Pumpkin Spice Cake with Brown Butter Frosting – Low Carb and Gluten-Free


This beautiful low carb Pumpkin Spice Cake might just be my pumpkin masterpiece! The brown butter frosting makes it an extra special dessert, perfect for any fall party.

Low Carb Pumpkin Spice Cake with Brown Butter Frosting

I am not really a very trendy person.  With three small kids and about a zillion projects on the go, my mind is so full other things that I am woefully unaware of passing trends.  Fashion trends in particular go flying by me at the speed of light and I occasionally come up for air and realize just how unfashionable I am.  I don’t much care about not being on trend.  I also don’t much care about jumping on a trend I like right at the tag end, and I usually do it with as much enthusiasm as a puppy with a new toy.  It’s new to me, so who cares if it’s been done to death already?  Trends are trendy for a reason; they appeal to the masses and people respond to them.  There’s no shame in jumping on the bandwagon of a trend you love, whether it’s new or old.

Low Carb Pumpkin Spice Cake with Brown Butter Frosting

This is on my mind because a few blogger friends have recently felt the sting of being called “too trendy”.  In their recipe choices, in their photography styles and in their food prop choices.  Whether it’s those cute stripey straws, drinks in Mason jars, distressed wood tables, or a half-eaten cookie with crumbs around it, people are pointing fingers and saying it’s getting old.  It’s too “done”.  Sigh, sigh, sigh.  What a hardship it is to have to look at a beautiful photo of food that bears some similarity to other recent beautiful photos of food!  Really, now?  This is what gets on people’s nerves?  This is what people are getting worked up about?  Sorry, but I don’t have time for that kind of nonsense.  If I like a trend, I will embrace it wholeheartedly without apology.  I will place my cute stripey straws in Mason jars on my distressed wood table with a few cookie crumbs strewn around if I feel like it.  Be confident in your trendy choices, my bloggy friends!

Low Carb Pumpkin Spice Cake with Brown Butter Frosting

Like the pumpkin trend.  It comes around every year at the very first sign of cooler mornings and some of us jump on it faster than you can blink (that was about mid-August this year for me!).  I can’t help it.  I love pumpkin baked goods and pumpkin desserts and everything they herald about fall.  Nothing beats the smell of some sort of spicy, pumpkin-y treat baking in the oven on a crisp, cool fall morning.  I know some people roll their eyes at this adoration of the big orange gourd, saying it’s too early, it’s too much, it’s too “done”.  Let me ask you something.  Do I look like I care?  My tummy is full of pumpkin spice deliciousness and no amount of sighing or eye-rolling is going to steal my pumpkin joy.

Add to that a little brown butter frosting, and I am pretty sure those eye-rollers are going to be singing a different tune.  Now, don’t mind me if I sprinkle a few crumbs around my distressed wood table.  Just be glad I didn’t try to fit the slices of cake into Mason jars.

Please check out this amazing low carb Pumpkin Spice Cake with Brown Butter Frosting recipe on A Sweet Life Diabetes Magazine.

Serves 12.  Each serving has 12 g of carbs and 5 g of fiber.  Total NET CARBS = 7 g.

296 Calories; 25g Fat (73.2% calories from fat); 9g Protein; 12g Carbohydrate; 5g Dietary Fiber; 97mg Cholesterol; 286mg Sodium.
Low Carb Pumpkin Spice Cake with Brown Butter Frosting
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    • Sillygirliegirl says

      I saw this after searching for an icing recipe for my spice cake that I decided to spruce up with candied ginger, papaya, and lavender, maybe a few walnuts, if I remembered to put them in. I didn’t want to overpower the lavender with another flavor, so I saw this and thought to myself, I love pumpkin! I’ve never thought it was trendy. I thought it was yummers. Nobody but me likes it in our household of two, so I have to share with neighbors. I don’t hear anybody complaining about that. (Wrings apron) At least not that I have heard. lolz

  1. says

    I adore you!!! This is fabulous. And I LOVE the pumpkin trend… and this cake!!! Its gorgeous and I know delicious. Keep speaking your mind and putting the haters in their place girl! :)

  2. Belenda says

    Really? People are so petty and shallow, even have the gall to be so ungrateful to our beloved bloggers that dedicate their lives to keeping us eating all these yummies? Those photos are what makes my mouth water, and makes me click on the link to print off another recipe that I’m always hoping to have the time to make! I need me an in home chef!!! LOL.

