Pumpkin Spice Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting — Moist pumpkin cake is topped with a creamy homemade cream cheese frosting. This easy fall dessert is perfect for Thanksgiving, Halloween, and more!
Easy Spiced Pumpkin Cake Recipe
Cream cheese frosting is my weakness. I don’t even need cake to put it on. Just pass a spoon. But this pumpkin cake with cream cheese frosting isn’t too shabby. It’s soft, springy, and brimming with spiced pumpkin flavor.
It’s a fast, easy, one-bowl, no mixer pumpkin spice cake recipe that everyone loves.
I used oil rather than butter, which keeps the cake extra moist and since pumpkin naturally makes everything moister, there’s no chance of a dry cake here. The thick layer of tangy cream cheese frosting complements the warming spices in the cake perfectly.
My family said the pumpkin spice cake reminded them of carrot cake, minus the carrots, thanks to the spices and frosting. This pumpkin cake is irresistible, and sinking your teeth into it is pure comfort and bliss.
Pumpkin Spice Cake Ingredients
For the spiced pumpkin cake, you’ll need:
- Granulated sugar
- Pumpkin puree
- Canola oil
- Pumpkin pie spice
- Vanilla extract
- All-purpose flour
- Baking powder and baking soda
And for the cream cheese frosting, you’ll need:
- Cream cheese
- Powdered sugar
- Vanilla extract
How to Make Pumpkin Spice Cake
This recipe for pumpkin spice cake couldn’t be easier to make! Here’s how to make both the cake and frosting:
- Whisk together the wet and dry ingredients in separate bowls, then combine the two.
- Turn the batter out into an 8×8-inch pan.
- Bake until the center is set and a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.
- Once the pumpkin cake is fully cooled, you can make the cream cheese frosting. Simply add all the pumpkin spice cake frosting ingredients into a bowl and beat until smooth and fluffy.
- Spread the frosting onto the cake, then dig in!
Can I Make This Recipe as Cupcakes?
I haven’t tried that myself, but I bet it’d work out okay. Check your cupcakes around the 20-minute mark to see if they’re finished.
Can I Double This Recipe?
Yes, I think you could easily double this recipe and bake it in a 9×13-inch pan. It’d probably need to bake for roughly the same amount of time, but I can’t say for sure since I’ve only ever made this cake in a smaller pan.
Can I Make This Recipe Using Homemade Pumpkin Puree?
I’m sure you could, but I never have personally tried this pumpkin spice cake recipe with homemade puree so I’m not sure if it will work out exactly the same.
Can This Recipe Be Made Gluten-Free?
I don’t dabble in gluten-free baking, so I can’t say for sure whether a gluten-free 1:1 flour substitute will work.
However, my gut says yes so long as you use a gluten-free all-purpose flour substitute and not something such as almond flour (almond flour is just ground almonds and contains no gluten, therefore it won’t behave remotely like regular flour).
The pumpkin spice cake with cream cheese frosting is incredibly moist and is slightly denser than regular cake, so I think the batter could be made gluten-free.
Tips for the Best Pumpkin Spice Cake
Pumpkin puree: It’s so important that you use pure pumpkin puree and not pre-sweetened pumpkin pie filling! Double check the ingredients list on your canned pumpkin — there should only be one ingredient listed (pumpkin).
Oil: I don’t recommend substituting applesauce for the oil. Both applesauce and pumpkin are incredibly moist, and I think if you combined the two in this recipe your pumpkin spice cake would wind up being a bit of a mess.
Frosting: Also note that when you make the homemade cream cheese frosting the cream cheese needs to be at room temperature. If the cream cheese is too cold, it won’t whip up properly and won’t blend in well with the other ingredients.
Recipe variations: For a vegan version of this pumpkin cake, check out my Soft Vegan Pumpkin Cake with Pumpkin Spice Buttercream Frosting, and for a chocolate version try my Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Bundt Cake with Chocolate Ganache.
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Pumpkin Spice Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting
Moist pumpkin cake is topped with a creamy homemade cream cheese frosting. This easy fall dessert is perfect for Thanksgiving, Halloween, and more!
