The perfect fall keto recipe, these beautiful keto baby pumpkin pound cakes are really nutritious and satisfying: full of good fats from grass-fed butter and extra egg yolks, and all the protein you could ask for, thanks to the whey protein in the cream cheese icing and the lupin flour.
Lupin flour is an amazing, protein packed keto flour! Every 100 grams of lupin contain a whooping 40 grams of protein 💪
Not to mention, the star ingredient: pumpkin! A cake with vegetable. (Or fruit… pumpkins are actually keto friendly fruits, funnily enough) Anyhoo, his keto pumpkin cake is a wonderful way to skip a meal, if you ask me.
Baby bundt cakes are beyond cute! It’s my first time using my mini bundt pan, and I don’t know if I can go back to regular size pound cake anymore.
Although you’d think that the keto pumpkin cakes are each a portion, I ate a whole cake all by myself and I was full for the whole day. (I lie, I had one and a half cake! But I was really full after one cake, but it was sooo good I didn’t want to stop)
Is pumpkin keto friendly?
Pumpkin is one of the most keto friendly fruits there are! 😁 Pumpkins, as other winter squashes, are extremely low-carb: according to the USDA database, 100 grams of cooked pumpkin contains only 5 grams of carbohydrates, from which 1 gram is fiber, which makes pumpkin super keto friendly at only 4 net carbs per 100 grams!
Pumpkins are also unbelievably low in calories: just 20 calories per 100 grams. That’s because this keto friendly wonder vegetable/fruit is about 94% water. It’s also packed full of vitamins, specially vitamin A. Only one cup of cooked pumpkin (245 grams) provides 245% of the Reference Daily Intake (RDI) for vitamin A.
If none of these reasons is good enough for you to start getting pumpk’up, here’s the best one: A sticky, soft and sweet keto pumpkin pie spice mini pound cake!
Pumpkin puree in keto baking: the perfect applesauce substitute
If you ever tried to bake with less fat (the horror, I know) you are probably familiar with substituting the butter in a recipe for applesauce, for a lighter baked item. I used to do this often, when I believed my SAD diet needed less saturated fats.
While not in any way a good replacement for butter, it’s undeniable that applesauce brings good qualities to baking all in itself: it improves the lightness and fluffiness of cakes, waffles and pancakes by a lot. It also smells heavenly, and it has a delicious natural sweetness.
Unfortunately, applesauce is not a good ingredient for keto baking. It has 17 grams of carbs per 100 grams, from which 15 grams are pure sugar.
Good news: pumpkin puree and applesauce are interchangeable. Canned pumpkin puree is the keto friendly version of applesauce! The way these two ingredients behave in baking is pretty much the same.
How to make homemade pumpkin puree
So you are dazzled by the beauty of these keto pumpkin cakes, and would love to bake them and fill your house with the wonderful scent of pumpkin pie spice and warm keto baby pound cakes… but you can’t find canned pumpkin in the store. I hear you. Canned pumpkin puree can be really difficult to find, depending on the season, and near impossible outside the US. Don’t fret, you can easily DIY your pumpkin puree!
You can use fresh pumpkins to make a puree with a similar texture to the canned one, to be used in any recipes that asks for canned pumpkin. It’s super easy to make, and the taste is going to be even better than the store bought canned pumpkin!
Choose smaller pumpkins for cooking, such as pie pumpkins or sugar pumpkins. Butternut squash is also an option. These are easier to cut and cheaper than the big jack-o’-lantern style, and not to mention more flavorful. Of course, you can re-purpose your jack-o’-lantern pumpkin if you have one out of job!
Just crack the pumpkin with a knife to open, cutting it in half, and scoop out all the strings and seeds first. Leave the peel on.
Put the halves of the pumpkin on the baking tray, lined with parchment paper or aluminum foil, with the cut side facing down, and then roast the pumpkin slices in the oven. Roasting is better than boiling if you want to substitute canned pumpkin, as boiling will make the pumpkin puree watery which isn’t great to use in recipes.
Roast the pumpkin halves for about one hour at 190 °C (375 °F). Test doneness by piercing with a fork, the baked pumpkin should be really tender, with the flesh coming away from the skin. The roasted skin will easily peel off after the roasted pumpkin cools down for a few minutes. After removing the pumpkin skin, just puree it until smooth, using a food processor or blender or immersion blender. Even a potato masher or a fork will do!
Fresh pumpkins can vary in moistness so even baking instead of boiling may result in a puree that’s still too liquid (in comparison to canned pumpkin, that resembles soft mashed potato in texture). If this happens, you can either drain it through a cheesecloth or simmer it for a while to evaporate some of the excess water.
Lupin flour: where can you find
I know that lupin flour can be difficult to find (even more so than canned pumpkin outside the US). In Australia it’s everywhere, Italy is big on it as well, but if you live in the US you’ll probably have to resort to ordering it. You can get lupin flour in Canada, as well.
It can be a hassle, but lupin flour is hands down my favorite keto flour and whenever I can find I stock up on it (maybe I’m the reason it’s hard to find… sorry!) If you can find only in flake form, no worries, you can use it too (I had to do so many times): process the lupin flakes in a food processor or powerful blender until it turns to flour. It will be coarser, but still yields great results!
How to make the keto pumpkin pie spice mini pound cakes
Add all dry ingredients to a bowl: the pumpkin pie spice (store bought, or your homemade selection of spices), the lupin flour, and the baking powder. Mix all very well until it becomes a single colored powder.
