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A tall pumpkin layer cake frosted with white cream cheese buttercream and topped with chocolate ganache, chocolate cookies, and white frosting swirls.

Gluten-Free Pumpkin Cake (Dairy-Free)

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  • Author: Katie Stymiest
  • Total Time: 1 Hour 35 Minutes
  • Yield: 1 Cake - 12 Slices 1x
  • Diet: Gluten Free


Moist layers of gluten-free pumpkin cake full of warm fall spices and covered in a whipped honey cream cheese frosting. This easy one-bowl cake is perfect for every autumn occasion.


Units Scale

Pumpkin Cake

  • 1 can (15oz.) pumpkin puree
  • 1 1/4 cups (400g) honey
  • 3/4 cup (177ml) canola or vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup (118ml) applesauce
  • 3 large eggs, room temperature
  • 2 cups (256g) gluten-free 1:1 baking blend
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 teaspoon salt

Honey Cream Cheese Buttercream

  • 1 cup (227g) dairy-free salted butter, room temperature
  • 1 package (200g) dairy-free cream cheese, full-fat
  • 6 cups (720g) powdered sugar
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1 teaspoon salt

Chocolate Ganache Drip 

  • 1/2 cup (120g) dairy-free chocolate chips
  • 1/4 cup (59ml) dairy-free heavy cream
  • optional: chocolate cookies for decor


Pumpkin Cake

  1. Preheat the oven to 350ºF and prepare three 6-inch round cake pans with non-stick baking spray and parchment paper. 
  2. In a large mixing bowl combine the pumpkin, honey, oil, applesauce, and eggs and whisk together until smooth and fully combined.
  3. Add in the flour, baking soda, pumpkin pie spice, and salt and mix until just combined. Be careful to not over-mix the batter.
  4. Divide the batter evenly between the prepared cake pans and bake for approximately 30-35 minutes or until the cake edges begin to pull away from the pans, the center springs back to the touch, and a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out with a few moist crumbs.
  5. Allow to cool in the pans for 10 minutes and then avert on a cooling rack to fully cool.

Honey Cream Cheese Buttercream

  1. In a stand mixer or large mixing bowl with electric beaters, combine the butter, cream cheese, and honey and beat together on high until light and fluffy. This should take approximately 5-10 minutes.
  2. Add in the powdered sugar and salt and mix on low until combined.
  3. Turn the mixer up to high and allow it to beat for 5 minutes. 
  4. Place in the fridge until ready to use.

Chocolate Ganache

  1. Combine the chocolate chips and heavy cream in a microwave-safe bowl and begin to heat in 30-second intervals. Stir after each interval and continue until fully melted and smooth.

Cake Assembly

  1. Level each fully cooled cake layer with a knife or cake leveler.
  2. Place one cake layer on a plate, cake board, or cake turntable. Top with approximately 1½ cups of buttercream. Repeat with the remaining layers.
  3. Cover the outside of the cake with a thin layer of buttercream and allow to chill in the refrigerator for 10 minutes.
  4. Cover the cake with a second layer of buttercream and smooth the sides and top with an offset spatula or cake smoother. Place in the fridge to chill for another 10 minutes. Prepare the chocolate ganache if doing so at this time.
  5. With a piping bag, spoon, or drip bottle, drip the chocolate ganache over the top of the cake. Place back in the fridge to chill for another 10 minutes.
  6. Place chocolate cookies around the top of the cake and pipe Wilton 1M buttercream swirls in between each cookie. Enjoy!
  7. Leftover cake should be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days or frozen for up to 6 months.
  • Prep Time: 60
  • Cook Time: 35 Minutes
  • Category: Cakes
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: American