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. 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

  2. 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.

  3. 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?

  4. 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

  5. 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!

  6. 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! :)

  7. 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 !! ?

  8. I made this cake a few weeks ago and everyone loved it! Have you made cupcakes with this recipe?

  9. Could you replace the oil with applesauce? I do this a lot in baking and usually comes out fine.

  10. 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

  11. 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!!!

    Rating: 5
  12. 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?

    Rating: 5
    • 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.

  13. 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! :)

  14. 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! :)

    Rating: 5
  15. This looks yummy! Wanted to make it for a birthday – stacked with the cream cheese frosting. Will that work?

  16. 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?

  17. Pumpkin spice cake with cream cheese icing

  18. Do you need to use aluminum foil even if you spray?

  19. 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.

    Rating: 4
    • 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!

  20. 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.😀😀

    Rating: 5
  21. 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!

    Rating: 5
  22. YUMMY YUMMY YUMMY!!! Followed the recipe exactly and it turned out perfect. Thank you!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.