Gluten Free Pumpkin Pie Tips {And A Delicious Alternative}

Gluten Free Pumpkin Pie Cake

Over the years, I’ve had to become a connoisseur of gluten free cuisine. I’ve been able to find a lot of different ways to adapt recipes so we can still enjoy our favorite foods without sacrificing our health.  But anyone who regularly uses gluten free substitutes knows that some recipes work out better than others. It’s constant trial-and-error to figure out which recipes are equally delicious made gluten free (like this gluten free bread recipe), and which recipes are better left alone. 

Pumpkin pie is one of those “better left alone” recipes for me.  I just haven’t been able to find a gluten free pumpkin pie recipe that tempts my taste buds in the same way that traditional pumpkin pie does.  I’d personally prefer to seek out a different recipe entirely than make something that doesn’t taste quite right.  In the case of pumpkin desserts, I’ve found that a pumpkin custard or cake is different enough that I don’t compare it to the pie that my taste buds know and love.

If you are confident in your gluten free pastry skills or want to try a crustless pumpkin pie, see the “Gluten Free Pie Crust” section below.  In the meantime, I’m thrilled to tell you that this Pumpkin Pie Cake is just as delicious when made gluten free! My son Kell (who has Celiac disease) requests this dessert at least once a week throughout fall and winter. And not only does he love it, but the rest of my family loves it just as much! In my opinion, a crowd-pleasing gluten free dessert like this needs to be shared with the world. :-)

I made mine with a gluten free cake mix, but you can make it with any yellow cake mix. Also, the recipe calls for prepared pumpkin pie filling. I used my Mom’s recipe (and included that for you below,) but you can use whatever recipe you normally would use when making pumpkin pie.

This is the perfect dessert for satisfying that pumpkin pie craving without going through the hassle of making and rolling out crusts. So if you’re scrambling for ideas for a last-minute Thanksgiving dessert (or used your last pie dish for pecan pie), you’ve come to the right place! ;-)

Related: How To Make The Best Gluten-Free Pumpkin Bread

Gluten Free Pumpkin "Pie" Cake

Gluten Free Pumpkin Pie Cake

Crust

Ingredients

  • 1 gluten free yellow cake mix (set aside 1/2 cup for topping)
  • 1 stick butter, softened
  • 1 egg

Directions

Gluten Free Pumpkin "Pie" Cake

Add all the ingredients to a medium bowl and beat with a hand mixer until combined.

Gluten Free Pumpkin "Pie" Cake

Press the crust into a lightly greased 9×13 pan.

Gluten Free Pumpkin "Pie" Cake

Filling

Ingredients

  • 1 (29 oz) can pumpkin pie filling
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp mace (or nutmeg)
  • 1/2 tsp allspice
  • 4 eggs, beaten
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1 Tbsp butter

Directions

Gluten Free Pumpkin "Pie" Cake

Add all the ingredients to a medium pot and heat on low until the mixture thickens.

Gluten Free Pumpkin "Pie" Cake

Pour the pumpkin pie filling over the crust.

Gluten Free Pumpkin "Pie" Cake

Topping

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup gluten free yellow cake mix
  • 1 Tbsp cinnamon
  • 3 Tbsp butter, cold

Directions

Gluten Free Pumpkin "Pie" Cake

Mix the cake mix and cinnamon together, then cut the butter into the mixture until crumbly. Sprinkle the topping over the pumpkin pie filling.

Bake at 350 degrees for about 60 minutes. You want it to be “set” in the middle. Shake the pan a little, and if the cake doesn’t jiggle, then you know it’s done.

Let the cake cool and then serve with a nice big dollop of whipped cream!

Does Pumpkin Pie Contain Gluten?

Gluten is a protein found in wheat and some other grains.  So, when you’re making a pumpkin pie, the crust is usually the only thing you need to worry about in the pumpkin pie recipe that you are adapting.

Gluten Free Pie Crust

Traditionally, pastry crusts are made with flour, fat (shortening, butter, coconut oil, etc.), and a liquid (milk, cream, water, etc.).  Sometimes other elements are added, but these three ingredients are necessary.  The flour gives the pie its structure, fat provides flavor, and the liquid combined with the fat creates the flakiness of the crust.  Using these principles, you can create a pie crust dough that fits your dietary needs, whether you want a gluten free or vegan pumpkin pie.

Gluten Free Flour Options

  • Almond Flour is an excellent alternative to all-purpose flour, but it does tend to be a little more crumbly than others.  So adjust your wet ingredients accordingly.
  • Rice Flour is best used in a flour blend rather than by itself since it doesn’t bind well with other ingredients.  You can also use it to dust your countertop, so your dough doesn’t stick.
  • Sorghum Flour is also a good option, but also doesn’t bind very well, so make sure to add xanthan gum to make up for it.
  • Oat Flour is good but is lighter than all-purpose flour, so weigh the flour rather than measuring it by volume.
  • Tapioca Flour is an excellent pie dough option since it already has a hint of sweetness in it.

Pumpkin Pie Filling

You don’t generally need to adjust the pie filling to make it gluten free.  But if you have other dietary restrictions, there are a lot of substitutions you can make.

