Pumpkin Apple Pie Cake (Vegan and Gluten-Free)

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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.

Pumpkin Apple Pie Cake with Dairy-Free Cream Cheese Frosting Recipe - this delightful autumn snack cake is amazingly gluten-free, vegan and free of top allergens!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!

Pumpkin Apple Pie Cake with Dairy-Free Cream Cheese Frosting Recipe - this delightful autumn snack cake is amazingly gluten-free, vegan and free of top allergens!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.

Pumpkin Apple Pie Cake with Dairy-Free Cream Cheese Frosting Recipe - this delightful autumn snack cake is amazingly gluten-free, vegan and free of top allergens!This post is sponsored by Enjoy Life Foods, my personally favorite source for dairy-free mini chocolate chips and chunks and addictive soft-baked allergy-friendly cookies!

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.

Gluten-Free Pumpkin Apple Pie Cake with optional Dairy-Free Cream Cheese Frosting
 
Prep time
Cook time
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Note that this pumpkin apple pie cake really shines, and holds it together, when made in advance. This allows both the flavor and cohesive crumb time to develop.
Author:
Serves: 12 to 16 slices
Ingredients
Pumpkin Apple Pie Cake
  • 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
Dairy-Free Cream Cheese Frosting (optional)
  • 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)
Instructions
Pumpkin Apple Pie Cake
  1. Preheat your oven to 350º and grease a 9-inch baking dish.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour blend, pie spice, baking powder, cinnamon, baking soda, and salt. Stir in the apples, to coat.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. If desired, frost before serving.
Dairy-Free Cream Cheese Frosting (optional)
  1. In a chilled mixing bowl, blend the cream cheese alternative, coconut cream, vanilla, and salt until just combined.
  2. Beat in the powdered sugar, to taste. I prefer ¾ to 1 cup, but you might like it cheesier or sweeter.
  3. If the frosting softens too much, simply cover and chill in the refrigerator. It should be a soft, but thick and spreadable consistency.
Notes
*This is a "gum-free" baking mix but is more binding than any other xanthan gum-free gluten-free flour blend I have tried.
**I use a rich coconut milk like So Delicious Original Culinary Coconut Milk and skim the rich, solid cream from it for this frosting.

What’s Your Favorite Pumpkin Dish? Do You Like to “Healthify” Sweet Recipes, Too?

About Author

Alisa is the founder of GoDairyFree.org, Food Editor for Allergic Living magazine, and author of the best-selling dairy-free book, Go Dairy Free: The Guide and Cookbook for Milk Allergies, Lactose Intolerance, and Casein-Free Living, and the new cookbook, Eat Dairy Free: Your Essential Cookbook for Everyday Meals, Snacks, and Sweets. Alisa is also a professional recipe creator and product ambassador for the natural food industry.

113 Comments

  1. This looks so delicious! I never thought of mixing pumpking with apple, but I bet it is yummy. And i love that it’s vegan. Thanks for sharing.

  2. Mmm this looks delicious. I love to make baking “healthier” with little things like sprinkling chia seeds on top or trying to minimize sugar and replacing with apple sauce or bananas where possible.

  3. Wow this looks incredible! Love all the ingredients in this recipe.
    My favorite way to make baking healthier is cutting down on the sugar by using applesauce, mashed bananas, or dates to sweeten in place of refined sugars. 🙂 I love love love baking with healthier ingredients and enjoy sharing with others that making sugary sweets healthier can be done!

  4. I am learning vegan, gluten-free baking and so far, my favorite healthy substitutions are coconut oil for butter, vanilla almond milk for sweet baking and rice milk with lemon juice for biscuits and cornbread.

  5. I love pumpkin and this looks so delicious! My mom makes a yummy pumpkin dessert for Thanksgiving that I splurge on.

  6. I love almost all pumpkin recipes. Classic pumpkin pie of course, but I am currently trying to perfect a gluten free dairy free pumpkin spice baked doughnut. Like all good desserts, you can have them after dinner or for breakfast. 🙂

  7. I am printing this recipe to try right away. I have recently found I cannot eat gluten, have not been able to have anything dairy for a long time. I appreciate all your recipes and thank you for a chance to win the pan and enjoy life mixes and flour!

  8. My favorite pumpkin dish is my Mother-in-Law’s pumpkin bread, which she veganized just for me! I should adapt that recipe to make pumpkin muffins to make it even easier to eat on the go.

  9. I think this recipe looks awesome. I haven’t been able to find the new Enjoy Life baking mixes in my area, but I look forward to trying them, so I hope I win the prize pack. ?

    I really love pumpkin. I make gluten free pumpkin donuts in my donut pan that everyone loves. I also like to add a few spoonfuls of pumpkin to meatballs, tacos and spaghetti sauce for the extra nutrition.

    • They’re pretty new, Leslie, but I’m betting they’ll appear more in stores as the baking season ramps up. In the mean time, they are sold online. I am SO going to make pumpkin donuts now! 🙂

  10. Pumpkin pie is my absolute favourite. I am a big pumpkin fan, and something about cold pumpkin pie is just the best taste ever to me!

  11. Pumpkin bread with chocolate chips is a favorite fall indulgence! And, total disclosure, HUGE Harry Potter fan over here, so I recently went on a mission to perfect my dairy-free pumpkin pasties for the holidays. Totally nerding out on HP-inspired fall desserts, and loving it! Up next: dairy-free Butter beer! (Hoping it’ll be magic ~—* ) 😀

  12. I love making pumpkin chocolate chip muffins with Enjoy Life chocolate chunks but am going to have to give this a try! Thanks for another great recipe!

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