Pumpkin Cake Bars with Cinnamon Icing


For the Pumpkin Cake

  • 1 c pumpkin puree
  • 1 c almond butter
  • 1/2 c raw honey
  • 2 eggs (from pastured hens!)
  • 1 1/2 t baking powder
  • 1/2 t baking soda
  • 1 t vanilla extract
  • 1 t cinnamon
  • 1/4 t nutmeg
  • 1/4 t cloves

For the Cinnamon Icing

  • 1/4 c coconut butter (where to find coconut butter)
  • 1/4 c coconut oil (where to find coconut oil)
  • 1/4 c raw honey (where to find raw honey)
  • 1 t cinnamon


For the Pumpkin Cake

Preheat your oven to 350°F.
In a medium sized bowl, combine all the cake ingredients and mix thoroughly to combine. Pour into an 8×8 oven safe baking dish (I suspect you could squeeze 12 cupcakes out of this recipe if you use a muffin tin). Bake until completely cooked through, about 30 minutes.

For the Cinnamon Icing

In a mixing bowl, combine all ingredients and use either your mixing blade attachment or a whisk to beat the ingredients until fluffy.

Once the pumpkin cake has cooled, cut it into 9 squares and remove from the pan. Now…if the cake isn’t completely, 100%, no doubt in your mind, cool you are not allowed to proceed. I’m telling you, if your cake isn’t cool, the icing will just slide right off into a pile of goopiness and all will be wasted. If you haven’t experienced what disastrous-ness comes from not heeded the above warning, you only need try it one time to learn.

Use a small offset spatula or a spoon and drizzle the frosting over the top.

Store the Pumpkin Cake Bars you haven’t immediately annihilated in the fridge. The icing will harden in the fridge, let it come to room temp if you’d like it soft. If you’d like it softer, faster (for the impatient types, like myself) the frosting will melt beautifully if you stick the cake bar in the microwave for 30-45 seconds. Goes great with your morning coffee or tea!


38 responses to “Pumpkin Cake Bars with Cinnamon Icing”

  1. Hi! I came to your blog after your delicious-sounding and -looking recipe on Food Renegade. I am a devoted WAPF-er who tries to keep grains mindfully at a minimum. I am inspired by your recipes that look and sound yummy without the grains. I wanna get into the kitchen and try some! : )


  2. let us know how it goes. thanks!

  3. Just when I thought it couldn’t get any better than the brownies, I tried these. Seriously AWESOME! I didn’t make the icing because I couldn’t find coconut butter. Doesn’t matter, even without the icing these are great. I’m not even tempted by junk food or restaurant desserts anymore because I know what I have at home is so much better!

    1. that’s exactly how we feel! no longer tempted by the conventional cake or brownie. glad you liked them!

  4. Made these last night and I can’t believe how amazing they turned out! I have a feeling I’ll be making these a few times during the holiday season!
    I had to do the icing twice. The first time I whipped it too long and it started to get all clumpy and goopy. Also, mine turned out brown due to the cinnamon and the honey. How did yours turn out white-ish?

    1. so glad you liked them april!

      yes, my icing was a tinge tan from the honey. you can kind of see it in the picture. i was writing the recipe for food renegade, and i’m pretty sure they’re don’t eat refined sugar. though we’ve written about the fact that sugar is sugar is sugar, i didn’t think it appropriate to go on the soapbox on that site. so, long story short, feel free to use whatever sweetener you’d like.

  5. I’m planning on making these for our office thanksgiving dinner( for a bunch of police officers). I am not going to tell anyone how I am making them. Some of my buddies know I try and be “paleo”, so we will see what they all think. I will repost after they consume these brownies. Hopefully, they turn out to be the best dessert.

    1. interesting idea teena. i am very interested to hear how that turns out for you. i tried that with a cookie recipe i’ll be posting soon. didn’t work for me–though they said they liked them, they knew right away. i guess it just shows how far removed we are from all that crap we used to eat.

  6. Megan,

    The bars were a hit. The guys actually ate them all up before we ate lunch. They were really impressed and told me they thought whatever I brought would be bland.
    Thank you so much for sharing the recipe. Just from bringing the bars I was able to share this website with about a dozen folks from my unit. I guess we will see if any of them actually try a recipe now.
    Thanks again

    1. that’s awesome teena…thanks for spreadin’ the word!

  7. I made these for Thanksgiving. They were a big hit. My icing was also sort of brown, but it tasted great. I was wondering about the refrigeration – is it just to keep the icing solid, or is it necessary to keep them from spoiling? Here in the chilly midwest, room temperature coconut butter is rock hard and raw honey is rather solid this time of year, so I was thinking I wouldn’t really need to refigerate these next time.

