Pumpkin Cake With Cream Cheese Frosting is a must-have Fall dessert that’s made with pumpkin and pantry staple ingredients! It’s topped with a silky smooth and tangy cream cheese buttercream!
For more pumpkin desserts that will please friends and family as much as this one, check out my Pumpkin Whoopie Pies! These handheld treats are always a crowd favorite!
Relax into the Autumn season with a generous slice of this Easy Pumpkin Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting! For a match made in heaven, enjoy it with your favorite cup of coffee or tea!
Pumpkin paired with cream cheese is a classic fall duo that everyone loves! There’s just something incredibly irresistible about the flavors of fall mixing with tangy cream cheese!
That First Bite of Pumpkin Cake With Cream Cheese Frosting!
Taste: With cake ingredients such as 100% pumpkin puree and pumpkin pie spice, you can be sure you’ll get your pumpkin fix! However, you’ll also appreciate how the cake isn’t overly spiced and instead has just a nice light pumpkin flavor!
That delicious pumpkin-flavored cake is then covered with a layer of sweet, tangy cream cheese frosting! Together, the two will have you looking forward to every last crumb on your plate!
Texture: The pumpkin cake is tender, moist, and bouncy! Giving that thick, soft cream cheese frosting the perfect place to rest.
Easy Pumpkin Cake Recipe Ingredients
For the Pumpkin Cake:
- baking powder
- granulated sugar
- 100% pumpkin puree
- vegetable oil
- vanilla extract
- large eggs
- all-purpose flour
- pumpkin pie spice
- baking soda
For the Cream Cheese Frosting:
- cream cheese
- vanilla extract
- powdered sugar
- heavy cream
Pumpkin Cake Substitutions
- Oil – If your prefer, you can substitute 1 cup of very soft butter or 1 cup of applesauce for the oil in this recipe.
- Spices – If you don’t have pumpkin pie spice you can use 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon, 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger, and 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg instead.
- Frosting – If cream cheese isn’t your favorite or you just don’t have any on hand, you can top this cake with Brown Sugar Frosting, Classic American Buttercream, or even Chocolate Frosting.
Easy Pumpkin Cake Recipe tips
- Dissolving Baking Powder – This recipe involves dissolving the baking powder in water before adding it to the cake batter. Doing this simple trick ensures the baking powder gets dispersed evenly throughout the entire cake. Giving the cake a more even rise!
- Pumpkin Pie Spice – If you find that your pantry is out of this fall staple ingredient, don’t worry! This can actually be made right at home by combining other pantry staple spices! Follow my Homemade Pumpkin Pie Spice recipe, and in 2 minutes or less, you’re back on track!
- Cupcakes – If you’d rather, this easy pumpkin cake recipe with cream cheese frosting can also be made into cupcakes!
- Garnishes – Finish off your Pumpkin Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting with garnishes! I like dressing mine up with a dusting of pumpkin pie spice and pumpkin candy corn!
How to Make Pumpkin Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting
Step 1: Preheat the oven and line a 9×13-inch baking pan with parchment paper. Set aside.
Step 2: Dissolve the baking powder in water and set aside.
Step 3: Add the pumpkin, sugar, oil, vanilla, and baking powder mixture to a large mixing bowl and beat until combined.
Step 4: Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing after each addition until smooth.
Step 5: Whisk together the dry ingredients in a separate bowl.
Step 6: Add the dry ingredients in two parts, mixing until fully combined.
Step 7: Pour the batter into the prepared baking pan and bake.
Step 8: Prepare the cream cheese frosting while the cake cools. Once the cake is completely cool, frost the cake.
How to Remove the Pumpkin Cake from the Pan
Usually, for any cake that my family and I are just going to enjoy at home, I almost always leave it right in the cake pan. But if I’m serving to guests or at Thanksgiving, I prefer to remove it!
This way, I can give the cake a nice presentation on my favorite serving platter!
To be able to remove it easily, I first grease the cake pan with shortening. Then, I layer parchment paper over the greased pan.
This way, the grease holds the parchment paper in place, giving the baked cake those nice clean edges. I also allow the parchment paper to come above the edge of the pan to make removal even easier!
I love how a cake like this can feed a crowd! Especially when it’s the season of large gatherings! Another great fall dessert that can feed lots of people is this Apple Slab Pie!
How to store Pumpkin Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting
Since this cake is frosted with a cream cheese-based topping, it will need to be stored in the refrigerator. Simply tightly wrap the cake pan or place leftover slices in an airtight container.
Then enjoy the cake for 3 to 4 days!
Easy Pumpkin Cake Recipe FAQs
Feel free to try any flavor you’d like! Pumpkin cake with cinnamon cream cheese frosting would be a delicious variation to try, though!
If you prefer a thinner frosting, feel free to add a splash or two more of heavy cream to thin it out! However, I think the frosting is already pretty soft and not as thick as a Vanilla Buttercream recipe.
Pumpkin recipes usually are pretty moist. But this cake should be soft and springy, not dense and wet. If it is, chances are you underbaked it or you use pumpkin pie filling instead of 100% pumpkin in the recipe which can yield a moister cake.
Yes, you can. Overbeating the cream cheese can cause the fat to break down and become watering, this is why we cream the cream cheese on it’s own before adding the other ingredients.
This allows the cream cheese to be beaten just until smooth instead of overworking it to try to remove lumps later.
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Easy Pumpkin Cake Recipe with Cream Cheese Frosting
- Preheat the oven to 350°F and grease and line a 9×13-inch pan with parchment paper and set aside. Greasing the pan first holds the parchment paper in place for clean edges.
- Dissolved 2 teaspoons baking powder in 1 tablespoon water in a prep bowl. Set aside.
- In a large bowl with a hand mixer or a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, mix together 2 cups granulated sugar, 1 (15oz.) can 100% pumpkin puree, 1 cup vegetable oil, 1 teaspoon vanilla extract, and the baking powder/water mixture from step #2 and beat until fully combined.
- Add the 4 large eggs one at a time, mixing after each addition just until incorporated.
- In a separate medium bowl, whisk together 2 cups all-purpose flour, 2½ teaspoons pumpkin pie spice, 1 teaspoon baking soda, and ½ teaspoon salt.
- Add half of the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix just until incorporated, then mix in the other half until fully combined.
- Pour the cake batter into the prepared cake pan and bake for 30 to 35 minutes or until a toothpick comes back clean from the center.
- Cool cake for about 1 hour before frosting.
- In a large bowl or stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream together the 8 ounces cream cheese, ½ cup butter, and 1 teaspoon vanilla extract until smooth.
- Add the 4 cups powdered sugar, 1 cup at a time, mixing at low speed between each addition just until incorporated. Scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed.
- Add in the 2 tablespoons heavy creamincrease the speed to high, and beat for 2 to 3 minutes until light and fluffy. Scrape down the sides of the bowl about every minute.2 tablespoons heavy cream
- Spread the frosting over the cooled cake.
- Top with candy pumpkins or a dusting of pumpkin spice if desired.
- The frosting recipe is enough to cover the whole of the cake but I prefer to just do the top.
- This cake is bouncy and tender and pairs perfectly with the thick and soft cream cheese frosting. The cake itself is not overly spiced and has a nice light pumpkin flavor.
- Leaving the parchment edges up above the edge of the pan allows for easy removal from the pan.