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!

Did you make this recipe?

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.

All images and text ©. Please do not use my images without prior permission. If you want to republish this recipe, please re-write the recipe in your own words, or link back to this post for the recipe.

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  1. When I saw the title, I thought, “Say whaaaaaaaat??? Dorothy’s lost her marbles.” But this looks so good!! I need to try it. Pinning. Making. Eating.

  2. i will NEVER get tired of pumpkin recipes – esp those on the healthier side with no sugar. THe best guilt free pumpkin cake around for sure 🙂

  3. Wha?? A dessert with no sugar? How can it be? If you hadn’t told me, I never would have know. Guess now I can have TWO slices without feeling guilty! Thanks so much.

    • I’m soooo happy to find your sugar free pumpkin recipe. The idea of having a desert that’s good and good for you and NO SUGAR. Woo Hoo I’m on my way to the kitchen right now. THANK YOU

  4. I love that you posted this! In the last week my husband has gone all Atkins on me. I do NOT know how to bake without sugar… I have never gotten the point. 😉

    I now have some sugar-free experiments planned for the future and I’ll add this to my list. I’m sure my carb deprived hubby will thank you.

  5. Sometimes I have to just bake for the fun of it. No pictures, no pressure, and no problem if every cookie is deformed because my daughter wanted to do it all herself. It’s necessary sometimes. Just like buying the occasional dessert 🙂 food bloggers CAN do these things.
    I love seeing sugar free desserts – especially from you because then I know it’s gotta be good! This looks wonderful!

  6. I love sugar free recipes! I am so going to make this for tomorrow night!

  7. A guilt-free pumpkin snack cake OBVIOUSLY means I can eat several servings because you made it healthy for me to do so. Now if only we can work some nutritional magic on chips, I’ll be skinny in no time. This cake looks awesome!

  8. As a blogger, I feel like every time I have a chance to capture something (be it food, an outfit, something ridiculous), I need to take it. I wonder how normal people live….I never want to be non-blogger again 🙂
    I hope this baby makes it to Thanksgiving!

  9. Haha I totally know what you mean about having the night off and actually enjoying a recipe without having to photograph, document, edit, and spend hours on it before actually enjoying it. Sometimes it is nice to just have a night or two off to enjoy food 🙂 And sugar-free recipes are so tricky; I’m glad this one worked out for you! Pinning it for future reference!

  10. Newest follower here! I found you through the Wednesday link up! Cute blog, I can’t wait to read more!

  11. This was wonderful cake. I helped Daddy eat it. :}
    Love, Mom

  12. Pingback: Sugar-Free Pumpkin Snack Cake | Crazy for Crust

  13. This definitely means I can have an extra piece…ok, ok 2 extra pieces;-) I need to start making some more sugar free desserts because my jeans are definitely sugar loaded:-)

  14. I’ve never tried a sugar -free dessert – the thought scares me a bit
    but you make this look really good
    and I’ve got some nectresse in the pantry that I have been wanting to try
    and a BUNCH of pumpkins ready to be cooked:)

  15. I get you on the whole dessert blogger thing of ‘I can make that, stop pestering”. But then there are those days of doom where I go food shopping whilst hungry. That’s a BIG no no. I come home with all sorts of sweets and treats. Mahoosive bags of candy, candy bar yoghurts, cakes, cheesecakes, trifles.. you name it!

    Sugar free or not, this cake does look incredibly moist. And I have pumpkin puree *mexican wave everyone!*, not to mention a box of cake mix too. Hurrah! This is going on my “to bake n’ bake” bookmark list for the very near future! And mine’s going to laced with sugar too! 😉

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  17. Pumpkin recipes are my absolute favorite. And while I don’t HAVE to eat sugar-free, I try to do so when I can. This recipe looks great, Dorothy–I can tell how moist this cake is just by looking at your pics. Great job!

  18. Oh this does look good! My dad is diabetic so this will be perfect! I was just brainstorming this morning for what to make for fututre posts and Sugar Free Cookies were what I was thinking about! These look delcious! Thanks for Sharing such a great recipe!

  19. I’ve never bought one of those sugar free mixes but, I’m going to look for them now. Sounds delicious!

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  21. Is there a specific measurement to use if we use canned pumpkin pie filling?

  22. Hi there! This recipe sounds so yummy! I am planning to make it for my family, but first I need to know, how many servings does it make? Reason I ask is because I need to input the recipe into (will keep it in my “private stash” there, so as not to infringe on any copyright terms you may have), so that I can find out the nutrition information on it. Reason I must do this is because my 7 year old son has type 1 diabetes, and we have to count carbohydrates, fats, and proteins of everything he eats so we can give him the appropriate amount of insulin. I’m sure he would just LOVE to try this recipe (especially since I plan to make it with his pumpkins we forgot to carve for halloween!). If you could please let me know how many servings this makes, I’d greatly appreciate it! (as would my son, I’m sure!! LOL!) Thanks so much!

  23. as a type-1 diabetic for 34 years (coma & hospitalization the week before Halloween), i’m always looking for things i can enjoy: so i will definitely be trying this VERY soon, albeit with a few changes of my own that i can already tell need to be made. if they work out, i’ll let you know.

    thanks a bunch!

  24. yum, yumy, yummyyy! I’m hosting a Thanksgiving party all month long (until Thanksgiving) and would love for you to come over and link it up! This is in addition to my normal Tasteful Tuesday party that runs every Tuesday. Thank you for taking the time to celebrate Thanksgiving and be THANKFUL for all our blessings.

  25. I’ve decided to to blame your blog on my 8 pound weight gain!

  26. Pingback: 20 Pumpkin Recipes.

  27. Wow Dorothy I didn’t even know they made sugar free cake mix. This pumpkin snack cake look super moist and delicious. I’ll have to try it too (for the pictures). My Mother-in-law is diabetic and she loves pumpkin. Thanks so much for linking up to Creative Thursday. Can’t wait to see what you share this week! Have a wonderful week.

  28. I’ll be making this for Easter. My daughter and I are on Medifast so no sugar and a friend is a new diabetic. Looks great. Can’t go wrong with pumpkin. Who knew there was a sugar free cake mix?

  29. Second time to make this. Love it, shared it on Facebook.

  30. So what flavor cake mix did you use ? Can you you any flavor ?

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  32. My Grandpa is diabetic, so I always try to make a sugar-free dessert for the holidays. Last year, I made this healthy apple cake I found online. It tasted good, but it would have worked better for a brunch than a dessert. (My family is very Southern and likes their desserts sweet, not healthy.) This recipe was a huge hit!!! Thanks! You should post more sugar-free desserts so I can wow my family again at Christmas! Thanks!

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  34. So this is getting made today! Have to go to the store anyways for other stuff. I have gestational diabetes right now and it’s hard. I just want a donut or pizza or cake. But this looks like something I could have and it will also taste good. YEAH! Thanks so much for the recipe. I love pumpkin anything so this will be good.

  35. I googled “sugar free cake mix pumpkin cake” and found your recipe.  My 91 year old Dad is diabetic and loves to have SF treats.  I’m always looking for special things to bake for him, and this is perfect for our family Thanksgiving dinner.  I just baked them in four smaller rounds (pretty baker disposables), and the house smells deeeelicious!  Thank you for sharing your easy recipe!  They will look beautiful at the dessert table, and Dad will have love having one all to himself.

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