Pumpkin Snack Cake & Maple Pecan Frosting

October 23, 2017

Pumpkin Snack Cake & Maple Pecan Frosting by Faring Well {Vegan}

I’m so happy I married the sweetest man. Someone who is thoughtful of me, always. I know he will forever have my best interests at heart, and that not a decision of his is made without thinking of how it will effect me first. I like to think I’m a pretty fun person to be married to, but I know I make his life challenging daily. I change my mind on little things constantly, always throwing him for a loop as to what I feel like doing. Heaven forbid he get attached to something, because I’m bound to convincingly change my mind at least twice before anything gets settled. I make huge messes in the kitchen, I don’t wear the most flattering around-the-house work clothes, and I always need his help with something. Meanwhile he never makes a mess, looks handsome and put together every day, and helps me enthusiastically with a smile whenever I need him. When you feel as if you are slipping up on your end of things in a relationship, it really helps to know how to bake a cake.

I’m sure Scott could sit here and share the ways I enrich his life too, but it just doesn’t feel as “even” as I’d like it to currently. We are going through a season of life where it seems as if there is little freedom to be had and a lot of grinding. The fact we are looking for a new place to live and feel incredibly unsettled is stirring a lot of emotion up inside of us. We have a handful of values we both hold similar to one another in regards to our future home, and are clinging to them tightly – hoping they lead us to a discovery that makes it clear what our next move should be. But for now, we sit in a bit of angst most days. We know this is the part where we need to be patient, work together, and trust the lights will get turned on – and when they do it will be such a sweet relief.

Temporary relief is sinking your teeth into a slice of this cake. Scott has a huge sweet tooth, and my strongest love language is preparing food for others, so I grip onto his love for sweets and try to bake him something special whenever I can manage. Nothing makes up for being a total spaz like walking into the room with a plate of cookies ;). In this case it was a cake I had been dreaming of since I decided I was over summer three months ago and ready for the fall baking palooza to begin. I remember opening the email in early September from Sarah at Cake Over Steak with details on this year’s #virtualpumpkinparty and literally squealing out loud with joy. I could live in autumn forever, eating recipes gathered from this pumpkin party alone. Be sure to pop over to her site to see what everyone else is sharing today! I think there is something like over eighty recipes contributed this year? Beautiful pumpkin insanity.

This cake is moist, fluffy, full of spiced pumpkin flavor, and void of the ingredients that might hold you back from enjoying a slice in the morning. The frosting is a cashew and pecan mix, and once soaked they blend up into the most luscious frosting – similar to buttercream! Flecks of vanilla are dotted throughout the frosting and there is a little extra crunch from the chopped pecans on top. Scott can vouch it goes extra well with a cup of coffee too. After all my sweet man does for me, when he asks, “can I have a slice of this for breakfast”, I say, “heck yes you can”, and I always will. -xx

Pumpkin Snack Cake & Maple Pecan Frosting by Faring Well {Vegan}Pumpkin Snack Cake & Maple Pecan Frosting by Faring Well {Vegan}Pumpkin Snack Cake & Maple Pecan Frosting by Faring Well {Vegan}Pumpkin Snack Cake & Maple Pecan Frosting by Faring Well {Vegan}Pumpkin Snack Cake & Maple Pecan Frosting by Faring Well {Vegan}


Makes one 8×8 inch frosted cake. About 9 servings.

pumpkin snack cake
2 tablespoons ground flax
1/4 cup plus 5 tablespoons water, divided
1/2 cup unsweetened apple sauce
1/2 cup pumpkin puree
1/4 cup coconut nectar
1/3 cup coconut sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup + 1/3 cup almond flour
1/4 cup + 1/3 cup oat flour
3/4 cup whole spelt flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
a rounded 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
a rounded 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/8 teaspoon grated nutmeg

maple pecan frosting
3/4 cup raw cashews
1/4 cup raw pecans
2 tablespoons pure maple syrup
2 tablespoons pure soy milk (or other plant milk)
seeds from 1 vanilla bean (or 1/2 teaspoon extract)

Make the frosting ahead of time: soak the cashews and pecans together in a small bowl with enough purified water to keep them covered for 4 hours. Drain and add to a high speed blender. Add the remaining frosting ingredients and puree on low until smooth – using the tamper to push the mixture down towards the blade. Work the speed up to high slowly while continuing to use the tamper until the frosting is silky smooth without any bumps. Transfer to a small jar and place in the fridge until the cake is ready to frost.

Prepare the cake: Preheat the oven to 350F. To a medium mixing bowl, add the ground flax with 5 tablespoons of water. Set aside for 10 minutes to allow to thicken. Then add the remaining 1/4 cup of water, applesauce, pumpkin puree, coconut nectar, coconut sugar, and vanilla to the bowl. Whisk to mix well.

