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Pumpkin Cake

Pumpkin cake is a moist pumpkin spiced cake topped with a decadent butter and cream cheese frosting! It’s so easy to prepare, and don’t last long. Your family will ask for this cake year round!

You don’t have to wait until pumpkin season to enjoy this pumpkin cake recipe. It’s made with easy to find pantry staples and can be prepared any time of year. This cake is lightly, fluffy, perfectly moist, and has plenty of warm spices. Don’t forget the sweet cream cheese frosting!

Serve a slice of this Fall favorite with a warm cup of cinnamon coffee or for dessert after enjoying a bowl of French onion soup. This cake even makes a great breakfast indulgence.

A square piece of the pumpkin cake on a plate.

Homemade Pumpkin Cake Recipe:

Our homemade pumpkin cake recipe is an easy dessert that’s perfect for a weeknight sweet treat or a spot on the holiday table. It’s similar to a pumpkin roll but in full cake form with the cream cheese frosting on the top instead of rolled up on the inside.

This cake is made from scratch, so you’ll need a few staple cake ingredients. No cake mix here! It also uses 1 full can of pumpkin puree, so there’s no worry about what to do with the leftover. All that pumpkin puree makes this cake moist and incredibly soft.

How to Make a Moist Pumpkin Cake:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F, and grease a 9×13-inch cake pan.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, granulated sugar, brown sugar, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, and pumpkin pie spice. Set aside.
  3. In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, oil, and pumpkin puree.
  4. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients. Whisk until just combined. Don’t overmix.
  5. Transfer the batter to the prepared cake pan, and bake for 25-35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
  6. While the cake cools, make the cream cheese frosting.
  7. Use a hand mixer to combine the cream cheese, butter, powdered sugar and vanilla until smooth and creamy.
  8. Apply the frosting to the cooled cake with a spatula. Slice, and serve.
Collage showing how to make pumpkin cake.

Tips and Variations:

  • Make sure the cake is completely cool before applying the frosting; otherwise, it will melt and slide off the cake.
  • Add a sprinkle of pumpkin pie spice, cinnamon, or nutmeg over the top of the cake for a pop of flavor.
  • For some extra texture, add some walnuts or pecans to the cake batter or to the frosting.
  • Divide this recipe into two 9×9-inch cake pans and double the frosting to make a beautiful layer cake.
  • Want to make a Bundt cake? Place the batter in a 10 or 12-cup Bundt pan and increase the cook time by a few minutes. Use a dusting of powdered sugar instead of a cream cheese frosting.
A square piece of the pumpkin cake on a plate.

Can you make this cake into cupcakes?

We haven’t tried to convert this exact recipe into cupcakes. However, we do have a pumpkin spice muffins recipe and a spiced cupcake recipe with maple buttercream.

Why did my pumpkin cake come out dense instead of light and fluffy?

Make sure the batter isn’t overmixed. If the gluten in the flour is overworked, it will cause the cake to be dense instead of light. Mix the batter just until the dry flour streaks disappear.

Double check that the baking powder and baking soda are fresh and not expired. They need to be good to give the cake lift.

Storage Options:

Refrigerator: Pumpkin cake is best stored in the refrigerator in an airtight container for 4-5 days.

Freezer: This cake can be stored in the freezer for up to 2-3 months. Allow it to cool completely, then wrap it in a layer of Glad Press N’ Seal then a couple layers of aluminum foil. Since the cake is large, take extra care not to crack it. Another option is to cut it in half and wrap it in two separate pieces. After it’s thawed, make a layer cake!

Thawing and Reheating: Transfer the frozen cake to the refrigerator to thaw overnight. Make sure to leave the foil and plastic wrap on while the cake thaws. After it’s completely thawed, frost as written in the directions.

To reheat from the refrigerator, place a slice of cake in the microwave for 8-12 seconds just until barely warm. If the cake is too warm, the frosting will melt.

Other pumpkin recipes to try:

Don’t forget to check out our Pumpkin Cake web story!

Like This Recipe?

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A square piece of the pumpkin cake on a plate.

Pumpkin Cake

5 from 3 votes
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Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Cooling Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 35 minutes
Servings: 20 Slices

Ingredients

Pumpkin Cake Batter

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 cup canola or vegetable oil
  • 15 ounces pumpkin puree

Cream Cheese Frosting

  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 8 ounces brick-style cream cheese softened
  • 8 tablespoons unsalted butter softened
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

Instructions

Pumpkin Cake

  • Preheat the oven to 350°F, and grease a 9×13-inch cake pan.
  • In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, granulated sugar, brown sugar, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, and pumpkin pie spice. Set aside.
  • In a large bowl, combine the eggs, oil, and pumpkin puree. Pour the dry ingredients into the bowl of wet ingredients, and whisk to combine.
  • Transfer the batter to the cake pan. Bake for 25-35 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
  • Allow the cake to cool completely before frosting. Meanwhile, make the frosting.

Cream Cheese Frosting

  • In a medium bowl, use a hand mixer to combine the powdered sugar, cream cheese, butter, and vanilla. Beat until smooth and creamy (about 2-3 minutes).
  • Use a spatula to apply the frosting to the cooled cake. Slice and serve.
  • See post for storage options.

Notes

*The calories listed are an approximation based on the ingredients in the recipe card and a serving size of 1 slice. Actual calories will vary.
*For more information, tips, and answers to frequently asked questions, please refer to the post.

Nutrition

Serving: 1slice | Calories: 344kcal | Carbohydrates: 38g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 21g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 13g | Cholesterol: 61mg | Sodium: 165mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 26g
Recipe Rating