by Olena

Healthy Pumpkin Cake

Olena's image
Olena Osipov
5 from 2 votes

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This Healthy Pumpkin Cake is the best version of a classic fall dessert. Topped with a luscious yogurt cream cheese frosting, it is moist, decadent, and packed with hidden nutrients!

Love pumpkin baked into sweet treats? You’ll also love these healthy pumpkin brownies, pumpkin bars, and pumpkin oatmeal cookies (just to name a few!) – You can never have too much pumpkin!

Healthy Pumpkin Cake

Almond Flour Pumpkin Cake

Add a little more sparkle to your holidays this season with this spectacular healthy pumpkin cake.  A delicious twist on a fall classic your whole family will love – for when you want something new to enjoy after finishing this healthy pumpkin pie!

The aroma of cinnamon and pumpkin spice combined with the moisture from the pumpkin puree and zucchini are all the things that make this gluten-free pumpkin cake a crowd-pleaser. The yogurt cream cheese frosting with a hint of vanilla on top takes the cake!

And if you’re still craving pumpkin treats, then you can even whip up a batch of healthy pumpkin muffins or choc-chip pumpkin bread as a grab n’ go snack options for the family!

Healthy Pumpkin Cake slice on a fork

And your kids will never know it has zucchini in it! I say this from experience after stuffing zucchini into EVERYTHING – like this zucchini banana bread,  chocolate zucchini bread,  lemon zucchini muffins, healthy zucchini muffins, and more!

This is a naturally sweetened almond flour pumpkin cake that does not skimp on flavour or texture and can be made ahead of time. Just make sure you don’t eat it all before your guests arrive!

Healthy Pumpkin Cake in baking dish

Ingredients for Healthy Pumpkin Cake

FOR THE CAKE

  • Dry Ingredients: Almond flour. Store-bought or homemade. Baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, & salt.
  • Wet Ingredients: Pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie filling), apple cider vinegar (can use white as well).
  • Eggs
  • Sweetener: Your choice of maple syrup, agave, or honey.
  • Zucchini: Finely shredded. Do not squeeze out the moisture as this helps with the texture of the cake.

FOR THE ICING

  • Greek Yogurt: Greek yogurt is higher in protein and much thicker than other yogurts. It has the same consistency as a thick sour cream.
  • Cream cheese: Softened to room temperature and cut into cubes.
  • Icing sugar: Also known as confectioners sugar. Comes in powder form and is can be used for all sorts of baking. Makes a wonderful glaze.
  • Vanilla: Pure vanilla extract.

How to Make Healthy Pumpkin Cake

  • Prep: Preheat the oven and line just the bottom of your baking dish with parchment paper. Spray bottom and sides with cooking spray. Make sure to get all corners as this cake sticks.
  • Whisk: In a large bowl, whisk the eggs. Add maple syrup, pumpkin puree, vinegar, pumpkin pie spice, cinnamon, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Whisk to combine. Healthy Pumpkin Cake batter with zucchini in glass bowl with spatula
  • Add: Add the zucchini in and stir. Then add the almond flour and thoroughly combine. Healthy Pumpkin Cake batter in glass bowl with spatula
  • Bake: Pour into prepared dish, level with a spatula, and bake until a toothpick inserted and comes out clean. Remove and let cool completelybaked Healthy Pumpkin Cake
  • Strain: While the cake is cooling, strain the yogurt using a colander and a towel or coffee filter over a bowl. Keep this in the fridge for the next few hours. icing Healthy Pumpkin Cake
  • Icing: When the cake is cooled and yogurt has strained, discard the whey. Add yogurt into a large bowl with remaining ingredients. Beat with a mixer until smooth. Making sure to scrape the walls of the bowl. You want to make sure everything is incorporated.
  • Assemble: Spread icing on top of the cake. Use an offset spatula if you have one.Healthy Pumpkin Cake covered with plastic
  • Serve: You can serve immediately or have it set longer in the fridge for a few hours. Prior to cutting it into pieces, run a butter knife along the sides of the pan to loosen.

Tips

  • Use what you have: If you can’t get your hands on canned pumpkin puree, homemade pumpkin puree works too!
  • Liquid: The choice is yours for your preference of sweeteners, but make sure it’s liquid!
  • Almond flour is A MUST! It’s nutrient-dense and yields wonderfully tender moist results. Just look at this almond flour pumpkin bread, almond flour carrot cake, or almond flour chocolate cake for proof!
  • Hidden treasures: Shred zucchini on the side of the grater with the medium holes. That way it “disappears” into the cake.
  • Did you know that if your Greek yogurt is 10%, you don’t have to strain it further?
  • DIY: To make powdered sugar at home, blend cane sugar in a high-speed blender.
  • Optional: If you don’t love the idea of a cream cheese frosting you can definitely omit it. Keep in mind it is what helps create a thicker more stable frosting.

