My prescription for an iron deficiency: Dairy, Egg and Nut Free Pumpkin Cake!

_rkp2928The past few months I have found myself to be unsually exhausted. As many of you know I have been working feverishly on my soon to be released cookbook and training for a marathon. Truth be told I didn’t really consider the book to be “work” because it involved baking and writing, two of my passions. As for running, I love it for what it offers me…solitude. My fellow mamas know very well that solitude is a rarity when you have young kiddos. Unfortunately I’ve had some injury issues which have forced me to scale back considerably on my running as of late. So I know that wasn’t the reason for my sleepiness.

I decided it was time for a physical and went to the doctor who ran a full blood work up. Everything looked great except for my low iron levels. My doctor prescribed an iron supplement and to include more natural sources of iron in my diet. I immediately looked up good sources of iron and to my great surprise, I found out that pumpkin is a wonderful source. I love pumpkin. A lot. So that got me thinking; what dessert could I make that would help me on the road to iron deficiency recovery? Pumpkin cake of course!

I made this cake a lot during the holidays and it is unbelievably good. Delectable pumpkin cake layered with my rich and creamy dairy free cream cheese frosting; there is nothing better. Present this beauty of a cake on a gorgeous pedestal cake stand because it is that special.

I also read that tofu is a great source of iron so maybe those dairy/egg/nut free vanilla cupcakes or even my pound cake will be my next dessert of choice. In the meantime be sure to try this super simple and delicious cake!

Harvest Pumpkin Cake


Yield: One 9-inch layer cake


1/2 cup dairy-free shortening

1 cup granulated sugar

1 cup light brown sugar

1/2 cup silken tofu

1 (15-ounce) can pumpkin purée (not pumpkin pie filling)

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

3 cups cake flour

4 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup soy or rice milk

1 recipe Dairy-Free Cream Cheese Frosting


In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine shortening, sugars, silken tofu, pumpkin puree and vanilla extract on low speed until creamy. In a separate medium bowl, combine flour, baking powder, salt and baking soda with a wire whisk.


Preheat oven to 350ºF, and spray two 9-inch round cake pans with dairy-free baking spray. Add flour alternatively with soy milk to the shortening mixture. Pour into prepared pans, and bake 25 to 35 minutes. Cool completely, and frost with Dairy-Free Cream Cheese Frosting.



Dairy-Free Cream Cheese Frosting


Yield: 2 cups


1/2 cup dairy-free margarine

3/4 cup dairy-free cream cheese

1/8 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

21/2 cups confectioners’ sugar


In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together the margarine, cream cheese, salt, and vanilla until thoroughly combined. Slowly add confectioners’ sugar, and mix on low for 1 minute. Increase speed to medium, and beat 4 to 6 minutes, until light and fluffy. Chill before using.


26 Responses

    • Rianne….thank you SOOOO MUCH for my lemonade stand award; it honestly made my day!!! I tried posting a comment but it wasn’t working…I will try again!!

  1. This looks so yummy. By the way, I just made the snickeroo’s, I used sunbutter and they came out wonderful…

  2. I am a pumpkin freak, too! The tofu really makes the cake awesome. I really love all of the pictures on your blog.

  3. Mmmm. Pumpkin is one of my favorites. Muffins, cakes, pie, in oatmeal or whipped into a yummy dip for graham crackers. Bring it on!

  4. I am currently 8 months pregnant and exhausted. I was actually thinking of asking my doctor to check my iron levels Monday. Either way, I think that pumpkin sounds like a simple and yummy solution.

    • Maleah…well anyone who is 8 months preggo is certain to feel exhausted! you poor thing! been there too sister. call you doctor for sure because preggo women are especially at risk for anemia. I had issues with all four of my pregnancies. but definitely make that cake in the meantime!

    • Lindsey, I like Tofutti Cream Cheese, Fleischmans UNSALTED ONLY margarine (regular has milk in it) and Crisco Plain Shortening (In blue can, NOT the butter flavored variety). Or you can go to Whole Foods and get the Earth Balance Shortening and “Buttery” Vegan Sticks. They work very well too. I have found all the above ingredients at my local grocer (Jewel)with no problem. Good luck!!

  5. Thanks:) I found all the ingredients tonight. I only need cake flour? I didn’t see that? Is it just a certain type of flour or would All Purpose flour work? After that…I am all set:) Thanks so much for responding

    • Thanks so much Lindsey! Just use all purpose if you don’t have cake….the difference will be only slight. Good luck and have fun baking!!

  6. How much water do I put in the receipe? I didn’t see it on the ingred. list and I am making the cake right now for my husbands birthday?! HELP:) Ha Thanks Kelly

  7. I saw add water in the directions? Has anyone made the cake without the water and it turned out fine? I’m in a pinch…..making it now.

  8. OH MY GOODNESS! I can’t tell you how yummy this cake is!!! It really is the best pumpkin cake in the world:) My Ella loves it!!! thanks

  9. I am so glad I found your site – I saw it talked about it I believe a Family Fun magazine in my kids’ pediatrician’s office. This sounds so yummy, and I can’t wait to make it! I made a pumpkin cake last year for Thanksgiving but my daughter was not able to enjoy it – she is allergic to dairy. I was wondering, are all of the recipes that are on your site included in the cookbook? I am wanting to get a copy of your cookbook asap,but I want to make sure a number of my fave ones are in there. I am probably going to wind up buying several copies of it because I have 2 children (1 with dairy allergy and both with nut allergy), a nephew who is lactose intolerant, and 2 good friends who have children with egg and dairy allergies. Thanks!

  10. Hi, Kelly!
    Every year at our school, the children cook a Thanksgiving Feast for themselves & 2 guests to enjoy the day before Thanksgiving. I am making your pumpkin cake on Monday with my little toddlers and am wondering about the water listed in the directions of this cake. How much is needed as it is not listed in the ingredient list? Thanks so much! 🙂 I’m a little nervous to feed 40 people! :/ I created a dairy-free/egg-free/nut-free feast with some gluten-free foods with the exception being homemade butter. Also, my little vegetarian will be able to enjoy the feast minus the turkey! 😉

    Thanks for answering my question, in advance. 🙂


  11. Wondering if anyone has made these into cupcakes… How were they and what adjustments did you make (especially baking time)? Thanks!

    • Hi Dana! These should be just fine for cupcakes. Fill paper lined cups 3/4 way full, and bake approximately 18-24 minutes, depending on your oven. Good luck!

  12. I blogged this cake; it is so good! I found organic Sugar Pie Pumpkins at Whole Foods and used those for the pumpkin flesh; just measured out 15 ounces of it. Thank you so much for this recipe, it will come in handy at Thanksgiving!

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