This Pumpkin Cake is soft, sweet, moist and the best healthy fall breakfast! A perfectly spiced pumpkin streusel cake topped with a cinnamon pecan crumble and dairy-free vanilla icing. It is gluten-free, paleo-friendly, grain-free with low carb keto sweetener options.
Healthy Pumpkin Cake Recipe
Looking for a healthy and delicious pumpkin dessert? This easy Pumpkin Cake is one of our favorite desserts to make for fall. It’s perfectly spiced with warm and cozy cinnamon and is completely grain-free, gluten-free and paleo-friendly.
My family loves enjoying a slice of this classic pumpkin spice cake for breakfast on a chilly autumn morning. It’s full of delicious pumpkin flavor with the most amazing mixture of soft and crumbly streusel. The homemade vanilla icing is dairy-free and makes an easy and delicious finishing touch!
Why we love this healthy pumpkin cake recipe
If you follow a paleo, grain-free, gluten-free or dairy-free diet, you have to add this crumb cake recipe to your fall baking list.
It’s made with no refined sugar, and you can make it low carb or keto with a few small substitutions.
You can enjoy this pumpkin coffee cake for breakfast or dessert all through September, October and November once the weather cools down. It’s always nice to have another healthy dessert in the rotation for Thanksgiving, Halloween or all through the holidays.
Ingredients for Pumpkin Coffee Cake
For the Topping
- Super fine blanched almond flour: our favorite paleo and low carb flour to use in place of all purpose flour
- Coconut Sugar: a lower glycemic sweetener that mimics the taste of brown sugar. To make these pumpkin pie bars keto, simply swap with another brown sugar substitute – we like Lakanto Golden Monk Fruit Sweetener but Swerve or erythritol will work as well.
- Refined Coconut Oil: You could also use Ghee, softened like butter.
- Ground Cinnamon
- Fine Sea Salt
- Chopped Pecans
For the Cake
- Eggs – helps bind the ingredients for the batter together and helps this rise. Be sure to bring them to room temperature. I have not tried subbing the eggs with chia or flax eggs to make this pumpkin cake vegan but would love to hear if you do.
- Pumpkin Puree: (use pure sugar free canned pumpkin puree or homemade fresh pumpkin puree by roasting your own sugar pumpkins. Be sure not to use canned pumpkin pie filling which has added sweeteners and fillers otherwise, it will change the taste and texture of your paleo pumpkin cake.
- Melted and cooled Coconut Oil: Be sure to use refined coconut oil if you don’t want any coconut flavor. You could also use ghee, softened like butter.
- Maple Syrup: adds natural sweetness and extra moisture. Sub with another liquid sweetener you have in your kitchen such as coconut nectar syrup, Lakanto Sugar-free maple syrup to make keto pumpkin cake.
- Coconut Sugar: a lower glycemic sweetener that mimics the taste of brown sugar. To make this pumpkin cake keto, simply swap with another brown sugar substitute. We like Lakanto Golden Monk Fruit Sweetener but Swerve or erythritol will work as well.
- Pure Vanilla Extract: balances out the sweetness and adds amazing flavor.
- Super fine blanched almond flour + Coconut flour: our favorite paleo and low carb flours we like to use for the right structure in place of white wheat flour
- Baking powder – the leavener to help this cake rise. Be sure to use a gluten-free or paleo baking powder (made with baking soda, cream of tartar and tapioca starch) as needed.
- Fine Grain Sea Salt: balances out the sweetness and adds amazing flavor.
- Pumpkin Pie Spice: If you don’t have homemade pumpkin pie spice, combine cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and ginger.
- Ground Cinnamon
For the Maple Cream Icing
- Coconut Butter: Melt your coconut butter and let it cool slightly before using.
- Maple Syrup: Or Keto substitute.
- Powdered Coconut Sugar or Maple Sugar: For Keto, sub with powdered monk fruit sweetener.
How to Make Pumpkin Cake
There are three easy steps when making this pumpkin cake recipe. First you’ll make your crumb topping. Then you’ll mix the cake batter, add the crumb topping and bake. As a finishing touch you can add a simple homemade vanilla icing once your cake as cooled.
Be sure to read the step-by-step instructions and watch the video below.
For the Streusel Topping
- Combine Ingredients: Add all the topping ingredients except for the pecans into a medium bowl. Use a fork to combine until crumbly.
- Add Pecans: Stir in the chopped pecans and chill in the fridge.
For the Pumpkin Cake
- Prepare for Baking: Preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease and line the bottom of an 8” springform round cake pan (or an 8×8 square baking pan) with parchment paper, leaving an overhang. Set aside.
