Oct 30

Sugar-Free Pumpkin Snack Cake

 Yesterday, Jordan and I went to a local pumpkin farm with her Brownie Scout Troop. We spent an exhausting (and unseasonably warm) few hours playing on the slide, riding the train, and jumping on hay.

{Well. She did that.  I watched.}

This pumpkin patch is known for their baked goods (aren’t they all?). They sell their homemade pumpkin bread and cake, as well an assortment of pies and cookies. Normally, I just go all dessert-blogger on them and say something snotty like “I can make that at home, let’s go.”

But yesterday we carpooled, and the driver needed baked goods. So, of course, I bought some too. (A slice of pumpkin cake, loaf of pumpkin bread, and two cookies, to be exact.)

I still had that funny feeling in my tummy, you know, the one I talked about last week? The one that screams “DESSERT BLOGGERS DO NOT BUY DESSERT, THEY MAKE IT.”

But then the other part of my tummy, the one that was growling, said, “Dessert bloggers also have to style, photograph, edit, and write what they bake.”

I swear, my tummy is SO smart.

I instagrammed a photo of what I bought because, in that moment, I was so excited. I had dessert for after dinner that I didn’t have to do any work for.

It was like a night off, or something.

Is this what it feels like on Holidays for working people?

{FYI, I do find it ironic that I’m posting a pumpkin cake while I write about this topic.}

This cake is another example of the things food bloggers do. I made it for my dad the last time they visited, at the beginning of October. But, they were coming to stay with Jordan and Mel and I were heading out of town, so I ran out of time and didn’t photograph it.

Do you know how much that pained me? That I made this delicious cake that was SO moist and SO good and I didn’t photograph it?

It was so painful that I had to make it again for you. You can thank me in the comments. 😉  (<–sarcasm)

My dad is not supposed to eat sugar, and I’m always trying to find yummy sugar free recipes for him. Sometimes they work, sometimes they don’t. This one rocked my socks off.

It’s a sugar-free cake mix (from Pillsbury) mixed with a can of pumpkin and some other cake ingredients. Then I swirled the top with butter, cinnamon, and sweetener.

{You could totally make this regular and full of sugar – just substitute a regular cake mix and real sugar.}

Seriously. SO good people. I made this with every intention of freezing it to bring to my dad at Thanksgiving. It is in the freezer…but who knows how long it will last there.

So go make this. And I give you total permission to enjoy it without photographing it. Feel no guilt!

Sugar-Free Pumpkin Snack Cake


  • 1 sugar-free cake mix (from Pillsbury)

  • 1 can (about 2 cups) pumpkin puree

  • 1/3 cup oil

  • 2 eggs

  • 1 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice

  • 1/4 cup butter, melted

  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon

  • 7 packets sweetener of your choice (I used Nectresse)


  1. Preheat oven to 350°. Line a 9x13” pan with foil and spray with cooking spray.

  2. Mix cake mix, pumpkin, oil, eggs, and pumpkin pie spice in a large bowl with a hand mixer until well incorporated, about 2 minutes. Reserve 1/2 cup of batter and place the rest into the prepared pan.

  3. Place reserved batter back into your bowl, and and add the melted butter, cinnamon, and sweetener. Stir to combine.

  4. Place dollops of the cinnamon batter mixture over the cake and swirl with the back of a wooden spoon.

  5. Bake for 23-25 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool completely.

This can also be made with sugar - just use a regular cake mix and 2 tablespoons of sugar instead of the sweetener.