If you are looking for the perfect new addition to your Thanksgiving traditions then look no further than this Pumpkin Spice Layer Cake. Not only is it delicious, it's easy and gluten-free! This cake is an absolute show stopper with the gorgeous orange cake and white icing layers. Your guests will be talking about this one for days!
This gluten-free pumpkin spice layer cake turned out unbelievably well — despite the fact that it was supposed to be a pumpkin roll! LOL. Read on for how a near disaster turned into the perfect new creation.
This pumpkin spice layer cake is full of warm pumpkin pie spices and creamy and slightly sweet cream cheese icing. The cake is perfectly thin and makes the most beautiful display! We had NO leftovers. So, on that note, you might want to make two!
When it comes to Thanksgiving dinner, we are pretty consistent with the main meal and side dishes. In fact, if any of the usual suspects are missing, my thanksgiving is not complete and I'll probably end up making the missing pieces the next day…#jokingnotjoking.
The star of the show is, of course, turkey which is generally stuffed with my favorite gluten-free bread stuffing. On the side, we'll have mashed potatoes, maple roasted Brussel sprouts (trust me – if you don't love sprouts, you will after roasting them with maple syrup and bacon!) and of course gluten-free gravy.
We make sure there's lots of homemade cranberry sauce and our favorite, freshly-baked, gluten-free pull-apart rolls!
In addition to the traditional North American staples, our Thanksgiving dinner does get a little influence from my British background. The dinner is not complete without pigs in blankets — just ask my kids! We take pork sausages, cut them into cocktail-sized pieces, wrap them with a 1/3 – 1/2 slice of bacon and then roast them!
The combination of all these flavors is heaven on a plate and brings the nostalgia of the season all together in one!
Now, when it comes to dessert, we can go in any direction. We’ll have good ol' pumpkin pie or fruit crumble, however we’re really not that attached to any Thanksgiving sweet.
This year, I found a recipe online for a beautiful looking pumpkin roll! It was supposed to look like a jelly roll but with cream cheese icing inside. I was so excited to make this recipe and all was going well… until I got to the rolling part. Enter a near disaster when I tried to roll it and the whole thing started to crack and fall apart. To give you the full picture, I was also putting this together about 30 minutes before everyone was scheduled to arrive! Eeek!
I couldn't figure out what went wrong until I remembered I'd made an ingredient switch. To make this dessert for my gluten-intolerant family members, I switched out the wheat flour in the original recipe for my gluten-free flour blend. This substitution could have contributed to why the cake didn't want to roll.
Making This Pumpkin Spice Layer Cake Gluten-Free
The pumpkin roll recipe was originally made with regular wheat flour but I knew that was a no-go for my fam jam. So, to make sure everyone could eat this dessert, I decided to use my gluten-free flour blend instead.
For the last ten years, I’ve been using my own variation of Minimalist Baker‘s gluten-free flour blend so it was my go-to to make this Pumpkin Spice Layer Cake gluten-free.
I’ve listed the recipe below if you're interested in trying it. I have to say it is one of the best homemade flour blends I've ever made, and beats out many of the expensive store bought brands!
Gluten Free Flour Blend Ingredients
- 3 cups (450g) Brown Rice Flour
- 1 cup (165g) Potato Starch
- 1/2 cup (65g) Tapioca Flour
- 1/2 cup (90g) White Rice Flour
Mix all together and store in airtight container
Typically, I’ll add 1/2 teaspoon of xanthan gum per cup of this gluten-free flour blend which is all it really needs to hold things together. If you're concerned at all you can add another 1/4 – 1/2 tsp and the end result should turn out great!
This flour blend has been used to substitute so many recipes that I've tested. I will say that it’s not great for bread but besides that have at it!
A New Recipe is Born – Pumpkin Spice Layer Cake!
When the cake started to crack, instead of trying to force the issue and have a complete disaster on my hands, I decided to try something else. The cake was thin enough that it inspired me to try make a layer cake. I already had the cake and the icing, and now it was about putting it together; in a different way that would still look great!
So, I took my loaf pan and cut the cake into 4 even pieces that would fit inside the pan.
I then took some plastic wrap and layered the inside of the loaf pan. This would make it easier to remove the cake before serving. Next, I started layering and alternating each piece of cake with about a quarter inch thick layer of icing. I finished the layering with the last piece of cake.
As the icing was quite soft at this point, I covered the top of the cake with the pieces of plastic wrap that were hanging over the edges and placed it in the fridge. I left it there for about an hour to make sure that the icing hardened enough to get clean slices.
