spiced pumpkin cake 05

I love baking that is decadent and a true celebration. But I also love baking that is a little plainer- baking that is just right for a mid morning snack during the week or the school lunchbox. While I love a gooey rich treat, I also want every day baking that is light and wholesome.

Add to this I have a fascination for the addition of pureed pumpkin to baking. As a South African turned New Zealander, the use of this ingredient in baking is little bit foreign to me.  I found this cake recipe that does not have any added sweeteners, refined or otherwise, using pumpkin puree and it made me think that it would be a fantastic school lunchbox addition. I set about finding out (googled of course) how to make pumpkin puree. I was after easy and not 16 steps for this process either.

I found the easiest method ever! Stick the whole pumpkin into the oven and bake at 180°C for 45min or until a knife inserted into the pumpkin goes in easily. Take the pumpkin out and after it’s cooled peel the skin away. Scoop the flesh into the food processor and whizz until smooth. Could.not.be.easier. I divided the puree into 1 cup portions and have frozen what I didn’t use in the recipe.

This is not a sweet recipe although the pumpkin adds a sweetness. It is not non-Paleo friendly in my experience, as it’s not sweet enough. Watching my son’s friend valiantly try to finish his slice of cake was a case in point. I took the cake off him and gave him a non-Paleo friendly bliss ball instead. My Paleo kiddies do really like it and I like that it does not melt or crumble in the lunchbox!

The recipe is adapted from Paleo Sweets & Treats by Heather Connell.


spiced pumpkin cake 03

delicious spiced pumpkin cake

delicious spiced pumpkin cake


  • 1 cup of pumpkin puree
  • 6 medjool dates, pitted
  • 6 eggs
  • 1/2 cup of coconut milk
  • 1/3 cup of coconut oil, melted
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup almond flour
  • 1/2 cup coconut flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 3 drops dōTERRA Cinnamon oil
  • 3 drops dōTERRA Ginger oil
  • 1 drop of dōTERRA Clove oil
  • 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt


  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C/ 350°F. Line the bottom of a 20cm round cake tin with cooking paper and grease the side with coconut oil.
  2. In a food processor add the pumpkin puree, dates, eggs, coconut milk, coconut oil, vanilla and essential oils and process until smooth and the dates are broken up.
  3. In a bowl whisk together the almond flour, coconut flour, baking soda, nutmeg and salt. Add the dry ingredients and mix well.
  4. Spoon the batter into the cake tin and bake for 35 to 40minutes or until a skewer inserted comes out clean.
  5. Allow to cook before removing from the cake tin. Place cake in an airtight container and store in the fridge- will last up to a week.

Enjoy x