Pumpkin Cake Recipe with Cream Cheese Frosting

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This delightful Pumpkin Cake is incredibly soft, moist, and oh-so delicious! It comes with a delicate whipped cinnamon cream cheese frosting to add the perfect finishing touch. This timeless cake is just what you need to welcome the pumpkin season.

Pumpkin Layer Cake on a green table cloth.

Pumpkin Layer Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

During this time of year, the spotlight is on everything pumpkin, and if you’re a fan and can’t resist a good cake, then this pumpkin cake recipe is an absolute must-try. The cake itself is a heavenly treat with its moist and tender texture that simply melts in your mouth. What takes it to the next level is the delectable cream cheese frosting that crowns each slice, adding a creamy, tangy sweetness that perfectly complements the rich pumpkin taste.

Imagine pairing a generous slice of this cake with a steaming caramel pumpkin spice latte or a comforting cup of hot coffee. The aromatic blend of spices in the cake harmonizes beautifully with the warm, comforting notes of your favorite fall beverage.

Key Ingredients You’ll Need

  • Dairy: You will need cream cheese and butter to add moisture and thickness to your cake.
  • Sugar: I like to use granulated sugar and powdered sugar for sweetness as well as for the frosting.
  • Spices: I use a combination of cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves for additional flavor. You can also use a pumpkin pie spice if you don’t have these available.
  • Flour: You will need all-purpose flour along with baking powder and baking soda to allow the cake to rise in the oven.
  • Pumpkin Puree: You should have the puree, not the pumpkin pie filling.

How To Make Pumpkin Cake

  • Prepare the batter. Set the oven to 350 degrees and use pam baking spray to grease the pan. Add the butter and sugar into a large bowl and combine until light and fluffy. Put in the pumpkin puree, vanilla, and vegetable oil and combine again. One at a time, add in the eggs and scrape the bowl as needed.
  • Mix in the dry ingredients. Add the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, nutmeg, cinnamon, and cloves into a medium bowl and combine using a whisk. Slowly combine the wet ingredients with the dry ingredients.
  • Bake the cake. Portion the batter between 3 cake pans. Place in the oven for 25-30 minutes or until a tester toothpick comes out clean of batter. Let it cool thoroughly before removing the round tops with a cake leveler.

Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting

  • Make the frosting. Add the cream cheese and butter into a standing mixer and combine until smooth. Slowly add in the confectioners’ sugar and mix. Pour in the cinnamon and vanilla and combine until stiff with peaks and smooth.

Assembling the cake

  • Build the cake. Put one layer onto a cake board and top it with 1 cup of the prepared frosting and smooth it out evenly. Place the second layer on top and add another cup of frosting on top and smooth it out.
  • Add the final layer. Put the last cake on top and add the last cup of frosting into a piping bag and set it aside.
  • Frosting the cake. Use the rest of the frosting to coat the entire cake. Use the piping bag to add dollops of frosting on top. Slice, serve, and enjoy!
Pumpkin layer cake with frosting on top.

Can I Freeze the Pumpkin Cake with Icing?

Yes, you can freeze the pumpkin layer cake with icing! Freezing the cake is a great option if you want to make it in advance or have leftovers that you want to preserve for later.

  • First, allow the cake to cool completely after baking. Wrap the entire cake or individual cake layers tightly in plastic wrap. For added protection, you can also wrap it in aluminum foil or place it in an airtight container.
  • Place the wrapped cake in the freezer. It’s a good idea to put it on a flat surface like a baking sheet initially to prevent it from getting misshapen in the freezer. Once it’s partially frozen, you can transfer it to any convenient spot in the freezer.

If the cake is fully frosted, you can freeze it as is. However, if you’ve applied a crumb coat, it might be better to freeze the cake without the final layer of frosting. You can add the frosting after thawing.

  • When you’re ready to enjoy the cake, take it out of the freezer and let it thaw in the refrigerator. This will prevent condensation from forming on the frosting, which could affect its texture. After thawing in the refrigerator, allow the cake to come to room temperature before serving. This ensures the best taste and texture.

It’s important to note that freezing can slightly affect the texture of the cake, but most people won’t notice a significant difference.

Pumpkin Layer Cake on a square plate.