Healthy Pumpkin Cake slice on white plate with black fork

How to Make Ahead, Store & Freeze

Make ahead: You can make and store this cake up to 3 days before serving in an airtight container. Do not frost the cake until just before ready to serve.

Storing: Store assembled, and completely cooled, cake in the fridge for up to 2 days. Use an airtight container otherwise, yogurt will dry out.

Freezing: You can freeze an unfrosted cake for up to 6 months tightly wrapped in plastic wrap and covered in foil. Thaw on the counter for 6 hours or in the fridge overnight.

I have never tried freezing this cake after it had been assembled, so I hesitate to recommend it just based on the frosting. I do think it should be fine, but if you try it, let me know!

More Healthy Cake Recipes

You might also enjoy this list of 20 almond flour recipes!

Healthy Pumpkin Cake Recipe

Healthy Pumpkin Cake

Healthy Pumpkin Cake

This Healthy Pumpkin Cake is the best version of a classic fall dessert. Topped with a luscious yogurt cream cheese frosting, it is moist, decadent, and packed with hidden nutrients!
5 from 2 votes
Print Save Rate
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: North American
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 50 minutes
Servings: 12 slices
Calories: 349kcal
Author: Olena Osipov

Ingredients

Pumpkin Cake:

  • 3 large eggs
  • 3/4 cup maple syrup honey or agave
  • 14 oz can 1 1/2 cups pumpkin purée (not pumpkin pie filling)
  • 1 tsp white or apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tbsp pumpkin pie spice
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 cup finely shredded zucchini not squeezed
  • 3 1/3 cups almond flour

Greek Yogurt Icing:

  • 2 1/2 cups 2%+ Greek yogurt
  • 4 oz cream cheese softened & cut into cubes
  • 3/4 cup icing sugar
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract

Instructions

  • Prep: Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line only the bottom of square 8" by 8" or 8" by 11" baking dish with parchment paper (cut out to fit - this cake sticks!), spray bottom and sides with cooking spray and set aside.
  • Cake: In a large bowl, whisk the eggs for 10 seconds. Add maple syrup, pumpkin puree, vinegar, pumpkin pie spice, cinnamon, baking powder + soda and salt. Whisk well breaking any baking soda or powder lumps.
  • Add zucchini and stir.
  • Add almond flour and stir well to combine.
  • Pour into previously prepared baking dish, level with spatula and bake for 50-60 minutes or until toothpick inserted comes out clean.
  • Remove from the oven and cool off completely (about 3-4 hours). Or place in a fridge to speed up cooling.
  • While cake is cooling down, line small colander with a coffee filter or paper towel and place on top of a small bowl. Add yogurt and let it strain in a fridge for a few hours.
  • Icing: Discard the whey from yogurt, add strained yogurt into a large bowl along with cream cheese, icing sugar and vanilla extract. Beat with a mixer until icing is smooth, pausing and scraping the walls.
  • Cake assembly: Spread icing on top of cake. I like to let it refrigerate for a few hours for icing to set better but you can serve right away.
  • Serving: Loosen the cake around the sides with a butter knife. Cut into 12 slices and enjoy!
  • Storing: Store assembled cake covered tightly with a cake lid for up to 2 days. Or insert 4 toothpicks and cover tightly with plastic wrap. Airtight is important so yogurt doesn’t start to dry out.
  • Make ahead: Store baked, cooled and covered with plastic unfrosted cake for 3 days. Then frost before serving.
  • Freezing: I have not and would be hesitant to recommend you freeze assembled cake. Not sure how yogurt will thaw but my gut says 90% it should be fine. You can freeze unfrosted cake tightly wrapped with plastic and then foil for up to 3 months. Thaw on a counter for 6 hours or in the fridge overnight.

Notes

  • Homemade pumpkin puree works.
  • Sweetener can be any but has to be liquid.
  • Almond flour is A MUST!
  • Shred zucchini on medium holes side of grater, so it "disappears" into the cake.
  • If your Greek yogurt is 10%, you don’t have to strain it further.
  • To make powdered sugar at home, blend cane sugar in a high speed blender.

Nutrition

Serving: 1slice | Calories: 349kcal | Carbohydrates: 33g | Protein: 13g | Fat: 20g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Cholesterol: 53mg | Sodium: 256mg | Potassium: 230mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 24g | Vitamin A: 5354IU | Vitamin C: 3mg | Calcium: 189mg | Iron: 2mg
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