Pumpkin cake with cinnamon cream cheese frosting will be your go-to fall cake recipe. Moist and fluffy pumpkin cake layers flavored with pumpkin puree and pumpkin pie spice iced with sweet and tangy cream cheese frosting with a hint of cinnamon. The recipe is incredibly easy to make and absolutely delicious.
Ingredients for Pumpkin Cake
- All-purpose flour – To measure the flour correctly, fluff the flour before scooping and level the measuring cups.
- Baking powder – Leavening agent that helps the cake layers rise.
- Salt – Salt enhances the flavors of the cake and provides some contrast to the sweetness.
- Pumpkin pie spice – A warm spice combination of cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, cloves, and allspice. Purchase pumpkin pie spice premade or make your own! Check out my blog post on how to make pumpkin pie spice.
- Light brown sugar – For sweetness and a hint of molasses flavor.
- Granulated sugar – For sweetness.
- Vegetable oil – You can also use any neutral baking oil you prefer.
- Eggs – Room temperature large eggs.
- Vanilla extract – Vanilla extract adds a subtle vanilla flavor to the cake.
- Pumpkin puree – 100% pure pumpkin puree. Pumpkin should be the only ingredient on the can. You will need one 15 oz. can. Do not substitute with pumpkin pie filling – it will not work for this recipe.
- Sour cream – Room temperature sour cream adds a bit more moisture to the cake layers.
Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting
- Unsalted butter – Room temperature for easy creaming.
- Cream cheese – Room temperature as well so it mixes well with the butter.
- Powdered sugar – Also known as icing sugar or confectioners’ sugar. No need to sift unless there are lumps.
- Salt – Salt helps to balance out the sweetness of the frosting. Feel free to adjust the amount of salt in the recipe to suit your taste.
- Vanilla extract – Vanilla extract adds amazing vanilla flavor to the frosting.
- Cinnamon – Ground cinnamon adds a warm spice flavor to the frosting which pairs perfectly with the pumpkin cake.
Tools & Supplies for Baking & Decorating Pumpkin Cake
How to Make the Components of Pumpkin Cake
The pumpkin cake layers are simple to make! All you need is two bowls and a whisk to make the cake batter!
Simply whisk together the dry ingredients (all-purpose flour, baking powder, salt, and pumpkin pie spice) in a large bowl and set aside.
In another mixing bowl, whisk together the granulated sugar, brown sugar, eggs, vegetable oil and vanilla extract. Add pumpkin puree and sour cream and whisk until combined and smooth.
Add the flour mixture into the wet ingredients and whisk gently until everything is well combined.
Portion the cake batter into prepared cake pans. Bake in a 325-degree F oven for approximately 35 minutes. Cool the cake layers in the pan for about 15 minutes before removing and transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.
Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting
To make the cinnamon cream cheese frosting, you will need a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment or an electric hand mixer.
Whip room temperature butter and cream cheese on medium-high for 2-3 minutes until light and creamy. Add the powdered sugar in two batches and mix on low speed until well combined. Add in salt, vanilla extract, and ground cinnamon. Turn the mixer on high speed and whip for approximately 5 minutes until the frosting is light and fluffy.
How to Assemble the Pumpkin Cake
Here is a basic rundown of the steps to frost this pumpkin cake. Be sure to check out my baking tutorial blog post, How to Frost a Layer Cake, to learn tools, supplies, and detailed steps on how to frost a cake start to finish!
First things, first – level the cake layers!
Place one cake layer on a cake board or plate. Add a generous amount of the cinnamon cream cheese frosting on top. I love using a large cookie scoop to portion the frosting, so it is even between each layer of cake. Use an offset spatula to spread and smooth the frosting over the entire cake layer.
Next, add the second cake layer. Repeat the process by adding more frosting and smoothing it out.
Now, add the final layer. A great trick is to flip the cake layer upside down so the bottom of the layer is the top of the cake.
Add a crumb coat (a thin layer of frosting) over the entire cake. Chill the cake for 20-30 minutes to firm up the frosting.
After a quick chill, frost the cake with a generous amount of the cinnamon cream cheese frosting. Here is where you can be creative! Add texture to the frosting, smooth it out, add piping, or keep it simple.
Check out this quick video to see how I assembled this pumpkin cake!
Pumpkin Cake Recipe Tips
Prepare cake pans
My favorite way to prepare cake pans is to use nonstick cooking spray and then laying a parchment circle at the bottom of the pan. The parchment circle prevents the cake from sticking to the bottom of the pan and allows for easy release from the pan.
