Maple Butternut Bundt Cake

Gluten Free - Dairy Free - Refined Sugar Free - Egg Free - Tasty Full

Maple Butternut Bundt Cake_FreshThingsFirst

This past holiday season, my sister-in-law volunteered to make gluten free coffee cake for Christmas morning. She acquired a recipe from a magazine that she had been reading. The recipe called for spelt flour, which contains gluten, so she swapped it for equal amounts of almond flour. While I wish that swaps in gluten free baking were that easy, they just aren't. The cake came out okay, but it left me wanting to play around with a few thoughts.

I entered the kitchen with the inspiration to create a moist gluten free cake using quality oils, natural sugars and a fair amount of warming spices to compliment the squash and apple goodness. Due to the fact that I live at 7,000 feet elevation, baking and recipe creating can be quite an adventure at times. When I finish a recipe there is this moment of excitement briefly followed by a, "damn! Will the bake times and temps work at sea level?"

This is where a trusty rule following, cross your t's and dot your i's mom comes in to play (love you mom!). My mother so kindly ventured out to purchase almond flour, flax seed, and gluten free all-purpose flour (not standard pantry items for my parents) and started baking. The result, in her words, "I didn't have high hopes for this when I saw it called for flax seed, but it actually worked! It's really good and if I didn't bake it, I wouldn't have guessed it was gluten free."

There you have it. All the incentive you need to head out to the store, pick up some flax seed and start baking, because my mom said so.

Maple Butternut Bundt Cake

Maple Drizzle Ingredients

  • 3 Tbsp. coconut oil
  • ¼ cup full fat coconut milk (from a can)
  • 2 Tbsp. butternut squash puree*
  • 3 Tbsp. maple syrup
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • ¾ tsp. cinnamon


Maple Drizzle Directions

  1. Melt the coconut oil in a small saucepan over low heat.
  2. Once melted, add remaining ingredients and whisk to combine. Bring ingredients to a low simmer (not boil). Stir occasionally to prevent burning and simmer for ~5 minutes until mixture begins to thicken.
  3. Remove from heat and set aside to cool for a good hour, stirring occasionally as the mixture thickens. If you’re in a hurry, place in the refrigerator for 30 minutes to bring down the temperature quicker. Again, stir to prevent clumping. 

Cake Ingredients

  • ¼ cup coconut oil
  • 1 cup butternut squash puree**
  • ¼ cup unsweetened applesauce (steam and puree apples for a quick sauce)
  • 1/3 cup maple syrup
  • 1 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 2 tsp. peeled and finely grated fresh ginger
  • 3 Tbsp. ground flax seed
  • 1 ¼ cup fine almond flour (I use Bob’s Red Mill)
  • ¾ cup gluten free all-purpose flour (I use Pamela’s all purpose)
  • ¼ tsp. sea salt
  • 1 ½ tsp. cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp. nutmeg
  • ¼ tsp. allspice
  • 1/8 tsp. cardamom
  • 2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tsp. baking powder


Cake Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350° F (for high elevation baking, preheat to 360°F).
  2. In a small saucepan, melt the coconut oil over low heat. Once melted, set aside to slightly cool before adding to your wet ingredients.
  3. In a small bowl, combine squash puree, applesauce, maple syrup, apple cider vinegar, vanilla, fresh ginger, ground flaxseed, and coconut oil. Stir to combine and set aside.
  4. In a large bowl, combine almond flour, gf flour, sea salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, cardamom, baking soda, and baking powder. Stir to evenly mix all dry ingredients.
  5. Pour wet ingredients into the dry and stir to combine. This mixture will be moist and airy if you haven’t done much gluten free baking. Mix well to combine and try not to over mix.
  6. Scoop mixture into a greased Bundt pan and spread evenly. Bake for ~40 minutes (~50 minutes at high elevation), until the edges of your cake are pulling away from the pan and the cake passes the ‘spring’ test (gently push the cake down in a few areas and if it bounces back then she’s ready). I find that using a toothpick doesn’t always work with gluten free baking, as it will come out clean when your cake may not necessarily be done baking.
  7. Remove cake from the oven and place on a cooling rack for 10 minutes. After 10 minutes, place a plate over the Bundt pan and flip. Voila! Your cake is in one piece, right side up, on a plate.
  8. Once cake has completely cooled, top with Maple Drizzle and optional crushed pecans.

Pro Tips

Prep: The Maple Drizzle can be made ahead of time and stored in the refrigerator. You will need to re-heat to slightly soften and cool as needed before drizzling onto cooled cake. If you are making the butternut puree, this can also be done a day in advance.

Storage: Cake keeps well in a sealed container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.

*Swap: if you’re feeling like making butternut squash puree is just not in the cards today, you can swap for equal amounts of canned butternut squash or pumpkin puree. Pumpkin will change the flavor profiles, but it works just fine indeed.

**Roasted, steamed or canned butternut squash puree all work. To roast a squash, chop the squash in half, scoop out the seeds, place cut side down in a 9x13 glass dish with a little water to cover the bottom of the pan. Cook at 400° F for ~1 hour until a knife slices through the skin and into the squash easily. Once squash has cooled, puree in a food processor until completely smooth. Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days. Leftover puree can be used in smoothies, oatmeal or other baked goods.

Enjoy a slice (or two) and let us know what you think in the comments below!

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