Quest Fulfilled: Gluten-Free Spice Cake

Gluten-Free Almond Butter Pumpkin Spice CakeDo you ever have the feeling that somehow things are magically working out in your favour?

I set a goal in 2012 to come up with  a handful of killer desserts that would qualify as ‘clean’ by my definition. Meaning gluten and dairy -free, without cane sugar, and mouthwateringly delicious. They also had to appeal to those poor souls with ‘regular’ diets (you know who you are!) so I could serve them as company desserts.

I did OK in 2012, coming up with two I really like, an adaptation of my yogurt panna cotta (not dairy-free, but I’m not religious about that!) and a really great fruit crisp. I also pretty much mastered gluten-free pie – using a GF mix. So…I carried over my goal into 2013.

One thing I lamented in my dessert quest (and really missed) was cake. Especially spice cake. Or ginger cake. Or any kind of cake.

In March, I joined forces with Patty Bojczuk and Val MacDonald in the Piece of Cake program (speaking of cake). It’s an amazing nutrition education and self-awareness program that combines healthy eating with mindfulness and includes coaching strategies to sustain success.

For homework, we ask participants to come up with healthy snack alternatives and share recipes. At our final session in the current series, Nancy, one of our awesome participants, arrived bearing this beautiful cake and the recipe. Like magic, my quest for an alternative to traditional spice cake was fulfilled. And I have another killer dessert to add to my repertoire.

Almond Butter Pumpkin Cake


  • 1 cup almond butter
  • 3/4 cup mashed cooked pumpkin
  • 1 egg
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice

Combine all ingredients in a bowl. Mix well. Pour into a greased 8 x 8″ pan. Bake at 350° for 25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Serves 8 (depending on the size of the pieces!) Note: optional additions are nuts, coconut, or dried fruit such as cranberries or cherries. I’ll be trying variations and I’ll keep you posted.

I kicked it up a notch by making a topping combining Greek yogurt, maple syrup and a drop of almond extract. Yummers.

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About Vicki

I’m a coach and consultant and in my spare time I like to cook and play house. I believe happy idleness is a purposeful pathway to a contented life. And I am happiest either in my pajamas or an apron – or both.


  1. Oh ya!
    I am doing this tomorrow. I’m thinking any rich tasting squash like acorn or butternut might do the job. (?)
    Will let you know how it goes!

    • Yes, please! I think that would be a great adaptation, Robert. I also made one with 1/2 almond butter and 1/2 tahine – added a little extra honey and some applesauce as well. Let me know how it turns out!

  2. This cake turned out GREAT. Just like a spice cake… however when i transferred the recipe to a paper I missed the honey so after a few tablespoons of Nova Scotia Maple Syrup it is fabulous!!!
    Thanks VERY much Vicki!!!

    • So glad to hear it! And MAPLE SYRUP. Inspired.

      It’s definitely become a fave at our place – made a coconut raisin version that was -um – very good. Especially for breakfast :)

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