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:

354 kcal

Daily value:



  • Carbohydrate, by difference 22 g
  • Protein 7 g
  • Total lipid (fat) 28 g
  • Vitamin A, IU 1957 IU
  • Vitamin A, RAE 146 µg
  • Vitamin B-12 1 µg
  • Vitamin B-12, added 1 µg
  • Vitamin D 12 IU
  • Vitamin E (alpha-tocopherol) 5 mg
  • Vitamin K (phylloquinone) 1 µg
  • Arginine 1 g
  • Ash 2 g
  • Aspartic acid 1 g
  • Beta-sitosterol 29 mg
  • Calcium, Ca 156 mg
  • Campesterol 1 mg
  • Carotene, beta 1057 µg
  • Cholesterol 10 mg
  • Choline, total 13 mg
  • Cryptoxanthin, beta 2 µg
  • Fatty acids, total monounsaturated 10 g
  • Fatty acids, total polyunsaturated 4 g
  • Fatty acids, total saturated 12 g
  • Fiber, total dietary 3 g
  • Folate, DFE 90 µg
  • Folate, food 16 µg
  • Folate, total 67 µg
  • Folic acid 44 µg
  • Glutamic acid 2 g
  • Iron, Fe 4 mg
  • Lutein + zeaxanthin 29 µg
  • Magnesium, Mg 72 mg
  • Manganese, Mn 1 mg
  • Niacin 2 mg
  • Phosphorus, P 174 mg
  • Phytosterols 10 mg
  • Potassium, K 237 mg
  • Retinol 58 µg
  • Selenium, Se 3 µg
  • Sodium, Na 354 mg
  • Starch 4 g
  • Stigmasterol 1 mg
  • Sucrose 3 g
  • Sugars, total 5 g
  • Water 16 g
  • Zinc, Zn 1 mg
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