Cream the butter until fluffy. If you have a standing mixer, use the beater (same as paddle) attachment on medium speed for about five minutes. Slowly add the powdered keto sweetener (I used my homemade sugar equivalent erythritol stevia blend). If you just dump the whole amount of sweetener at once you risk deflating the batter, so do it little by little, with the mixer running.
Run a spatula through the sides of the bowl a couple of times during the process so the butter is uniformly creamed and mixed with the keto sweetener. Beat together butter and sweetener on medium speed for about five more minutes, until the mixture is doubled in size and super fluffy.
Add the eggs slowly to the creamed butter and sweetener: you could do this by cracking the eggs directly inside the bowl, but as we are not using all whole eggs it’s easier if you crack the eggs in a smaller bowl and lightly beat them with a fork before slowly pouring them in as the mixer is running. The butter might break at this point, specially if your eggs are still cold. Don’t worry, it will not affect the recipe.
Stop the mixer and add the pumpkin puree and the dry mixture of lupin flour, pumpkin pie spice and baking powder, and restart the mixer on a slower speed. Help the batter thoroughly mix by scraping the sides with a spatula.
Butter and dust your mini bundt cake tin with coconut flour or lupin flour. Divide the keto pumpkin pound cake batter equally among the tins, and take to the oven preheated at 180 °C (355 °F), then turn down the temperature to 165 °C (330 °F) and bake the mini keto pumpkin cakes for about 30 minutes. Test with a toothpick, they are done if it comes out mostly clean. A couple of crumbles are expected, and encouraged. Wait for the mini cakes to cool down while you prepare the icing.
How to make the shiny keto cream cheese and whey protein icing
It can’t get any easier, and the keto icing is done in 3 steps:
- Start by adding the water to the whey protein, and mix it with a fork until it forms a smooth paste without any protein clumps. It’s easier to achieve this if you add the water slowly.
- Then, add the cream cheese, softened at room temperature, and mix it really quickly until it’s fully dissolved into the whey protein cream.
- Add the vanilla extract, and drops of stevia (or you preferred liquid sweetener). The keto cream cheese icing is done!
You can adjust the flavor by adding more or less vanilla or sweetener. Now, just wait until the cakes are cold and drizzle them with the keto icing. It’s white when freshly made, but will get transparent as it sets, forming a delicious shiny sticky layer of deliciousness over the keto pumpkin cakes.
Share with your friends,
they might cook for you!
For the keto pumpkin spice mini pound cakes
- 120 grams butter
- 90 grams keto sweetener (sugar equivalent)
- 2 whole eggs plus 2 egg yolks (room temperature)
- 180 grams pumpkin puree
- 90 grams lupin flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice (or make your own, see Notes)
For the cream cheese and whey protein icing
- 50 grams unflavored whey protein (or vanilla, see Notes)
- 50 grams water
- 75 grams cream cheese (softened at room temperature)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 40 drops of stevia (or to taste)
- Preheat the oven to 180 °C (355 °F). Butter and dust the mini pound cake tins with lupin or coconut flour.
- Mix all dry ingredients very well
- Cream the butter for about 5 minutes on medium speed, until pale and fluffy. Then, slowly add the keto baking sweetener and continue beating until doubled in size.
- Lightly beat the 2 eggs plus 2 egg yolks in a separate small bowl, with a fork.
- With the the mixer on slow speed, add the eggs slowly to the creamed butter and sweetener, followed by the pumpkin puree.
- Add the dry ingredients mix, and continue mixing until the thick batter is fully combined.
- Spoon the keto pound cake batter into the mini bundt tins, and hit the tray against the counter a couple of times to settle the batter.
- Take it into the preheated oven, and turn down the temperature to 165 °C (330 °F). Bake the mini cakes for 30 minutes, and test with a toothpick - should be mostly clean.
- In a small bowl, add the whey protein, and mix it with the water, adding it little by little, using a fork until it forms a smooth paste without any protein clumps.
- Add the cream cheese, softened at room temperature, and mix it really quickly until it's fully dissolved into the whey protein cream.
- Add the vanilla extract, and drops of stevia (or your keto liquid sweetener of choice). Adjust to taste.
For the keto pumpkin spice mini pound cakes
For the cream cheese and whey protein icing
US Cups approximate conversion:
For the keto pumpkin pound cakes: Use 1/2 cup butter, 1/2 cup keto sugar substitute (like erythritol stevia blend), 3/4 cup pumpkin puree, and 3/4 cup lupin flour. Other ingredients as indicated.
For the sugar-free cream cheese icing: 1 1/2 scoop unflavored whey protein, 3 tablespoons water, 4 tablespoons cream cheese. Other ingredients as indicated.
You can use vanilla flavored whey protein instead of unflavored. In this case, omit the vanilla extract, and adjust the amount of sweetener.
If you don't have ready pumpkin pie spice, add this homemade mix instead: 2 teaspoons cinnamon, 1 teaspoon ginger powder, 1/2 teaspoon allspice, 1/4 teaspoon clove powder, 1/4 teaspoon cardamom powder and 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 6 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 303Total Fat: 24.2gSodium: 292mgCarbohydrates: 6.4gNet Carbohydrates: 1.9gFiber: 4.5gSugar: 1.1gProtein: 16.9g
Nutrition information is provided as a guideline only. Different brands of ingredients may have different nutrition facts. If tracking macros, remake the calculations using the nutrition facts from the labels of the ingredients you selected. Net carbs calculated exclude carbs from insoluble fiber and sugar alcohols.