Then, about 20 to 30 minutes before I served it, I took the cake out of the fridge to allow the icing to soften slightly before serving it.
My eldest kiddo has since informed me that it's better right out of the fridge. So, I will leave it up to your personal preference on when to serve it. He would eat it right out of the fridge and he's my toughest critic. That said, I might still let it soften a bit 😉
I must also mention the success I had with my new Caraway baking sheet. I have never had a cake slide away from a pan SO easily.
I've now made this recipe without parchment lining the baking tray. Not gonna lie, I was definitely scared the whole thing would get stuck to the pan. However, it slid off like magic! I couldn’t believe it.
There are so many good things about Caraway's cookware and bakeware! Not only are they non-toxic, the non-stick surface is one of the best I've ever tried.
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Serving the Pumpkin Spice Layer Cake
As the pan was lined with plastic wrap, it was super easy to remove the cake and get it ready for serving.
I placed the cake on a serving dish and, with my little tea strainer/mesh strainer, I dusted a fine layer of icing sugar over top of the cake. It looked outstanding!
To serve the cake to our guests, I sliced 1 inch pieces and laid them on their side onto the serving plates. To each plate, I dusted another fine layer of icing sugar, an extra dollop of the leftover icing and everyone couldn't get enough!
So there you have it. Pumpkin Spice Layer Cake for the win! I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as we do! And, if you do try it, don't forget to rate it and leave a comment! I'd love to hear how it turned out!
Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours!
Pumpkin Spice Layer Cake (Gluten-Free!)
- 3 eggs (large size)
- 2/3 cup canned pumpkin puree (150g)
- 1/2 cup sugar (100g)
- 3/4 cup gluten-free flour (116g) — see the blog post for DIY blend
- 1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
- 1 tsp baking powder (look for aluminum free)
- 1/2 tsp xanthan Gum
- 1/2 tsp salt
Cream Cheese Icing
- 1 cup cream cheese (225g) – room temperature!
- 1/2 cup icing sugar (60g)
- 1 cup whipping cream (250g) — room temperature!
- Preheat oven to 350F
- Next, line the bottom of a 10”x15” baking tray with parchment paper and set aside.
- Next, in the bowl of your stand mixer, add the eggs and, using the paddle attachment whisk well.
- To the eggs, add the pumpkin purée and mix until combined.
- To the egg mixture, add the sugar and blend until the color is light and smooth.
- In another medium sized bowl, mix the gluten-free flour, pumpkin pie spice, baking powder, xanthan gum (if needed) and salt.
- Once combined, add in the dry ingredients to the wet mixture and mix until incorporated.
- Pour the cake batter onto the lined baking tray and spread the mixture out evenly. Make sure to spread it out to all the edges.
- Place the tray in your pre-heated oven and bake for 15 – 20 minutes.
- The cake is done when it springs back after a light touch.
- Leave for 5 minutes to cool on the tray and then allow to cool completely on a cooking rack.
- While the cake is baking, rinse our your stand mixer and replace the paddle attachment with your whisk (if you don't have a stand mixture a hand mixer works great!).
- To the bowl, add the cream cheese ( room temperature) and blend until smooth.
- Next, add the icing sugar and blend until combined.
- Slowly add the whipping cream, making sure to scrape the edges until all is combined.
- Next, blend on high speed until the icing forms stiff peaks.
- Set aside.
- While the cake is cooling, measure the size of the bottom of your loaf pan. Use parchment paper to trace it out and then cut the rectangle. You will use this cut-out to make even squares of your cake.
- Next, prepare your loaf pan by placing a layer of plastic wrap (cling film) inside the loaf pan, covering the bottom and falling over the sides. This will make it easier to remove the cake for serving!
- Once the cake is cooled, you can now take your parchment stencil and cut the cake into 4 rectangles.
- To assemble, start by placing the first layer of cake in the bottom of the lined pan.
- Next, add a layer of icing about 1/4 inch thick.
- Continue with another layer of cake and icing, with the final layer being the last layer of cut.
- Finally, fold the plastic wrap over the top of the cake and place in the fridge for at least an hour.
- Take the cake out of the fridge about 20 – 30 minutes before you want to serve it (this will allow the icing to soften slightly) and place the cake on a serving dish.
- Take a tablespoon of icing sugar in a sifter or mesh strainer and gently dust the top of the cake. Hello gorgeous!
- To serve, slice 1 inch slices and dust the plates with a little more icing sugar. Perfection!
- Serve and enjoy!