This is a recipe I have developed based on various carrot cake recipes and it works fantastically with pumpkin. I have also taken care to make it healthier by omitting the brown sugar completely and replacing it with date nectar, which is a delicious natural sweetener. I prefer to use a mixture of wholewheat flour and oat flour. You can replace these with any other type(s) of flour you prefer but keep in mind that oat flour also has its great benefits and the taste of it matches very well with pumpkin!
You will not need any sugar or butter for this recipe. Yet if you want to indulge yourself just a little bit -since this is such a healthy version of a cupcake- or if you feel that these little cakes need to look a little more appealing to the eye, you can also make some cream cheese frosting, which will of course contain some butter and sugar! I love to indulge myself in sweet treats so for these pumpkin cakes I chose to flavor my frosting with a little bit of ginger and orange zest, which I think pairs really well with pumpkin. In any case the frosting is totally optional so you can just skip that part and consume these luscious little sweeties more like muffins – for breakfast, brunch or just as a midday snack. Whichever way you choose, you will be surprised at how filling and satisfying these little cakes are! So let’s get started and I’ll help you make some for yourself right away!


(yields 12 medium sized cupcakes)

  • 2 large eggs
  • 100 ml date nectar
  • 100 ml kefir or buttermilk
  • 100 ml hazelnut oil
  • 220 gr oat flour and wholewheat flour mixture
  • 1 ½ tsp vanilla sugar or 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • ¼ tsp baking soda
  • pinch of salt
  • ½ tsp cinnamon
  • ½ tsp ginger
  • small amount of nutmeg
  • 300 gr pumpkin
  • 100 gr walnuts
For cream cheese frosting you will need 
  • 50 gr butter at room temperature
  • 70 gr cream cheese
  • 100 gr labneh
  • 100-120 gr confectioner’s sugar
  • Zest of one orange
  • ¼ tsp ginger

Step by step method

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  1. Heat oven to 180 C.
  2. Sift all dry ingredients into a bowl and set aside.
  3. In a large mixing bowl blend all wet ingredients, mixing at low speed with an electric mixer. Now add dry ingredients and mix until incorporated.
  4. Clean and wash pumpkin and pat dry with a paper towel. Cut into chunks then grate or chop finely in food processor.

  5. Add to batter along with roughly chopped walnuts. Mix well and distribute evenly into a 12 hole muffin pan, preferably lined with cupcake papers.
  6. Bake for 25-30 minutes in preheated oven.

  7. Once out of the oven take cakes out of the muffin pan and place them on a cooling rack.

  8. If you plan to decorate with frosting, wait until cupcakes have thoroughly cooled.

Tip! If you plan to frost your cupcakes it might be a good idea to decrease the amount of date nectar to 60-70 ml.

Beat butter and confectioner’s sugar at low speed until well combined. Add cream cheese, labneh, orange zest and ginger. Beat at high speed until smooth. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes before spreading or piping on cakes.

Bon Appétit!