    1. yeah, the honey definitely tinges the super whiteness of the coconut. i like to keep things that contain eggs in the fridge, just b/c bacteria growth scares me. just do whatever you’d normally do with a cake…and i’m sure you’ll be fine. glad ya’ll enjoyed laura!

  8. refrigerate – can’t type today

  9. These were absolutely delicious!! I’ve made many this holiday season. The last batch I actually ended up making with canned sweet potato puree and maple syrup because I forgot I’d used up the last can of pumpkin and the honey. Still delicious!

  10. AustinGirl

    I made these last night and naturally, because its a recipe from y’all, they rocked out loud. They almost had the same feeling as the inside of a traditional bread pudding, which is something I seriously miss these days! Thanks, as always, for providing such great recipes!!

  11. I actually made these in the morning in the place of breakfast muffins. I cooked them in a muffin pan for 20 minutes instead of 30 and they turned out wonderful. I didn’t have the coconut butter either so I just used 1/2 pumpkin and 1/2 almond butter in its place. Wonderful!!!

  12. I am not seeing the recipe for these above?? Where can I find it?

    1. magda–the recipe was written for the website foodrenegade.com. there’s a link in the post you can click on and it’ll take you directly to the recipe.

  13. Hey Megan!

    I have been wanting to make these forever. I have not been able to find coconut butter but today I found a jar of Nutiva Coconut Manna at Whole Foods. Can this be substituted for the coconut butter for the icing? It says on the label that it is the ‘ideal everything cream that can replace butter.’ What do you think? Looking forward to your response!! Thank you. 🙂

    1. hi catherine. coconut butter and coconut mana are the same thing. so you should be solid. hope you like!

  14. hey megan,

    thanks for confirming that. i searched online to find out and hadn’t been able to find an exact answer. about to make these now!! yum. 🙂

  15. These are A-M-A-Z-I-N-G!!!! Thank you for sharing your recipe with us and on the Food Renegade website. 🙂

    1. yay! so glad you enjoyed these catherine!

  16. I have made these every week for the past month, they are the most deliciously addicting treat ever!

    1. hahaha. glad you’re enjoying them catherine!

  17. Megan, I’ve seen a bunch of your recipes on here before, but tonight was my first time actually making one. HANDS DOWN, the best Paleo dessert yet!! Moist, cakey, and such a wonderful flavor of pumpkin!! I didn’t have any almond butter, so I made my own with raw almonds & pecan oil – smooth, creamy, and absolutely delicious! I couldn’t be more excited about these bars! The icing totally melted (I thought the cake was cooled, but I guess not, lol)…but it tasted amazing, so I didn’t mind one bit. 🙂

    Btw, I brought these to my church’s fall festival & I won 3rd place in the dessert contest! That’s pretty awesome, considering the voters were SAD people! 😉

    Anyway, thank you for this FANTASTIC recipe! I can’t wait to try more!!!

    1. thank you sooooo much chrissy! so glad you enjoyed and huge congrats for the win!

  18. Oh, wait! That wasn’t my first recipe! The first one I made was the Cheesecake Swirl Brownies, and I forgot to tell you that they were the bomb, as well! I just lovvvve pumpkin. 🙂

  19. Hi, Megan! I’ve made these three times now and they are absolutely amazing!!! My brother, who doesn’t believe in paleo or gluten-free, even loves them. The only problem I have is that the icing never seems to come out right. It’s always delicious, but the texture is terrible. It’s kind of chunky with liquid all around it. Do you have any tips on how to make it better? Thanks!

  20. […] The original recipe and pics can be found here. […]

  21. Jessica D

    This recipe is so fantastic, thank you. I used the leftover pumpkin from the pumpkin chili recipe and they turned out just awesome.

    1. thank you so much jessica!

  22. Help! I have made the cake twice both times yielding the same result, a sunken center. I am cooking at 6000ft and never had a problem with baking (pre-paleo, using all-purpose flour, etc). I have tested the temp and bake time, used foil around the edges to cook the center, all to no avail. Do you have any suggestions?

    1. my best guess is that you need to reduce the leavener (baking soda and powder). how much will depend on the alitutde, so you may have to play around with it. i would probably start by maybe reducing it by 1/2 t

  23. I am having the same issue with the icing. It’s always gloppy with liquid all around. No matter how long or short I whip it, it never whips up at all. What am I doing wrong?

  24. I don’t see the recipe on this page for some reason, Help!

    1. It’s on Food Renegade’s page…link is above in orange.

  25. Corrie Ann

    Thanks for sharing the recipe with Food Renegade. Now I know about your site too.

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