Spiced Pumpkin Coconut Flour Cake

(In the bustle of preparing for Elena’s birthday, I forgot to take a picture of the cake without frosting, or a slice of it! Please excuse the lack of pictures)

I have had a bag of coconut flour for some time now. There was nothing in particular keeping me from using it, except perhaps all of those sourdough cakes I was experimenting with! So when, for Elena’s birthday, I was trying to think of a cake that would be easy to put together the day of, I thought of my coconut flour. Coconut flour is a high fiber, high oil, high protein, no gluten flour that tastes good too! Many people with blood sugar, weight, or yeast issues, find this flour helpful. I also understand that it is low in phytic acid, which means no “soaking” is required.

I wanted to make a pumpkin cake, but wasn’t able to find one using coconut flour and a sweetener I was willing to use. That dilemma resulted in this cake. Coconut flour requires the use of a lot of eggs (to hold it together), so I used the technique of making a chiffon cake (a high egg cake) from my trusty “Joy of Cooking”. I sweetened it with honey and maple sugar for a delicious “Fall” taste. But I am sure you could experiment with using the sweetener of your choice.

We all really enjoyed this cake. It is a bit more dense, but it’s also very moist and flavorful. The pumpkin flavor is perfect for this time of year too!

Spiced Pumpkin Coconut Flour Cake

I should mention that while the eggs do an excellent job in holding this gluten free cake together, it is still fragile. Make sure that you handle it with care. I did, in fact, have one of my layers crack down the middle while I was moving it. If this happens, don’t fear, it’s nothing a good frosting can’t hide!

Preheat the oven, 325 degrees

Prep two cake pans by greasing with coconut oil, lining the bottom with parchment paper, and greasing the top of the paper.

In a large bowl, sift together:
2 1/4 cups of coconut flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
3/4 teaspoon ginger
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg, or ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon cloves

In another bowl, add:

5 egg yolks
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/4 cup of pumpkin puree
Melt gently together, and add to the above (make sure it’s not hot, or it will cook your egg yolks)
3/4 cup of honey
1/2 cup coconut oil

Mix this mixture on high speed until smooth, then add to the dry ingredients. Mix until smooth.

In a separate bowl, beat on medium speed until soft peaks form:

10 egg whites
1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
Gradually add, beating on high speed:
1/4 cup of maple sugar (I am assuming that rapadura would work as well. In my second cake, I actually left this extra sugar out with fine results)

Beat until the peaks are stiff but not dry. Use a rubber spatula to fold this mixture into your egg yolk/flour mixture. It’s a little stiff at first, but keep gently folding, and it will loosen up for you.

Divide into you two cake pans, and spread evenly. Bake until the top springs back when gently pressed and a toothpick comes out clean from the middle of the cake. (30-35 minutes, but start checking at 25 minutes).

Leave in pan for about 5 minutes, and then very gently turn out onto a cooling rack. Cool completely.

Frost with Honey Vanilla Frosting, or frosting of your choice and enjoy!

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I love beautiful and simple food that is nourishing to the body and the soul. I wrote Fresh: Nourishing Salads for All Seasons and Ladled: Nourishing Soups for All Seasons as another outlet of sharing this love of mine. I also love sharing practical tips on how to make a real food diet work on a real life budget. Find me online elsewhere by clicking on the icons below!

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  1. Michele says

    Oh, yum! 🙂 Coconut flour is my favorite, and this cake looks wonderful. Thanks for the recipe!

    I sent you an e-mail, so let me know if you don’t get it. But feel free to postpone reading it until you have time! 🙂


  2. Catherine says

    What a great recipe! I just made this cake for my son’s birthday yesterday and we all loved it. My other son is on the Specific Carbohydrate Diet and with just a tiny modification, he could eat this! I have pictures of the cake decorated and sliced on my blog. Thanks again!

    • meghann says

      how did you make this for SCD? i have it and am just getting back into “sweeter” foods. any advice is much appreciated! this cake looks amazing!

  3. Kimi Harris says

    I am so glad that it turned out for you. 🙂 I looked at your post, and it turned out beautiful!

  4. Rosy says

    That is a lot of coconut flour! How dry is the cake, not to dry I hope, it sounds yummy. Could this cake be used for mini cupcakes?

  5. julie says

    what consistency is the batter supposed to be? Mine was really thick like cookie batter. I added extra egg yolks and whites and honey and oil and it was still really thick. Did I beat the eggs too long? I beat them until they were like whipped cream.

    • Alicia says

      The same thing happened to me. I suspect that it needs much less cocomut flour – most recipes that use coconut flour use a smaller amout because of its ability to absorb liquids. I will try again with much less flour next time round.

  6. Reams says

    Is the coconut flour the right amount? My batter was very dry. I didn’t change it but its in the oven now…and I don’t have high hopes for it :/

  7. Katie says

    I just found this post and didn’t read the comments before baking. So far, things are not looking too hot. My batter was cookie-dough like as well – or even more dry. I just pulled them out of the oven and they look pretty lumpy. Should I have smoothed the batter into the pans? I didn’t want to smash things down because of the egg whites folded in. I wish the previous posters would have given a follow-up after their first posts.

    • KimiHarris says

      I am so sorry this recipe is giving you trouble! That is always so frustrating! I do remember that when I made it, it wasn’t so thick like that. Unfortunately, different brands of coconut flour seem to react quite differently in a recipe. I’ve tried to take that into account in future recipes using it (and since, we can’t have eggs anymore, I am not able to re-work past recipes with that in mind). 🙁

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