Paleo Pumpkin Gingerbread Cake with Maple-Vanilla Frosting

Paleo Pumpkin Gingerbread
Paleo Pumpkin Gingerbread Cake with Maple-Vanilla Frosting

David Humphreys

Paleo Pumpkin Gingerbread Cake with Maple-Vanilla Frosting

Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday, so I’m delighted that dinner on November 24 is just 27 meals away! We’re keeping it low key this year: It’s just Dave, Smudge, and I digging into a smallish feast of roast duck (with a stuffing made of pork and apples), my paleo cranberry waldorf salad, green beans with bacon, velvety butternut squash (a new Well Fed recipe!), and this pumpkin gingerbread cake.

I think this cake tastes best when it’s chilled. It takes on the denser texture of a cake bar, and the frosting tastes and feels like bakery icing. However, you might like it at room temperature or even warmed a bit. Experiment! You can’t really go wrong, it is cake, after all.


The Cake

1. Preheat oven to 350F.

2. Make the cake. In a medium sized bowl, combine all the cake ingredients and mix thoroughly to combine. Pour into an 8×8 oven-safe baking dish. Bake until completely cooked through, about 30 minutes.

The Frosting

3. Make the frosting. Place the coconut butter and coconut oil in a microwave-safe dish and heat until softened, but not melted. The length of time you need to nuke it will depend on the temperature in your house, so start with 30-second increments and repeat until you get the right consistency. Place the coconut butter and oil in a large mixing bowl, then add the honey, maple syrup, and vanilla extract. Beat until fluffy with a standing or hand mixer. If you don’t have a mixer, go at it with a whisk… and good luck to you!

The Topping

4. Assemble! Allow the cake to cool completely. Completely. For real. When you’re sure it’s cooler than Mr. Mike Ness in Red Square in February, you may cut it into 9 or 16 squares. Dollop a spoonful of frosting onto each square and top with a nut. Do not snarf your cake yet – save it for Thanksgiving dinner!

5. Chill out. When all squares are frosted, cover lightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate. The frosting will firm up in the fridge and the texture transforms into a confection. Serve the cake squares chilled or at room temperature.


Calories per serving:

403 calories

Dietary restrictions:

Low Carb Vegetarian, Gluten Free, Wheat Free, Peanut Free, Soy Free, Fish Free, Shellfish Free, Pork Free, Alcohol Free, Kosher

Daily value:



  • Fat 36g 55%
  • Carbs 19g 6%
  • Saturated 16g 82%
  • Fiber 4g 16%
  • Trans 0g
  • Sugars 12g
  • Monounsaturated 12g
  • Polyunsaturated 4g
  • Protein 8g 15%
  • Cholesterol 59mg 20%
  • Sodium 151mg 6%
  • Calcium 175mg 18%
  • Magnesium 87mg 22%
  • Potassium 298mg 9%
  • Iron 2mg 10%
  • Zinc 1mg 8%
  • Phosphorus 252mg 36%
  • Vitamin A 287µg 32%
  • Vitamin C 1mg 2%
  • Thiamin (B1) 0mg 2%
  • Riboflavin (B2) 0mg 21%
  • Niacin (B3) 1mg 5%
  • Vitamin B6 0mg 3%
  • Folic Acid (B9) 24µg 6%
  • Vitamin B12 0µg 2%
  • Vitamin D 0µg 0%
  • Vitamin E 7mg 37%
  • Vitamin K 5µg 7%
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