- 2 large eggs
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1 cup pumpkin puree
- 1/2 cup canola or vegetable oil
- 2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt, or to taste
- 6 ounces cream cheese, softened (lite okay)
- 1/4 cup (half of 1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
- 1 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 teaspoon salt, or to taste
Make the Cake
- Preheat oven to 350F. Line an 8×8-inch pan with aluminum foil and spray with cooking spray; set aside.
- To a large bowl, add the eggs, sugar, pumpkin, oil, pumpkin pie spice, vanilla, and whisk to combine.
- Add the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and stir until just combined, don’t overmix.
- Turn batter out into prepared pan, smoothing the top lightly with a spatula. Bake for about 35 to 40 minutes (I baked 36 minutes) or until center is set and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean or with a few moist crumbs, no batter.
- Set cake aside on a cooling rack to cool completely before frosting it so the frosting doesn’t melt.
Make the Frosting
- To a large bowl (or to the bowl of a stand mixer) add the cream cheese, butter, confectioners’ sugar, vanilla, salt, and whisk until smooth and fluffy or beat with an electric mixer (or use the paddle attachment of a stand mixer).
- Turn frosting out onto cooled cake and spread into a smooth, even, flat layer using a spatula or knife (If you have a small amount leftover, it will keep airtight in the fridge for at least 2 weeks).
- Slice and serve.
Cake will keep airtight at room temp for up to 4 days or in the fridge for up to 1 week. I’m comfortable storing cream cheese frosting at room temp, but if you’re not store in the fridge noting cake will be more prone to drying out in the fridge.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 413Total Fat: 20gSaturated Fat: 5gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 13gCholesterol: 61mgSodium: 439mgCarbohydrates: 55gFiber: 1gSugar: 42gProtein: 4g
More Pumpkin Desserts:
Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cake — This soft and moist pumpkin cake is loaded with chocolate in every bite!! An EASY one-bowl fall dessert that’s perfect for impromptu entertaining or anytime a pumpkin craving strikes!!
Pumpkin Bars with Cream Cheese Frosting — These super soft and moist pumpkin bars are the perfect EASY fall dessert!! Tangy cream cheese frosting is a wonderful complement to these perfectly pumpkin-spiced bars!
Fudgy Pumpkin Bars with Vanilla Bean Browned Butter Glaze — Bars so soft they’re like biting into pumpkin fudge! The glaze is ahh-mazing!
Soft and Puffy Pumpkin Spice Honey Cookies – Super soft cookies that just melt in your mouth! You’re going to love these puffy cuties!
Cream Cheese-Filled Pumpkin Bread – Pumpkin bread that’s like having cheesecake baked in! Soft, fluffy, easy and tastes ahhhh-mazing!
Soft Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Bars – Super soft and are like biting into a piece of rich pumpkin fudge! Loaded with chocolate and crazy good!
Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Bread — Super soft, moist, rich pumpkin flavor, and loaded with chocolate chips! Easy, no mixer recipe that’s the best!
Soft and Chewy Pumpkin Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies — The cookies are soft, thick, hearty, perfectly chewy and not cakey!
Originally posted October 2, 2015 and reposted October 9, 2020 with updated text.
Can I make this as stated in a Bundt pan or do I need to double it?
This is a pretty tall and full cake made in an 8×8. That being said, I think it would be a bit skimpy if you do it in a Bundt pan. Although it has a lot of similarity to this recipe but there are differences.
If you want an outstanding pumpkin Bundt, this is the one!!! https://www.averiecooks.com/pumpkin-chocolate-chip-bundt-cake-with-chocolate-ganache/ I put it in my cookbook. You can skip the chocolate if you want and to a cream cheese frosting like the flat cake has if you prefer it, but the cake is a 10 out of 10!
You need to make this exactly as stated. I did, and it came out great. Then I tried it a month later with frozen pumpkin. Don’t try this! Left over pumpkin out of the freezer separates.
