On the fourth day of NaNo. . .

On the Fourth Day of NaNo, my true muse gave to me

Four Pumpkin cakes

Three cough drops

Two cuddly cats

And a family that’s dear to me.


Oh yes, the fun just keeps coming with this song.

And by fun, I mean the pumpkin cakes.

I don't have a picture of Pumpkin Cakes because they never last long enough to be photographed. So, instead, we have squirrels with coconut helmets. Nothing is better than squirrels with coconut helmets.
I don’t have a picture of Pumpkin Cakes because they never last long enough to be photographed. So, instead, we have squirrels with coconut helmets. Nothing is better than squirrels with coconut helmets.

I voluntarily gave up gluten in all its forms in 2011. Celiac runs in the family and while I have not been diagnosed with it, my skin, and my overall digestive health have thanked me. Since then, I’ve switched to using coconut flour as my baked-goods flour of choice. It’s high in fiber and protein and its fat is considered a medium-chain triglyceride, which means it is easy for the body to metabolize. It’s an acquired taste, but after a year of using it, I’m fairly confident in my ability to produce decent product that is low in refined sugar, and high in taste.

Then I found the Cinnamon Sugar Pumpkin Muffins at Health-Bent and I knew I had to bow down to the masters. It calls for more sugar than I – or the good people at Health-Bent – would put in, but I’ve adjusted it using Stevia drops and coconut sugar (I know, for those sugar-conscious out there, sugar is sugar is sugar, but I still try to go for the low-glycemic versions when I can).

I’ve adjusted the recipe only slightly (click here for the original). I find I need triple the amount of spices when working with coconut flour, but that may be a personal preference. The recipe below reflects my spice addiction and you can adjust to your own liking

These are lovely with morning coffee, or after dinner, but really, these are what sustain me on the weekends when all I do is write. Or at work, if I didn’t feel like actually cooking that week and have no lunch. If I put dark-chocolate chips in them, they sustain the boy as well (until, of course, his teenage-boy-feed-me hormones kick in and he starts scrounging around the fridge for anything resembling bacon).

Fourth Day of Non-NaNo Pumpkin Cakes

  • 1 cup coconut flour
  • 1 cup tapioca flour (I’ve also made it with 4 Tablespoons Tapioca starch or 4 Tablespoons Potato Starch)
  • 1 tsp. Baking Soda
  • 1 tsp. Baking Powder
  • ½ tsp. Salt
  • 2.5 T ground cinnamon
  • 1.5 tsp. nutmeg
  • 1.5 tsp ground cloves
  • 1.5 tsp ground cardamom
  • 1 cup melted butter, or coconut oil, or palm shortening  (I’ve used both butter and coconut oil. Both are great).
  • 2/3 c brown sugar & 2/3 c coconut sugar OR 1 1/3 cup plain white sugar OR 2/3 cup coconut sugar and 2-3 dropper-fulls of Stevia OR Sugar substitute of your choice to equal 1 1/3 cups.
  • 6 large eggs
  • 1 15oz can pumpkin puree (yes, I could make my own, but that would mean less time writing, so I don’t).
  • 2 T vanilla extract
  • Extra cinnamon and sugar for sprinkling on tops before baking OR pumpkin butter (which is excellent).


  1. Preheat oven to 350ºF and line a standard size muffin tin with liners
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients.
  3. In a large bowl, beat sugar and butter (fat) until well blended and thickened (it won’t get fluffy because it’s melted fat). Add vanilla, eggs and pumpkin. Beat until well blended.
  4. Pour dry ingredients into the wet and blend to combine. Coconut flour absorbs something like 4 times its weight in liquid. It will appear runny at first and then WHOOM! You have very fluffy batter because the flour sucked up all the moisture. It’s fun to watch. I may be a disaster in the kitchen.
  5. Portion half the batter into liners. Sprinkle, swirl or do a happy dance with whatever you want on the tops of your pumpkin cakes.
  6. Bake until cooked through – about 30+ minutes (check after 25 min – ovens vary and burnt pumpkin is no-one’s friend. I will note however, that coconut flour tends to take its sweet time in actually cooking).
  7. Enjoy warm, cold, with butter, with honey, with anything because these are truly gifts of the gods.

This is the fourth in a series on my own brand of NaNoWriMo – or rather, my Non-NaNo. Each day, either D or I (or both) will discuss something to do with NaNo, writing life, or simply life in general. Stay tuned!

Related Posts

Day 1 | Day 2 | Day 3


Published by Katie Sullivan

Descended of pirates and revolutionaries, Katie Sullivan is a lover and student of all things Irish. Born in the States, she is a dual US/Irish citizen, and studied history and politics at University College, Dublin – although, at the time, she seriously considered switching to law, if only so she could attend lectures at the castle on campus. She lives in Milwaukee with her daughter, two cats and a pesky character in her head named D (but you can call him Dubh). Her first series, The Changelings Saga, a young adult historical fantasy trilogy is available on Amazon. She can be found writing with said character at her blog, The D/A Dialogues.

12 thoughts on “On the fourth day of NaNo. . .

  1. I have to admit something. I looove pumpkin. Pumpkin pie, pumpkin cake, pumpkin cupcake…all of it. And the fall is the perfect time! Four Pumpkin Cakes? I’ll be there for supper! 😉


    1. 🙂 They are pretty perfect for just about everything. Had my son not decided to make me peanut butter cookies over the weekend, I would have made several batches. Even better, they make a great base for pumpkin bread pudding – verges on decadent!


  2. See! There’s more to life than writing! Glad to see you are enjoying yourself — hope your dad’s doing better, darling… and I assume that the boy has bounce back and is back to his rambunctious self?


    1. Thank you! Dad is doing well – hopefully will be out of ICU and home this week.And the boy is just happy to have a cool story to tell his friends (quite the rambunctious near-teen self!) 🙂


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