Easy Gluten Free Vegan Pumpkin Spice Cake Squares. An easy-to-make cakey treat that resembles Carrot Cake but with a greater depth of flavour and much easier to prepare (always a good thing, right?).
These cake squares take their flavour from canned pumpkin (available in most larger supermarkets these days) but you could boil up a sweet potato and use that in a pinch, or even, dare I say, use tinned, drained carrots. I love the flavour of pumpkin, and, dare I say, I’m happy to use it all year round, although I love the convenience of tinned. Fresh pumpkins are great and all that, but they are such a pain in the ass for prepping. I love to carve them for Hallowe’en, and really, that’s the only time I would recommend going to the trouble.
What Makes Gluten Free Vegan Pumpkin Squares so good?
This was one of the very first vegan recipes that I formulated myself, and I am (I think) justly proud of it. Despite being gluten free, the sponge has a delicious texture, not too crumbly, not too stodgy, and this comes from there being only half a cup of flour in the batter. Click here for my web story.
When I remade the recipe, I hadn’t made the squares for a couple of years, but I needed to make a gluten free and vegan cake for a friend’s birthday. I had to question whether I had written down the small quantity of flour down correctly, but when I stirred the wet ingredients into the flour, it mixed together into a beautiful cake batter.
Looking at the list of ingredients, it does seem like there is a lot there! However, it is mostly all store cupboard stuff, and if you have your own premixed pumpkin spice blend, please use this and omit my spice suggestions (I recommend using 1.5 teaspoons).
Do I Have to Use Gluten Free Flour?
No, not at all. Simply swap out the GF element for regular flour. You could also use a mix of self-raising flour with buckwheat, which gives a delicious nutty taste.
My favourite brand of Gluten Free flour has been Doves Farm, forever. It always performs perfectly, and behaves itself, like all good flour should!
This brings me to the method. This is my non-patented blender method of making cakes or cupcakes. It makes baking cakes so simple and quick. Just sieve your dry ingredients in a large bowl. Blend up your wet ingredients (usually yogurt, milk, oil, and vanilla) and sugar in a smoothie maker (I don’t have a large blender), and then pour this over your dry, fold in gently but thoroughly, and it’s ready for the oven!
The dates and pecans are optional, but add a caramel sweetness and toasty crunch that rounds out the spices and pumpkin flavours nicely.
You could top with a cream cheeze icing to make this a really special treat, but I just dusted mine with icing sugar (badly). I used an icing stencil, and I’m not sure if I will ever come to grips with using icing sugar as a decoration, it always looks so rubbish when I do it!
Gluten Free Pumpkin Spice Cake Squares
- ½ cup Gluten Free Flour self-raising
- ½ teaspoon Baking Powder
- ¼ teaspoon Bicarbonate of Soda
- ¼ teaspoon Salt
- 1 teaspoon Ground Cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon Ground Ginger
- ¼ teaspoon Nutmeg grated
- ½ cup Dates stoned, soaked in hot water
- ½ cup Pecans chopped, optional
- ¼ cup Coconut melted (or canola oil)
- ½ cup Brown Sugar
- ⅔ cup Pumpkin puree canned
- ½ cup Yogurt vegan, plain or vanilla
- ½ teaspoon Vanilla Extract
- Preheat oven to 180c.
- Sift the flour, spices, salt, bicarb and baking powder together in a large bowl.
- In a smoothie maker or blender, whizz up the oil, yogurt, pumpkin, brown sugar and vanilla extract until smooth.
- Add this to the dry ingredients and fold in gently but thoroughly until you have no pockets of flour left.
- Fold in the chopped dates and pecans.
- Pour into your prepared cake tin, and smooth with a spatula
- Bake for 20-25 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean.
- Let cool for 15 minutes on a cooling rack before removing carefully from the tin and leaving to cool completely.