Cake pan sizes
The cake can be made in different sized pans! For this cake, I used three 7-inch cake pans. Here is a breakdown of the cake pan sizes you can use.
Please note that the baking times may vary depending on the cake pan size you select. You can test the cake to see if it is done by inserting a toothpick in the center of the cake and see if it comes out clean. My favorite way to test cake layers is to gently touch the top. If the cake layers are done baking, they will bounce back.
Other frosting options
For this cake, I used my cinnamon cream cheese frosting recipe to ice the cake! Some other great options to try that would pair perfectly with the pumpkin cake are:
- Cream cheese frosting
- Salted caramel buttercream frosting
- Brown butter buttercream frosting
- Pumpkin spice buttercream frosting
- Vanilla buttercream frosting
Storing and serving
Pumpkin cake can be stored in an airtight container or cake box in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. Cover any exposed cake with plastic wrap or parchment paper to prevent the cake from drying out. The cake is best served at room temperature. Remove from the cake from the refrigerator an hour before serving.
Click here to see a quick video on how to make pumpkin cake! Follow Cake Me Home Tonight on TikTok, Instagram, and YouTube for more recipe videos and baking tutorials!
- Stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment or electric hand mixer
- Cake pans – four 6-inch pans or three 7-inch pans or three 8-inch pans or two 9-inch pans
Pumpkin Spice Cake
- 2 ½ cups all-purpose flour
- 3 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp salt
- 2 ½ tsp pumpkin pie spice
- 1 cup light brown sugar
- ¾ cup granulated sugar
- ¾ cup vegetable oil
- 3 eggs room temperature
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 15 oz pumpkin puree
- ¼ cup sour cream
Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting
- 2 cups unsalted butter room temperature
- 8 oz cream cheese room temperature
- 7 cups powdered sugar
- 3 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 tsp salt adjust to your taste
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- Preheat oven to 335° F. Prepare cake pans with nonstick cooking spray and parchment circles.
- In a large mixing bowl, whisk together all-purpose flour, baking powder, salt, and pumpkin pie spice. Set aside.
- In a separate large mixing bowl, combine light brown sugar, granulated sugar, vegetable oil, eggs, and vanilla extract. Whisk until well combined.
- Add in pumpkin puree and sour cream. Whisk until smooth.
- Pour the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients and whisk gently until the batter is smooth and there are no lumps.
- Portion the batter evenly into the prepared cake pans (See equipment or blog post for sizes). Spread the cake batter using an offset spatula.
- Bake the cake layers for approximately 35 minutes until they bounce back when gently touched or an inserted toothpick comes out clean. Baking times may vary depending on what size cake pans you use.
- Remove the cake layers from the oven and allow the cakes to cool in the pan for 15 minutes.
- Remove the cake from the pan and transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Level the cake layers using a serrated knife.
Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting
- In a mixing bowl or bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, combine butter and cream cheese. Whip on medium-high speed for 2-3 minutes until creamy.
- Add in half of the powdered sugar and mix on low speed until combined. Add in remaining half of the powdered sugar and continue to mix on low until well combined and smooth.
- Add vanilla extract, salt, and cinnamon. Mix on low speed until the ingredients are fully combined.
- Turn the mixer on high speed and whip for approximately 3-5 minutes until the frosting is light and fluffy.
Assembling the Pumpkin Cake
- Place one cake layer on a cake board or plate. Add a generous amount of the cinnamon cream cheese frosting on top. Use an offset spatula to spread and smooth the frosting over the entire cake layer.
- Next, add the second cake layer. Repeat the process by adding more frosting and smoothing it out.
- Now, add the final layer. A great trick is to flip the cake layer upside down so the bottom of the layer is the top of the cake.
- Frost the cake with a crumb coat (a thin layer of frosting) over the entire cake. Chill the cake for 20-30 minutes to firm up the frosting.
- After a quick chill, frost the cake with a generous amount of the cinnamon cream cheese frosting. For the cake pictured, I added texture with an offset spatula and sprinkled some additional pumpkin pie spice on the top edges of the cake.
Made This Recipe?
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Comments & Reviews
Ariana Salcedo says
Approximately how much cake batter should I use? I always struggle? Thank you for your help
For this recipe, I used 3 7-inch pans. You could also use 4 6-inch pans, 3 8-inch pans or 2 9-inch pans. The way I measure out the cake batter is by using a kitchen scale to ensure the layers are level!
Tina Gonzales says
How much carbs is in this cake?
I’m not sure. I do not calculate macros for any of my recipes.