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Spiced with cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, and cloves, this moist and tender Pumpkin Cake is covered in pillowy cream cheese frosting. It’s easy to make with plenty of pumpkin flavor and no electric mixer needed!
Table of Contents
- Moist Pumpkin Cake With Fluffy Cream Cheese Frosting
- Why You’ll Love This Pumpkin Cake Recipe
- What You’ll Need
- How to Make Pumpkin Cake
- Watch This Pumpkin Cake Recipe Come Together
- Tips & Recipe Variations
- How to Store
- Can I Freeze Cake With Cream Cheese Frosting?
- More Easy Pumpkin Dessert Ideas
- Get the Recipe
Moist Pumpkin Cake With Fluffy Cream Cheese Frosting
This crave-worthy pumpkin cake comes together in about 30 minutes with no hassle involved. It’s the perfect fall dessert to whip up on a busy weeknight or throw together for that office party you almost forgot about. Even though it’s super quick and easy, it’s a timeless classic that’s guaranteed to be a massive hit with any crowd.
I mean, who doesn’t love the combination of moist pumpkin cake and meltingly soft cream cheese frosting? Add in those warm, comforting spices and you have yourself a truly irresistible treat. Forget about fall – this convenient dessert will become a go-to for you all year long!
Also, if you just can’t get enough when it comes to tender pumpkin cake recipes, check out this pumpkin roll cake, this pumpkin chocolate chip bundt cake, this pumpkin pound cake, or this cinnamon streusel pumpkin coffee cake!
Why You’ll Love This Pumpkin Cake Recipe
This pumpkin cake with cream cheese frosting is a go-to dessert recipe in my house for a number of reasons. Here are just a few:
- Tender and moist. This cake’s crumb is so soft and tender. It’s made with oil, eggs, and pumpkin puree, so there’s no need to worry about ending up with a dry slice of cake!
- Sweet and comforting. Pumpkin cake is packed with sweet brown sugar and vanilla, and the homey combination of cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and cloves. And then there’s the rich homemade cream cheese frosting… who could resist that?
- Quick and easy. It takes just 10 minutes to prep this cake, and then all you have to do is wait for it to finish baking. Simple!
What You’ll Need
This trusty recipe turns basic ingredients into a certified pumpkin masterpiece. Scroll down to the recipe card for specific quantities and the full directions.
For the Pumpkin Cake
- Light Brown Sugar: The molasses in the brown sugar adds extra flavor and moisture to the cake.
- Vegetable Oil: Canola oil will work too if you prefer to use that.
- Vanilla Extract: Pure vanilla extract lends this cake the best, strongest flavor.
- Eggs: To bind the ingredients together and to add moisture.
- Canned Pumpkin Puree: Be sure to grab pumpkin puree, not pumpkin pie filling.
- All-Purpose Flour: Give this guide on how to measure flour correctly a read-through before you begin for some easy tips (or see the tips section below)!
- Baking Powder & Baking Soda: The use of both ensures a light and fluffy crumb.
- Spices: This recipe calls for a mix of ground cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, and cloves.
- Salt: To enhance the spiced pumpkin flavor.
For the Cream Cheese Frosting
- Cream Cheese: Don’t forget to bring this to room temperature.
- Unsalted Butter: Also bring the butter to room temperature.
- Powdered Sugar: For volume and the right consistency.
- Vanilla Extract: Pure vanilla is best here, too!
- Pinch of Salt: To balance out the sweetness.
Do I Have to Use More Than One Can of Pumpkin?
You only need about 1/4 cup of pumpkin puree from the second can. If you reallllly want to use just one can, you’ll also have to reduce the flour to 2 1/4 cups. The bake time should be about the same, but the flavor will be different – you’ll start to taste the oil in the cake more. I much prefer how it tastes with the added pumpkin and flour.
So no, you don’t have to use more than one can of pumpkin, though I strongly recommend it. The leftover puree can be frozen for up to 6 months, so you’ll have plenty of time to put it to good use! The following treats can all be made with less than one can of pumpkin:
- Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies
- Pumpkin Cheesecake Cookie Cups
- Pumpkin Cupcakes With Cream Cheese Frosting
How to Make Pumpkin Cake
The process of making this pumpkin cake with cream cheese frosting is wonderfully short and sweet. You’ll be devouring this treat in no time!
For the Pumpkin Cake
- Prep the cake pan. Preheat the oven to 350°F and prepare a 9×13-inch cake pan with nonstick baking spray.
- Combine the wet ingredients. Add the brown sugar, vegetable oil, vanilla extract, eggs, and pumpkin puree to a large bowl. Mix the wet ingredients together until they’re well combined.
- Combine the dry ingredients. Stir the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, cloves, and salt in a medium-sized bowl.
- Mix the wet and dry ingredients. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix until everything is well combined and smooth.
- Bake the cake. Pour the batter into the prepared cake pan and bake your cake for 25-30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean.
- Let the cake cool. Remove the cake from the oven and allow it to cool completely.
For the Cream Cheese Frosting
- Combine the cream cheese and butter. Add the cream cheese and butter to a large mixer bowl and beat until well combined and smooth. You can use an electric mixer or do this by hand.
