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Gluten Free Chocolate Pumpkin Cake

 Gluten Free Chocolate Pumpkin Cake is a moist, tender pumpkin cake flavored with cocoa powder and topped with chocolate cream cheese frosting. It’s easy and sinfully delicious!

a slice of gluten free chocolate pumpkin cake on a stack of round white plates with a glass of milk and more slices of cake in the background

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This gluten free Chocolte Pumpkin Cake is a recipe I’ve had planned for a couple of years now but I just didn’t get to it until this year. But man, was it worth the wait!

If my recipe for The Best Gluten Free Chocolate Cake and my Gluten Free Pumpkin Cake had a baby, THIS is the cake baby.

It’s moist, tender, super easy to make, and has so much flavor from the chocolate and pumpkin spice. Plus, I paired it with the creamiest Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting for the ultimate cake experience.

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What You Need To Know About This Gluten Free Cake Recipe:

It serves a crowd! Since this cake is baked in a 9×13 pan, you can get about 20 good-sized servings. You can also bake it in 3 8-inch cake pans for a layer cake, you’ll just have to double the frosting. 

If you’re looking for a small cake, cut the recipe in half and bake it in 2 6-inch cake pans.

Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting spread on a chocolate sheet cake


Key Ingredients for Pumpkin Cake with Chocolate

  • Gluten Free Flour – I use my Nightshade Free Gluten Free Flour Blend in this recipe and it’s my favorite flour blend for cakes/cookies/muffins/brownies, etc. It’s an excellent baking flour blend! I’ve also tested it with Bob’s Red Mill 1:1 Gluten Free Baking Flour with great results.
  • Cocoa Powder – Use Dutch Processed Cocoa Powder in this recipe for best results. I prefer Rodelle Dutch Processed Gourmet Baking Cocoa or Equal Exchange Baking Cocoa; which is a Fair Trade cocoa powder.
  • Pumpkin Puree – Be sure to use pumpkin puree and not pumpkin pie filling. I haven’t tested this recipe with homemade pumpkin puree and can’t guarantee the results if you do because I don’t know how much extra moisture it would add to the cake. My go-to is Farmers Market Organic Pumpkin Puree.
  • Pumpkin Pie Spice – this cake is flavored with just enough pumpkin pie spice. You can use storebought or try the recipe from my cookbook, The Gluten-Free Quick Breads Cookbook. I use the blend in my book for this recipe for the perfect pumpkin + chocolate flavor combination. Whatever you do, don’t skip the pumpkin pie spice!
  • Hot Water – I use 1/2 cup of hot water stirred in at the end to help the cocoa powder bloom for a boost in flavor while also adding a little moisture. It doesn’t have to be boiling. I just brew a cup of hot water through my coffee maker, nice and easy.

9x13 gluten free pumpkin chocolate cake on unbleached parchment paper with 4 slices cut into it


Equipment Needed to Make Gluten Free Cake

  • 9×13 pan – I’ve baked this in glass (Pyrex), stoneware, and metal. All with great results.
  • Mixing Bowls – this recipe uses just 2 bowls.
  • Measuring Cups and Measuring Spoons – just your standard kitchen tools for baking!
  • Utensils – you’ll need a whisk and mixing spoon for this recipe.

overhead shot of gluten free chocolate pumpkin cake on a white plate with a forkful of cake resting on the plate


How to Make Gluten Free Chocolate Pumpkin Cake

Step 1. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees and lightly spray a 9×13 pan with non-stick spray. If you plan on removing the cake from the pan before serving, line the pan with parchment paper leaving enough overhang to use as a sling to pull the cake out of the pan. Skip the parchment if you plan on cutting and serving directly from the pan.

Step 2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, xanthan gum (if using), cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and pumpkin pie spice. Mix, pressing out any clumps of cocoa powder, and then set aside.

Step 3. In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, pumpkin puree, sugar, oil, and vanilla extract until combined.

Step 4. Add dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and stir to combine. Gently stir in the hot water until it’s completely incorporated.

