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Pumpkin Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

This moist and flavorful pumpkin cake is frosted with a cinnamon-spiced cream cheese frosting. This cake is packed with delicious flavors of pumpkin, cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves.

With the fall season comes pumpkin harvest and all of the warm and cozy spices that pair wonderfully with it.

A slice of pumpkin cake with spiced cream cheese frosting on a plate.

Easy Pumpkin Cake From Scratch

This pumpkin cake recipe is easy to make, uses very common ingredients, and comes together quickly to create a very moist, fluffy, and flavorful cake.

The cream cheese frosting for this cake is just as easy to make and has added cinnamon flavors to enhance the flavors in the frosting.

Ingredients in Pumpkin Cake

  • Pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie mix)
  • Brown sugar
  • Granulated sugar
  • Vegetable oil
  • Eggs, room temperature
  • All-purpose flour (spooned & leveled)
  • Ground cinnamon
  • Nutmeg
  • Ground cloves
  • Baking powder
  • Baking soda
  • Salt

RELATED: Pumpkin Streusel Coffee Cake

Pumpkin cake sliced with a cake server in a white baking dish.

Ingredients in Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting

  • Cream cheese, softened
  • Unsalted butter, softened
  • Vanilla extract
  • Ground cinnamon
  • Confectioners sugar

Ingredients in Pumpkin Cake and the process of making it.

How To Make Pumpkin Cake

Preheat the oven and prepare the cake pan – Preheat the oven to 350ºF and grease or line a 9×13 baking pan with parchment paper and set aside.

Combine the dry ingredients – Combine the all-purpose flour, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, salt, and baking soda in a large bowl. Stir to mix well and set aside.

Mix the wet ingredients together – In a large bowl, mix together the granulated sugar with the vegetable oil and canned pumpkin and stir well to combine.

Make the cake batter – Slowly stir the dry ingredients into the pumpkin mixture until all the dry ingredients are moistened.

Pour the cake batter into the baking dish – Pour the pumpkin cake batter into the prepared baking pan. Bake the pumpkin cake batter in the preheated oven for 35-40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Allow the cake to cool completely before frosting.

Oven temperatures do vary make sure to check your cake according to how your oven bakes.

Process of frosting a pumpkin cake and slicing it.

How to make Cream Cheese Frosting

Start with room temperature ingredients – Beat the softened cream cheese frosting on until smooth and creamy. Beat the butter into the cream cheese until smooth.

Add in the flavors – Add in the cinnamon and the vanilla extract.

Slowly beat the powdered sugar into the frosting – Beat the confectioners sugar into the mixture and beat until smooth.

Frost the pumpkin cake – Spread evenly over the cooled pumpkin cake.

Store the frosted pumpkin cake in the refrigerator for 3-5 days.

Pumpkin Cake sliced and being placed on a plate.

RELATED: Iced Pumpkin Spice Loaf

Pumpkin Pie Mix vs Pumpkin Puree

What’s the difference between Pumpkin Pie Mix and Pumpkin Puree? The majority of recipes out there for pumpkin-related food will usually have pumpkin puree listed in the ingredients. It’s important to know the difference between the two because of flavor and overall quality.

100% Pure Pumpkin is just that… pure winter squash. There’s nothing extra added in the can and it’s great to use in pumpkin desserts.

Pumpkin Pie Mix is made up of winter squash and all of the spices that you would expect in a pumpkin pie. It also has added sweeteners added to the can already just like any other pie fillings.

When baking from scratch – such as this Pumpkin Cake recipe, you would want 100% Pure Pumpkin because the spices and sweeteners are added in the making of the recipe. Using pumpkin pie mix for this recipe will alter the flavors and the overall results.

Pumpkin pie mix is great for exactly what it’s called – making pumpkin pie with already prepped pie filling. When starting from scratch, start with the pure variety.

Pumpkin Cake frosted with cinnamon cream cheese with a milk jar in the background.

Pumpkin Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

A slice of Pumpkin Cake with cream cheese frosting.

This moist and flavorful pumpkin cake is frosted with a cinnamon-spiced cream cheese frosting. This cake is packed with delicious flavors of pumpkin, cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves.

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes

Ingredients

Pumpkin Cake

  • 15 ounces pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie mix)
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 2/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 4 eggs, room temperature
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour (spooned & leveled)
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 3/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt

Cream Cheese Frosting

  • 8 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 1/2 cups confectioners sugar

Instructions

    Pumpkin Cake

    1. Preheat the oven to 350ºF.\
    2. Grease or line a 9x13 baking pan with parchment paper and set aside.
    3. Combine the all purpose flour, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, salt, and baking soda in a large bowl. Set aside.
    4. In a large bowl, mix together the granulated sugar with the vegetable oil.
    5. Stir in the canned pumpkin.
    6. Slowly stir the dry ingredients into the pumpkin mixture until incorporated.
    7. Bake in the preheated oven for 35-40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean.
    8. Allow the cake to cool completely before frosting.


Cream Cheese Frosting

  1. Beat the softened cream cheese frosting on until smooth and creamy.
  2. Beat the butter into the cream cheese and smooth.
  3. Add in the cinnamon and the vanilla extract.
  4. Beat the confectioners sugar into the mixture and beat until smooth.
  5. Spread evenly over the cooled pumpkin cake.
  6. Store in the refrigerator for 3-5 days.

    Notes

    Use 100% Pure Pumpkin and not pumpkin pie mix.

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