Paleo Pumpkin Crunch Cake

I was first introduced to this kind of cake years ago in Hawaii and it rocked my world. It was so dang good and different from anything else I had tasted. The bottom layer is like your typical pumpkin pie filling while the top layer is like a rich shortbread topping. I LOVE pumpkin everything but pie crust doesn’t do anything for me so it was a welcomed change. The cake I tried in Hawaii used a conventional cake mix, lots of sugar, lots of dairy, and of course gluten.

I wondered for years if I could create a similar cake using better ingredients, and sure enough, it worked! And it’s so yummy!

Paleo Pumpkin Crunch Cake

Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 20 minutes
Servings 12


  • 1 cup water
  • 1/2 cup cashews
  • 4 dates
  • 1 15 oz. can pumpkin puree
  • 4 eggs
  • 1/2 cup coconut sugar
  • 1 tbsp pumpkin pie spice
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1 box simple mills cake mix
  • 1 cup macadamia chopped Pecans are also good
  • 1 cup ghee or coconut oil


  • Preheat oven to 350°. Grease a 9X13 baking dish.
  • In a small bowl, cover cashews and dates with boiling water for 10-15 minutes. Once they have soaked, drain and rinse.
  • Add water, dates, and cashews to a blender. Blend on high until there are no more chunks.
  • Add pumpkin puree, eggs, coconut sugar, pumpkin spice, and salt to the blender. Blend on a low speed until blended. Don’t over blend.
  • Pour the batter into the baking dish. Sprinkle the Simple Mills cake mix on top of the batter. Gently pat the cake mix down completely covering the batter.
  • Spread the chopped macadamia nuts evenly over the cake mix layer, then drizzle with melted ghee or coconut oil.
  • Bake for 60-80 minutes or until it is firm in the center. Allow to stand for at least 5-10 minutes before serving. I think it tastes best when it has cooled completely. Top each slice with coconut whipped cream.

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