Tips For Frosting A Layer Cake

Icing a layer cake can be a bit challenging, but with some tips and techniques, you can achieve a beautifully frosted cake. It is one of those classic desserts that many love to bring for potlucks, special occasions, and dinner parties. Here are some tips to help you ice a layer cake like a pro:

  • Cool the Cake Completely: Ensure the cake layers are completely cooled before you start frosting. Warm cakes can cause the frosting to melt and become messy.
  • Level the Cake: If your cake layers have domed tops, level them with a serrated knife or cake leveler to create an even surface for frosting.
  • Crumb Coat: Apply a thin layer of frosting all over the cake to create a “crumb coat.” This helps seal in the crumbs and provides a smooth base for the final layer of frosting.
  • Chill the Crumb Coat: After applying the crumb coat, chill the cake in the refrigerator for about 20-30 minutes. This sets the crumb coat and makes it easier to apply the final layer of frosting.
  • Use an Offset Spatula: An offset spatula is a baker’s best friend when it comes to frosting cakes. It allows for precise and smooth spreading of the frosting.
  • Add Frosting in the Middle: Start by adding a generous dollop of frosting in the center of the cake layer. Then, spread the frosting evenly towards the edges. This helps to distribute the frosting evenly without pushing the cake layers around.
  • Work from the Center: When stacking cake layers, work from the center outwards. This helps to maintain the alignment and stability of the cake.
  • Rotate the Cake: As you frost each layer, rotate the cake on the turntable or spin the plate to get a smooth and even frosting on all sides.
  • Frost the Sides: Apply a generous amount of frosting to the sides of the cake and smooth it out with the offset spatula. An icing smoother can also be used to achieve a flawless finish.
  • Smooth the Top: For the top of the cake, use the offset spatula to create a smooth and level surface.
  • Add Decorative Touches: If desired, add decorative elements such as piped designs, sprinkles, or chocolate shavings to enhance the cake’s appearance.
  • Practice Patience: Take your time while frosting the cake and be patient. If needed, you can always scrape off excess frosting and try again.
  • Refrigerate the Cake: Once the cake is fully frosted, refrigerate it for a while to help the frosting set and hold its shape.
  • Bring to Room Temperature: Before serving the cake, let it come to room temperature. This will allow the frosting to soften slightly and make it easier to cut and enjoy.

Slice of the dessert on a plate.

More Pumpkin Cake Recipes

Layered Pumpkin Cake
5 from 2 votes

Pumpkin Cake Recipe with Cream Cheese Frosting

This delightful Pumpkin Cake is incredibly soft, moist, and oh-so delicious! It comes with a delicate whipped cinnamon cream cheese frosting to add the perfect finishing touch. This timeless cake is just what you need to welcome the pumpkin season.
Servings: 12
Prep: 15 minutes
Cook: 30 minutes
Decorating: 30 minutes

Ingredients
  

Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting Ingredients

  • 2 8 oz. packages cream cheese softened
  • 1 cup butter unsalted, softnened
  • 12 Cup powder sugar
  • 2 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 2 tsp cinnamon ground

Instructions

Pumpkin Cake Layer Directions

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees and spray cake pan with pam baking spray
  • Using a standing mixer, cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy
  • Mix in the pumpkin puree, vanilla and canola oil until combined
  • Mix in the eggs one at a time, making sure to scrape down the sides after each mix
  • Using a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, nutmeg, ground cinnamon , ground nutmeg, ground cloves
  • Whisk until combined
  • Gradually add in the dry ingredients until combined
  • Evenly divide the batter between the three cake pans
  • Bake in the oven for 25 – 30 minutes or until a tooth pick comes out clean
  • Allow to cool completely before using the cake leveler and removing the domes.

Cinnamon Cream Cheese frosting directions :

  • Using a standing mixer, cream together the cream cheese and butter until smooth and combined
  • Gradually mix in the powder sugar
  • Mix in the cinnamon and vanilla extract until icing is smooth and stiff with peaks

Building the cake

  • Place the first layer of cake onto the the cake board
  • Scoop 1 C of frosting onto the cake layer and smooth evenly
  • Place the second layer on top of the first layer of frosting
  • Scoop another cup of frosting on top of the second cake layer
  • Place the last layer of cake on top of the second layer of frosting
  • Scoop 1 C of frosting into the piping bag and set aside
  • Using the remaining frosting, frost entire cake
  • Using the frosting in the piping bag, pipe dollops of frosting on the top of the cake
  • Cut into slices and enjoy!

Last Step:

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Equipment

  • 3 9inch cake pans round
  • 1 10inch cake board round
  • 1 Cake leveler
  • 1 Spatula angled
  • 1 Piping bag with a star tip

Nutrition

Calories: 1007kcal | Carbohydrates: 162g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 40g | Saturated Fat: 23g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g | Monounsaturated Fat: 12g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 142mg | Sodium: 503mg | Potassium: 226mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 145g | Vitamin A: 6774IU | Vitamin C: 2mg | Calcium: 86mg | Iron: 2mg

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