Pumpkin Cake With Cream Cheese Frosting

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Pumpkin cake is one of those recipes I pull out once or twice in the fall, and every time I do, I wonder why we don’t make pumpkin dishes year-round? This pumpkin cake recipe isn’t fancy. It’s a pretty easy cake, baked in a single layer, like an old-fashioned snack cake.

The cream cheese frosting is equally simple, just cream cheese, a little butter, and powdered sugar. It makes 24 perfectly proportioned pieces for a holiday party!

Pumpkin cake on a tray.

Ingredients for pumpkin cake

pumpkin cake ingredients.

If you’re baking in the fall, you probably have everything you need in your pantry right now. This is not a “pumpkin spice” cake, so the only spice is cinnamon. This recipe is from Cooking Light, November 2009.

  • all-purpose flour
  • baking powder
  • cinnamon
  • salt
  • brown sugar
  • unsalted butter
  • vanilla extract
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 15 ounce canned pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie filling)

Cream cheese icing

Here’s my favorite Buttermilk Cream Cheese Frosting recipe, or follow the recipe below for the simple cream cheese icing.

  • butter
  • cream cheese
  • vanilla extract
  • powdered sugar

​How to make pumpkin cake

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. 

Weigh flour and sift flour and dry ingredients into a large bowl.

dry ingredients for pumpkin cake.

In a stand mixer or with a hand mixer,  combine brown sugar, butter, and vanilla and beat until well combined.

Add eggs, one at a time to the sugar mixture, beating well after each addition.

Adding egg into wet ingredients.

Add pumpkin; mix well. Fold in flour mixture.

adding pumpkin into wet ingredients.

Spread cake batter into a prepared 13″ x 9″ baking pan.

spreading the batter.

Smooth it evenly.

smoothing out the batter.

Bake at 350 degrees F. for 25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. Cool completely on a wire rack before frosting. 

frosting the pumpkin cake.

Ideas for decorating pumpkin cake 

pumpkin cake on a tray.

This moist pumpkin cake is good on its own, or with the rich cream cheese frosting. However, if you want to make it extra special for a holiday party, Here are some ideas. I love marzipan, so these marzipan pumpkins really take it up a notch. Here’s how to make Marzipan Fruits and Vegetables.

Pumpkin cake with marzipan.

Keep it simple, and just add orange sugar.

orange sugar on pumpkin cake.

Or let it scream Halloween, and top it with Halloween sprinkles or jimmies.

halloween sprinkles on cake.

How to store pumpkin cake

This cake is one of those that actually tastes better the next day! Because it has cream cheese frosting, store any leftover cake in an Airtight https://amzn.to/3sDq2QQContainer in the refrigerator for up to three days. This cake freezes well if well wrapped in plastic wrap and then foil.

​Options and additions

  • Add 1/2 cup chopped pecans or walnuts
  • Pumpkin carrot cake. Add 1/2 grated carrot or zucchini, wrung out well in a towel to remove moisture. The cake may need a bit more time in the oven.
  • Cinnamon cream cheese frosting.  Add 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon to the cream cheese.
  • Add 1/2 cup coconut.

What to do with leftover pumpkin puree

If you’ve bought a large can of pumpkin puree and have a bit leftover you can make Pumpkin Pancakes, Pumpkin Ravioli with Browned Butter and Sage, or Pumpkin Pasta.

pumpkin pancakes.


More delicious pumpkin desserts!

Pumpkin Macarons

pumpkin macarons.

Carrot Cake Pumpkin Cupcakes

pumpkin carrot cake.

Pumpkin Cranberry Bread

Moist and tender Pumpkin Cranberry Bread with Walnuts and a hint of autumn spices.

​Gluten Free Pumpkin Doughnuts

gluten free pumpkin donuts.

Pumpkin Cheesecake

Gluten-free pumpkin spice cheesecake with Bourbon Maple whipped cream and sugared pecans.
pumpkin cake on a plate.

Pumpkin Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

This easy pumpkin cake is the perfect fall dessert.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 28 minutes
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Servings 24 servings
Calories 189 kcal


Pumpkin Cake

Cream Cheese Frosting


Pumpkin Cake

  • Sift dry ingredients and spices together in a medium bowl. Flour, baking powder, cinnamon and salt.
  • Grease, or line a 13" x 9" baking pan.
  • In a stand mixer or with a hand mixer at medium speed, beat butter, brown sugar, and vanilla until blended.
  • Add eggs, one at a time to sugar mixture; beat well after each addition. Add pumpkin, and mix until incorporated.
  • Fold dry ingredients into wet ingredients, just until blended. Spread batter into a 13" x 9" pan. Smooth surface to make sure it's even.
  • Bake at 350 degrees F. for 25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean.
  • Cool completely on a wire rack before frosting.

Cream Cheese Frosting

  • Blend cream cheese, butter, and vanilla in a mixer at medium speed until well blended. Gradually add powdered sugar until combined.
  • Frost cake. Store covered in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.


  • Sift all dry ingredients for best results
  • Add 1/2 cup chopped nuts, if desired.
  • Add 1/2 cup shredded coconut, if desired.


Serving: 1pieceCalories: 189kcalCarbohydrates: 30gProtein: 3gFat: 7gSaturated Fat: 4gPolyunsaturated Fat: 0.4gMonounsaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0.1gCholesterol: 33mgSodium: 55mgPotassium: 124mgFiber: 1gSugar: 20gVitamin A: 2996IUVitamin C: 1mgCalcium: 47mgIron: 1mg
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

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  1. I Love pumpkin anything!! My name is Cindy and I blog over at Vegetarianmamma.com I wanted to invite you to link up your recipe and any others at our Gluten Free Fridays Recipe Link up party! It happens every Friday and we’d love to have you join us with some of your awesome recipes! It doesn’t mean that you have to be a gluten free bloggers. If you have some recipes on your blog that are gluten free that counts! 🙂 Many recipes are naturally gluten free.
    Also be sure to link up your blog on our Gluten Free Bloggers directory. You can reach the directory by clicking the “glutenfree bloggers” tab on our blog! Thanks, Cindy 🙂

    1. Thanks for linking up at our Gluten Free Fridays party! I have tweeted and pinned your entry to our Gluten Free Fridays board on Pinterest! 🙂

      Be sure to check out the winning entry this week for our Better Batter Giveaway! The winner will be announced Thursday evening!

      See you there!

      Cindy from vegetarianmamma.com

  2. For those of us that can eat gluten, could you make this with regular flour? Would the amounts be the same? Thanks!

  3. Looks like a great recipe. I’m wondering if there is any substitute for the maple sugar or if I can make my own? (I’m in Australia) Thanks!

  4. @Janet I thought the maple sugar would just give it a little different flavor…you could use regular sugar or perhaps a bit of pure maple syrup? Treacle isn’t quite right flavor-wise. Hope that helps!

  5. Hello!

    I must be an “idiot” or something because I cannot locate the whipped cream topping recipe? Is it just me???? Sorry!

  6. Thanks for linking up at our Gluten Free Fridays party! I have tweeted and pinned your entry to our Gluten Free Fridays board on Pinterest! 🙂 I can’t wait to see what you share this week!

    Cindy from vegetarianmamma.com

5 from 1 vote

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