Easy Pumpkin Spice Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

Pumpkin 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!

four slices of Pumpkin Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting on white plate

Easy 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 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.

For a vegan version, 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

What’s in Pumpkin Cake? 

For the homemade pumpkin cake, you’ll need: 

  • Eggs
  • Granulated sugar
  • Pumpkin puree 
  • Canola oil
  • Pumpkin pie spice
  • Vanilla extract
  • All-purpose flour
  • Baking powder and baking soda
  • Salt

And for the pumpkin spice cake frosting, you’ll need: 

  • Cream cheese
  • Butter
  • Powdered sugar
  • Vanilla extract
  • Salt

slice of Pumpkin Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting on plate

How to Make Pumpkin Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

This pumpkin cake couldn’t be easier to make! Simply whisk together the wet and dry ingredients in separate bowls, then combine the two. Turn the batter out into an 8×8-inch pan and 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. 

Easy Pumpkin Spice Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting - Soft, moist, and bursting with pumpkin flavor! You'll want the frosting by the spoonful!! (who needs the cake when there's luscious cream cheese frosting!)

Tips for Making Pumpkin Cake

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). 

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. 

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. 

Pumpkin Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

Pumpkin 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!

Yield: 9 to 12 servings
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Cooling Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Total Time 2 hours 15 minutes

Ingredients

Cake

  • 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

Frosting

  • 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

Instructions

Make the Cake

  1. Preheat oven to 350F. Line an 8×8-inch pan with aluminum foil and spray with cooking spray; set aside.
  2. To a large bowl, add the eggs, sugar, pumpkin, oil, pumpkin pie spice, vanilla, and whisk to combine.
  3. Add the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and stir until just combined, don’t overmix.
  4. 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.
  5. Set cake aside on a cooling rack to cool completely before frosting it so the frosting doesn’t melt.

Make the Frosting

  1. 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).
  2. 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).
  3. Slice and serve.

Notes

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.

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

9

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 413 Total Fat: 20g Saturated Fat: 5g Trans Fat: 0g Unsaturated Fat: 13g Cholesterol: 61mg Sodium: 439mg Carbohydrates: 55g Net Carbohydrates: 0g Fiber: 1g Sugar: 42g Sugar Alcohols: 0g Protein: 4g

More Pumpkin Desserts: 

Fudgy Pumpkin Bars with Vanilla Bean Browned Butter Glaze — Bars so soft they’re like biting into pumpkin fudge! The glaze is ahh-mazing!

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!

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!

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!

Soft Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Bars - Super soft and are like biting into a piece of rich pumpkin fudge! Loaded with chocolate and crazy good!!

Soft Vegan Pumpkin Bread with Brown Sugar Streusel Crust – You won’t miss the eggs or the butter in this fast and easy bread with a great streusel crust!

Soft Vegan Pumpkin Bread with Brown Sugar Streusel Crust - You won't miss the eggs or the butter in this fast & easy bread from averiecooks.com

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Bread — Super soft, moist, rich pumpkin flavor, and loaded with chocolate chips! Easy, no mixer recipe that’s the best!

The Best Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Bread - Super soft, moist, rich pumpkin flavor, and loaded with chocolate chips! Easy, no mixer recipe that's the BEST!!

Buttery Pecan Pumpkin Spice Cookies – Buttery soft dough with big chunky pecans in every bite! Salty-and-sweet and so hard to resist!

Buttery Pecan Pumpkin Spice Cookies - Buttery soft dough with big chunky pecans in every bite! Salty-and-sweet and so hard to resist!!

Pumpkin Banana Bread — Soft, moist, fluffy and so much better than another loaf of plain banana bread.

Soft and Chewy Pumpkin Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies — The cookies are soft, thick, hearty, perfectly chewy and not cakey! 

84 comments on “Easy Pumpkin Spice Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting”

  1. 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!

  2. That frosting looks sooo picture perfect and so does the texture of the cake!! I am totally in the mood for pumpkin season now?

  3. 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

  4. 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.

  5. I agree, isn’t cream cheese frosting just the best? It’s the king of frostings. This looks like such a lovely cake!

  6. 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!

  7. 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.

  8. I love your new site! The grey looks gorgeous with your photos! And this cake looks delicious too ;)

    Paige
    http://thehappyflammily.com

  9. 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. 

  10. 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?  

  11. 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.

  12. Pumpkin spice cake + cream cheese frosting is like heaven to me! Thanks for the recipe, Averie! :D

  13. This is so pretty – I love all your easy cake recipes!

  14. @Averie

    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.

    Regards
    Priyanka

  15. Love the recipe! Thank for sharing. Definitely going to my bookmarks.

  16. 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!

  17. Who would have thought that a vegetable would be so great in a multitude of desserts! Love me some pumpkin cake!

  18. 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!

  19. 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.

  20. 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!
    Thank you!

  21. 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.  

  22. If I would double the pumpkin spice cake recipe, would I be able to use a 9×13 pan

  23. 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!

  24. 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.  

  25. 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.

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