Go Back

Nana's Gluten Free Pumpkin Gingerbread Cake

A gluten free, dairy free version of a vintage recipe for pumpkin bread from a children's book called Old Witch’s Magic Bread with ginger added.


For the cake

  • 1/3 cup margarine, softened or 5 1/3 tablespoons
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup molasses
  • 1 cup pumpkin
  • 1 1/2 cup King Arthur gluten free flour mix (or make your own, see below)
  • 2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon xanthan gum
  • 1 teaspoon coriander (optional)
  • 1/2 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts (optional)

For the frosting

  • 4 ounces Tofutti, softened (imitation cream cheese made of tofu)
  • 3 tablespoons margarine, softened
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice or vanilla extract
  • 1/2 box confectioners sugar (8 ounces or about 2 cups)

Optional: Make your own gluten free flour mix

  • 1 pound brown rice flour or 2 cups
  • 4 ounces potato flour or 1/4 cup
  • 4 teaspoons xanthan gum
  • 2 ounces tapioca flour or 2 tablespoons
  • 2 ounces corn flour or 2 tablespoons


For the cake

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.

  2. Cream margarine, add brown sugar and mix until sugar is blended. Sometimes there are lumps in brown sugar; mash against side of bowl or remove. Using hand mixer add in eggs on “fold” setting. Blend in molasses and pumpkin. Tip: To get molasses to pour out evenly, oil a glass measuring cup with olive oil before measuring the molasses. Add vinegar, soda, salt, xanthan gum, spices (including coriander) & baking powder.

  3. Measure out 1 1/2 c. of sifted flour. Add gradually to wet ingredient mixture folding in with hand mixer. Blend thoroughly. Add walnuts if you like. I omitted.

  4. Pour the batter into two greased medium sized loaf pans with waxed paper added to bottom and ends. When you place the bread in oven turn the temperature to 325 degrees. Bake at 325 degrees for 50-60 minutes - until a straw from a witch’s broom comes out clean. I baked the full 60 minutes and the bread was perfectly done.

  5. Cool and ice with the following recipe or use lemon curd sauce from the grocery store served on individual slices of pumpkin gingerbread. Tip: I put the loaves on a raised cake platter to ice as it’s easier that way and use a plastic spatula to spread the frosting.

For the frosting

  1. Combine all ingredients and beat until smooth. Frost cake.