Pumpkin cake topped with the best cream cheese frosting is the perfect fall dessert, easy to make, super moist and loaded with delicious pumpkin flavor.
This pumpkin spice cake couldn’t be any easier to make, it only takes a few minutes to whip together, and only has a few ingredients for both the cake and the cream cheese frosting.
I like to keep a couple cans of canned pumpkin on hand throughout the year since its harder to find when its not fall (aka pumpkin season), so I always have everything I need to make this amazing pumpkin cake in my pantry, all year long.
For this pumpkin cake recipe you’ll need:
- vegetable oil
- pumpkin puree
- cinnamon and other seasonings
- baking powder and baking soda
- cream cheese
- powdered sugar
- vanilla extract
How to make pumpkin cake?
You’ll mix everything together for the cake. You’ll start with mixing together the sugar, oil, and pumpkin puree in a large bowl till nice and smooth. Stir in the eggs.
You’ll mix all your dry ingredients together in a separate bowl. That means your flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger and cloves baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
Slowly add the dry ingredients with the wet ingredients you’ve already combined until everything is mixed together.
The pumpkin and oil in the batter keep the cake perfectly moist throughout, exactly how pumpkin desserts should be, but the four eggs keep it nice and fluffy.
You’ll bake the cake in a greased 9×13 pan and bake it up. I haven’t tried, but the cake should also be able to be baked up in a 10 inch bundt cake pan, or in two 9inch round cake pans. You’ll definitely need more frosting if you do the round pans.
After the cake is baked you’ll want to let it cool completely before frosting it. Otherwise the frosting will melt and will not spread nicely. Whip up your best cream cheese frosting ever and spread it all over the top of the cooled cake.
The cream cheese frosting is super easy to make and is only 4 ingredients. The tangy sweet frosting is the perfect contrast to the sweet moist pumpkin cake.
Can I use pumpkin pie spice instead?
If you’d like to use pumpkin pie spice instead of the combination of cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger and cloves you can. I would add about 2.5 tsp of pumpkin pie spice. Or if you like the stronger cinnamon flavor like I do you can add 1.5 tsp of pumpkin pie spice and 1 tsp of cinnamon.
The flavor may be slightly different, but it should be close enough to the same if you don’t already have all the individual spices and don’t want to buy each of them just to make this recipe.
Tips and Tricks:
- Use pumpkin puree and not pumpkin pie filling. Pumpkin pie filling has other ingredients in it and the cake won’t turn out. The only ingredient on the can should be pumpkin. You can also make your own pumpkin puree with a fresh pumpkin.
- Try adding 1 cup chocolate chips or white chocolate chips to the pumpkin cake batter.
- Try a cinnamon cream cheese frosting instead of a regular cream cheese frosting, by adding 1 to 1.5 TBS of ground cinnamon to the frosting.
- Because of the cream cheese frosting this cake needs to be stored in an airtight container in the fridge, or by wrapping the pan in plastic wrap. It can be stored for up to 5 days.
- You can also make it an unfrosted cake, it’s delicious without the creamy frosting. Powdered sugar sprinkled on top would also be delicious. If the cake is unfrosted it can be stored at room temperature.
I love pumpkin desserts like pumpkin pie, pumpkin muffins, and pumpkin ice cream but this delicious pumpkin cake might be one of my new all time favorites. The cinnamon and seasonings pair perfectly with the pumpkin puree to give this cake the perfect fall flavor.
The cream cheese frosting on top of the moist spiced pumpkin cake, is amazing. It all comes together as the perfect combination and when you take a bite full of cake that you won’t be able to stop at one bite.
My favorite pumpkin recipes?
- Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls with Cream Cheese Frosting
- Pumpkin Cheesecake
- Healthier Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Bread
- The Best Pumpkin Pie
- Pumpkin Bars
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Pumpkin Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting
- 1 2/3 cup sugar
- 1 cup vegetable oil (or canola oil)
- 1 3/4 cup pumpkin puree (about 15 oz)
- 4 eggs (large)
- 2 cups flour
- 2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
- 1/4 tsp ground ginger
- 1/8 tsp ground cloves
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp salt
For the Cream Cheese Frosting:
- 8 oz cream cheese (softened)
- 1/2 cup butter (1 stick, room temperature)
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
- In a large bowl, whisk together your sugar and oil and pumpkin until well combined.
- Add in the eggs and stir till smooth.
- Combine your flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, cloves, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a large bowl and whisk together.
- Slowly add your dry ingredients to the wet ingredients while mixing.
- Pour mixture into a greased 9x13 baking pan.
- Bake for 30-35 minutes (mine took 32) or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean.
- Let cake cool completely before spreading the frosting over the top.
For the Cream Cheese Frosting:
- Beat your cream cheese in a large bowl over medium speed until smooth.
- Add in the butter and continue mixing till well blended.
- Add in the vanilla and powdered sugar and continue to mix until the frosting is completely smooth.
Sandy Gotter says
Hi, could I used this recipe for pumpkin muffins ? This cake looks delicious !!!!! Thanks Sandy
Made this for the family on a gloomy January day and boy was it a hit! Rave reviews. Next time I’ll add some chopped walnuts to the batter, which is the only thing I can think to improve it.
So glad you loved it. I love adding nuts, or chocolate chips 😉
Michelle Hughes says
Made this with Monk Fruit granulated sugar and powdered sugar and it turned out amazing!
Made this cake twice already and it’s a hit! Everyone loves it, even the ones who aren’t pumpkin lovers! It’s so good, it is worthy of making it a two layer round cake. Excellent recipe.
Kimberly Garcia says
i lost my recipe i have been using for years to make this cake! found this recipe and tried it in 2022 for thanksgiving and it was a hit! i added some pecans to my frosting! definitely hope i dont lose this one. thank you!
So glad you loved them one Kimberly! Hope you don’t lose it, too
The cake was amazing and easy to make. However the frosting was way too buttery. Needed almost triple the confectioners sugar. Read other frosting recipes and most had 3-4 cups sugar. Would make cake again but use different frosting recipe.
Glad you liked the cake! Sorry you didn’t like the frosting (cream cheese frosting gets stringy with more powdered sugar, so while many recipes do I have more, that’s why I prefer less – so it stays more creamy)
Made this cake for a church fellowship. It was a huge success. Everyone loved it even those who said they dont like pumpkin. Made it as written only I doubled the recipe. My new favorite cake!!
Yay! So glad you loved it!
My family loves this cake! I’m not a frosting lover, but my husband is, so I just threw a chunk of butter, maybe 2 to 3 ounces of cream cheese and about one and three quarters cup of powdered sugar in abowl plus vanilla and a dab of cream to make a thinner layer of icing. We cut a square of cake, then cut it in half horizontally..I get the bottom, he gets the top…we’re both happy!
That sounds like a perfect solution. I’m so glad you love this cake as much as we do!