This is a recipe that, I am proud to say, was inspired by a favorite from my grandmother. It has all the yumminess of pie, but all the ease of cake and is always a crowd pleaser since it’s different and more interesting than the same old pie. And even though her pumpkin pie cake is amazing as it is, I couldn’t help but tweak it a little bit.

I pulled from a recipe from Cooks Illustrated for pumpkin pie in which they recommend using twice as many eggs, and considerably more spice. The additional eggs help the pie be rich and creamy, and the additional spices contribute to a strong pumpkin flavor. Fresh ginger in particular packs much more of a punch than dried ginger.

I also opted to use brown sugar instead of white because of the rich molasses flavor. I went for coconut milk instead of condensed milk in order to avoid the dairy and benefit from the nutrient-density of coconut. I also substituted some of the sugar with agave nectar since agave has a lower glycemic index. It’s still sugar, and is just as bad for you as any other form of sugar, but you’re body metabolizes it a little slower, which may be a little easier on your body. Be sure to use raw, organic agave, though, because other forms of agave nectar are created using a process similar to high fructose corn syrup and are supposedly very bad for you.

I would also recommend getting an organic cake mix in order to avoid as many chemicals as possible.

Pumpkin Pie Cake


Pumpkin Pie Filling:

1                 29 oz can pumpkin (Cooks Illustrated recommends Libby’s)

1 ½            cup brown sugar, firmly packed

½               cup agave

4                 teaspoons grated fresh ginger

4                 teaspoons ground cinnamon

2                 teaspoon ground nutmeg

½               teaspoon ground cloves

2                 teaspoon table salt

4                 cups coconut milk (2 cans)

2                 teaspoon vanilla extract

6                 large eggs

Crumble Topping:

1                 stick butter, cut into cubes and hard

1                 package dry vanilla cake mix

1                 cup chopped nuts


  1. Preheat oven to 350.
  2. Grease 9 by 11 cake pan.
  3. Mix sugar, salt, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and cloves in small bowl.
  4. Beat eggs, agave, and vanilla extract in large bowl.
  5. Add pumpkin and sugar-spice mixture to egg mixture and combine thoroughly.
  6. Gradually stir in coconut milk.
  7. Pour mixture into cake pan.
  8. Mash hard butter into cake mix in a small bowl till evenly lumpy.
  9. Spread evenly over pumpkin and cover with chopped nuts.
  10. Bake for 1 hour 20 minutes, until a knife comes out clean.
  11. Let cool for 20 minutes, then serve!


For a great holiday side dish to go with this dessert, try our Mashed Cauliflower.