For a vegan option, use almond milk or full-fat coconut milk rather than evaporated milk and whipped coconut cream instead of whipped cream.  If you want less sugar for a healthy pumpkin pie, try using maple syrup in place of brown sugar and a sugar substitute for granulated sugar.

Note: if you want a low-sugar option, don’t use coconut sugar.  Nutritionally it’s very similar to granulated sugar.

Another note: try adding some pumpkin pie spice to your whipped cream for a little extra kick!

Pumpkin Pie Cake

GLUTEN-FREE PUMPKIN "PIE" CAKE

Jill Nystul
Anyone who uses gluten-free substitutes on a regular basis knows that some recipes just work out better than others. I’m thrilled to tell you that this Pumpkin Pie Cake is one of those rare recipes that is just as delicious gluten-free! In my opinion…a crowd-pleasing gluten-free dessert like this needs to be shared with the world. :-)
3.80 from 54 votes
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 10 minutes
Cooling 15 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 25 minutes
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Servings 8
Calories 361 kcal

Ingredients
  

Crust

  • 1 gluten-free yellow cake mix set aside 1 cup for topping
  • 1 stick butter softened
  • 1 egg

Filling

  • 1 29 oz can pumpkin
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon mace
  • 1/2 teaspoon allspice
  • 4 eggs beaten
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1 tablespoon butter

Topping

  • 1 cup gluten free yellow cake mix
  • 1 tablespoon cinnamon
  • 3 tablespoons butter cold

Instructions
 

Crust

  • Add all the ingredients to a medium bowl and beat with a hand mixer until combined.
  • Press the crust into a lightly greased 9x13 pan.

Filling

  • Add all the ingredients to a medium pot and heat on low until the mixture thickens.
  • Pour the pumpkin pie filling over the crust.

Topping

  • Mix the cake mix and cinnamon together, then cut the butter in the mixture until crumbly. Sprinkle the topping over the pumpkin pie filling.
  • Bake at 350 degrees for about 60 minutes. You want it to be "set" in the middle. Shake the pan a little and if the cake doesn't "jiggle" then you know it's done.
  • Let the cake cool and then serve with a nice big dollop of whipped cream!

Nutrition

Calories: 361kcalCarbohydrates: 63gProtein: 6gFat: 10gSaturated Fat: 5gCholesterol: 123mgSodium: 267mgPotassium: 337mgFiber: 3gSugar: 56gVitamin A: 16965IUVitamin C: 4.5mgCalcium: 128mgIron: 2.1mg


Jill Nystul Photo

Jill Nystul (aka Jillee)

Jill Nystul is an accomplished writer and author who founded the blog One Good Thing by Jillee in 2011. With over 30 years of experience in homemaking, she has become a trusted resource for contemporary homemakers by offering practical solutions to everyday household challenges.I share creative homemaking and lifestyle solutions that make your life easier and more enjoyable!

About Jillee

Jill Nystul

Jill’s 30 years of homemaking experience, make her the trusted source for practical household solutions.

About Jillee

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3.80 from 54 votes (54 ratings without comment)

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6 Comments

  1. I have a question. In the body of the post, you say to use 1/2 cup of cake mix for topping, but the recipe below says 1 cup. Also, in the post you mention evaporated milk, and the recipe just says milk. Can you clarify? Mine took 2.5 hours to “set” and looked nothing like your picture. However, everyone that had the ‘mistake’ cake said it was the best ever pumpkin dessert. My daughter raved about it and took a good portion home, so it wasn’t a total loss.

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  2. This recipe looks wonderful! Thanks for sharing. I have celiac disease and am always looking for something safe I can also wow my family with without the “oh, it’s gluten free–think I’ll pass”. I hate when people on blogs are nit-picky so I hesitate to say this but the correct spelling is celiac–celiacs is a common misspelling. That’s just something I’ll throw out there for free–take it or leave it. :) Thanks again for your great blog!

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  3. Thanks for the post. This sounds delicious and I trust you if you say it tastes the same. Between my husband and I we have a number of allergies. The four most impactful ones being gluten, dairy, egg and garlic. Consequently I am learning to cook a whole new way. I am just beginning to explore websites and look for cookbooks that eliminate gluten, eggs and dairy. Not finding a whole lot but just beginning our new journey. If you find any sites or cookbooks that cater to these three allergies, I would so very much appreciate you passing them along to your readers (that’s includes me). These allergies make it a challenge to eat at restaurants anymore. We can usually find something but it isn’t without asking a lot of questions prior to ordering. Of course, we are salivating at all the wonderful dishes we can NOT have on the menu and are thrilled when we can find something that will please our palate! I must say I am learning some interesting substitutions for ingredients that call for any of these allergies we have. I am also learning there is just no substitution for the wonderful distinct taste of garlic, no matter how many other herbs, spices I substitute.
    Thank you for all your posts. I find them most helpful!

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    • A magazine I think is wonderful is “Living Without’s Gluten Free and more”. There is a page or 2 in the back of every issue that has substitutions for different flours as well as other things, and just about every recipe in every issue tells you if it can be done egg free or dairy free. I’ve been at the gluten free diet for 3 years, and that is the best resource I’ve found.

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      • Have you tried substituting the eggs for “Just Egg” found in the dairy section of the store? I’ve used it for many substitutions as well as using it for scrambled eggs and omelets.

3.80 from 54 votes (54 ratings without comment)

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