Pumpkin Crumb Cake (Gluten-Free!)

Pumpkin Crumb Cake

This is the best pumpkin crumb cake in the world. And it’s healthy. And gluten-free. I kid you not.

In case you haven’t noticed, I waited to start posting pumpkin recipes until I saw physical evidence of fall around here: leaves on the lawn, cooler morning temps, a certain zing in the air. Unlike many of my fellow bloggers, I don’t start baking with pumpkin until September. Sorry, guys. I hate the end of summer. Hate it.

But man, do I love this cake. I made a version of this a year ago, and it stuck with me. It’s the only pumpkin cake ever that I have not been able to stop eating. It’s that good. And it’s also that good for you. Plus, all of my gluten-free friends who thought that good crumb cake was a thing of the past can rejoice. It’s easy to make a good crumb topping with dietary restrictions! You just have to know how.

Pumpkin Crumb Cake

That’s true of so many life skills that seem hard but really aren’t that bad. I’ve been working on a book that centers on taking the stigma out of baking. You know, that perception about baking being difficult and time-consuming. Sure, it can be. But it doesn’t have to be that way. There’s always another option.

When I was a kid, my style of learning was very different from the other people in my class. The teacher would explain how to do something, and it just wouldn’t click with me. For instance, teachers taught me how to outline my essays using roman numerals and numbers, and while I dutifully constructed the outlines, they never translated into good essays. I just couldn’t see how their way of getting something done was logical, and as a result, my own confidence went down. Everyone else seemed to be doing okay, so I must have been the problem.

Pumpkin Crumb Cake

It wasn’t until later when I was older that I started trusting my own instincts, and that’s when I started to be successful. Instead of doing tasks the way everyone else did them, I tried them in a way that made sense to my brain. My essay outlines became organized lists of ideas, and I even pulled off an A in a math class (the highest I’d ever gotten was a C) after I found a new way to look at a formula. Suddenly, I was getting straight As every semester, and it translated to other areas of my life.

Pumpkin Crumb Cake

Like baking. Candy thermometers were scary and I was a poor struggling teacher (this was 16 years ago), so I learned how to make fudge without one. Creaming butter was too hard without a stand mixer (oh, how I love my Kitchen Aid now!), so I developed brownie and cookie recipes that could be made with melted butter. And when baking blogs became a thing, I started reading them religiously. I learned so much from all of you, my bloggy friends, and from trial and error day after day.

Now I’m a very different person, but I’ll never forget what it felt like to be uncertain and unsure about how to do anything. That’s why I try to make it easier for my blog audience, and why I bake for people who might not have a kitchen full of awesome equipment. And it’s why I’m writing my book.

Pumpkin Crumb Cake

This pumpkin cake needs no mixer or any other equipment. The cake is simple to make, as is the crumb. Did you know that melted butter makes the best base for a crumb topping? Not cold butter with a pastry blender. I know that’s the prevailing wisdom, but I like my way better. And for this topping, I used certified gluten-free oat flour. It came out great, with a nuttiness of flavor that goes so well with pumpkin.

Pumpkin Crumb Cake

If you have to bake dessert for a GF friend this fall, make it this cake. They will not believe what you’ve done, and they’ll think it was hard. But it wasn’t, and at that point, you get to spread the gospel. Baking doesn’t have to be hard to be great!


Pumpkin Crumb Cake (Gluten-Free!)


1 and 3/4 cups oat flour (labeled gluten-free)
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon cloves
3/4 teaspoon salt
2 eggs
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
1 can pumpkin puree
1/2 cup canola oil
1 and 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1 and 1/2 cups oat flour (labeled gluten-free)
1/2 cup butter, melted


  1. Preheat the oven to 350. Spray an 8 x 8 square pan with cooking spray and set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, mix all the dry ingredients except the sugars and white chocolate chips until well incorporated. Set aside. In a medium-sized bowl, combine the eggs and sugars and mix well. Add the pumpkin and oil and stir again. Add the wet ingredients to the dry and beat until a smooth batter has formed.
  3. Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Set aside while you make the crumb topping.
  4. In a medium bowl, mix the powdered sugar and oat flour. Add the melted butter and, using your hands along with a spatula, combine the ingredients to form large crumbs. Sprinkle the crumbs over the top of the cake.
  5. Bake for 35-40 minutes until the cake is done, as tested by a toothpick. Cool and then cut into squares.


I fulfill many roles in life: wife, mother, teacher, everlasting learner. This site is dedicated to one role that expresses my creativity in ways that I find consistently challenging and rewarding: baker. Inventing new ways to enhance food, especially if that food involves chocolate or peanut butter (or both!), is a passion of mine. I look forward to sharing my ideas with you.

