Tender, moist, warmly spiced pumpkin cake topped with cinnamon sugar sprinkled cream cheese frosting makes this gluten free Spiced Pumpkin Snack Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting the perfect simple, everyday cake. A little sweet treat is just what your day needs!
I’ve finally broken out of my reading rut! Earlier this year I was steamrolling through books, but then I hit a bit of a rut. You know when you’ve just finished something awesome and then everything else you start reading just seems….meh. I chomped through Andie’s heart-touching memoir, and nibbled away at Gretchen Rubin’s ruminations on happiness, (yes, books are like food to me) but then I just couldn’t get into anything that I picked up. I’ve been flirting at the edges with the latest neuroplasticity book, which is fascinatingly tasty, but dense and needs to be digested slowly. And then I started on Gillian Flynn’s Sharp Objects as a bedtime snack. I could not put it down. I kept going back for just another bite, and another, until I was totally consumed by the story. If you don’t mind a little darkness, I highly recommend picking this one up.
Just like my last read, you won’t be able to stop yourself going back for bite after bite of this simple, spicy pumpkin cake. I found myself in the kitchen on Sunday night cutting tiny sliver after tiny sliver off a single piece before I finally relented and took a whole slice back to bed and snuggled up with my book. The combination of pumpkin, deeply sweet brown sugar, cinnamon, and a touch of nutmeg is my winter siren song.
Pumpkin puree has a magical effect in baked goods: it makes things deliciously cake-y. When added to cookies this can be a problem, but in a cake combined with brown sugar and Greek yoghurt, pumpkin makes magic. So tender, so light, and so can’t stop/won’t stop.
This gluten free cake is not a fancy, multi-layered affair. but it’s simple, sweet, and charming. A simple mix of my favourite gluten free flours ensures a tender crumb, but if you aren’t cooking for gluten free tummies, feel free to swap the brown rice, white rice, and sorghum flours for 180 grams of wheat or spelt flour. The results will be just as sweet and delicious.
Though I’m sure this cake would be just as tasty plain, in my opinion you really can’t serve it without the fluff vanilla and cinnamon kissed cream cheese frosting. Oh, this frosting. It’s an easy but stunning combination of cream cheese, milk, icing sugar, and good quality vanilla extract, but it is the perfect finishing touch to the spicy cake beneath. I like a thick layer of frosting on my cake, but if you are more of a frosting-conservative, you could cut the recipe in half for a more moderate coating. Once you spread the thick, creamy frosting over the cooled cake you sprinkle the whole thing with just a touch of cinnamon sugar. Simple, but stunning.
This is the cake to keep in your kitchen when you know you have guests dropping by because everyone needs a little sweet in their day.
Spiced Pumpkin Snack Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting
Gluten Free | Makes 1 8-inch square cake | Keeps for up to four days in an airtight container in the refrigerator
* To make pumpkin purée: peel and chop about 3/4 cup pumpkin. Place in a microwave safe bowl with a small amount of water and microwave in 2 minute bursts until the pumpkin is soft all the way through. Cool completely and mash or blend until smooth.
- 70 grams brown rice flour
- 60 grams sorghum flour
- 50 grams white rice flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 80 grams butter, softened
- 150 grams brown sugar
- 2 large eggs, at room temperature
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup pumpkin puree (see notes)
- 2/3 cup plain Greek/natural yoghurt
For the frosting
- 150 gram cream cheese (full fat is best)
- 3 cups icing sugar
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1-2 tablespoons milk
- 2 tablespoons caster sugar
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- Preheat your oven to 180C (350F). Grease and line an 8-inch pan with baking paper.
- In a medium bowl whisk together brown rice flour, sorghum flour, white rice flour, baking powder, spices, and salt.
- In the bowl of standmixer fitted with the paddle attachment (or in a large bowl using a handheld mixer) beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes.
- Add eggs one at a time and mix until fully incorporated. Scrape down the sides of the bowl between additions.
- Add vanilla extract and pumpkin puree and beat in.
- Add flour in two parts alternating with the yoghurt. After each addition mix until just combined.
- Spoon batter into the pan and smooth the top.
- Bake for 40 -45 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the middle of the cake comes out clean.
- Remove the cake from the oven and allow to cool before frosting.
- To make the frosting place the cream cheese in the bowl of a standmixer fitted with the paddle attachment (or in a large bowl using a handheld mixer) and beat until creamy, about 2 minutes.
- Add icing sugar, vanilla extract, and milk and beat until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes.
- Mix together the caster sugar and ground cinnamon in a small bowl.
- Smooth frosting over the top of the cooled cake and then sprinkle with the cinnamon sugar.