing bowl, blend the pumpkin, sugars, oil, maple, flaxseed, and vanilla until smooth. Stir in the milk beverage, followed by the flour / apple mixture, stirring until just combined.
- Pour the batter into your prepared pan, leveling out as needed. Bake for 45 to 55 minutes, or until the cake has pulled away from the sides and the center springs back when lightly pressed.
- Let cool completely before cutting, and preferably for several hours or even overnight. The cake will become quite cohesive and the flavors will meld as it sits. Will keep for about 2 to 3 days covered at room temperature, or longer if chilled.
- If desired, frost before serving.
- In a chilled mixing bowl, blend the cream cheese alternative, coconut cream, vanilla, and salt until just combined.
- Beat in the powdered sugar, to taste. I prefer ¾ to 1 cup, but you might like it cheesier or sweeter.
- If the frosting softens too much, simply cover and chill in the refrigerator. It should be a soft, but thick and spreadable consistency.