Place a stainless steel mesh strainer over the bowl, and add the dry ingredients to the strainer to sift over the wet batter (you may need to do the dry ingredients in batches depending on the size of your strainer). Stir gently to incorporate the dry ingredients into the wet, being careful not to over-mix and stopping when the batter is just combined.

Line an 8×8 baking pan with parchment paper and transfer the cake batter to the pan, gently smoothing out evenly with the back of a spatula. Bake for 1 hour, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out completely clean. Lift up the sides of the parchment paper to remove the cake from the pan and transfer to a wire rack to cool. When the cake is cool enough to handle, remove the pieces of parchment from the cake, using a large spatula shift the cake onto the rack as you slide the paper out from underneath. Once the cake has cooled, spread the frosting on in an even layer and sprinkle the top with extra chopped pecans if you’d like. Slice and serve, storing leftover cake in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days.

Note: this frosting will begin to dry out if left out for too long, therefore I recommend packing away and refrigerating any extra cake you have that is frosted as soon as possible.

I love seeing what you create! Be sure to tag your photos on Instagram with #FWmakers.

This post contains affiliate links (they are underlined for clarity). Purchases you make through these links will help fund the work I do here on Faring Well at no extra cost to you. Thank you sincerely for your constant love and support.

# V I R T U A L P U M P K I N P A R T Y

Pumpkin Snack Cake & Maple Pecan Frosting by Faring Well {Vegan}


  • Reply Sarah | Well and Full October 23, 2017 at 7:35 am

    I love hearing about your relationship with Scott… you two are total relationship goals. But I hear you, I feel the same way sometimes… and ditto on the messes in the kitchen / not the most glamorous at-home work clothes / changing my mind all the time. But my boyfriend Jon always treats me with infinite patience and generosity. Being with him is different than anyone else I’ve ever dated, and I think it’s because we include God in our relationship. Whether we’re praying together, watching a silly movie, or even just in the car talking about froyo… I’m giving SO much thanks and praise that we have found each other in this world :)

    Also, this snack cake… have I ever told you that you’re my favorite baker, ever?! All whole food ingredients, but never sacrificing on deliciousness! :) Happy Virtual Pumpkin Party, dear friend!!

    • Reply Faring Well October 25, 2017 at 3:34 pm

      Goodness, thank you Sarah. I sure do love him tons and it sounds like you have a stellar man to be living life out with too – so happy for you! And favorite baker ever?! I’ll take that and run with it! ;)

  • Reply Valentina | The Blue Bride October 23, 2017 at 8:20 am

    I often feel the same. My husband saved me from my messiness in the most gentle and sweet way possible and I can’t still comprehend what he finds in me that makes him love me so much. Especially now, that I struggle with my current situation – not being allowed to have a job and an income, always craving for something I can’t afford (matcha, collagen powder, “fancy” foodstuffs) and spending my whole time at home without a real purpose, which makes me a little sad and very very sluggish.
    Unfortunately, he doesn’t even have a sweet tooth I can satisfy :P But I could satisfy mine with this snack cake :D

    • Reply Faring Well October 25, 2017 at 3:36 pm

      Oh Valentina I’m so sorry about your current situation limiting you the way it is. I’m sure some kind of wonderful growth will come out of it, but for now can’t even imagine the struggle it is to go through all of that. Sending you love and patience and strength. Thank goodness for your sweet guy by your side, even if he doesn’t like “sweets” per say ;).

  • Reply Sasha October 23, 2017 at 8:35 am

    Happy Pumpkin Day! This looks amazing! I’m gonna make this frosting and put in on EVERYTHING!

    • Reply Faring Well October 25, 2017 at 3:37 pm

      Yes to pumpkin day and smothering this on everything Sasha :). XO

  • Reply Rachel | Clean Eating for the Non-Hippie October 23, 2017 at 9:53 am

    This cake suits my mood perfectly — thanks for the inspo!!!

  • Reply Maya | Spice + Sprout October 23, 2017 at 7:38 pm

    This looks delicious, Jessie! Always love hearing your thoughts on relationships and life in general. xx

  • Reply Rebeca October 24, 2017 at 2:22 am

    I kept nodding my head while reading your words about your relationship with Scott because it surely resonated with me! I create messes everywhere and by the end of the day I look as if a tornado hit me, while my boyfriend gets home from work and I think “damn, man”, and he proceeds to help clean the mess and makes dinner so I can relax. That’s what our dynamic looks like lately, so I think a cake won’t be enough, more like two or three!
    I love the ingredients in this one and can’t wait to experiment. Coincidentally enough, I made pumpkin puree yesterday (not something you can buy where I live), so now I have another use for it!

    • Reply Faring Well October 25, 2017 at 3:39 pm

      Oh this is so sweet! The ebb and flow of relationships is so wonderful, and what a great guy it sounds like you have too. That pumpkin puree was definitely no coincidence ;) get to baking girl!

