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
- 4 ounces dairy-free cream cheese alternative (I used ½ container of Daiya Original)
- ¼ cup chilled coconut cream**
- ½ teaspoon pure vanilla flavoring or extract
- Pinch salt
- ½ to 1½ cups powdered sugar (see post above for unrefined option)
- 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.
**I use a rich coconut milk like So Delicious Original Culinary Coconut Milk and skim the rich, solid cream from it for this frosting.
I like to make baking healthier by using a natural sweetener like coconut sugar, and whole wheat flour when I can get away with it. Veganizing already goes a long way because there’s no cholesterol when you axe the eggs!
Have fallen in love with pumpkin this season! Love the cream cheese icing alternative!
Haven’t seen this flour in our area yet … can’t wait to try it. I like throwing a little pumpkin in my vanilla protein smoothie for some holiday flavor.
Ooh, yum! And some pumpkin pie spice, too.
This looks delicious! My favorite pumpkin dish is pumpkin rolls. I will be looking for a dairy free recipe to make soon. 🙂
Dinner rolls or cinnamon rolls or the pumpkin rolls? I have both!
A match made in heaven! This sounds so, so delicious! And that pan!! I need to get my hands on one of those asap!
You would adore the pans Lauren – totally eco and yet AMAZING! I’ve put that one through the ringer and it emerges victorious and like new every time.
This is all the great things about fall baked in one dish 😀 Delicious!
Wow love all the ingredients! just in time for fall!
That has Thanksgiving dessert written all over it.
Pumpkin and apple pie is like Awesome + Awesome. Makes me want to run into the forest, devour everything, and come back out into civilization and proclaim I found Enlightenment!
I could eat this whole pan up! How delish Alisa!!
We did Rebecca – several of them in testing! 🙂
I love that you mixed apple and pumpkin together, I don’t have to choose just one!
Thank you for sharing which dairy free cream cheese you used, I never know which brand to try when I look for those types of ingredients.
Yes, Daiya is softer and for some reason works pretty well, flavor-wise, in frosting. Other brands like Go Veggie work better if you want a firmer frosting or are working with savories, in my opinion.
Perfect dessert for tonight! I was craving something sweet with apples & pumpkins. Glad that this is easy to throw together and bake. Looks delicious! Love that it’s gluten free too!
Thank you Neli!
Apple. Pumpkin. CAKE! Brilliant! Topped wtih dairy-free cream cheese and we’ve got a winner!
I’m glad this cake got the Tony seal of approval, too. Looks amazing!
Happy (day after) National Pumpkin Day!
Thanks Lori! You are too sweet.
Apple AND pumpkin! I really love this seasonal combination. This sounds absolutely scrumptious with the “cream cheese” frosting too! YUM
Thanks Jenn! I know, why have just one? 🙂
That pan is gorgeous! I love the handles. I am going to find it. I haven’t heard of that flour. Off to the farmer’s market today to see if they have it.
Totally a gift-worthy item Christie – available a few places, but I linked up to Williams Sonoma which has all sizes.
This looks absolutely amazing! I so need to give this a try! Love that even though it is vegan and gluten-free, the texture still looks fluffy and moist (you know how to keep it successful!)
Thanks Kacey! yes, tricky without eggs and gluten, but still wonderful! Also good with the egg option, too 🙂
I adore apple season, this is the time of year everyone posts all kinds of yummy apple recipes. This looks so good!
Thanks Marye! I’m a big fan of apple season, too!
i have enjoy life ancient grains! i haven’t used it yet so this will be perfect! YUM!
I think you’ll like it Lindsay!
I have a box of that flour waiting to be used too… after seeing this amazing cake and hearing your positive words again, I cannot wait to try!
It works pretty darn well Kristina, especially considering it has no gums.
I love that Enjoy Life flour! It’s so versatile! This cake sounds awesome 🙂
We think it is, thanks Liz!