Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cake with Sultanas (gluten free)


This seasonal gluten free Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cake is moist, warmly spiced and peppered with fruity sultanas and sweet melts of chocolate. Perfect for using up left-over pumpkin. Optional dairy free.



An Autumn Special… Gluten Free Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cake with Sultanas

When Autumn comes and the pumpkins start appearing in the shops, it’s time to make gluten free Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cake. It’s a seasonal joy… Dense and slightly chewy, but moist and very moreish. This cake is rich with the colour of pumpkin and infused with warming spices that shout ‘Autumn’. It is also packed full of chocolate chips and sultanas.

Actually, there is absolutely no hint when you bite into it, that it contains pumpkin at all. And that means you can sneak it past the kids without them noticing. A cake full of pumpkin and fruity goodness that will be eaten without hesitation… Just think of the chocolate and the cream cheese frosting as a ‘naughty side-order’… But if you want to pass on either or both, the sponge really won’t suffer for it. Throw in some nuts instead!

Either way, my Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cake is perfect for using left-over Halloween pumpkin flesh…

It’s rich with the aromas and exoticness of a good, warming seasonal bake… cinnamon, ginger and citrus… The velvety, luscious cream cheese frosting literally being ‘the icing on the cake’… infused with vanilla for extra decadence and contrast.


Don’t waste your pumpkin flesh… It’s food!

This is where I get on my ‘high horse’. There is NOTHING I hate more than food waste. Even when I develop recipes, nothing gets wasted… Ever. Unless it is really totally and utterly inedible.

But did you know that the UK wastes 18,000 tons of pumpkin every year, as a result of binning the flesh left over from carving Jack O’lanterns? An article in the Ecologist equates this to the ‘same weight as 1,500 double decker buses’… Which, ‘if made into pumpkin pie could make 360 million portions’. That is a staggering figure and frankly, as nations, we should be collectively shamed by it.

Such appalling waste is not tolerated in our house. Pumpkins are sourced first and foremost for food. For us, the carved shell is considered a creative by-product! And while it may make the process more lengthy, we carve with care and scrape and slice as much flesh as we possibly can to use in the kitchen… There are so many ways to use it, I’ve offered a few ideas towards the bottom of this post. But my gluten free Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cake is a great place to start…


The inspiration for my Gluten Free Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cake

When I first developed my gluten free Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cake (way back in 2014), I knew I wanted to make something a little different from the usual Pumpkin Pie expectations. My start point for development was inspired by the ‘Crossed Grain’ magazine sent by Coeliac UK to members. At the time, I was less confident about my gluten free and also pumpkin baking skills, and the recipe was helpful in guiding me with the basics. I then set about playing with it, to make it what I wanted it to be…

The changes made…

  • I switched out the commercial gluten free flour blend for my own Gluten Free Alchemist Blend A… which I have always preferred using, as I find it more balanced and less gritty.
  • Added and adjusted the inclusion of xanthan gum and baking powder to take account of using a home flour blend.
  • Switched the spices to my favourites… Cinnamon and ginger.
  • Pureed (rather than grated) the pumpkin. I wanted my Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cake to have a smoother, more even and less grainy texture.
  • Changed the sugar to a less-refined soft light brown sugar – to offer greater depth of flavour and hints of caramel.
  • Used less sultanas.
  • Added chocolate chips and vanilla for good measure.

Can I use an alternative gluten free flour blend to make Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cake?

Yes. I use my Gluten Free Alchemist Blend A as a matter of personal choice and because I prefer the results. It is less gritty and more balanced for structure and moisture. However, if you only have or prefer to use (probably for convenience) a standard blend available in supermarkets (such as Doves Freee baking flour), it will work fine.

Just be certain that you choose to use a gluten free flour BLEND designed for baking. Individual gluten free flours will NOT work on their own.

Is this Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cake recipe safe for Coeliacs (Celiacs)?

Yes. This Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cake has been specifically created for people with Coeliac (Celiac) disease and people who can’t/don’t want to eat gluten.

Providing you use gluten free flour, gluten free baking powder and check all other ingredients used in the recipe are free from cross-contamination, the recipe is safe.

Can I make this recipe dairy free as well?

Yes. This gluten free pumpkin sponge recipe can also be easily adapted to make it dairy free. Simply substitute the butter used in the sponge for a good dairy free alternative and make sure the additional chocolate chips are also dairy free.

The cream cheese frosting will need to be substituted for an alternative dairy free frosting of choice. Or alternatively, head over to Veggie Desserts where there is a good-looking vegan cream cheese frosting recipe.


Ready to make Gluten Free Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cake with Sultanas?

And with that, I share my recipe for Gluten Free Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cake with Sultanas and Cream Cheese Frosting. If you make it, don’t forget to let me know… Take a photo of your bakes and share on social media (remembering to tag me in… FacebookInstagramPinterest or Twitter). Or leave a comment and rate the recipe below (⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐🙏).

