Grain free Gingerbread Layer Cake with Pumpkin Maple Mascarpone Frosting

I ALWAYS think I’m going to hold out on summer forever, and then – something happens…

It may have something to do with pumpkins ripening – looking so earthy and appealing, and the Canadian geese honking overhead as chilly days commence. Whatever it is, gingery, spicy, pumpkin pleasures were on my mind as I conjured up a family Thanksgiving dessert a few days ago.

This is what happened:

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YUM! At first and second glances …


I loved creating the frosting for this cake. Truth be told, when I created it I wasn’t yet sure if it was to be a tart filling or a frosting – it really could be either …

I love mascarpone, that light as a feather, lilting variety of  Italian “cream cheese,” to help define it for those who perhaps haven’t sampled it – just yet.

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This cake could be perfect for a fall or winter birthday celebration, which it doubled as on Thanksgiving! My twin and I, and my brother in law have extremely-close-to-Thanksgiving birthdays! Happy birthdays to us – and to all of you other Sagittarius humans!

So ….

With more than a few friends chomping at the bit for this recipe, so they can make one of their very own, I better get on it here!

Grain free Gingerbread Layer Cake with Pumpkin Maple Mascarpone Frosting

Makes one 8 or 9 inch layer cake

  • 2 tbsp. organic granulated sugar (for pans)
  • Butter or coconut oil (for greasing pans) – about 2 tbsp.
  • 8 large eggs, separated
  • 1/2 c. organic granulated sugar (for mixing with egg whites)
  • 1/2 c. MINUS 2 tbsp organic granulated sugar (for mixing with egg yolks)
  • 2 tbsp. black strap molasses
  • 2 1/2 cups finely ground almond flour
  • 1 tablespoon coconut flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1 tsp. ginger
  • 1/8 tsp. allspice
  •  1/2 tsp. freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1/8 tsp. cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Lightly grease two 8 or 9 inch pans with butter or coconut oil. Sprinkle 1 tablespoon of the sugar listed in the ingredients around the bottom and sides of each pan.

Using an electric or stand mixer, whip egg whites until they form soft peaks – not stiff! Slowly beat in 1/2 cup sugar. Set aside. In a large mixing bowl, beat together the egg yolks, 1/2 cup MINUS 2 tablespoons sugar, and molasses until smooth.

Whisk together the dry ingredients — flours, baking powder, spices and salt, breaking up any lumps in almond flour — then add to egg yolks with a few additions, stirring together to form a thick dough. Hand whisk in the egg whites, 1/2 cup at a time, incorporating them fully between each addition. The final addition creates a smooth, fluffy batter. Pour the cake batter into prepared pans. Lightly tap pans on counter to allow any bubbles to rise to surface. Bake your splendid cakes on the center rack for 25 to 30 minutes, until golden brown, pulling away from sides of the pan, and center of cake is lightly firm and springy, or toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Allow it to cool in the pan for 5 minutes. Gently run a knife around the edge of pans to loosen the sides, then turn the cakes out onto cooling racks.

Pumpkin Maple Mascarpone Frosting

Makes a generous three cups. Note: last Christmas my son and daughter-in-law gave me new measuring spoons and cups, and I LOVED the extra set of spoons – designated with the beguiling “pinch”, “tad”, “dash”, and my favorite “smidgen”. Very often – in fact creating this very frosting recipe – that’s the kind of measuring I do. So feel free to use your kitchen intuition as a guide!

  • 16 oz. mascarpone cheese
  • 9 oz. pumpkin puree (1 c. plus a rounded tbsp.)
  • 1/4 c. pure maple syrup
  • 1/2 c. organic powdered sugar
  • 3/4 tsp. ginger
  • 3/4 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/8 tsp. allspice
  • 1/2 tsp. freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1/16 tsp. cloves

Blend mascarpone and pumpkin puree with a mixer or food processor, then add rest of the ingredients, taste, nearly swoon 🙂 then adjust spices or a bit more powdered sugar to taste if you like. You will likely want to dive into the mixing bowl  – I nearly did, it was such a pleasing flavor. Fill and frost cake as desired – then keep refrigerated until a few minutes before serving time.

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Extra special eaten fireside, with loved ones all around you 🙂


Wishing you all the blessings of the season, every season, and the gratitude for each day we get to spend, loving on this earth. And baking in our kitchens!


6 Comments Add yours

  1. plumdirt says:

    And the same wishes to you!

    1. Thank you plumdirt! Please forgive my tardy reply! 🙂

  2. simplywendi says:

    oh my goodness that is a beautiful cake!

    1. Thanks so much simplywendi, I really appreciate you stopping by, and following my blog, too. The cake is really delicious too 😋 I hope you try it!

      1. simplywendi says:

        it is truly my pleasure Margaret. i am grain free and searching for recipes. bless you!

  3. what a beautiful presentation and I am sure would be delicious cake too.

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