- Start adding the powdered sugar. Add about half of the powdered sugar to the cream cheese mixture and mix until well combined and smooth.
- Add the vanilla and salt. Stir in the vanilla extract and salt, mixing until well combined.
- Pour in the rest of the powdered sugar. Add the remaining powdered sugar and mix until the frosting is smooth.
- Add the frosting to the cake and enjoy! Spread the frosting evenly onto the cooled cake, then cut it into slices and serve it.
Watch This Pumpkin Cake Recipe Come Together
Check out the video below to see this pumpkin cake come together in a few quick and easy steps!
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Tips & Recipe Variations
Hold off on gathering your ingredients for the moment, and take a second to read over these tips and tricks. Flawless pumpkin cake is right around the corner!
- Use a food scale to measure the flour. In order to ensure accuracy, it’s best to measure the flour with a food scale. If this isn’t feasible for you, simply fill your measuring cup by the spoonful and level it off at the top to prevent overpacking.
- Add the spices individually. While you could use pre-made pumpkin pie spice, I like to measure out my individual spices. Pumpkin pie spice often uses allspice instead of cloves, and I personally prefer the flavor you get with the combination of spices in the recipe.
- Beat the butter and cream cheese well. You want to beat together your butter and cream cheese until the mixture is nice and smooth throughout and not lumpy. You don’t have to use an electric mixer, but it definitely speeds up the process.
- Incorporate mix-ins. If you’d like to jazz up your cake, feel free to fold mix-ins like chopped nuts, white chocolate chips, or shredded coconut into the batter. You could also stir some cinnamon into the frosting for even more pumpkin spice goodness.
How to Store
Extra pumpkin cake should be refrigerated in an airtight container where it will last for up to 4 days. I like to bring it to room temperature before I enjoy it.
Can I Freeze Cake With Cream Cheese Frosting?
You sure can! First, you’ll have to freeze the cake on a baking sheet for about an hour, or until the frosting is solid. Wrap the cake tightly in plastic wrap and freeze it in a freezer-safe container or storage bag for up to 3 months. You can either do this with the whole cake or individual slices. Thaw out frozen cake in the fridge and bring it to room temperature before you dig in.
More Easy Pumpkin Dessert Ideas
Looking for more pumpkin desserts to try this fall? These are some of my favorites:
- Pecan Praline Pumpkin Bread
- Pumpkin Sheet Cake
- Pumpkin Cheesecake
- Cheesecake Swirl Pumpkin Bread
- Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Cheesecake
Moist and tender pumpkin cake with cream cheese frosting is perfect for fall, or any time you’re craving an easy pumpkin dessert! Brown sugar, vanilla, ground cinnamon, and more combine for the most comforting slice of cake ever!
For the Pumpkin Cake
- 1 1/2 cups (337g) packed light brown sugar
- 1 cup (240ml) vegetable oil
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 4 large eggs
- 2 cups (466g) canned pumpkin puree
- 2 1/2 cups (325g) all-purpose flour (measured correctly)
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1/2 teaspoon ginger
- 1/2 teaspoon cloves
- 1 teaspoon salt
For the Cream Cheese Frosting
- 10 ounces (283g) cream cheese, room temperature
- 1/2 cup (112g) unsalted butter, room temperature
- 5 cups (575g) powdered sugar
- 1 1/4 teaspoons vanilla extract
- Pinch of salt
Make the Cake
- Preheat oven to 350°F (176°C) and prepare 9×13 inch cake pan with non-stick baking spray.
- Add the brown sugar, vegetable oil, vanilla extract, eggs and pumpkin puree to a bowl and mix together until well combined.
- In a separate medium-sized bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, cloves and salt.
- Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix until well combined and smooth.
- Pour the batter into the prepared cake pan and bake for 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.
- Remove cake from oven and allow to cool completely.
Make the Frosting
- To make the frosting, add the cream cheese and butter to a large mixer bowl and beat until well combined and smooth.
- Add about half of the powdered sugar and mix until well combined and smooth.
- Add the vanilla extract and salt mix until well combined.
- Add the remaining powdered sugar and mix until well combined and smooth.
- Spread the frosting evenly onto the cake, then serve.
- To Store: Keep cake well covered in the fridge and serve at room temperature. Cake is best if eaten within 3-4 days.
- To Freeze: Freeze whole cake or individual slices on a baking sheet for 1 hour, or until frosting is solid. Wrap cake tightly in plastic wrap and freeze in a freezer-safe container for up to 3 months. Thaw in the fridge and bring to room temperature before enjoying.
- If you reallllly want to use just one can of pumpkin puree, reduce the flour to 2 1/4 cups. The bake time should be about the same, but it will affect the flavor of the cake – you’ll start to taste the oil a little more. I much prefer how it tastes with the extra pumpkin and flour. Plus, I have recipes you can use the leftover puree in and it can be frozen for up to 6 months!
- Serving Size:
- Calories: 588
- Sugar: 60.6 g
- Sodium: 338.1 mg
- Fat: 28.8 g
- Carbohydrates: 80.2 g
- Protein: 5.5 g
- Cholesterol: 85 mg
Keywords: pumpkin cake, pumpkin cake recipe, pumpkin cake with cream cheese frosting