I love when our kitchen smells like fall. It’s the signal that the seasons are changing and the holidays are right around the corner. Better yet, is when there’s pumpkin involved. I love all things pumpkin. I started seeing pumpkin recipes circulating around the beginning of September. For me, that’s kind of like when they put out Christmas decorations before Halloween is over. I didn’t want to jump the gun. I pushed it until it felt like fall in Texas, and that’s right now.
I wish I could say that I got this recipe right the first time it came out of the oven. It’s not the case – and it rarely is. Gluten-free baking is finicky. I tested this recipe five times before my friend and I decided it was just right.
I do most of my baking early mornings or late nights because that’s when everyone’s sleeping. But, when the boys get out of bed and there’s a cake cooling on the stove top they smile from ear to ear. They grab a butter knife, cut a piece and take off running. It worked out in their favor this time because we had a lot of cake to sacrifice to the recipe testing gods.
In all seriousness, though, I want my kids to have a strong sense of family and deep roots. I want them to remember their mom in the kitchen baking when they woke up in the morning. My mom wasn’t a huge baker but she cooked – and she made dinner from scratch. She was in the kitchen every morning before she went to work preparing dinner, which was often cooked in a CrockPot or put together ahead of time and popped into the oven as soon as she got home. Her meals brought us together every night. Food does that.
I hope this cake helps bring you and loved ones together this fall – whether they’re gluten-free or not they’ll love this cake. Since the cake is dairy-free, I kept the frosting dairy-free too. Here’s what you want to know about using coconut oil in a frosting – it’s a super smooth, yummy dairy-free substitute for butter. It melts in our mouth and won’t coat the inside of your mouth like shortening will. Keep in mind that coconut oil melts at 76 degrees Fahrenheit, which is typically room temperature. You’ll want to keep this frosted cake in a cool place if it’s going to sit out for a long time before serving it. Because the frosting needs to chill before using it, I make it the night before, let it chill, then frost the cake the next day.
Who wants cake?