This Post Has 26 Comments

  1. Gayle@Pumpkin 'N Spice

    I don’t like the end of summer, either! I love fall, but don’t like what comes after it! But I think I’ll just indulge in this cake and forget about the season to follow. Love the crumb cake topping!
    Gayle@Pumpkin ‘N Spice recently posted…Roasted Maple Cinnamon Sweet PotatoesMy Profile

    1. Mir

      I’ll try not to think about it, either. But being cold is so not my thing, Gayle!

  2. Dannii @ Hungry Healthy Happy

    I am so happy for this time of year and pumpkin season! I really need to start getting in to gluten free baking.
    Dannii @ Hungry Healthy Happy recently posted…Comment on Dehydrated Sweet Potato Crisps and Tomatoes by KellyMy Profile

    1. Mir

      It’s not hard to bake GF at all, Dannii! Give it a shot!

  3. Anu-My Ginger Garlic Kitchen

    This looks beautifully delish, Mir. Love this gluten free pumpkin crumb cake.
    Anu-My Ginger Garlic Kitchen recently posted…3-Bean Thick Dal MakhaniMy Profile

    1. Mir

      Thanks, Anu!

  4. Alice @ Hip Foodie Mom

    Trusting your own instincts, and doing things the way that makes most sense for you! I love that! and yes, that can be applied to pretty much every area of our lives! love this pumpkin cake and I cannot wait to read your book!!!
    Alice @ Hip Foodie Mom recently posted…Pumpkin Spice Chocolate Chip Banana Blondies + A Giveaway!My Profile

    1. Mir

      People tend to ignore their gut instincts, which apparently is the wrong thing to do. So I’m trying to listen to myself more, Alice! Thanks so much, and happy weekend!

  5. Jen | Baked by an Introvert

    I’m sad to see summer go, but I love fall baking. This pumpkin crumb cake sounds like a delicious way to welcome in fall.
    Jen | Baked by an Introvert recently posted…How to Make Homemade Caramel SauceMy Profile

    1. Mir

      It really is, Jen. My husband doesn’t even like pumpkin that much and he devoured this!

  6. Jessica @ A Kitchen Addiction

    Love the crumb topping on this cake!
    Jessica @ A Kitchen Addiction recently posted…Pumpkin Snickerdoodle Cheesecake BarsMy Profile

    1. Mir

      Me too, Jessica! Thanks!

  7. Lindsay @ Life, Love and Sugar

    Sounds like a great book idea! And this cake looks awesome! I’m not super happy that summer is quickly fading, but I am excited for pumpkin 🙂
    Lindsay @ Life, Love and Sugar recently posted…Baby Journey Next Step: AcupunctureMy Profile

    1. Mir

      I guess pumpkin is the consolation prize for colder temps, Lindsay!

  8. Medha @ Whisk & Shout

    Delicious! Love the crumb and love that this is GF 🙂
    Medha @ Whisk & Shout recently posted…{Vegan} Caramel Apple Skillet Cookie!My Profile

    1. Mir

      Thanks, Medha! GF crumb is totally possible!

  9. Mira

    I don’t like the end of summer, but I’m starting to get excited about fall! This cake looks great! Love that it is gluten free!
    Mira recently posted…Cake Roll For FallMy Profile

    1. Mir

      Thanks, Mira! I’m not excited for fall, but then, I’m a full-on summer girl.

  10. Amanda

    The first time I ever made fudge I avoided the candy thermometer too. Growing up, my mom always made divinity around Christmas. And that is all about the candy thermometer. I just didn’t want to go there. :). Oh how things change. Thanks for posting a gluten free cake, and I am all about the topping you have on there. Yum!
    Amanda recently posted…Vegetarian Black Bean SoupMy Profile

    1. Mir

      That sounds like a great holiday treat! I was always way afraid to do that, too!

  11. Stacey @ Bake.Eat.Repeat.

    That crumb cake looks just fantastic Mir! That crumb topping – wow! And I love all the pumpkin things so I need to make this. I haven’t even broken out the pumpkin yet this year so I’m clearly holding on to summer too!
    Stacey @ Bake.Eat.Repeat. recently posted…Peanut Butter and Salted Caramel BrowniesMy Profile

    1. Mir

      Yep, it’s hard to let go, Stacey!

  12. Dorothy @ Crazy for Crust

    I need you to tutor Jordan! I swear, she thinks so differently than I do. Everyone else seems to get it and it clicks for her so much later even though she’s one of the smartest people I know! This crumb cake, love it!
    Dorothy @ Crazy for Crust recently posted…Chocolate Candy Corn CookiesMy Profile

    1. Mir

      I wish I could, Dorothy! I get things later too, but once they click, they stay. It’s just a different method of learning!

  13. Erin

    My kids love pumpkin bread so I know they will love this. Looking forward to your book.

    And I love how you expressed the difficulty you faced in learning. I felt like you were speaking directly to me.

    1. Mir

      Thanks, Erin! I hope they love it. It’s pretty kid-friendly. Even mine ate it, and they’re picky!

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