Thanks for the 5 star review and I’m glad it worked out great to you with canned pumpkin right out of the can. I’ve never tried it with frozen puree so can’t say for sure but sounds like it doesn’t work so well.
I have made this recipe a number of times and I always use roasted squash subbed for the pumpkin. Turban, butternut, sunshine, kabocha… they all worked wonderfully and lent the cake a beautiful moist texture. I bake in my lidded Le Creuset ceramic 9×9” and we work on it for a few days. Delicious!
Thanks for the 5 star review and I am glad that roasted squash (and multiple varieties) has always worked well for you! And also that your ceramic LeCreuset 9×9 works nicely – great info!
Love this cake! I’ve made it a number of times in the past couple of years…so yummy! I have used powdered egg replacer in the past but, tried flaxseed last night with wheat flour and it turned out great! Thank You!
I’m glad to hear you’ve made it with with egg replacer and flax egg, as well as WW flour and it turned out great all ways!
This is such a delicious and easy, fast cake to make. I’m not a fan of cream cheese but this icing is delicious and I can’t imagine the cake without it. Thanks for another great recipe!
Thanks for the 5 star review and I am glad that it was fast and delicious! And that you liked the cream cheese frosting with it!
OMG this is the best pumpkin cake recipe that I ever tried! But I made few changes on the recipe. I add 80 gram of butter and reduce the oil into 160 ml. I also add minced ginger to enhanced all flavor and it turns out amazing! The crumble not just soft but also melt in mouth. This definetely gonna be my ultimate pumpkin cake recipe. Thankyou!
Thanks for the 5 star review and glad this is the best pumpkin cake recipe you’ve tried!
I have made this recipe several times over the last few years … a favourite in autumn! It comes out perfectly every time and always well loved! A real favourite!
Thanks for the 5 star review and glad this has become a fall favorite and great that it comes out perfectly every time!
rarely write reviews but me and my brother made this for christmas eariler today and this is the best pumpkin anything ive tried so far.. like seriously! SO SO GOOD ! you know its good when my brother that didnt even think he would like it cause he doesn’t like pumpkin AT ALL likes it plus it was a huge hit with our family. still Cant believe how easy it was.. thank you, will make again!
Thanks for the 5 star review and glad this was a huge hit with you and your family!
Delicious!We doubled the recipe and it made 24 perfect cupcakes.
Thanks for the 5 star review and glad that you yielded 24 cupcakes after doubling this recipe!
Wow great recipe! Even better the next day chilled. Thanks for sharing ❤️
Glad to hear that and that you enjoyed it even more the next day!
I made this recipe for the first time for Thanksgiving and to say it was the star of the meal would be an understatement! This is one of the simplest, most delicious cakes I have ever made. So moist and full of flavor. This is the dessert that had people coming back for seconds and fighting over who had a bigger piece and who got to take some home. When that happens….you know you have a winner. Thanks so much for an amazing recipe I will make time and time again.
Thanks for the 5 star review and glad to hear this was the star of the meal (and you say that’s an understatement…thank you even more!)!
Yes a very simple cake but so full of flavor and moist. Glad you had people fighting over it lol and that you will make it again and again!
Have made this recipe multiple times and everyone LOVES it! Honestly the best cake ever. Thank you so much!!
Thanks for the 5 star review and glad that everyone loves this cake and that you think it’s the best cake ever!
PS. I have to say that there was never an issue with the cake rising too fast or slow it was just such a classic result, I just cant and wont look further.
Divenity #Decadence! This recipe is so good! If you make this for more than 4 people you are in trouble! It is so moist and has the most classic taste. Thank you for sharing this recipe because this will be for always be my go to for Pumpkin Cake! I actually had to make it again the next day because everyone was taking little pieces to be polite LOL! So made it again and it came out the same PERFECT!Thank you!
Thanks for the 5 star review and I’m glad that it was so good that you made it two days in a row! I agree it’s such a classic pumpkin cake and always delivers great results for me as well!
I’m thinking of making this for Thanksgiving. I was just wondering if u can use a homemade pumpkin puree instead if store bought?
