Pumpkin Cake with Coconut Icing – Thanks Jemila!

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Yesterday was our 2 year wedding anniversary (high-five Irfan!)! Jemila, my sister-in-law, made us a cake! Mami mia it was delicious! I asked Jem to guest blog, so here she is!

Hello Happygutters of the Internets!
by Jemila Pirbhai

My name’s Jemila and I almost feel silly for blogging to you all because I am VERY new to this happy gut world.  In fact, I still haven’t fully committed to it (as Irfan slaps me for eating a store-bought chocolate chip cookie for breakfast).  However, I’ve had a wonderful happy gut experience and I think y’all can benefit from it, so here I am…

This long weekend, we celebrated my two brothers’ anniversaries.  I love baking and would’ve usually reverted to my delish yellow cake recipe that everyone loves (it’s full of sugar and butter – no wonder!), but I decided to take a chance and try out a happy-gut friendly cake recipe instead!  I recently stumbled upon My New Roots blog by Sarah Britton, an award-winning blog that has some unique recipes coupled with some mouth-watering photographs.  Sarah has a Pumpkin Spice Cake that I decided to attempt.  This was surprisingly easy to make…. and VERY rewarding.  I made some adjustments and actually forgot a few dry ingredients (whoops!), but everyone (both happy-gutters and non-happy gutters alike) loved it!  Yess!

Pumpkin Spice Cake with Coconut Vanilla Icing and Roasted Walnuts

Serves 10-12

Dry Ingredients:

3 cups whole spelt flour

1 Tbsp. cinnamon

1 tsp. cardamom

½ tsp. nutmeg

½ tsp. ground cloves

2 tsp. ground ginger

1 tsp. baking powder

1 tsp. baking soda

Wet Ingredients:

1 ½ cups canned pumpkin puree

1 cup maple syrup

6 Tbsp. olive oil

1 large, ripe banana

1 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar


1. Heat to 350°F.

2. Put 1½ cups of pumpkin puree into food processor and add remaining wet ingredients, except for apple cider vinegar. Blend until well combined.

3. Sift dry ingredients together in a large bowl.

4. Add wet ingredients to dry mix and stir to combine. When mixed, add apple cider vinegar and whisk quickly to incorporate.

5. Pour batter into two 9” cake pans. Bake at 350°F for 30 minutes, or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean. Let cool completely before icing.

Coconut Vanilla Icing with Roasted Walnuts


2 cans of coconut milk

1 vanilla bean, scraped

¼ cup creamed honey (not liquid honey)

1 cup chopped walnuts


1. Place 1 cup of chopped walnuts on a cookie sheet, place in 200°F oven and bake for 10 minutes.

1. Place cans of coconut milk in the fridge for at least 4 hours to cool and separate. Open cans and scoop out just the top cream layer, leaving the liquid portion (save for soup or stew!). Place in a bowl and whisk together with the honey.

2. Slice vanilla bean down the centre lengthwise and scrape out the seeds. Fold into the coconut cream and honey mixture. Place icing in the fridge to set.

3. When the cake is completely cool, remove from pans. Slice the rounded top edge off of one of the cakes (this will ensure that the subsequent layer will sit flat).

4. Place one of the layers on a plate and cover with half of the icing, followed by a generous helping of the roasted walnuts. Do the same with the top layer.  Enjoy!

Adapted from My New Roots


Well, what do you know… both my gut and my palate are dancing for joy!  That wasn’t so hard after all (*scraps chocolate-chip cookie for happy-gut power breakfast… gets high-fives from Kirfan… and from my gut).

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