Grain Free Pumpkin Recipes Fit for Thanksgiving and Christmas!

grain free, gluten free, pumpkin

There are so many delicious ways to enjoy pumpkin! These grain free, gluten free pumpkin desserts are lovely.

Pumpkin is one of the flavors of fall for good reason – There are so many delicious ways to enjoy it! Whether you are looking for a grain-free pumpkin pie, pumpkin cookies, pumpkin bars or a dairy free pumpkin spice latte, there are some lovely, favorite recipes shared below. They are making me ready for Thanksgiving and Christmas!

Am I the only one that can’t believe that the holiday season is upon us? Where has this year gone? We are looking forward to the holidays, and our recent cold weather has helped get us into the spirit of the season.
As I was looking through the many recipes shared by myself and others here on The Nourishing Gourmet, I realized that there are a lot of beautiful, grain free pumpkin recipes, and that it would be fun to share them in a post altogether as a resource for you all.

(Related: 25 Nourishing Real Food Thanksgiving Dishes and 7 Delicious ways to use Thanksgiving Leftovers)     

 Meanwhile, I have some pumpkin puree to use, and it’s hard to decide what to make first!

Easy Peasy Pumpkin Puree (using a slow cooker): Speaking of which, if you are looking to make homemade pumpkin puree, I recommend this recipe as a really easy method!

 Pumpkin Pie Stuffed Apples (Grain Free with Dairy Free Options) - The Nourishing Gourmet
Pumpkin Pie Stuffed Apples: This is one of the newest recipes on the blog, shared by Natalie, and I love how creative and clever it is! No crust needed as the apples themselves create an edible dish to serve pumpkin pie in. How fun is that?
 Pumpkin Spice Cranberry No-Bake Cookies - GI 365 1 (1) (1)
Pumpkin Spice Cranberry No Bake Cookies: Pumpkin Spice cookies are studded with cranberries for a very allergy-friendly, yummy cookie that doesn’t even need an oven.
grain free pumpkin pie
 Streusel Pumpkin Pie (grain free, dairy free): This is a popular grain free pumpkin pie recipe that you will glad to see is easy to make as well!
Another option for pumpkin pie filling is this recipe for Maple and Honey Sweetened Pumpkin Pie. It makes an amazing filling, just use a grain free crust, like the above recipe, for a delicious pumpkin pie. Maple Honey Pumpkin Pie (with coconut milk)
Vegan and Paleo Ginger Snap and Pumpkin Mousse Parfaits on
Pumpkin Mousse Parfaits: But why limit yourself to pie? These beautiful dairy free, grain free Pumpkin Mousse Parfaits are as beautiful as they are delicious! Thinking outside the box this holiday season is fun too.
Grain free pumpkin bars
Pumpkin Bars: What I love about making bars is that they are a more portable, easy dessert to make and serve. These grain free pumpkin bars would make a great kid-friendly addition.
Nourishing Homemade Pumpkin Spice Creamer-
 Nourishing Pumpkin Spice Creamer: No need to buy coffee creamer (often full of so much junk!) when you can make your own using simple recipes like this one! You can use whole milk or coconut milk in this recipe.
Paleo Pumpkin Spice Latte (vegan too!)
 Paleo Pumpkin Spice Latte: Speaking of coffee, this is a really yummy (and popular!) recipe for a dairy free pumpkin spice latte that is so delicious! I find it much more satisfying than those I’ve gotten out.
 Pumpkin Chai Latte made with coconut milk and paleo-friendly!
Pumpkin Chai Tea Latte: Don’t enjoy coffee? You can still enjoy a “latte” by using chai tea! I find that the spices of chai go perfectly with pumpkin, and so they marry well in this creamy dairy free drink.
Of course, many of these recipes are made even better when topped with whipped cream!
Maple whipped cream is incredibly delicious and easy to make. Plus, it's entirely sweetened with pure maple syrup!
Maple Whipped Cream: If you can handle dairy, I recommend trying out this Maple Whipped Cream. It is SO good, and it’s lightly and naturally sweetened too.
A dairy-free dream! Delicious coconut milk whipped cream
Coconut Whipped Cream: If you can’t have dairy, coconut whipped cream is an amazing alternative! We love it. You can see my regular Vanilla Whipped Cream recipe here and my Stevia Sweetened Coconut Whipped Cream recipe here.

Pumpkin Pie Stuffed Apples (Gluten & Dairy Free)

Pumpkin Pie Stuffed Apples (Grain Free with Dairy Free Options) - The Nourishing Gourmet

Warmly-spiced pumpkin filling is spooned into a hollowed-out apple shell that softens and caramelizes as it bakes. Topped with a simple caramel sauce this is a a rustic yet elegant fall dessert to serve to family and friends!

