Delicious gluten-free, flourless nutty pecan cake with sweet pumpkin and rich vegan “cream cheese” frosting. No grains, no dairy, and no refined sugar!
- 4 cups pecan halves (walnuts, almonds, and other similar nuts would work too})*
- 1 tbsp ground flax seeds
- ¼ cup tapioca starch
- Spices: 2 tbsp cinnamon, ½ tsp allspice, ⅛ tsp nutmeg, ⅛ tsp cloves
- ¼ tsp salt
- 1½ cups pumpkin puree
- 1½ cups maple syrup
- ½ cup olive oil (or a cooking oil of your choice)
- 2 tbsp lemon juice
- 1 tbsp pure vanilla extract
- ½ cup raisins
- Optional: If you want it even sweeter, add 6 pitted medjool dates
- Optional: extra nuts and seeds of your choice for garnish (I used more pecans, walnut pieces, flax and sesame seeds).
- Preheat oven to 350F. Oil a cake pan and set aside (I used a 10″ shallow pie/quiche plate, but any pan or oven-safe dish of a similar size would work).
- Place the pecans in a food processor and process into a flour consistency (the coarser it is, the more “textured” the cake will be. I ground mine pretty fine. Just make sure you don’t over-process the mixture into a nut butter :) ). Add in flax seeds, tapioca, spices, and salt, and pulse a few times to mix the dry ingredients through. Add in all remaining cake ingredients, except raisins, and process the mixture to combine into a batter. Add the raisins (and dates if using) in and pulse to mix and process them into the batter.
- Transfer the batter into the prepared pan and smooth it out into an even layer with a spatula. Top with extra toppings if using.
- Bake in a pre-heated oven for approximately 1 hour and 15 mins (or until a skewer inserted in the center comes out dry). Remove from the oven and allow the cake to cool completely.****
- When the cake has cooled completely, prepare the frosting. Place cashews into a glass bowl and cover with boiling water. Allow the cashews to soak for about 15 mins to soften up, then strain and discard the water. Place all frosting ingredients into a blender and process until the mixture is completely smooth (I used my Vitamix for this. If not using a high-power blender, add in a bit more non-dairy milk as needed — 1 tbsp at a time — to help with the blending,***** and be patient! :) You don’t want it to be grainy or chunky…). Drizzle the frosting onto the cooled cake,****** reserving the extra topping for individual slices. Slice, plate, serve, and enjoy! :)
*You’ll need to order 1 lbs pecans for the cake and a little bit extra for topping.
**For those with cashew allergies: as an alternative topping for this cake you can use the frosting from this carrot cake.
***I used unsweetened vanilla almond milk.
****If the cake is not fully cooled off when you frost, the frosting will change color as it warms up into a more yellowish hue. To avoid that, cool cake completely (even overnight).
*****The more milk you add to the frosting, the runnier it will be. The consistency is up to you…
******I used a frosting pen to make the fine drizzle on my cake — it’s a tool I find invaluable for quick and easy elegant drizzles. You can also use a pipping bag or just drizzle the frosting with a spoon if you prefer. Or you can just pour all the frosting straight onto the cake evenly and call it a day :) (use less non-dairy milk though to make it less runny if doing that).