pumpkin cake and a chill in the air

6 Oct

It’s chilly here and I love it! Fall, if you haven’t read my earlier posts, is my favorite. So don’t be surprised if during this season, there are LOTS of pumpkin, squash and fall type foods. Comforting warm foods are my favorite in the fall. So, it’s only right to make a pumpkin cake! Yes, I realize I made pumpin cupcakes for my birthday…shoot me. Pumpkin is my favorite flavor.

I’ve realized, over the last couple weeks, that I am happy to eat well, put things in my body that are good for me, but there are certain things I can’t give up. Good quality dairy, quinoa and rice and I’m ok with that. I tried going paleo, but in the world of someone who loves to bake and cream cheese frosting is my favorite, sometimes, a girl needs a piece of gluten free pumpkin cake with cream cheese frosting. I eat LOTS of veggies, I bought a juicer so I can drink green juice daily, which has been really helping my digestion, I eat lean proteins, good for you fats, antioxidants, fruits…etc. So I know I eat healthy, but I’m not going to beat myself up anymore for not being completely paleo. It works for some people, but it doesn’t totally work for me I’ve realized because I do like to eat some grains sometimes, particularly quinoa. I don’t eat ENOUGH meat to not get good quality yogurt as some small form or protein, or quinoa as a carb, protein, amino acid and antioxidant. So it’s not like I put BAD things in my body, I just chose to add a few more things to my diet then others do. AND it’s my choice. One thing I have noticed about all of these diets is people really push, or life changes, as they generally are, because you make a CHOICE to eat clean and healthy and well, is that they are pushed on us a lot. Not that I am knocking anyone, I really WISH I had the willpower to do paleo hardcore, but I figure if I’m gluten free and am 90% or more paleo, except for the occasional rice, dairy and quinoa, that’s pretty good. SO I’m not going to feel guilty anymore. I’m going to eat healthy, good, lovely things for my body that are good quality, but I am not going to chastize myself for having a gluten free cupcake every once in awhile. BUT don’t get me wrong, most of these baked goods I make aren’t for me haha! I generally have a bite or two, but it’s interesting how my love for sweets isn’t as strong as it was, now that I don’t eat processed, fast, or bad for your foods (minus the treat sometimes!)

That brings me to the CAKE! This is a REALLY easy cake, mostly because I have found an amazing brand of gluten free flours and pre-made mixes that really help out. I didn’t have time to go and buy potato, rice and yadda yadda yadda flour before I decided to make this cake, so I used one of the mixes I had. What’s amazing about Pamela’s is that the mixes have the BASICS. So you could use a gluten free flour for this as well just as easily. Just make sure you have your leavening to add like baking powder, soda and salt. Pamela’s yellow cake mix only has the flours and leavening you need, all of the flavors you add yourself, even the vanilla! Hope you love it!


Ingredients for the cake:

  • 1 package Pamela’s gluten free yellow cake mix
  • 1/3 cup organic pumpkin puree (NOT pumpkin pie filling)
  • 1/2 cup olive oil or coconut oil (melted if using coconut oil)
  • 1/2 cup coconut milk, the full fat thick stuff
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon good quality vanilla
  • 1 tablespoon of cinnamon
  • 2/3 cup water

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Mix all these lovely ingredients together. Feel free to add shredded carrot, walnuts, almonds, whatever have you if you’d like! We kept it simple today. Mix the ingredients well, then divide into two, 8 inch cake rounds that have been greased with olive or coconut oil. Tap them on the counter to make sure they are nice, smooth and even and pop them in the oven. These take about 30 minutes, but watch them as ovens vary in temperature. A toothpick should come out of the center clean.

Ingredients for the frosting:

  • 2 packages of organic cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1/4 cup pumpkin puree (you should have about that much left from your can you used for the cake)
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste or 1 vanilla bean split and the seeds pulled out
  • 3 cups powdered sugar

In a bowl with a handheld electric mixer, or on a KitchenAid with a paddle attachment, add your cream cheese and beat until smooth. Add your pumpkin, cinnamon and vanilla and beat until well incorporated. Add the powdered sugar, one cup at a time, until incorporated well. If you need more powdered sugar to stiffen up your frosting, so it holds well on your cake, do so. Mix well.

Let your cakes, after they are done, cool to room temperature. Put one cake, flat side down, on a cake platter, cake stand or plate. Top with about half the frosting and smooth around the middle evenly. Top with the other half of the cake, flat side down, and top with the rest of the frosting. Sprinkle the top with sprinkles, walnuts, almonds, what have you! I used chopped almonds. If you want, serve the cake straight away, or, I like to put it in the fridge and let the frosting set up a bit, it makes for a smoother cut. After that, your frosting and cake are good to set on the counter, covered, or you can refrigerate it if you feel the need. ENJOY this taste of the fall season!


If you are looking for AMAZING vanilla, this is where I get mine. Plus they sell vanilla bean paste, which is so much easier then the vanilla beans! You can get 16 ounce bottles for a ridiculously cheap price. They make it fresh and its the best quality EVER! My Mom turned me onto it at Christmas and I STILL have a bottle and a half of vanilla and 1/2 a bottle of vanilla bean paste left!



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