No need to limit yourself to pumpkin. This filling is based on a sweet potato pie recipe. I have also made it with buttenut squash and next up is kabocha. Carrot pie is also intriguing! My kids won’t go near winter squash in the lightly salted, roasted version that I adore. But this is one of their favorite desserts of all time. That’s a win in my book.

I’ve recently become even more excited about carotenoid-rich vegetables after discovering a new health benefit. Current research is showing that those with the highest serum-levels of carotenoids were 20-30% less likely to develop breast cancer. It’s probably a bit early to tell whether this is because those with more carotenoids are likely to be higher in other nutrients as well, but there seems to be at least some link since it has been noted across multiple studies.

Concerned that the apple shells may be too tedious? It turns out that hollowing an apple is easier than it may seem. This recipe calls for four huge apples (or 5 large) and the whole operation takes no more time than it would to make a crust – a sometimes stressful endeavor, in my opinion. I use red delicious because they are softer. Just half them, hollow out each side with a knife, then scoop out the center with a good spoon (a grapefruit spoon works well).

When you finish putting these together you are left with the perfect amount of apple with which to make an apple pie! Just toss it with some lemon to prevent it from oxidizing and store it in the fridge until you’re ready to put it together in the next day or two. Or try one of the savory apple recipes that have recently appeared on The Nourishing Gourmet.

Here are some apple recipe ideas:

Cranberry Apple Mini Pies (GF, if desired)
Apple Cinnamon Ice Cream with Salted Caramel Sauce (DF)
Apple Clafoutis (Grain-Free)
Potato Apple Soup with Caramelized Onions & Gorgonzola
Easy Pan-Fried Cabbage and Apples

We usually prefer our pumpkin pie chilled, but we love these warm. And you won’t want to skip the caramel. It’s definitely worth the quick extra step!


Pumpkin Pie Stuffed Apples (GF/DF)
Recipe type: Dessert
Serves: 8 servings (1 pie)
These rustic little treats are perfect for fall. Mix and match different orange squashes or use your own pumpkin pie filling recipe!
  • 4 very large apples (I use red delicious)
  • 2 cups pumpkin or orange squash puree (here are instructions for making your own)
  • ½ cup full-fat coconut milk
  • ¼ - ⅓ cup coconut sugar (1/4 if you are using caramel sauce, ⅓ if not)
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tablespoons melted butter (optional, for those who don't need it to be dairy free)
  • ⅛ teaspoon ground cloves
  • ¼ teaspoon nutmeg (preferably fresh grated)
  • ½ teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • lemon (sprinkle on apples to prevent oxidation)
  1. Preheat the oven to 350.
  2. In a food processor, puree all pumpkin filling ingredients (everything minus the apple and lemon). Alternately you can use a good masher, however this will not work if your pumpkin is very stringy.
  3. Carefully and confidently, hollow out the apples - slice them in half (from stem to bottom). WIth a knife, carve out the apple on each side leaving the core intact, then scoop out the core with a good spoon (I used a grapefruit spoon). Leave about ¼" of apple attached to the peel. Sprinkle each shell with a little lemon before moving on to the next.
  4. Fill each shell with pumpkin and bake for 45 minutes to an hour, until done.
  5. Serve warm with Easy-Peasy Caramel Sauce.

Gluten Free Double Chocolate Banana Bundt Cake (And Giveaway!)

Gluten Free Double Chocolate Banana Bundt Cake

This moist bundt cake has that lovely, childhood favorite flavor combination of chocolate and banana. It not only is enriched with cocoa powder, but it also is studded with chocolate chips. My inner child swoons. The inner adult serves it with a cup of coffee and enjoys them both.

This bundt cake also happens to be gluten free, dairy free, and egg free, and was made in a Teflon-free pan. I’m feeling pretty thrilled! My kids enjoyed it with a side of ice cream at my youngest’s birthday party, while the adults had cups of coffee with it. Either way, it was lovely. (Check out the giveaway below for a glass bundt cake pan and a Chemex coffee maker!)

What I love about bundt cakes is that they look so beautiful, even with just the lightest dusting of organic powdered sugar. I love frosting just as much as anybody else, but it certainly makes it easier for the cook when you don’t have to frost and decorate a cake! This cake took me several tries to get right. Because the cake batter has to keep its form more in this pan, making a gluten-free, egg-free version was a definite challenge. I tried out my regular soaked gluten free cake recipe, and it rose beautiful, and then fell into a gloppy mess while cooling. I tried a grain-free version, and it looked so promising while in the oven, but then also fell into a gloppy strange mess.