I’m sure you could but I never have personally tried with homemade puree so not sure if it will work out exactly the same.
YUMMY YUMMY YUMMY!!! Followed the recipe exactly and it turned out perfect. Thank you!
Glad it came out perfect and yummy!
To me this was very reminiscent of a carrot cake without all the the things I don’t like.I’m not a fan of nuts in food and I’m not a big corrot person but I like a dense, decadent moist spicy cake and that is exactly what this is!served it for Thanksgiving and people said it taste like a Thanksgiving pie cake!It’s not overly spicy but it is so moist.I have celiac disease so I replaced the flower with King Arthur gluten-free and I didn’t have to make any other adjustments!
Thanks for the 5 star review and glad this gave you everything you were looking for, without things that you weren’t looking for! Glad it came out great as GF too!
I just made this cake and carved it to a pumpkin shape. It was so moist and delicious!!.and easy to make!!…Thank you so much for sharing.😀😀
Thanks for the 5 star review and glad you were even able to carve it into a pumpkin shape!
I wanted an easy and delicious pumpkin cake recipe and found it with this! I made it yesterday and it was sooo good. ; )I will definitely make it again. My cake in 8 x8 pan only went about a little over half up side, it still was good but I wondered if it was supposed to be higher. Big hit with family either way.
Usually it does rise a bit higher than that. I am thinking your baking powder/soda may be not as active and fresh as you want it to be. That is often the case when things don’t rise as well as expected. Glad it was a big hit though with your family!
Do you need to use aluminum foil even if you spray?
I do just because why not…it’s 2 seconds and a guarantee of no sticking.
Pumpkin spice cake with cream cheese icing
I’d like to make this as a 9×13 size pan. Can you suggest how to adapt it? Or should just make 2 8×8 pans?
I would just double everything and baking a 9 x 13 pan. You probably don’t have to alter the baking time very much. Just keep an eye on it. Or of course you can bake two 8 x 8s.
This looks yummy! Wanted to make it for a birthday – stacked with the cream cheese frosting. Will that work?
I have never made this as a layer cake so I really can’t say how that will go.
Forgot to rate this along with my comment!Super easy to make and so little washing to do after!Super tasty and soft and moist!!Thank you for sharing! :)
Thanks for the 5 star review and glad this was a winner for you!
OMG! I just made this pumpkin cake and it is DELICIOUS! It was so easy so I was really surprised at how tasty, moist and soft this cake turned out!
Thank you so much for sharing! <3
I’ll definitely be trying out more of your recipes! :)
Tried this recipe twice and both turned out amazing!!! I’m planning to make two batches for my job! Question though, can I replace the white sugar with brown sugar?
Thanks for the five star review and glad you have made it twice and are making it again! Since you’ve had such good luck, I wouldn’t change a thing. Brown sugar is heavier and moister and it could throw things off a bit.
Good to know, thank you for the fast response! I look forward to making more of your recipes!
I just frosted my cake and had a piece. OMGGGGG. Was sooo good had to have a second. Okay no dinner for me. Lol. I followed the directions to a tee it just added a pinch of cinnamon to the frosting. Sooo good. Actually I never made cake from scratch. So easy and delicious. Don’t think I’ll ever go back to boxed. I have my new holiday cake!!!
Thanks for the five star review and glad this is your first scratch cake AND that it’s amazing!
Would this frosting pipe okay? I’m thinking of making both a cake and cupcakes out the recipe but wasn’t sure if the frosting would hold on a cupcake
If you do plan to pipe it, I would maybe add a bit more powdered sugar and/or cut down on the amount of cream cheese/butter so that it’s a bit stiffer.
Could you replace the oil with applesauce? I do this a lot in baking and usually comes out fine.
I have only made as written and can’t say for sure. My gut tells me no though because pumpkin is so moist, and so is applesauce, and you could end up with a sloppy mess.
I made this cake a few weeks ago and everyone loved it! Have you made cupcakes with this recipe?
I have not but I bet they would be great! Usually 20-ish minutes for cupcakes is a good starting point but it’s a bit size dependent on how full you fill them.