  • Reply Kelsey @ Appeasing a Food Geek October 24, 2017 at 3:51 am

    Yesss I would totally eat this for breakfast too ;) Happy #virtualpumpkinparty! xoxo

    • Reply Faring Well October 25, 2017 at 3:40 pm

      Legitimately was borderline calling it “breakfast cake” ;)

  • Reply Emily | Gather & Dine October 24, 2017 at 9:14 am

    Oh Jessie, I just read these last two posts and can only imagine the anxiety that goes along with moving once again. Your heart though- so full of gratitude and quiet trust, is so admirable. Praying for clarity and provision for the both of you, and also for peace that passes all understanding. I’m sure this pumpkin snack cake is just the comforting thing on an afternoon. I love the pecans in the frosting too… pecans and maple has got to be one of the best fall combos ever. Love and hugs. xo

    • Reply Faring Well October 25, 2017 at 3:42 pm

      Reading your comment here Emilie immediately slowed my heart a few beats, thank you friend. Your prayers are felt and oh so appreciated. And I agree, maple and pecans are definitely one of fall’s finest matches – need way more of them on the regular! Lots of love and thankfulness for you sweet Emilie <3.

  • Reply Leslie October 24, 2017 at 9:28 am

    Hi Jessie,
    Do you have any suggestions for a gluten-free flour substitute for spelt that will keep the cake as tasty?
    I prefer the heartier flours; e.g., flaxseed and almond over rice and tapioca, but not sure what is best to keep the original flavor and texture of your recipe.

    • Reply Faring Well October 25, 2017 at 3:44 pm

      Hi Leslie! That is a great question. Sadly I have not used many gluten free flours to replace spelt in my baking over the years cause they are really just so tricky! My guess is an “all purpose” blend would go well with the oat and almond already in this recipe. Maybe start there? Let me know if you do :).

  • Reply Kate Wood October 24, 2017 at 12:08 pm

    Gosh, sometimes marriage and life feels so hard. Clinging to one another and the the things you both find to be true is a surefire way to come out of the hard stuff a little more sharpened, a little closer, a little more grateful. That’s my prayer for you!

    Love this cake. :)

    • Reply Faring Well October 25, 2017 at 3:46 pm

      I agree, life can feel so hard – but as you say it really can bring you together. Thank you for your prayer and encouraging words here sweet Kate, it soothed my anxiety a bit today and I appreciate you!

  • Reply Edie October 26, 2017 at 1:57 pm

    I couldn’t have said it better myself. Your relationship with Scott is so eerily similar to mine with my hubby. Glad to know I’m not the only indecisive wife, running around sans makeup and comfy (but rather unflattering) clothes. I’m sure you two will weather this uncertain time with gusto. Fingers’ crossed you guys find a house soon! Also, this cake looks divine. Pinning it, for sure.

    • Reply Faring Well October 26, 2017 at 2:47 pm

      It sounds as if many of us have this dynamic and are really all too spoiled by the sweet and amazing men in our lives. So happy to hear you have someone equally as special in your life Edie <3. I hope you get to make and enjoy the cake soon too. xo

  • Reply Sara @ Cake Over Steak October 27, 2017 at 10:33 am

    Such a beautiful cake! I totally hear you with the “stirred up emotions” when it comes to moving drama. They say that moving is one of the most stressful things you can go through in your life, and I definitely felt that as we moved and bought a house this summer. I’ve never had so many spontaneous sob sessions. It definitely helps to have a strong partner in a situation like that, and it sounds like you have a great one in your hubz. You show love for him by making him sweets, and since I’m the sweet tooth in my relationship, I show mine love by letting him put corn in almost everything we make. I wish you guys the best during this stressful transition!! And I’m so glad to have you on board for the VPP this year. xoxo

    • Reply Faring Well October 27, 2017 at 2:21 pm

      Thank you so much for your note here Sara, so so sweet of you, and it really meant tons! We are lucky to have such amazing pillars in our life (our guys). Here’s to life and all it’s craziness, may it never fully stop. And thank YOU for the amazing pumpkin festivities girl, you’re the best. xo

  • Reply Gena November 9, 2017 at 3:37 am

    Flipped out when I saw this on your Instagram, and the whole recipe is every bit as winning as I knew it would be! Can’t wait to snack on this one. Thanks for the tea-time inspiration :)

    • Reply Faring Well November 9, 2017 at 7:39 am

      This makes me so happy, thank you Gena!

  • Reply Gabby November 29, 2017 at 8:05 am

    Yummm! I am totally making this for a friend this weekend :) For the frosting – I only have a nutribullet & food processor. Will that work? Would you recommend one over the other?

    • Reply Faring Well November 29, 2017 at 10:03 am

      Yay Gabby! I’d recommend the food processor :).

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