    • Carolyn says

      Thanks, Belenda. Some people just need to have something to complain about all the time. Who knows why? Life is too short!

  3. says

    So funny, I hadn’t heard that. I say just do what you’re comfortable doing to express yourself and don’t worry about what other people say or think. Love pumpkin in the fall especially – your spice cake is perfect for this time of year!

  4. says

    Love that cake Carolyn! And I agree with you on trends (let’s not discuss fashion as I sit in a t-shirt and blue jeans), people need to worry about more important things!

  5. says

    Thanks for for the grin this morning, Carolyn. Although, I can’t find those crumbs anywhere.;) The cake sounds fabulous. Bring on the pumpkin AND the brown butter!

  6. Kathy says

    Trends? I’ll give you trends…I’m making your Nanaimo Bar Tart for the third time this summer, and the second time in two weeks to take to friend’s as a dinner contribution (requested). Even if I don’t make one of your recipes (yet!) I love to be inspired by your gorgeous photos, and I love to get a glimpse into your life from your writing…it is almost like having a visit with a dear niece. PLEASE continue to share your creativity…I am in awe….and ignore any negative comments. The world is full of angry people who try to make themselves feel better by spraying venom. I feel confident that I speak also for others when I say that your wonderful blog brightens my life on many levels. Thank you.

  7. says

    In a wonderful bit of synchronicity, I just bought two cans of organic pumpkin puree yesterday. Thanks to that happy accident, be assured that this cake will be adorning my not-distressed-but-nonetheless-kinda-interesting kitchen table within the next 24 hours! Keep those pumpkin recipes coming, lady — and stuff those darn critics into a Mason jar.

  8. says

    Love your bit about bloggers and trends, Carolyn. We should all just do what makes us happy, with our readers in mind but not the driving force behind every single decision, big or small, surrounding our blogs. Hell with their criticisms. You go, girl! And this cake… have mercy!

  9. Luana says

    Brown butter is a wonderful rich earthy flavor. I’ve not had it in frosting, and there’s no doubt it will be anything less than totally wonderful!

  10. Deb says

    Let ’em have it girl!!! Not the cake though!!! I love all the deliciousness that you have added to my life, keep it coming, trendy or not. As a side note, It’s my birthday today, wasn’t going to make a cake, now I know I should of stopped by first thing this morning, off to the kitchen I go… Thank you Carolyn for the “trendiest” gift ever!


  11. Sarah G says

    I really wish you could just experiment with all your recipes out at my house! There wouldn’t be any left for your family though.

    That cake looks so very amazing!!! I can’t wait to try it and your pictures always inspire me to bake! By the way, you gotta try some limited edition Ball jars (not Mason) that they are making for the first time since 1913. They are a very pretty light blue and would probably look even more amazing with striped straws!!

  12. says

    Wait…the cute stripey straws trend is over??? I have a huge bag of them and HAVEN’T EVEN USED THEM YET!!! I’m with you – if it’s new to me I’m still doing it! That cake is amazing – the texture is so velvety looking! I want my tummy to be full of “pumpkin spice deliciousness” too!!!! Please continue to go rogue and do what you do – we love it!!!

  13. says

    I just had to come back and tell you that right after I read your post (and definitely saved the recipe to give it a try), I clicked the next email in my queue and laughed out loud when I saw a picture of a juice blend photographed in a jar with a stripey straw!

