Pumpkin Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting is a soft, moist, made from scratch and frosted with a simple, silky cream cheese frosting! This is such an EASY cake but looks so divine. You are going to love this decadent but light cake. It’s perfect for any occasion.
Pumpkin Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting
This is such an easy recipe, and looks so fancy, yet anyone can make it and everyone loves it. The butter and oil create a moistness and tenderness to the cake that is beyond normal. It’s dense and rich and perfect for pumpkin season.
This Pumpkin Cake is flavored with white and brown sugar, a whole Tablespoon of vanilla extract, pumpkin spice, and additional cinnamon. And then there’s that cream cheese frosting..
Pumpkin Cake Ingredients
- Butter and Canola: For moisture and richness
- Sugar and Brown Sugar: Sweetness and flavor
- Eggs: Provides structure and moisture
- Vanilla: Adds flavor
- Pumpkin Puree: Make sure it’s not pumpkin pie filling
- Milk: Extra moisture and texture
- Flour: All purpose flour provides the structure for a perfect crumb
- Baking Powder and Baking soda: Rising agents
- Salt: Balances the sweet
- Pumpkin spice and Cinnamon: The best spices with pumpkin
Cream Cheese Frosting
- Cream cheese: Use block style cream cheese
- Butter: Adds taste and texture
- Powdered Sugar: Sift the powdered sugar for easy mixing
- Vanilla bean, or Extract: Vanilla bean is exquisite but extract works too.
- Salt: Balances the sweet.
- Heavy Cream: Adds creaminess and spread-ability
Making The Perfect Cake
- Combine: Combine the butter and sugars till light and fluffy, then add in the oil.
- Mix: Add in the pumpkin, eggs, stirring well after each addition and then the vanilla
- Separate: In a separate bowl whisk the dry ingredients.
- Stir: Gradually add in the dry ingredients to the wet making sure it’s mixed well.
- Bake: Bake in prepared cake pans at 350 for 35-45 min till toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
Cream Cheese Frosting
- Cream: Mix the butter and cream cheese till fully mixed, gradually add in the sugar, vanilla and then heavy cream. Gradually increase the speed and beat on high till frosting is silky smooth.
- Frost: Once the cakes have cooled completely generously ice the cake between layers and all the way around. Can use the semi-naked layer around the outside of the cake.
Tips and Variations for Pumpkin Cake
- Size: The recipe for this pumpkin cake is a pretty simple one, it makes two 8″ layers (though you could use 9″ pans as well, just plan to decrease the baking time by a few minutes)You can also use a 9×13.
- Frosting: If you want to frost your whole cake, you may want to use a slightly more stable frosting, which you can achieve by leaving out the heavy cream and increasing the powdered sugar as needed.
- Pumpkin: Feel free to use fresh homemade pumpkin puree. Blend the puree well to make sure it’s not lumpy.
- Pumpkin Spice: This can usually be found with the spices in your store. You can easily make your own however. Mix 1 1/2 teaspoons of cinnamon with 1/8 teaspoon each of nutmeg, ginger, cloves and allspice.
Storing This Amazing Pumpkin Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting
- Store: Store this cake covered in the fridge for up to 4-5 days. Because of the cream cheese frosting and cream, it’ll be best stored in the fridge.
- Freeze: You can freeze completely cooled, unfrosted cakes for up to 3 months. Thaw in the fridge and frost cold to help the frosting go on smoothly.
More Pumpkin Recipes to Love
- Pumpkin Pudding Cake
- Incredible Pumpkin Cake with Cream Cheese Whipping Cream
- Melt in Your Mouth Pumpkin Cookies and Cream Cheese Frosting
- Skinny Pumpkin Cream Cheese Bread
- Chocolate Pumpkin Cupcakes with Cinnamon Pumpkin Cream Cheese Frosting
- 1 cup butter 2 sticks, softened to room temperature
- ½ cup canola oil vegetable oil would also work
- 1 cup sugar
- ½ cup brown sugar
- 4 eggs
- 1 Tbsp vanilla extract
- 2 cups pumpkin puree*
- ¼ cup milk
- 2 ½ cups flour
- 1 ½ tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp salt
- 4 tsp pumpkin spice
- 1 tsp cinnamon
Cream Cheese Frosting
- 8 oz cream cheese softened
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter softened
- 2 1/2 cups powdered sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla bean or 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 1/2 Tbsp heavy cream
Preheat oven to 350F and prepare (2) 8" cake pans by lightly greasing and flouring the sides and lining the bottom with parchment paper. Set aside.
Combine butter and sugars in the bowl of a stand mixer (or in a large bowl and use an electric mixer). Beat until well-combined and light and fluffy.
Add oil and beat to combine.
Stir in pumpkin.
Add eggs, stirring well after each addition, and then add vanilla extract.
Add milk and stir to combine. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl to ensure ingredients are evenly combined.
In a separate, medium-sized bowl, whisk together dry ingredients (flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, pumpkin spice, and cinnamon).
Gradually add dry ingredients to wet, stirring until completely combined (be sure to scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl). I prefer to do this with a spatula to avoid over-mixing the batter.
Divide batter evenly into prepared cake pans and bake on 350F for 35-45 minutes, or until centers spring back to the touch and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with few moist crumbs or clean.
Allow cakes to cool for 10 minutes and then invert onto cooling rack and allow to cool completely before frosting.
Cream Cheese Frosting**
In KitchenAid (or with hand mixer) cream together butter and cream cheese.
Gradually add powdered sugar to mixture until well-combined.
Stir in vanilla bean seeds (or vanilla extract) and salt. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl to ensure ingredients are well-combined.
Add heavy cream and gradually increase speed to medium-high. Beat for 30 seconds, until frosting is silky smooth.
Once cakes have cooled, ice/assemble cakes by generously icing between layers, applying an even layer on the top of the cake, and then applying a scant, semi-naked layer around the outside of the cake.
*This is slightly more than 1 15oz can of pumpkin puree. Make sure that you buy "100% pumpkin" and not "pumpkin pie filling"
**This cake was frosted in a "semi-naked" style, which means not a lot of frosting was used. If you want to completely frost the whole cake, I recommend increasing by 50% and you may wish to omit the heavy cream for a firmer frosting.
All nutritional information is based on third party calculations and is only an estimate. Each recipe and nutritional value will vary depending on the brands you use, measuring methods and portion sizes per household.
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