Pumpkin Apple Pie Cake (Vegan and Gluten-Free)


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!

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
Total time
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.
Serves: 12 to 16 slices
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)
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.
*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.


  1. Pingback: Dairy-Free Pumpkin Recipes: 22 Sensational Sweets & Savories for Fall

  2. Pingback: Gingerbread Apple Skillet Cake Recipe (Dairy-Free)

  3. Pingback: 30 Dairy-Free Holiday Desserts for Your Next Dinner Party

  4. My daughter is allergic to dairy and wheat. I’m not much of a baker, let alone a wheat and dairy-free baker, so the learning curve has been brutal! I just assembled my ingredients and whipped this up and it. Is. AMAZING!!! I used Bob’s red mill 1 to 1 gluten free flour (which does have xanthan gum), soy milk and the egg version. I only had an 11 x 7 pan and that worked great! I had to try a sliver after letting it cool for just a couple of hours and I’m blown away! The texture reminds me of REAL gingerbread! Moist hit slightly dense while still being kind of crumbly, if that makes sense! I’m so excited to take this to thanksgiving dinner at the in-laws! I’ll have to be sure to put some aside for my daughter and me (she’s still nursing, so I have the same dietary restrictions), otherwise, I’m not sure we’all get any and no one else is “brave enough” to cook/bake wheat and dairy free in afraid! Thank you so much for this fantastic recipe!! On to the frosting!! ??

  5. Hi! Can the flax be left out of this? According to a IgG test I took I am sensitive to flax and eggs. I’m guessing you are replacing the eggs with flax.

  6. Jennifer Clark on

    One of our son’s many allergies is to coconut (and wheat, dairy eggs, peanuts, and sesame). Is there a sub for that in the frosting? Thanks!

        • Hi Joni, if you are allergic to coconut specifically and to tree nuts, I’m not aware of a dairy-free cream cheese alternative that is nut-free, coconut-free and soy-free. If you can do soy, then there are a few options. Otherwise, I would recommend making a simple vanilla frosting or a spiced one (we’re sharing a recipe for one this week!) with these bars. No need to go cream cheesy!

  7. Pingback: vegan-yums:(more) Dessert ideas for thanksgiving Pumpkin... - VeganBlog.orgVeganBlog.org

  8. This came sounds amazing, I’m so excited to try it! I am new to the world of dairy free gluten free cooking as my sons were recently diagnosed. I so appreciate recipes like this that will help start me on my journey! My in the past, I have made pumpkin chocolate muffins using simply a box of brownie mix and a can of plain pumpkin puree, that was a family favorite. Lately I have been enjoying using coconut milk to make creamy recipes.

  9. My favorite pumpkin recipe is pumpkin swirl cheesecake made with tofutti. No one can tell it’s dairy free. Ill have to try this cake soon too, it looks good.

  10. I love pumpkin cheesecake, all I need to do is learn a dairy free version. This cake sounds beautiful and is making me hungry

  11. I like a good pumpkin loaf or our local bakery that makes vegan pumpkin apple bagels. very good with pumpkin apple butter. Thanks

  12. I am such a pumpkin kick right now! I have been making yummy pumpkin cake and pumpkin bread and even cooked dairy free gluten free cream soup inside of a pumpkin! So excited to try this recipe right now!

  13. We love using apples or applesauce in our recipes to make them sweet and a bit healthier! This recipe looks so yummy!

Leave A Reply

Rate this recipe: