nourishing traditions + sustainable habits

Pumpkin Spice Crumb Cake {dairy, vegan & refined sugar free}

We celebrated Canadian Thanksgiving last night with some of our friends! A great excuse to make yet another pumpkin flavoured dessert. I’ve been experimenting with a few different pumpkin recipes trying to make them without dairy and sugar, but haven’t found one that I absolutely love until I developed this one. It was based on another recipe that I found at Jay’s Baking Me Crazy who made a Paleo version of this recipe.

I have always struggled to follow recipes, I use them more as a jumping off point. Sometimes it works great (like today) and other times I crash and burn, but that is the fun of baking. Mid recipe I realized that I didn’t have the 4 eggs that the recipe called for so I decided to substitute chia seed in its place. I have never done that before so I had no clue whether or not it would work. Luckily it worked perfectly.

It is good to keep handy a list of substitutes you can use for certain ingredients because if you are anything like me, you often find yourself in this situation and need a substitution fast. I like to tape little index cards on the inside of my cupboards with conversions, substitutes, recipes, and other quick information I may need right away.

The original recipe was a paleo recipe, which often times turn out great, but it called for almond flour. I love using almond flour, but my husband just thinks it makes everything taste like marzipan and refuses to eat anything that uses almonds of any sort. Since this was for a party, I decided just to use plain flour on its place.

This cake has a dense moist almost custard like base with a sweet crispy topping–a perfect pairing. And what’s even better is that I was able to make it without refined sugar. Yes, there are other kinds of more natural sweeteners in there like maple syrup and coconut sugar. It’s not something you should eat all the time, but when you want to indulge yourself, it’s far better to use these more natural sweeteners in your baking than the more commonplace refined sugars.

I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as we did, everyone devoured it and I came home with an empty dish.


Pumpkin Spice Crumb CakeĀ 

Cake Base:

  • 1/4 cup olive or melted coconut oil
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup coconut sugar
  • 1 cup pumpkin puree
  • 4 tablespoons chia seed soaked in 8 tablespoons water
  • 1 cup almond flour
  • 1/4 cup plain flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon allspice
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

Crumb Topping:

  • 1/2 cup plain flour
  • 1/2 cup rolled oats
  • 2 tablespoons coconut sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 2 tablespoons olive or melted coconut oil


  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F (160 degrees C) and wipe deep pie dish with oil.
  2. Make the crumb topping first by mixing all the ingredients together until completely combined and set aside.
  3. In another bowl, mix the wet ingredients together (melted coconut oil, maple syrup, coconut sugar, pumpkin puree, & chia seeds) until throughly mixed.
  4. Mix the dry ingredients together first in separate bowl (flour, baking soda, allspice, cinnamon, nutmeg, & salt) and slowly add to the wet ingredients. Mix well until all dry pocket disappear.
  5. Pour into greased pan and sprinkle the crumb topping over the top.
  6. Bake for 45 minutes.

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