  14. dgidaho says

    I just want you to know that when I copy your recipes into Word documents–which is pretty much daily–I’m ALWAYS sure to include one of your photos. I think they’re AWESOME!!! And BTW, I’m currently munching on a chocolate chip pecan muffin….. :)

  15. says

    I have no idea what’s trendy and what’s not. I just do whatever. I read someone saying that cupcakes were dead. Lol. Really. Isn’t that like saying cookies or brownies are done with? Ridiculous. So go on with your pumpkin cake! :)

    Your cake looks beautiful!

  16. says

    I have been away too long, buried under projects that are too large for me.

    But my Friday night group is clamoring for some sugar-free desserts instead of the sugary ones I was making because I was lazy. If I have all the ingredients, I’m making THIS! :-)

    (PS. Hi! Happy fall!)

  17. Belenda says

    I finally made this. I must have done something wrong. Dry, dry, dry and wasn’t what I had hoped for. Lots of grit from trying to powder my swerve. Maybe I have to just buy the powdered swerve or sub powdered erythritol? For some reason I just never seem to have luck with pumpkin and almond flour recipes. I give up. I’ll have to stick to cookies and crackers.

    • Carolyn says

      Wow, Belenda, I am so sorry. Dry? That should definitely not be the case, mine was even a bit overly moist. Can I ask what almond flour you were using? Or the coconut flour? And I do think that yes, trying to powder your own Swerve or erythritol will cause more grit. You simply can’t get it finely powdered enough, but you can use powdered erythritol, or even a little xylitol (although that causes tummy issues).

      Was the batter dry when you tried to spread it in the pan? I am stumped on that one, because pumpkin really tends to make things overly moist.

      • Belenda says

        I use Honeyville blanched almond flour and Tropical Traditions coconut flour. It was a little thick when spooned into pans, but didn’t think it was too thick at the time. Swerve had been out of the confection variety from last order, and from the last cake experiment we had on a chocolate cake w/sour cream icing, we’d had gritty icing. So, was afraid to have same issues again and powdered the granular swerve. Maybe the coconut flour was an issue? I keep it in my freezer. Maybe powdered swerve made too much “dry”. Maybe should have only baked til no print left in cake when tested?

        • Carolyn says

          I don’t think that powdering the Swerve for the cake would affect the outcome of the cake itself. And yes, baking times are always ONLY a guide. You should take it out when it seems done to you. Ovens run at different temps, and the thermostats in them can be wrong. It’s possible that yours is running hot?

          Honestly, mine was moist enough that I considered actually rewriting the recipe with less pumpkin in it. But then I didn’t…so I know something on your end is different but I can’t pinpoint exactly what.

  18. Lisa says

    Hi Carolyn…..I too am a go with the flow kind of gal! I love, love this blog and your recipes are wonderful!! I’ve made the lemon poppyseed bundt cake twice now, my 17 year old, who has chocolate for breakfast, loves this cake! She would never try my sugar free desserts, I begged her to try this one, and now she asks for it all the time! It totally blows my mind! With this recipe, you say to dry out the pumpkin puree, is that with only fresh pumpkin? I’m going to use canned 100% pumpkin? Do I dry that out too? Can’t wait to make this!! Thanks~Lisa

    • Carolyn says

      Hi Lisa,

      I used canned pumpkin too…it often contains more liquid than you realize and if you don’t dry it out, your end result might be a bit soggy.

      Glad your 17 year old loves the poppyseed cake!

  19. Kathleen Caporale says

    My Mother always taught me if you can not say something nice do not say anything at all!
    You gave me hope that food could taste good even on a Diabetic diet Thank you Carolyn. May our Heavenly Father bless you for your giving heart.Just keep on giving.!!!

  20. malori says

    really.. “trendy” and “not trendy” are in the eyes of the haters. we love what we bake.. that will ALWAYS be “trendy”!
    love this blog.. first time commenter, long time creeper :)

  21. Shyla says

    I have some homemade Truvia (erythritol with a tiny bit of pure stevia powder). Would that work okay for the erythritol?