- Combine Wet Ingredients: In a large bowl, beat the eggs. Then, add the pumpkin puree and mix until smooth. Stir in the maple syrup, coconut sugar, coconut oil and vanilla and mix until smooth.
- Add Dry Ingredients: Place a large mesh sieve over the bowl and sift in the baking powder, almond flour and coconut flour. Add the cinnamon, pumpkin spice and salt, stirring until fully combined
- Bake: Spread the batter into the prepared pan. Sprinkle your chilled topping evenly over the cake and bake in the preheated oven for 23-28 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.
- Let Cool: Allow the cake to cool completely in the pan.
For the Vanilla Icing
- Combine Icing Ingredients: Once the cake is cool, carefully remove it from the pan. Combine the icing ingredients together in a bowl until smooth. Add more maple syrup or unsweetened milk as needed to thin out the icing.
- Drizzle Over Cake: Use a spoon to drizzle the icing over your cake in zig zags.
- Cut & Serve: Cut your cake into slices and sprinkle each one with a little bit of powdered coconut sugar or maple sugar, if desired.
- Add nuts or chocolate chips
- To make a pumpkin bundt cake, pour the batter into a well greased bundt pan. You may have to increase the baking time
- For an easy pumpkin sheet cake, double the cake recipe and pour the cake batter into a sheet pan and adjust the baking time
Tips for the Best Pumpkin Cake
- Chill Topping: It’s super important to chill your topping in the fridge while you make your cake. This will help it get the crumbly texture we’re looking for.
- Use Pumpkin Puree: Don’t try to substitute the canned pumpkin puree for pumpkin pie filling. Pumpkin pie filling has added ingredients that aren’t needed in this cake.
- Sift Dry Ingredients: Be sure to add your dry ingredients to the cake batter through a mesh sieve. This way, everything will combine perfectly.
- Let Cool Completely: Before you remove your cake from the pan and add your icing, you have to make sure it’s completely cooled.
Is Pumpkin Cake Healthy
Classic pumpkin dump cakes and pumpkin crunch cakes are typically made with a combination of all purpose flour, butter, refined powdered sugar with a maple cream cheese frosting. Since our paleo pumpkin cake recipe is grain-free, gluten-free and refined sugar-free, we definitely think you can enjoy a slice or two in moderation for a healthy lifestyle.
How to Store Homemade Pumpkin Cake
If you have leftover pumpkin crumb cake, store it in an airtight container at room temperature. Make sure it stays well covered so it doesn’t dry out. Your coffee cake will stay fresh for up to 5 days.
More healthy pumpkin recipes you will love:
This Pumpkin Cake is soft, sweet, moist and the best healthy fall breakfast! A perfectly spiced pumpkin streusel cake topped with a cinnamon pecan crumble and dairy-free vanilla icing.
- 3 large eggs room temperature
- 1 cup canned pumpkin puree not pumpkin pie filling
- 2/3 cup coconut sugar or sub with golden monk fruit sweetener or preferred brown sugar substitute for Keto
- 2 tbsp maple syrup or sub with 1.5 tbsp Lakanto sugar-free maple syrup or preferred liquid sweetener for Keto
- 2 tbsp melted refined coconut oil or ghee
- 2 cups superfine blanched almond flour
- 2 tbsp coconut flour
- 1 tsp gluten free baking powder
- 1 tbsp pumpkin pie spice
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/8 tsp fine sea salt
Add all the topping ingredients except for the pecans into a medium bowl. Use a fork to combine until crumbly. Stir in the pecans and chill in the fridge.
Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease and line the bottom of an 8” springform round cake pan (or an 8x8 square baking pan) with parchment paper, leaving an overhang. Set aside.
In a large bowl, beat the eggs then add the pumpkin puree and mix until smooth. Stir in the maple syrup, coconut sugar, coconut oil and vanilla and mix until smooth.
Place a large mesh sieve over the bowl and sift in the baking powder, almond flour and coconut flour. Add the cinnamon, pumpkin spice and salt and stir until fully combined.
Spread the batter into the prepared pan. Sprinkle topping evenly over the cake and bake in the preheated oven for 23-28 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.
Allow cake to cool completely in the pan.
Once the cake is cool, carefully remove from pan. Combine the icing ingredients together in a bowl until smooth. Add more maple syrup or unsweetened milk as needed to thin out the icing. Use a spoon to drizzle it over the cake in zig zags.
Cut into slices and sprinkle with a little bit of powdered coconut sugar or maple sugar, if desired.
Store airtight at room temperature for up to 5 days.