Keto Pumpkin Spice Cake Balls! A satisfying spiced treat - without all the sugar and carbs! Five ingredients. No flour, butter, eggs or sugar. And no baking! (Gluten-Free, Vegan and Paleo!)
Originally published November 3, 2017. Updated October 14, 2021
Wow, now I get what the big deal is about Pumpkin SPICE. Ever since I made my first Pumpkin Pie last week. I guess I'm officially a pumpkin spice LOVER. These pumpkin spice cake balls are insanely delicious. The taste is sinfully good. But they're good for you. It's true!
It sounds too good to be true. Healthy cake? Really?? Is it possible? Yes!
HOW? These 5 simple, real-food ingredients blended together are absolutely decadent like a cake ball but totally nourishing!
No sugar, gluten/grains, dairy, or artificial ingredients.
These cake balls are keto-friendly, nut-free, egg-free, vegan and paleo, too.
5 Wholesome Ingredients
- Vegetables: Pumpkin
- Fruits: Coconut
- Plants: Sweetener
- Seasonings: Spice
- Minerals: Salt
I'll show you how one simple component can magically transform vegetables into cake! Pumpkin puree (the vegetable) plus the magic of coconut butter tastes like a rich, decadent cake ball.
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Spoiler Alert: No actual cake to be made!
You'll notice in the recipe, there's no actual "cake" in these "cake balls!"
But the taste, texture and flavor are similar to their flour, sugar, butter and FROSTING-laden counterparts. (But better, imo, because they're not a sugar bomb that makes my stomach ache, ha)
The cake ball taste comes from a magical ingredient: coconut butter!
You'd never guess that coconut + pumpkin turns into the cake balls, but it does. And it's delicious perfection.
The high fat content of coconut butter makes these cake balls rich, creamy, and silky, with a good "bite" to them. Nice and thick. Thick and rich. So satisfying.
What is Coconut Butter?
Coconut butter, also known as coconut manna, is essentially pureed dried coconut flakes. Just like almond butter is pureed almonds, and peanut butter is pureed peanuts. It's the same sort of thick, creamy nut-butter type of substance.
But it has several unique qualities that make it stand out from your typical almond butter:
- It solidifies at room temperature and below, which makes it perfect for binding treats together.
- It has a neutral flavor - almost like shortbread.
- Ps. all you coconut haters, this does *not* taste like coconut or have the texture of shredded coconut
- It's technically nut-free! (Yeah, coconut isn't even considered a nut. It's more like a fruit!) So this makes it allergy-friendly for those who can't have almonds or other nuts.
- When melted, it becomes a drippy, dreamy, creamy liquid that you can drizzle. And when melted down, you can mix it with all sorts of things to make these cake balls, fudge, glaze and more!
Because of it's uniqueness, there is no 1:1 substitute for coconut butter. If you absolutely can not use coconut butter, you may be able to use a mixture of almond butter and palm oil or coconut oil.
How to Use Coconut Butter
Coconut butter you buy from a store will come in a solid state, typically in a glass jar, or sometimes in a squeeze packet. But it must be melted and stirred before use.
*Every time you use coconut butter, it has to be melted and stirred. Yes, it's a little bit of a hassle, but it's easy to do.
- Get a large bowl of water and microwave it until the water is nice and hot.
- Place the jar inside and let the butter melt. (This may take around 15 minutes or so)
- Stir the jar to incorporate any oils that have separated or risen to the top of the jar. Or if you have a squeeze packet, knead it thoroughly to mix it back together.
- Now it's ready to pour and measure out for use in a recipe. Keeping the jar/packet submerged in warm water will keep it melted for hours.
Remember: NEVER microwave the coconut butter itself. This can damage it and make it unusable where it can seize/harden and not be spreadable anymore. Don't do it.
Where to Find Coconut Butter
I use homemade coconut butter in this recipe because it's so easy to make and it's much cheaper. But you can use store-bought coconut butter if you prefer.
You can find coconut butter typically next to the nut butters in most grocery stores, although it's more common in health food stores and places like Whole Foods and Trader Joes. Amazon carries it but It's available for a better price at Thrive Market (an online retailer for healthy groceries).
For a sweet discount and/or free gift with purchase on your first order at Thrive Market, use my referral link!
To make homemade coconut butter, simply blend dried coconut in a food processor or high speed blender until drippy.
It takes around 10 to 15 minutes usually. You may need to stop a few times to scrape down the sides. Just keep blending until it's liquefied.
The fresher the shreds, the quicker and easier it is to make. Sometimes it just takes a little longer.
For a medium size (7-cup) food processor, you can add about 3 cups of shreds. The amount of butter it makes is roughly one-third.
How to Make No-Bake Cake Balls
The best part about these cake balls? NO baking! No cooking at all. Much simpler than conventional cake balls that require you to bake an entire cake and mix it with frosting
This recipe is so EASY. Just mix and chill. (The best kind of recipe.)
- Once your coconut butter is melted, stir it together with the pumpkin, sweetener, pumpkin spice.
- As the coconut butter cools as it comes back to room temp and as it mixes with the other ingredients, it will begin to solidify again.
- Use a small scoop to form balls. Chill and enjoy! You can even roll in a little pumpkin spice if you like.
If for some reason your mixture is still drippy and is not forming balls:
- first I would ask: did you stir your coconut butter? If so, simply chill your mixture for 5-10 minutes to help it firm up.
- If the coconut butter was not stirred, the recipe may not turn out as a solid cake ball or may have too much oil that wasn't mixed back in.
In this recipe, I use pure stevia powder. I like this because it's pure and has a really clean sweetness. As long as you don't overdo it, it's not bitter or obtrusive in flavor or aftertaste.
However, you can use many different sweeteners if you like! Low-Carb or Full Carb, it's up to you.
Use a powdered sweetener so it's not gritty. I would try 1-2 Tbs, and sweeten to taste.
- Powdered monkfruit/erythritol (Lakanto)
- Powdered monkfruit/allulose (Besti)
- Powdered coconut sugar (just blend regular coconut sugar in a small blender until it's powdered)
Or use a concentrated sweetener (extract). Typically you only need about 10 drops (or a dash) or so. Always taste and adjust to your preference.
Need help with a sweetener or other ingredient substitution? Leave a comment below and I'll do my best to guide you.
One Carb Each (!)
(5 years ago) When I first did a quick calculation of the nutritional facts for these, to my utter AMAZEMENT: they came close to ZERO net carbs!!! Say Whaaaa??
3g carbs per ball AND 3g fiber per ball! That makes it zero net! WOW.
Now, years later I'm updating this recipe and I have a nutrition calculator built into my recipe card now, so I ran it through again. Now it says 1 carb 🙂 Not zero, but still GREAT. (Side note- always do your own macro calculations. Don't rely on what someone on the internet says lol)
Delish and super low carb. These are officially my new favorite thing ever.
More No-Bake Keto Recipes
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Keto Pumpkin Cake Balls
- First make coconut butter by blending shredded coconut in a food processor for about 15-20 minutes until liquified, scraping down the sides as needed. (Or use store-bought coconut butter, melted and stirred)
- Add the remaining ingredients to taste.
- Scoop into balls with a small cookie scoop (just under 1 Tbs). (If your mixture is too runny, chill it in the freezer for a bit first) Roll in the palm of your hands to smooth it out.
- Place on a parchment lined plage. Optional: dust them with a little extra pumpkin pie spice or cinnamon. Chill for 15 minutes.
- Enjoy! 🙂