I made cupcakes yesterday and they turned out nicely. I doubled the recipe and made 24. They baked for 22 minutes. Yummy:)
Oh my , oh my , oh my… what an awesome recipe ! Both the cake and the icing are super-easy to make…my kind of recipe ! My youngest daughtes’ birthday is October 11 so she’s always had to share it with the Thanksgiving (Canada) holiday and pumpkin pie ! She loves anything pumpkin , so this year l surprised her with this cake for her 29th bithday ! It was a big hit with her and all the family members it was shared with ! Thank you so much for this recipe…l will definitely be making it again !! ?
What a great and unexpected birthday cake! I love that you made this for her birthday and that it was a big hit with everyone! Glad you’ll be making it again!
Hello! Just wanted you to know I made this cake (with mashed sweet potato instead of pumpkin – didn’t have any pumpkin!) I also cut down the sugar to 3/4 cup. Very nice! Will make again! Thanks! :)
Sounds wonderful! Since sweet potatoes are so much sweeter naturally than pumpkin, good call on cutting down the sugar. Glad you’ll make again!
This looks delicious! I have to make a cake for a fundraiser, but have to make it ahead of time by a few days. Do you think this one would still be “fresh” 3 days later?
I think the cake would be fine, keep it covered, very airtight at room temp but don’t frost it til the night before. But honestly this is a VERY easy cake and you can knock the whole thing out super fast!
Lol yes im aware you dont have to have fondant for a birthday cake but the one im making does require it this will be the first time i have worked with it so not sure what consistency it needs
I’m not a fondant person at all so have no idea what to say! Good luck!
I made this cake the other dayfor my family and was a huge hit!!! So much so that ive thought of increasing the recipie and using it as a birthday cake. Would this cake hold up to fondant?
Not sure about that…you could give it a trial run and see what you think. I don’t think you even need fondant for a bday cake – I’d just make it this way! Glad you love it!
I made this today for Thanksgiving (Canadian Thanksgiving) and it was super easy and it turned out great. There was no leftovers! Cant wait to try more of your recipes.
Happy Thanksgiving! Thanks for trying the recipe and glad it came out great for you!
I am so happy to have found this recipe! This the best pumpkin spice cake recipe I have ever tried! It’s perfectly moist, has amazing texture, and has excellent flavor! I am eating me a slice of it right now and am loving every bite of it! <3
Thanks for trying the recipe and I’m glad it came out great for you! Glad it’s the best pumpkin spice cake recipe you have ever tried!
I heated this cake the previous evening it was astonishing. It was light and sodden not thick by any means. It was a guardian. Additionally, it was so quick to make. I prepared three of your formulas the previous evening they were all awesome however this was my top pick.
Thanks for trying the recipe and glad it came out great for you!
I baked this cake last night it was amazing. It was very light and moist not dense at all. It was a keeper. Also, it was so fast to make. I baked three of your recipes last night they were all great but this was my favorite.
Thanks for trying three of my recipes in one night! Glad they were all great! Nice to hear this was your favorite!
I baked this cake for Christmas Eve dinner with my family. I’ve baked a lot of cakes in my life – I’ve been baking for about 40 years now. I have to say that this may be one of the best cakes I’ve ever made in my life. My family agrees, too. The texture of the cake and the frosting is just perfect. It is moist and absolutely delicious. A definite hit! Thanks again, Averie!
Thanks for trying the recipe and I’m glad it came out great for you and that it’s one of the best cakes you’ve ever baked in your life!
If I would double the pumpkin spice cake recipe, would I be able to use a 9×13 pan
Probably would be fine, although I haven’t personally tried so can’t speak from personal experience.
Hi Averie – I have canned pumpkin (the label says 100% pure pumpkin). Is this interchangeable with pureed pumpkin? I looked today in the baking aisle at the store and couldn’t find pureed pumpkin.
Yes that’s what you’re looking for; 100% canned pumpkin IS pumpkin puree. Enjoy!
Great – I will be baking one for Christmas – thanks Averie!