For everything else, check out our massive gluten free recipe collection via our FREE Recipe Book Index. I’m pretty certain you’ll find something to inspire you…

What else can you make with left-over pumpkin?



Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cake with Sultanas

A seasonal pumpkin cake which is moist, warmly spiced and peppered with fruity sultanas and sweet melts of chocolate. Perfect for using up left-over pumpkin. Optional dairy free.
Course Cake, frostings & icings, Sweet Treats
Cuisine American, British, Gluten Free
Keyword Autumn, guy fawkes, Halloween, pumpkin, sponge
Prep Time 40 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 20 minutes
Servings 16
Calories 372.7kcal


  • Kitchen scales
  • measuring spoons
  • deep baking tin (approx 25cm x 25 cm)
  • baking paper
  • Oven
  • Mixing bowls
  • zester/microplane/fine grater
  • electric whisk
  • kettle/microwave
  • Large mixing spoon or spatula
  • wire rack
  • sieve
  • flat knife/spatula



  • 300 g plain gluten free flour mix I use Gluten Free Alchemist Rice Free Blend A –see NOTES
  • tsp baking powder gluten free
  • 2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • tsp xanthan gum
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • pinch fine sea salt
  • 300 g light soft brown sugar
  • 100 g sultanas
  • 150 g milk chocolate chips
  • zest 1 orange finely grated
  • 200 g unsalted butter melted
  • 4 large eggs At room temperature and lightly beaten – UK large (Canadian ‘Extra Large’; Australian ‘Jumbo’; and US ‘Extra or Very Large’)
  • 1 tbsp orange juice
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 450 g fresh pumpkin flesh pureed (or use tinned)

Cream Cheese Frosting

  • 50 g unsalted butter softened
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 180 g cream cheese I used Philadelphia
  • 100 g icing sugar sifted


  • optional sprinkles of choice



  • Base line a deep baking tin approx 25 x 25 cm in size (and 7cm deep) with baking paper.
  • Pre-heat the oven to 170 C/325 F/Gas 3.
  • In a large bowl or container, mix together the flour, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda, xanthan gum, cinnamon, ginger, salt and sugar, making sure any lumps are completely broken down. TIP: mix into a large airtight container and shake vigorously.
  • Add and mix in the sultanas, chocolate chips and orange zest. Set aside
  • In a heat proof bowl, gently melt the butter.
  • In a separate bowl, whisk the eggs until light and airy.
  • Add the butter, and whisk again until thoroughly combined.
  • Add the orange juice and vanilla extract and beat again.
  • Add the butter mixture to the dry ingredients and stir to mix thoroughly.
  • Fold in the pumpkin puree.
  • Pour the batter into the cake tin and smooth the top.
  • Bake for 30 to 40 minutes until the cake springs back to the touch and a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean.
  • Leave the cake in the tin for 10 minutes, before turning onto a wire rack to cool completely.

Cream Cheese Frosting

  • Soften the butter slightly and beat in a medium bowl until smooth and beginning to pale.
  • Add and beat in the vanilla if using.
  • Take the cream cheese from the fridge and drain-off any excess liquid.
  • Add the cream cheese to the bowl and beat into the butter (preferably with a beater attachment or wooden/firm silicone spoon) until just smooth. Do not over-beat.
  • Add the sifted icing sugar about a third at a time and gently beat or mix through. Again, use a beater attachment rather than a whisk or a wooden/firm silicone spoon to avoid over-beating. If you over-beat, the icing may become liquid, so be very careful.
  • Place back in the fridge until ready to use.
  • When ready to use, if the frosting has become too hard to work, simply leave at room temperature for a short while and fold through.
  • When the cake is completely cold, spread the icing over the top of the cake and decorate with sprinkles of choice.


* Note: nutritional information is an estimate & may vary according to portion size/ingredient variants.
Gluten Free Alchemist Rice Free Flour Blend A can be found on the GFA Flours & Flour Blending Page. If using an alternative flour blend, the texture may vary. 


Calories: 372.7kcal | Carbohydrates: 47.8g | Protein: 4.6g | Fat: 19.7g | Saturated Fat: 11.4g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 4.8g | Trans Fat: 0.5g | Cholesterol: 93.8mg | Sodium: 274.9mg | Potassium: 210.5mg | Fiber: 2.4g | Sugar: 32.6g | Vitamin A: 3006.2IU | Vitamin C: 3.3mg | Calcium: 97.2mg | Iron: 1.5mg

Gluten Free Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cake shared with

Previously shared with: Love Cake with Jibber Jabber

The post Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cake with Sultanas (gluten free) appeared first on Gluten Free Alchemist.

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cake with Sultanas (gluten free)