Finally, I got smart, and adapted a recipe that contained very little liquid, and went to the store to buy xanthan gum to help stabilize it. The girls and I watched it anxiously cook…it looked alright, but what would happen when it was taken from the oven? We gingerly removed it from the oven, and all of us held our breaths as it cooled, but it was stable! We made the recipe again, and once again, it not only didn’t collapse, but was delicious! Success was sweet for many reasons.

Plus, I was so excited to make the coffee and the cake free of any plastic or Teflon! It’s always my goal to reduce toxins whenever I can, and so I was really excited to learn about a heavy duty glass bundt pan, as well as enjoy the beauty and plastic-free-ness of making Chemex coffee. (One lucky reader gets to win both as well!). It was this beautiful cake pan that made me feel inspired again to try to make bundt cakes. I had gotten rid of my Teflon-coated bundt cake pan a while back, so it was pretty exciting to be able to make one in a glass pan!

If you are curious about some of the cautions with Teflon, you can check out this post by EWG. The Simax glass bundt cake is much thicker and sturdier than I thought it would be. I was worried it would be a thin, easily breakable pan, but it’s not. It’s made with borosilicate glass that is safe to heat up to 572F degrees (Tempered glass is safe to 425F). I started trying to buy borosilicate glass whenever I could because it doesn’t shatter like tempered glass does. I was also worried about the cake sticking to the surface of the pan, but everything has come out easily so far.

Plastic and heat is a no-go if you are avoiding leeching of chemicals. Learn how to make coffee without any plastic!

Why you should make your coffee plastic free

The Chemex coffee maker is one beautiful way to make coffee without any plastic. Why go plastic-free? There are many problems with plastic, some of which involve the chemicals they leech into your food and beverages. And here is why it’s so important to make your coffee plastic-free – heat breaks down those toxins into your food/beverages even faster, plus many of us have coffee every single morning. Between plastic and heat being a no go in my mind, and the frequency with which we drink coffee, I am much more comfortable drinking my coffee sans plastic. The Chemex is also made out of borosilicate glass, plus has a beautiful wooden collar and leather cord. Coffee making can be beautiful! Making coffee using a Chemex is as easy as slowing pouring hot water over coffee grinds, and it lends itself to a less bitter, smoother cup of coffee. Delicious!

(To enter the giveaway, check out the information below the recipe)

Recipe notes:

Unlike most of my recipes, this recipe does not contain soaked flours. When working with certain gluten-free flours, they aren’t as important to soak (for example tapioca flour doesn’t need to be soaked at all), but you could certainly use sprouted gluten free flours.
This makes a smallish bundt cake with the above cake pan, You can use a regular bundt pan, but because it will be larger in size, it may not rise as much in the pan. The texture is like a pound cake – rich and slightly dense, so go for small slices when serving. You can get 8-12 slices out of a cake.

A few supplies need in this recipe (affiliate links):

Gluten Free Double Chocolate Banana Bundt Cake (And Giveaway!)
Serves: 8-12 servings
  • 3 teaspoons of chia seeds
  • ¼ boiling water
  • 3 medium bananas, mashed well
  • ½ cup of applesauce
  • 2 tablespoons real maple syrup or honey
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract (gluten-free)
  • 1 tablespoon raw apple cider vinegar
  • ⅓ cup melted coconut oil (melt over low heat until just liquid – don’t get hot)
  • 1 ¼ cup sorghum flour
  • ¼ cup buckwheat flour
  • ½ cup tapioca starch
  • ½ cup cocoa powder
  • 1 ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ¼ teaspoon unrefined salt
  • 1 cup of coconut sugar
  • 2 teaspoons xanthan gum
  • ¾ cup dark chocolate chips
  1. Preheat the oven to 350F. Grease bundt cake pan really well with coconut oil.
  2. In a heat safe cup, mix together the chia seeds and boiling water. Set aside.
  3. In a medium sized bowl, mix together the mashed bananas, applesauce, maple syrup or honey, vanilla extract and vinegar. Whisk together. While whisking, gently pour in melted coconut oil. Mix in the chia seed mixture. Set aside.
  4. In a large bowl, combine the flours, cocoa powder, baking powder and soda, coconut sugar, salt and xanthan gum. Using a hand mixer, blend the wet ingredients into the dry until well combined.
  5. Stir in the chocolate chips.
  6. Scrap into the prepared cake pan, and smooth the cake batter. Place in the middle of the oven and cook for about 40-45 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean, and the cake feels firm to the touch. Let cool in pan for about 7 minutes, then carefully turn out over a cooling rack. Cool completely before serving. Dust with organic powdered sugar, if desired. Freeze leftovers.

