Pumpkin Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

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This moist pumpkin cake with cream cheese frosting is filled with brown sugar, spices, & all your favorite fall flavors. Plus, it’s topped with a rich cream cheese frosting, making it by far the BEST pumpkin cake recipe!

This cake is one of the most classic fall recipes you can make! It’s perfect for feeding a crowd at holiday dinners and potlucks. If you need more pumpkin cake recipes, try pumpkin dump cake or pumpkin coffee cake!

slice of Pumpkin Cake on a plate

BEST Pumpkin Cake Recipe

Hi there! It’s Fiona stopping in from Just So Tasty, and today I’m sharing this easy pumpkin cake with cream cheese frosting. It’s moist, full of fall flavors, and topped with creamy, smooth cream cheese frosting. You’re going to love it.

Now I don’t know about you, but I always get excited for fall baking. But to be totally honest, I’m not a huge pumpkin pie person. So when pumpkin season rolls around I’m always looking for easier pumpkin desserts.

As far as easy pumpkin desserts go, this pumpkin cake with cream cheese frosting is the perfect option. It’s filled with pumpkin, vanilla, and fall spices. Then, because we’re use more brown sugar than white, there’s a delicious hint of caramel that cannot be beat. You’ll also love how moist the cake is thanks to a few key ingredients:

  • Oil
  • 4 eggs
  • Brown Sugar
  • A little sour cream
  • Pumpkin puree of course!

Pumpkin Cake Recipe in a baking pan

How to Make Pumpkin Cake:

PREP PAN. Start by preheating your oven and greasing/lightly flouring a 9×13 pan.

CAKE BATTER. Whisk together the dry ingredients (flour, baking soda, baking powder, and pumpkin spice) in a small bowl. In a separate bowl, beat together the oil, sugars, and eggs. Once they’re all mixed, add the sour cream and pumpkin puree and beat until well combined. Put the mixer on low speed and add the flour mixture, being careful not to over mix.

BAKE. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 30-35 minutes, or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean.

FROSTING/TOPPING. Once the cake is done baking and totally cooled, it’s topped with cream cheese frosting. I love how cream cheese frosting isn’t too sweet. Plus it goes so perfectly with spice cakes, carrot cakes, and of course – this pumpkin cake. You can add a few chopped nuts to the top of each piece, or fall sprinkles look cute too.

How do I store leftover frosting? Cream cheese frosting can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for about a week. It also freezes really well. Freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the fridge when you’re ready to use it.

Pumpkin Cake Recipe with Cream Cheese Frosting on a plate

Variations

Cupcake Version: If you want individual servings of this recipe, you can make cupcakes instead of an entire cake. Simply scoop the muffin tins ¾ full of batter. Bake at 350 degrees F for 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. We also have a separate Pumpkin Cupcake recipe!

Can I use fresh pumpkin puree?  You can definitely substitute 1:1 homemade puree with canned puree. Be careful to drain as much excess moisture from your homemade puree as possible. Here’s how to make your own pumpkin puree:

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F
  2. Slice the pumpkin in half from top to bottom and scoop out the seeds and strings. 
  3. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil. Place pumpkin halves, with the inside of the pumpkin facing toward the foil. Bake for 40-60 minutes depending on the size of your pumpkin. 
  4. Allow pumpkin to cool enough to handle. Use a sharp knife to carefully cut away the skin. Toss skin in the trash and place the reminder of the pumpkin in a blender or food processor. Puree until smooth.
  5. Line a mesh strainer with cheesecloth. Pour puree into the strainer. Let stand at room temperature for 1-2 hours to allow excess moisture to drain.
  6. The puree should be able to keep its shape when pressed together with the cheesecloth. 
  7. Store leftover puree in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a week, or freeze for 9-14 months.

Pumpkin Spice Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting on a white plate

I’ll definitely be making this pumpkin cake with cream cheese frosting over and over again this fall. And if you’re looking for an easy pumpkin recipe that’s perfect for potlucks or family dinners – this recipe is definitely for you!

For more yummy pumpkin recipes, check out:

Pumpkin Cake Recipe

4.89 from 9 votes

This moist pumpkin cake with cream cheese frosting is filled with brown sugar, spices & all your favorite fall flavors. Then topped with cream cheese frosting - it is by far the BEST pumpkin cake recipe! Best of all, it's so easy and comes together in about 45 minutes.

Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Servings 15
Calories 303 kcal
Author on lilluna.com

Ingredients

Pumpkin Cake

  • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 cup vegetable oil (canola works too)
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup white sugar
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 4 large eggs
  • 3 tbsp sour cream (or plain Greek yogurt)
  • 15 oz pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie filling)

Cream Cheese Frosting

  • 1/3 cup unsalted butter softened
  • 8 oz cream cheese softened
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3 - 3 1/2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 tbsp heavy cream if needed
  • chopped walnuts optional

Instructions

Pumpkin Cake

  1. Preheat the oven to 350F degrees. Grease & lightly flour a 9x13 inch baking pan.

  2. In a large bowl whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and pumpkin pie spice.
  3. In a separate large bowl beat together the oil, sugars. vanilla and eggs using an electric mixer. Then beat in the sour cream and pumpkin puree.
  4. With the mixer on low speed, carefully beat in the flour mixture being careful not to over mix.
  5. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 30-35 minutes or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean.

Cream Cheese Frosting

  1. In a large bowl beat together the butter, cream cheese and vanilla until soft. Then slowly beat in 3 cups powdered sugar.

  2. If the frosting seems too thin, beat in an extra ½ cup powdered sugar. If it seems too thick, beat in 1 tablespoon heavy cream.
  3. Frost the cooled cake using a flat knife. Cut into slices, and optionally top each piece with chopped walnuts.

Recipe Notes

*Unfrosted cake can be wrapped tightly in clingfilm and frozen. Thaw in the fridge overnight.
**Leftovers can be stored in the fridge in an airtight container for up to 4 days.

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I love pumpkin cake! Thank you Fiona for sharing this delicious recipe! Go check out, Just So Tasty for more delicious recipes!

ENJOY!

Author

Fiona Dowling

My name’s Fiona and I love to bake and blog. I share homemade, from scratch, classic recipes for desserts & sweet treats including cakes, cupcakes, cookies and more.

More by Fiona

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Comments

  1. Hi,
    I would like to make this receipe but in France we haven’t can of pumpink puree. Could you tell me which sort of pumpink must I choose, and if I have to strain it a lot after cook it ? Many thanks for your help !

  2. 5 stars
    Made it last night. Flavours were wonderful. Like a pumpkin pie with a crumble on top. Thank you for the recipe. One question: Can evaporated milk be replaced with other milks?

  3. 5 stars
    This cake is amazing! We made it once and just made it again tonight. Just a question….salt? I see it in the instructions but not in the ingredient list. How much did you use?

  4. 5 stars
    This cake is amazing!! This is the second cake I have made in less than a week. I also made the cake into cupcakes. My hubby loved this cake so much I made another today for his monthly goody work day! Hope they love it as much as we do. I did forward the link onto him so he could pass this recipe around! Great job!! jean

  5. Hi! I’m putting this cake together now, but noticed in the list of ingredients there’s no salt listed. Then, #2 of the instructions clearly states to whisk salt Together with the other dry ingredients. Help!! How much do I add?? I have everything out on my counter, the oven is preheated, my pan is ready and I’ve come to a screeching halt!!

  6. 5 stars
    I love this cake!! It is so moist & soft & I like adding the nuts! This cake wouldn’t be complete without that cream cheese frosting!