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Decorative picture of cut pumpkin cake slices on white background
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5 from 2 votes

Pumpkin Cake Recipe

This pumpkin cake recipe is easy to make and the perfect recipe for cozy weekends, family events, Thanksgiving, or potlucks. The cake is perfectly spiced, moist, soft, and the cream cheese frosting is oh so creamy.
Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time30 mins
Chill1 hr
Total Time1 hr 50 mins
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: pumpkin cake, pumpkin cake recipe, pumpkin spice cake
Servings: 15 servings
Calories: 565kcal

Ingredients

Cake

  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon ginger
  • ½ teaspoon nutmeg
  • ¼ tablespoon allspice
  • pinch of cloves
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 cup canola or vegetable oil
  • ¾ cup packed light brown sugar
  • ¼ cup white sugar
  • 15 oz pumpkin puree
  • 2 teaspoon vanilla

Frosting

  • 1 ¼ cups unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 cup cream cheese, softened
  • 3 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup

Instructions

  • Cake: Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C). Spray a 9x13-inch (23x33cm) baking pan lightly with baking spray and line with parchment paper. Set aside.
  • In a large mixing bowl, whisk the flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, allspice, and cloves to combine. Set aside.
  • In another large mixing bowl, whisk the eggs, oil, brown sugar, white sugar, pumpkin puree, and vanilla to combine. Add the dry ingredients and whisk until thoroughly combined. Transfer the batter to the prepared baking pan and spread evenly. Bake for 30-35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Cover loosely with aluminum foil after 20-25 minutes if the tops brown too quickly. Remove from the oven, place the pan on a wire rack, and cool to room temperature.
  • Frosting: In a large mixing bowl, using an electric mixer fitted with a whisk or paddle attachment, beat the butter on medium-high speed until creamy, about 2 minutes. Add the cream cheese and mix until smooth and combined. Sift in the powdered sugar and mix until creamy, about 2 minutes. Add the vanilla and mix to combine.
  • Remove half of the frosting and transfer it to a medium mixing bowl. Add the cinnamon and maple syrup and mix until creamy and combined, about 1 minute.
  • Alternately spoon dollops of both frostings on top of the cooled cake and spread all over the cake without mixing the two frostings completely up. Refrigerate for 1 hour that the frosting sets, and it's easier to cut. Serve immediately or store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days or freeze for up to 3 months.

Video

Notes

Substitutions
  • All-purpose flour - you can use gluten-free flour instead, 1:1. Use a blend with xanthan gum.
  • Pumpkin spice - instead of cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, allspice, and cloves, you can use 1 tablespoon (8g) of pumpkin spice for the cake batter.
  • Oil - if you want to cut down on oil and reduce the calories and fat content of the cake, substitute ½ cup (145g) applesauce for ½ cup (120ml) oil.
  • Pumpkin puree - pure canned pumpkin puree is my favorite for this cake. However, if you have pumpkins at your hand, you can make homemade pumpkin puree and use this instead. If you make homemade pumpkin puree, please be sure that it is not too watery and similar to a canned pumpkin puree.
  • Maple syrup - I made two different cream cheese frostings for this cake. However, you can make just the regular cream cheese frosting and skip the cinnamon-spiced maple cream cheese frosting. In this case, you don't need any maple syrup.

Make ahead insructions
Prepare the cake up to 2 days ahead. Let the baked cake cool completely, then transfer it to an airtight container and store it in the fridge for up to 2 days. It's also possible to freeze the cake layer for up to 3 months. Let it thaw in the fridge overnight. Then prepare the frosting and serve.

Variations
  • Pumpkin chocolate cake - fold 1 ½ cups (255g) of semi-sweet chocolate chips into the batter before transferring it to the baking pan.
  • Pumpkin muffins or pumpkin cupcakes - fill the cake batter into 26-28 muffin liners until ⅔ full and bake for 18-20 minutes. Apply the frosting if you would like to serve cupcakes.
  • Pumpkin layer cake - fill the batter into two 9-inch (23cm) paper-lined cake pans and bake for 22-25 minutes. The frosting is enough to make a naked cake. 

More questions
Make this recipe perfect every time. So be sure to check the full post above. I included easy step-by-step photo instructions and a video to make it easy for you to replicate this recipe.

Nutrition

Calories: 565kcal | Carbohydrates: 56g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 37g | Saturated Fat: 14g | Cholesterol: 107mg | Sodium: 231mg | Potassium: 218mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 40g | Vitamin A: 5160IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 86mg | Iron: 2mg