This pumpkin cake is easy to make, soft, super moist, and topped with an easy homemade cream cheese frosting. The perfect dessert for fall!
The weather has started to cool off and I’ve been patiently waiting to share some apple and pumpkin recipes with you! The first pumpkin recipe I had to share was this simple pumpkin cake.
While I love making cakes and decorating them, there’s also something I love about the simplicity of this cake. All you have to do is whisk together your dry ingredients, then the wet ingredients, combine them, pour the batter into a pan, and bake it.
Another great thing about making cakes in a 9×13 pan is that you don’t really have to worry about decorating them. All you have to do is mix up your favorite frosting (I used a cream cheese frosting on this one!) and spread it on top. It doesn’t get much easier than that, does it?
To make this cake you’ll start out with your dry ingredients: some all-purpose flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and spices. For the spices in this cake I used ground cinnamon and to keep things simple I also used pumpkin pie spice.
Now, I know pumpkin pie spice isn’t available everywhere but I do have a recipe for it here on my site. It’s super simple to make your own and that recipe makes close to 1/3 cup. You can easily cut that recipe in half if you need to though.
For the wet ingredients, you’ll be using some pumpkin puree, oil, brown sugar, granulated sugar, eggs, and vanilla extract. I used an entire can of pumpkin in this recipe to make it even easier, but it also adds moisture to the cake along with the oil.
Then, just combine the dry ingredients with the wet ingredients, pour it into a 9×13 pan, and bake it.
For the frosting on this cake, I used my favorite cream cheese frosting recipe because it pairs so well with pumpkin. The frosting is just a simple mixture of cream cheese, butter, powdered sugar, and vanilla extract. You could even add 1/2 teaspoon of ground cinnamon for a cinnamon cream cheese frosting on this cake.
If you want to try a buttercream frosting, I have vanilla, chocolate, and caramel frosting recipes in my post on how to make buttercream that would work great on this cake too!
Baking Tips For Pumpkin Cake
- When measuring your flour, avoid scooping it from the container. Instead, stir the flour around, spoon it into your measuring cup, and level it off with the back of a knife.
- Make sure to use pumpkin puree and not pumpkin pie filling in this recipe. Pumpkin pie filling is already sweetened and has spices added to it.
- Avoid overmixing the cake batter when you combine the wet and dry ingredients. I suggest mixing them together until just combined for a lighter, softer cake.
- For the cream cheese frosting, make sure to use brick-style cream cheese and not the cream cheese spread in a tub.
Pumpkin Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting
For the pumpkin cake:
- 2 cups (250 grams) all-purpose flour (spooned & leveled)
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 (15-ounce) can pumpkin puree
- 1 cup (240 ml) oil (canola or vegetable)
- 1 cup (200 grams) brown sugar
- 1/2 cup (100 grams) granulated sugar
- 4 large eggs
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
For the cream cheese frosting:
- 1 (8-ounce) package brick-style cream cheese softened to room temperature
- 1/2 cup (115 grams) unsalted butter softened to room temperature
- 2 cups (240 grams) powdered sugar
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
To make the pumpkin cake:
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Spray a 9x13 baking pan with nonstick cooking spray and set aside.
- In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, pumpkin pie spice, ground cinnamon, and salt. Set aside.
- In a separate bowl, whisk together the pumpkin puree, oil, brown sugar, granulated sugar, eggs, and vanilla until fully combined. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix until just combined.
- Pour the batter into the prepared pan and spread around into one even layer. Bake at 350°F for 30-40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. If needed, cover loosely with foil for the last 5-10 minutes of baking to prevent excess browning.
- Remove from the oven and place the pan on a wire rack to cool completely.
To make the cream cheese frosting:
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, or in a large mixing bowl using a hand-held mixer, beat the cream cheese until smooth. Add the butter and mix for about 30 seconds-1 minute until well combined. Add the powdered sugar and vanilla extract and continue mixing until fully combined, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed.
- Scoop the frosting onto the cooled cake and spread it around into one even layer.
Even more pumpkin recipes to try!