This is the BEST pumpkin bundt cake I’ve ever had! My #1 tip for gluten-free pumpkin cake – don’t use butter. Yes! You read that right. A combination of oil/shortening makes for the most perfect crumb.

Full of fall spices, this gluten-free pumpkin cake is everything you love about fall! Check out my expert tips to make a light and delicious pumpkin cake everyone will love.

A side view of a gluten-free pumpkin cake on a cake platter

Fall is the season when the world goes wild for all things pumpkin spice — and who can argue with that? I absolutely love the combination of pumpkin and cream cheese frosting, and this light, tender cake showcases the flavors better than just about any dessert!

This bundt cake is easy to make and serve at your next fall dinner, family gathering, or Halloween party. It also makes a great alternative to pumpkin pie on Thanksgiving!

You also might like this gluten-free gingerbread cake or this gluten-free apple cake!

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The Secret Ingredient

I worked hard to create an incredible, light, and tender crumb for this gluten-free pumpkin cake that’s just as amazing as traditional pumpkin cake.

So what’s the secret?

Shortening!

Shortening has a higher melting point than butter, which allows the flour to absorb evenly. The end result is a tender, moist gluten-free pumpkin cake like nothing you’ve had before!

Top the whole thing with a rich, silky cream cheese glaze, and you’ll be in heaven!

Really, this gluten free pumpkin recipe is the perfect way to fulfill your sweet tooth cravings in the fall.

A side view of a frosted gluten-free pumpkin cake

Why You’ll Love this Recipe

  • Light and tender crumb
  • Moist and rich
  • Amazing fall flavor
  • Creamy and luscious frosting
  • Spiced with cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and clove

Looking for more pumpkin baked goods? Try these recipes for gluten-free pumpkin cookiesgluten-free pumpkin donuts and gluten-free pumpkin pie.

For breakfast/quick bread recipes try these gluten-free pumpkin pancakesgluten-free pumpkin muffins and gluten-free pumpkin chocolate chip bread.

Ingredients for Cake

Gluten-free pumpkin whoopie pie ingredients on a counter top
  • Pumpkin: Use real canned pumpkin for this recipe, NOT pumpkin pie filling.
  • Brown sugar: Brown sugar adds sweetness and a hint of molasses flavor — the perfect compliment to the pumpkin spices.
  • Vanilla: I like to use real vanilla extract in all of my baking!
  • Gluten-free flour: For best results, be sure to use a high-quality, 1:1 gluten-free flour blend with xanthan gum.
  • Sugar: I like to use Domino sugar for this recipe. It creams well with the butter and results in a lighter cake crumb.
  • Eggs: Two large eggs help bind the cake batter together and adds richness to the cake.
  • Spices: Use pumpkin pie spice, or 2 teaspoons cinnamon, ½ teaspoon ginger powder, ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg, and ⅛ teaspoon ground clove.
  • Oil: I like to use vegetable oil for this recipe, but you can also use canola oil, coconut oil, or another neutral oil.
  • Baking powder/baking soda: Baking powder and baking soda are both essential for creating a light cake with a good rise.
  • Salt: Use fine sea salt to bring out the flavors and sweetness of this gluten free pumpkin cake recipe.

Ingredients for Cream Cheese Frosting

Ingredients for cream cheese glaze on a counter top
  • Powdered sugar: Powdered sugar is the basis for this creamy, luscious frosting!
  • Cream cheese: Allow cream cheese to sit at room temperature for a smoother frosting consistency.
  • Butter: As with the cream cheese, butter should be at room temperature before mixing into the frosting.
  • Milk: You can use whole milk or any other type of milk for this gluten free cream cheese frosting.

Dairy-free? Use Kite Hill cream cheese and earth balance buttery sticks to make a dairy-free glaze.

How to Make this Cake

Make the Pumpkin Cake

  • Preheat the oven to 350F degrees. Generously grease a 12-cup capacity bundt pan.
Butter and sugar in a glass bowl, and eggs added to the butter and sugar
  • In the bowl of a stand mixer or large mixing bowl, beat together the shortening, granulated sugar and brown sugar on medium speed for 1-2 minutes until creamed.
  • Add the oil, vanilla and eggs and mix until smooth, scraping down the sides and bottom of the bowl halfway through.
Dry ingredients poured on top of the wet ingredients in a glass bowl, and pumpkin poured on top of the pumpkin cake batter ingredients
  • With the mixer running on low, add ⅓ of the dry ingredients and mix until combined.
  • Add ½ the pumpkin and continue to mix. Repeat, alternating with the remaining flour and pumpkin.
Gluten-free pumpkin cake batter in a bundt pan, and a baked cake in a bundt pan
  • Pour the batter into the prepared bundt pan and smooth the top.
  • Bake for 60-70 minutes, or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean and the top feels slightly firm to the touch.
  • Cool the cake in the pan for 20-30 minutes. Then carefully insert the pan, to let the cake slide out and continue cooling on a wire rack.

Make the Cream Cheese Frosting

  • Let the cake cool completely before frosting. To make the frosting, in a medium bowl beat together the butter and cream cheese until light and fluffy.
A gluten-free pumpkin cake cooling on a wire rack, and a frosted pumpkin cake
  • Beat in the powdered sugar followed by the milk and vanilla.
  • Beat in a little extra powdered sugar or milk if needed, until the glaze is thin enough to drizzle.
  • Place the cake on a serving platter and drizzle with the cream cheese glaze.
  • Slice and enjoy!