 Giveaway Info

Giveaway Items for making Teflon Free cakes and plastic free coffee MightyNest is sponsoring this giveaway worth $200, and I am happy to work with them! They sell quality glass and stainless steel kitchen products, lots of great home products – all of which are earth-friendly and family-friendly products. Plus, they give back 15% to your school with each purchase you make. That’s a pretty sweet deal. Today, they are giving away one Chemex coffee maker, one Simax glass bundt cake, a food-grade silicone coaster, plus $100 to your local school!

US addresses only, winner to be announced the 15th of November. Entering the giveaway will automatically sign you up for a newsletter (that you can easily unsubscribe at a later date if desired). No purchase necessary, winner randomly selected.

Thanks to MightNest for sponsoring this giveaway! And thanks to my readers who buy through any affiliate links.

Delicious & Easy Vanilla Buttercream (without so much sweetener)

Delicious Vanilla Buttercream - you don't need a lot of sweetener to make great frosting!

Rich buttercream, lightly sweetened and with hints of vanilla is the perfect frosting for many cupcake and cakes. This version is significantly less sweetened than the typical recipe and is still delicious and sweet!

It seems you are either in one of two camps – either you scrape the frosting off of your cake, or you eat cake so that you can enjoy frosting. Me? It depends. The typical store-bought cake with dyed, (gross) frosting was always discarded by me in the past. But, if the cake was homemade and contained real food ingredients? Bring it on!

One of the culinary issues I have with typical buttercreams is that they use so much sweetener. Maybe I just have lost my taste for such overly sweet foods, but even in my childhood I found most frosting cloying sweet. I now wonder if there was so much sweetener used to mask the taste of low-quality ingredients?

Regardless, we have been quite happy with my still sweet, but not-so-cloying sweet frostings. All of which are made with real food ingredients too!

So far I have shared the following frosting recipes:

The 7 minute frosting is an old favorite of mine. It tastes a little bit like marshmallows and is so forgiving when using it to frost a cake. (Unfortunately, it contains eggs that half of us don’t tolerate well.) The Chocolate Buttercream is a lovely example of how sweet and delicious a frosting can be without so much sugar (it’s a favorite frosting!), while the Chocolate Ganache is honey sweetened and even dairy-free! Other options for a simple frosting it using naturally sweetened whipped cream (frost right before you serve).

Whipped Cream Recipes

Chocolate Whipped Cream
Maple Whipped Cream
Strawberry Whipped Cream

(Amazon links are affiliate below)

For my daughter’s Gluten-free “Frozen” birthday party (where we also served “snowball cookies,” i.e. Mexican Wedding Cookies), we made snowmen cupcakes that needed a frosting that looked like snow. Vanilla frosting was the obvious choice. In the past, I have used coconut sugar, honey, and even maple syrup to sweeten my frosting. Here’s a breakdown of vanilla frosting with these sweeteners:

Coconut sugar: You can use the same amount as the powdered sugar, but it will have a very caramel-like flavor (delicious, but not typical for vanilla frosting), and will also not be a very white, or creamy colored frosting.

Honey or Maple Syrup: These are also delicious, with the maple syrup changing the color more. However, since you are adding liquid to the frosting, you will need to know that it will not be a pipe-able frosting, OR you will need to add a little coconut flour to the frosting (start with 2 tablespoons, and use up to 4 tablespoons) to firm it up. (This was a trick I learned from the cookbook: Paleo Indulgences )

Today, I am sharing the recipe we used for our snowmen cupcakes that uses organic powdered sugar (This brand I’ve linked to is corn-free, and made this way, “Our powdered sugar is made by simply grinding our Fairtrade Organic Sugar to a fine, fluffy powder (12x) and adding 3% organic tapioca to prevent clumping.”) This is a very crowd friendly frosting since it resembles more typical buttercreams, yet it uses so much less sweetener than the typical frosting recipe. I used a one-to-one ratio of sweetener to butter, instead of the more typical 1 part butter to 3 or 4 parts sweetener. It also is pipe-able, which is so much fun!

Delicious & Easy Vanilla Buttercream (without so much sweetener)
Makes enough for 12 cupcakes, or one layer 9 inch cake. See notes above about different variations of sweeteners.
  • ½ pound (2 sticks) butter, room temperature (I prefer organic and/or pastured)
  • 1 cup of powdered organic sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract (gluten-free, if needed)
  • 1-2 tablespoons heavy cream of full fat coconut milk, as needed (I've also used almond milk with success)
  1. Place the butter and sugar in the bowl of a stand mixture, or use a hand mixture to combine the butter and sugar in a bowl, on low speed, until combined. Then increase speed to medium and mix for about three minutes, or until the frosting is smooth and airy.
  2. Add in vanilla, and cream/milk of choice, until you get the right consistency (mixing for about one more minute).
  3. Frost right away. If it is a really hot day, or you have a hot house and find that the frosting is too soft, simply refrigerate until it gets the right consistency.