A gluten-free pumpkiny delight that's perfect for Halloween and Thanksgiving meals!
From Chef Oonagh Williams of Gluten-Free Cooking with Oonagh
A friend told me this was a ‘Libby’s’ recipe. I got it years ago at a Pot Luck, made it often, and then adapted it to gluten-free. Easy, moist and moreish. 15 oz can of Libby’s solid pack pumpkin will make three times recipe, that is 3 cakes. And yes, there is no oil or butter in this recipe, pumpkin is used the way apple sauce can be used. This month, a wheat eating friend had posted a picture of a pumpkin cake cooked in a jelly roll pan with diagonals of cream cheese filling. The quantities given for that cake were roughly double the pumpkin jelly cake recipe I make. Probably to give enough depth for the cream cheese swirls and so cake wouldn’t collapse as you picked it up. Remember a jelly roll is literally rolled with filling or layered. So I put all of my jelly roll recipe into a 9+1/2 inch springform.
Gluten-Free Pumpkin Cake with Cream Cheese Swirls
- 2/3 c (5+1/2 oz, 160g) 100% pumpkin from a can (not pumpkin pie filling). Don’t increase amount of pumpkin, cake won’t work
- 3 large or 2 extra large eggs
- 1 c (7+1/4 oz, 210g) sugar
- 1 tsp (5ml) gluten-free vanilla extract
- 2 tsp (10ml) gluten-free baking powder and pinch of salt
- 2 tsp (10 ml) cinnamon or pumpkin pie spice or apple pie spice
- ¾ c (3oz, 85g) my gluten-free flour blend or ½ c (3oz, 85 g) King Arthur all purpose gf flour, doesn’t contain xanthan gum or baking powder (see below)
Cream cheese swirls to top raw cake batter:
Mix together until smooth
- 4 oz (112g) cream cheese softened - lite is fine but gives a softer texture
- 2 Tbsp (30ml) powdered sugar
- 1 egg yolk or 1 Tbsp liquid egg substitute
Frosting for around outside of cake:
- 2 oz, (½ c, 56 g) cream cheese softened - lite is fine but gives a softer texture
- 4 oz (1 c, 112g) powdered sugar (icing sugar) – I do sift the sugar as that’s quicker than trying to get frosting smooth with lumpy powdered sugar
- 1 tsp (5ml) gluten-free vanilla extract
And no, Please do not use the frosting as the cream cheese swirls. The higher sugar content makes the cake far too sweet and sugar also caramelizes and sinks more into cake batter. I did try doing that.
1. Preheat oven to 350*F, 180*C. Spray springform pan and line base with parchment paper, dust with gluten-free flour – I use white rice flour.
2. Mix together pumpkin, eggs, vanilla and sugar and beat for 2 minutes to incorporate air.
3. Add baking powder, spice, salt and flour and mix well.
4. Pour onto lined springform pan, gently spread out.
5. Spoon cream cheese into ziploc bag, snip off corner and pipe spirals from center out on top of raw batter. Don’t worry if it doesn’t look perfect lines. Take a small sharp knife or skewer and pull tip of knife/skewer through the cream cheese batter from outside to center of circle to give spider web design.
6. Bake for 30-35 minutes until well risen, springy but still soft to the touch. I literally dig a fork into middle of cake to check it’s cooked and taste a piece of cake. If it still has grainy flour taste, give it 5 minutes more.
7. Remove cake from oven. Wait 10 minutes, then run a thin spatula around outside of cake and loosen and remove springform ring.
8. Allow to cool completely and then move to serving plate, lining paper should easily remove. Pipe cream cheese frosting around outside of cake. Unless you use a huge pipe you should have leftover frosting that you can pipe on individual serving plate or freeze for another recipe.
I used various Halloween jewelry to decorate as well as mini ceramic pumpkins for Thanksgiving.
My Gluten-Free Mix:
I use for one cup of GF mix.
- ½ cup potato starch – substitute arrowroot for nightshade allergy
- ¼ c tapioca starch from Asian market or Goya or Yoki brand in supermarkets
- 2 tbsp amaranth or millet flour: Bob’s Red Mill (millet is roughly one third the price of amaranth, is not so nutritious, but is more readily available.)
- 2 tbsp sorghum flour: Bob’s Red Mill
- 1 x 14 oz bag potato starch, which is 3+1/2 cups - that's the size I can buy.
- 1+3/4 c of Tapioca Starch is 7 oz
- Just under 1 cup of Amaranth or Millet (actually ¾ c plus 2 Tbsps is 4 oz)
- Just under 1 cup of Sorghum (actually ¾ c plus 2 Tbsps is 4 oz)
Making about 7 cups total of mix.
Watch me make this on NH's ABC WMUR TV--recipe is still the same but I now leave out xanthan gum.