Storage & Freezer Instructions

  • Store cake in an airtight container for 3-5 days.
  • You can also store an unfrosted cake in the freezer for up to three months. (Wrap the cake in plastic wrap before freezing.) When ready to eat, let the cake defrost at room temperature before frosting.
An overhead view of a frosted gluten-free pumpkin cake

FAQs

How do you make gluten-free cake less dense?

You can make your gluten-free cake less dense by using a high-quality gluten-free flour blend that includes xanthan gum. You can also let the batter rest (in order to hydrate the flour).

How long does pumpkin cake last?

Pumpkin cake is best if eaten within three days of baking.

What is a secret ingredient to moisten cakes?

You can add moisture to gluten-free cakes by letting the batter sit for 30 minutes. This allows the flour to soak up the moisture and hydrate, resulting in a lighter, more moist crumb. You can also add an extra egg or egg yolk.

A slice of gluten-free pumpkin cake on a plate with a fork next to it

Expert Tips & Tricks

  • I highly recommend Domino granulated sugar for this recipe — it creams well with the butter and makes a lighter crumb.
  • Don’t skip the shortening! This ingredient is the key to a gluten-free pumpkin cake with an amazing crumb. Because it has a higher melting point than butter, it allows the flour to absorb evenly, resulting in a moist and tender crumb.
  • Be sure to use 100% pure pumpkin and NOT pumpkin pie filling.

More Gluten-Free Pumpkin Recipes

I hope you love this gluten-free pumpkin cake as much as we do! If you try this recipe, be sure to leave me a comment/rating below. I’d love to hear from you!

A close-up of an unfrosted pumpkin bundt cake
5 from 8 votes

Gluten-Free Pumpkin Cake

Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 1 hr 10 mins
Total Time 1 hr 30 mins
Servings 12 servings
This is the BEST pumpkin bundt cake I've ever had! My #1 tip for gluten-free pumpkin cake – don't use butter. Yes! You read that right. A combination of oil/shortening makes for the most perfect crumb.
Full of fall spices, this gluten-free pumpkin cake is everything you love about fall!

Ingredients

Dry Ingredients

  • 2 cups gluten-free 1:1 baking flour 320 grams
  • 1 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice*
  • 1 teaspoons baking soda
  • ¾ teaspoon baking powder
  • ¾ teaspoon salt

Other Ingredients

  • ½ cup shortening 96 grams
  • 1 cup granulated sugar 200 grams
  • ¾ cup brown sugar 160 grams
  • ½ cup vegetable oil 110 grams
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 15 oz can pure pumpkin

For the Frosting

  • 1 tablespoon butter softened
  • 3 oz cream cheese softened
  • 1 cup powdered sugar 130 grams plus more as needed
  • 1-2 tablespoons milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Instructions 

  • Preheat the oven to 350F degrees. Generously grease a 12-cup capacity bundt pan.
  • In a large bowl, whisk together the gluten-free flour, pumpkin pie spice, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.
  • In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat together the shortening, granulated sugar and brown sugar on medium speed for 1-2 minutes until creamed. Add the oil, vanilla and eggs and mix until smooth, scraping down the sides and bottom of the bowl halfway through.
  • With the mixer running on low, add ⅓ of the dry ingredients and mix until combined. Add ½ the pumpkin and continue to mix. Repeat, alternating with the remaining flour and pumpkin.
  • Pour the batter into the prepared bundt pan and smooth the top.
  • Bake for 60-70 minutes, or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean and the top feels slightly firm to the touch.
  • Cool the cake in the pan for 20-30 minutes. Then carefully insert the pan, to let the cake slide out and continue cooling on a wire rack.
  • Let the cake cool completely before frosting. To make the frosting, in a medium bowl beat together the butter and cream cheese until light and fluffy.
  • Beat in the powdered sugar followed by the milk and vanilla.
  • Beat in a little extra powdered sugar or milk if needed, until the glaze is thin enough to drizzle.
  • Place the cake on a serving platter and drizzle with the glaze.
  • Slice and enjoy!

Notes

MAKE IT DAIRY-FREE: Use Kite Hill cream cheese and Earth Balance buttery sticks to make a dairy-free glaze.
RECIPE NOTES
  • I highly recommend Domino granulated sugar for this recipe — it creams well with the butter and makes a lighter crumb.
  • Don’t skip the shortening! This ingredient is the key to a gluten-free pumpkin cake with an amazing crumb. Because it has a higher melting point than butter, it allows the flour to absorb evenly, resulting in a moist and tender crumb.
  • Be sure to use 100% pure pumpkin and NOT pumpkin pie filling.
  • You can use 2 teaspoons cinnamon, ½ teaspoon ginger powder, ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg, and ⅛ teaspoon ground clove in place of the pumpkin pie spice.

Nutrition

Calories: 346kcal | Carbohydrates: 57g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 12g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g | Monounsaturated Fat: 5g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 41mg | Sodium: 263mg | Potassium: 218mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 41g | Vitamin A: 5945IU | Vitamin C: 2mg | Calcium: 55mg | Iron: 2mg

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Hi, I’m Erin!

BS Food Science,

MS Nutrition

I believe you can make amazing, gluten-free food with everyday ingredients that everyone will enjoy. I’m here to share my tried-and-true recipes with you!

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Comments

  1. 5 stars
    So pretty! This cake is so fluffy & you can’t even tell it’s gluten-free! It’s delicious & has the perfect pumpkin flavor! The cream cheese frosting is also so creamy & yummy!

  2. 5 stars
    This was an amazing gluten free cake! I love the crumb, and thank you for the tip on not using butter, it was a game changer!

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