Step 5. Pour batter into the prepared baking pan and bake at 350 degrees for 30-35 minutes or until a tester comes out clean and the cake springs back when poked. Mine takes the full 35 minutes.

Step. 6. Cool the cake completely.

Step 7. Once the cake is cooled, frost with 1 batch of Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting and garnish with chocolate shavings/curls or mini chocolate chips.

gluten free chocolate pumpkin cake on a white plate with a forkful of cake resting on the plate


Tips for Making Gluten Free Cake

  • Measure your dry ingredients carefully. You don’t want to over-measure your flour. Use the Spoon + Sweep method.
  • Use room temperature eggs. Room temperature ingredients mix better. The cake will also rise better and bake more evenly.
  • Follow the recipe. I haven’t tested this recipe with an egg replacement or homemade pumpkin puree.  

a slice of gluten free chocolate pumpkin cake on a stack of white plates


Other Gluten Free Desserts To Try

a slice of gluten free chocolate pumpkin cake on a white plate with a forkful of cake eaten


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a slice of gluten free chocolate pumpkin cake on a stack of round white plates with a glass of milk and more slices of cake in the background

Gluten Free Chocolate Pumpkin Cake

Yield: Serves 20
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 35 minutes
Total Time: 50 minutes

Gluten Free Chocolate Pumpkin Cake is a moist, tender pumpkin cake flavored with cocoa powder and topped with chocolate cream cheese frosting. It's easy and sinfully delicious!

Ingredients

For the Cake

  • 2 cups gluten free flour blend (see notes)
  • 1 teaspoon xanthan gum (omit if using regular all-purpose flour)
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup Dutch-processed cocoa powder
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 4 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1 15-oz can pumpkin puree (NOT pumpkin pie filling)
  • 1 cup avocado oil (can sub canola or vegetable oil)
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup hot water

For the Frosting

Instructions

  1. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees and lightly spray a 9x13 pan with non-stick spray. If you plan on removing the cake from the pan before serving, line the pan with parchment paper leaving enough overhang to use as a sling to pull the cake out of the pan. Skip the parchment if you plan on cutting and serving directly from the pan.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, xanthan gum (if using), sugar, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and pumpkin pie spice. Mix, pressing out any clumps of cocoa powder, and then set aside.
  3. In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, pumpkin puree, oil, and vanilla extract until combined.
  4. Add dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and stir to combine. Gently stir in the hot water until it's completely incorporated.
  5. Pour batter into the prepared baking pan and bake at 350 degrees for 30-35 minutes or until a tester comes out clean and the cake springs back when poked. Mine takes the full 35 minutes.
  6. Cool completely.
  7. Once the cake is cooled, frost with 1 batch of Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting and garnish with chocolate shavings/curls or mini chocolate chips.

Notes

  1. I used my Nightshade Free Gluten Free Flour Blend in this recipe. I've also tested it with Bob's Red Mill 1:1 Gluten Free Baking Flour with excellent results.
  2. I recommend using Rodelle Gourmet Baking Powder or Equal Exchange Baking Cocoa.
  3. Storebought Pumpkin Pie Spice is fine or use the Homemade Pumpkin Pie Spice from my cookbook, The Gluten-Free Quick Breads Cookbook (which is what I used).
  4. This cake can be refrigerated if making ahead. Make sure it's covered tightly so it doesn't dry out and bring to room temperature before serving.
  5. Leftover cake should be stored in the refrigerator. Cover it tightly and press a piece of wax paper or plastic wrap right up to the exposed part of the cut cake to prevent it from drying out.
  6. This cake also freezes well. To freeze, slice into individual servings and freeze on a sheet pan. Once frozen, wrap individual slices in plastic wrap and aluminum foil and then store in a freezer bag. Unwrap and defrost at room temperature before serving.
Nutrition Information:
Yield: 20 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving:Calories: 235

Nutrition Facts are estimated and aren't always accurate. Please consult a doctor or nutritionist if you have special dietary needs. Calories do not include the frosting or garnish.

Did you make this recipe? Leave a star rating and let me know in the comments! You can also leave a photo/comment on this pin for others to see.

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