    Also, when say stevia extract do you mean liquid? If I wanted to leave out the stevia how much erythritol or xylitol should I use in its place?

    Last question. :) I usually do not care for the taste of coconut flour. Can you taste it here? If I subbed all almond flour would I need to reduce the liquid?


    • Carolyn says

      Yes, your homemade Truvia would be fine. !/4 of my liquid stevia equals about 1/4 cup of sugar or other granulated sweetener so use that much more. And nope, can’t taste the coconut flour at all!

  22. Jean B. says

    Oh! I decided I didn’t like trends a LONG time ago. Better to be yourself and not some clone, of which there are too many IMNSHO. You tinker LC versions of classics to perfection, which is ever-so-useful to so many of us. Therefore, I say keep up the excellent work, Carolyn! We love you.

  23. Eric says

    This is amazing! Made it the other weekend, and everyone loved it. Now I am away from home, and want to make it again, but where I am staying has only one cake pan. Any reason I couldn’t dump all the batter into one pan and then cut it in half once it is done? I realize I will have to bake it longer (any idea how much longer? 60 min?), but do you think it will cook through without overcooking the edges?

    • Carolyn says

      I really can’t say because I haven’t tested the recipe that way. But you could try, or you could bake one layer at a time.

  24. Melanie says

    Do you think this recipe would work in a bundt pan instead of 2 cake pans? (Obviously I’d adjust the frosting recipe! )

  25. Charlie Parsons says

    This cake was delicious!! I can’t wait to make it again. Without the glaze. I’ve never been a frosting fan, and the cooling effect of the sweetener really got me. Is there a way to get rid of or minimize that mouth feel, or do you just get use to it over time?

    • Carolyn says

      Hi Charlie…did you use Swerve or a different erythritol sweetener? Most people find that Swerve has less mouth cooling. I don’t get any of the cooling sensation from it personally. But some people are more sensitive to it and thus feel it even with Swerve.

  26. Melanie E. says

    Made the cake part as a bundt cake. Yum! I didn’t do the brown butter frosting, but I did do a cream cheese glaze that I adapted from your gingerbread bundt cake recipe (omitting the lemon). So good! I obviously didn’t grease my bundt pan enough because it did break in half, but oh well! I just neatly arranged slices on a platter instead of displaying as a whole cake! :-)

    It made me realize that the cake batter could easily pass for pumpkin bars. Just do your lovely cream cheese glaze without the added milk! I’ll probably try making in a 9×13 or brownie pan sometime!

  27. Jan Stamm says

    Fabulous recipe, and I baked it into 12 jumbo cupcakes. Adaptions: I subbed 1/4 cup rum for the almond milk, and put about a tablespoon of chopped pecans in the cupcake wells before the batter…yum! Once out of the oven I glazed them top & bottom with a Swerve/butter/water/rum glaze…double yum! I was craving the old Bacardi rum cake…which is too carby now for me. Thanks for providing delicious options for those us of that need to avoid high carb foods!

  28. Jamie says

    How do you get your frosting to be so thick…when I make it I use trivia xylitol mix and it tastes wonderful but it’s watery.

    • Carolyn says

      Xylitol is more hygroscopic than erythritol (Truvia) so it attracts more moisture and it does not thicken up the way erythritol would. So it’s the xylitol that’s the problem here.

  29. Annette says

    Carolyn I made this recipe and turned them into donuts. I did not see salt listed and for me that was the one thing missing. I made 3 kinds plain, with pecans, and cranberries. so yummy. Thanks you for coming up with this recipe.

  30. Denise says

    Hi Carolyn,

    I made this cake for the second time and it came out rather dry (which isn’t usually and issue with low carb baked goods) I’m pretty sure it was because I overdried the pumpkin and used 9 inch pans. The batter was spread thin and dried out. I successfully pulled a rabbit out of my hat and I thought I’d share – a little cake cut up in chunks, a little fullfat greek yogurt, a splash of rum, a few raspberries and a little whipped cream and voilà – low carb trifle! It was delish.


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