Fantastic! I doubled the recipe and used a large bundt pan. Baked for an hour. Sprayed beforehand with nonstick coconut spray and it came right out. I threw the remaining half cup of the canned pumpkin in the cream cheese frosting too along w pumpkin pie spice. Topped with toasted coconut. Yummy!
I was impressed that I could do the whole recipe with just a whisk and get such great results.
Will definitely make again!
Thanks for trying the recipe and I’m glad it came out great for you! The bundt idea as well as the toasted coconut sounds great and yes, amen to whisk-only cakes!
Just wanted to say that I made this cake the other day with just one substitution: I used 1 tsp pumpkin pie spice and 1 tsp cinnamon (my husband doesn’t get down with pumpkin pie spice but you gotta have SOME of that flavor in fall treats!) It was amazing! It baked up perfectly fluffy, it was soft but not mushy, and the cream cheese frosting is a most welcoming addition. My husband scarfed half of it down, despite his “aversion” to all things pumpkin.
Thanks for trying the recipe and I’m glad it came out great for you! And that someone with an aversion scarfed it right down!
Fast, easy, awesome! I love pumpkin cakes, cakes where we use oil and cream cheese frosting. This cake really made my day :) thanks for the recipe and many greetings from Poland!
Thanks for trying the recipe and I’m glad it came out great for you!
Who would have thought that a vegetable would be so great in a multitude of desserts! Love me some pumpkin cake!
And this is why pumpkin season is the best time of year!!
Also wanted to say that I really love the new site – it looks incredible! The new look is fantastic and really showcases your delicious recipes! :D
Aww, thanks for the compliments and for noticing my little changes! Glad it showcases the recipes better, that was the whole goal – to just make the site ‘invisible’ and have the recipes/images be the focus!
Love the recipe! Thank for sharing. Definitely going to my bookmarks.
Wow all of your stuff looks gorgeous. I like your all of pumpkin spice cake.
Pumpkin Spice Cupcakes with Marshmallow Buttercream Frosting looks so yummy.
This is so pretty – I love all your easy cake recipes!
And thanks for pinning, too :)
Pumpkin spice cake + cream cheese frosting is like heaven to me! Thanks for the recipe, Averie! :D
Wowza, this looks freaking amazing! I have a long list of pumpkin-flavored baked goods to make this season, and this is for sure getting added.
I like your new look–your site better reflects your increased focus on meals as well as baked goods. And the cake … who doesn’t love a good pumpkin cake?
Thank you for noticing and for what you said; that was my overall goal :)
Oh that frosting!!! It looks like silky smooth cream cheese-y perfection! And the CAKE?! I seriously just want to shove it all straight into my mouth. Including those cute little crumbs in the pic. I need it all.
I love your new site! The grey looks gorgeous with your photos! And this cake looks delicious too ;)
Thanks for noticing and the compliments!
I love the new look of your site…the pictures really pop…I love your new photo it all looks so professional….Now about this cake…it looks so moist and I love pumpkin with cream cheese frosting…this could be so dangerous…I may eat it all.
Thanks for the compliments and nice words! I appreciate it! As for the cake, I wanted to eat it all! Ha!
The pumpkin spice cake sounds delicious in itself, but the cream cheese frosting makes this a must to make! I can’t wait try this recipe!
I agree, isn’t cream cheese frosting just the best? It’s the king of frostings. This looks like such a lovely cake!
I’m crazy about cream cheese frosting too. Give me a spoon and I’ll dig in. This cake looks amazing. And moist! I hate dry cakes.
this look soo tasty! I am defiantly going to attempt to make this! I just hope that I can find some Pumpkin Puree?! Thank you for this lovely post :) XXX
That frosting looks sooo picture perfect and so does the texture of the cake!! I am totally in the mood for pumpkin season now?
Cake is just so much better with oil instead of butter. Unless you’re making a pound cake, that is. But honestly, I prefer these lighter and moister textures anyway. Great cake!
Lighter and moister is what I prefer too! This cake was so springy and soft!