Pumpkin Pear Cake

Nothing says autumn like pumpkin cake. I love the favours of fall… pumpkin, cinnamon and nutmeg. Yum!

I developed this cake recipe for the Vancity virtual/live potluck. A big thank you to Lindsay and Kristen from Piquant Marketing , Josh Boettcher and Nourish Cafe & Cooking School for putting on such a fun event for Vancouver foodies.

I wanted this recipe to be gluten-free and vegan so that everyone at the potluck could  have some. The recipe can be adapted if you’re not GF or vegan.

It’s sometimes difficult to achieve the balance of appealing flavour and texture in gluten-free and vegan baking, but I promise you this cake is really delicious. It took a few tries to get the texture just right, but it was worth the effort. Fortunately my husband didn’t mind eating pumpkin cake every day for two weeks.

The test cakes pictured above were good, but I wanted them to be great so I thought that I should consult with someone who knows a lot about vegan baking. I decided to send an Instagram message to Rebecca Coleman, author of the vegan and egg-free cookbook, Aquafabulous!  She was happy to give me some tips on how to bake with aquafaba, bean water (in lieu of eggs). It’s pretty amazing stuff! The final recipe includes aquafaba and it really improved the final product. As you can see below, the cupcakes are light and fluffy.

This pumpkin cake is super easy to make and it’s pretty healthy, as far as cakes go. Check out the easy print recipe below.


Pumpkin Pear Cake
Prep Time
10 mins
Cook Time
45 mins
Total Time
55 mins

A beautiful gluten-free vegan pumpkin cake loaf. 

  • 1 1/3 cups gluten-free flour, (or 2/3 cup GF flour and 2/3 cup GF Oat flour)
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar (mix with dry ingredients)
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp cardamom, (optional)
  • 3/4 cup pumpkin puree, (not pumpkin pie filling)
  • 2/3 cup unsweetened almond milk
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3 tbsp aquafaba, (optional, but recommended)
  • 3 tbsp granulated sugar (mix with aquafaba)
  • 1/4 tsp cream of tartar (optional)
  • 1 tbsp pumpkin seeds
  • 1 tbsp goji berries, (optional)
  • 3 small pears
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a small bread loaf pan (approximately 5 by 9 inches). Cut two 3 inch strips of parchment paper and insert one in the pan lengthwise and the other width-wise. Make sure the strips are long enough that you can hold on to them to lift the cake out of the pan when it has finished baking.

  2. In a large bowl, mix the dry ingredients together and set aside.

  3. In your stand mixer, whisk the aquafaba on low speed for two minutes and then medium speed for two more minutes. Add the cream of tartar. Whisk on high speed for 4 more minutes. Gradually add 3 tbsp of sugar when the aquafaba start to foam up. Whisk on high speed for 2 more minutes or until firm peaks form. 

  4. In another bowl, whisk the other wet ingredients together. Pour the aquafaba onto the wet ingredients. Pour the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients a little bit at a time and fold with a spatula. Try not to over mix. You don't want to deflate the aquafaba too much. Pour the batter into the pan.

  5. Cut a little bit off of the bottom of each of the pears so that they will stand up straight in the pan.

  6. Slowly insert each pear into the batter. Place them in the centre of the loaf pan one at a time. Push the pears down almost all the way to the bottom of the pan. Top the batter with the pumpkin seeds.

  7. Bake at 350 degrees for approximately 45 to 50 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the centre comes out clean. Allow the cake to cool for 15 minutes before removing it from the pan.

  8. Garnish with Goji berries.

Recipe Notes
  • Aquafaba is bean water. It can be used as an egg replacement. Approximately three tablespoons of aquafaba equals one egg. In this recipe, I used 3 tbsp of chick pea liquid from a can of chick peas.
  • If you don't have aquafaba on hand, add 3 more tbsp of almond milk or one egg.
  • I used 2/3 cup Robin Hood gluten-free flour and 2/3 cup GF oat rolled oats that I blended in the food processor until it became a fine flour.
  • If you want to make mini muffins instead of a loaf, the cooking time will be approximately 15 minutes.

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