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Pumpkin Cake (With Cream Cheese Frosting)

Pumpkin Cake (With Cream Cheese Frosting)

This pumpkin cake is moist and packed with wonderful pumpkin spice flavor. And it tastes even better with homemade cream cheese frosting! This is a great recipe to serve during the holidays or year round.

This traditional pumpkin cake was my grandmother’s recipe and I haven’t changed it in all these years. The classic, pumpkin spice flavor is so delicious and when topped with cream cheese frosting, it’s like a dream.

If you want a moist, homestyle pumpkin cake then this is the recipe for you!

Make sure to bookmark or pin this recipe so you can find it the next time you want to bake a homemade pumpkin cake.

Have you ever baked a cake that had a mound in the center? There are a few things that can cause that to happen. Either your baking temperature was too high, you didn’t use enough liquid, or you used too much flour. To fix, make sure to follow your recipe and properly measure your ingredients.

Cake Tip

How to Bake a Homemade Frosted Pumpkin Cake from Scratch

moist fresh baked pumpkin pie frosted and sliced ready to serve

This recipe never fails to impress when served at get togethers. And my family and I are huge pumpkin fans, so we love it just as much.

And even though it’s a “from scratch” recipe, it’s not complicated to make at all. And once you’ve tasted it, I don’t think you’ll be going back to a box mix again.

Prep time is about ten minutes and bake time is right about a half an hour. For equipment, you will need two mixing bowls, a hand mixer, and a 13″x9″ baking pan.

If your cake comes out cracked and crumbly, that means you either removed it from your cake pan too soon, or you added too much baking powder or sugar. Always completely cool your cake before transferring it to your serving dish and follow your recipe closely.

Cake Tip

Ingredients and Alternatives

can of pure pumpkin used for pumpkin cake recipe

Don’t let the ingredient list length dissuade you. This recipe is not difficult to make, and by making it from scratch, you get such a wonderful flavor and texture.

It’s well worth the slight increase in prep time. And most of these ingredients are kitchen staples that you likely have on hand already.

Ingredients List

  • Canned Pumpkin
  • All-Purpose Flour
  • Baking Powder
  • Baking Soda
  • Salt
  • Ground Cinnamon
  • Allspice
  • Ginger
  • Brown Sugar
  • Granulated Sugar
  • Butter
  • Eggs
  • Buttermilk
  • Chopped Nuts (optional)
  • Cream Cheese Frosting

Pumpkin: Canned pumpkin should be used instead of canned pumpkin pie filling. That’s because pumpkin pie filling already contains spices and we want to use our own spices to get the perfect pumpkin cake flavor. If you do decide to use pumpkin pie filling, you will need to omit the other spices. But it will impact the final flavor of your cake.

Spices: This spice mix has been passed down for generations and it is absolutely fantastic! Again, I don’t recommend using an alternative, but if you must, pumpkin pie spice can be used in a pinch. Go with 2 1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice.

Flour: I’ve found all-purpose flour and cake flour produce the best texture. While you can use an alternative flour, it will impact the final texture of your cake. Go with all-purpose or cake flour if at all possible.

Buttermilk: This provides flavor and texture while also helping bind all our other ingredients. This is probably the ingredient I get asked for a substitute the most. While I do recommend sticking with buttermilk, if you need a substitute it’s best to make your own. Mix 3/4 cup regular milk with a tablespoon of either lemon juice or white distilled vinegar.

Cream Cheese Frosting for your Cake

overhead view of mixing bowl with cream cheese frosting ingredients in it

The combination of pumpkin cake and cream cheese frosting is a match made in heaven! And while you can use a premade cream cheese if you’re in a hurry, homemade will produce an amazing flavor and it’s not hard to make at all.

I have a number of great cream cheese frosting recipes on Treat Dreams you can use. Go to the top and search for all the recipes.

But, I will provide a list of simple and delicious cream cheese recipes that work great with pumpkin cake.

You can thicken your cream cheese frosting without using powdered sugar by chilling it in the refrigerator for a half an hour. This will allow the fat to stiffen making a thicker and firmer frosting.

Frosting Tip

Simple to Follow Recipe Instructions

mixing bowl with pumpkin cake batter

As far as homemade recipes go, this one is pretty quick and easy to put together. In as little as ten minutes you can have your pumpkin cake baking in the oven.

I like to prepare my frosting while my cake is cooling. You can make it as soon as you start baking your cake too, just keep your frosting chilling in the fridge until it’s time to frost your cake.

Step 1: Preheat oven.

Step 2: Stir together flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and your spices.

Step 3: In separate bowl cream your butter.

Step 4: Mix in your eggs one at a time.

Step 5: Mix in a small amount of buttermilk and then your flour mixture until well blended.

Step 6: Mix in pumpkin until well combined.

Step 7: Bake in greased pan for about 30 minutes.

Step 8: Cool and then frost.

cake pan with slices of homemade pumpkin cake with cream cheese frosting on table

Pumpkin Cake (With Cream Cheese Frosting)

Moist and delicious pumpkin spiced cake that's perfect to serve during the holidays or as a tasty family dessert.
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Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Servings 12
Calories 286 kcal


  • 2 Mixing Bowls
  • 1 Hand Mixer
  • 1 13"x9" Pan


  • ¾ Cup Canned Pumpkin
  • Cup All-Purpose Flour
  • 3 tsp Baking Powder
  • ¼ tsp Baking Soda
  • tsp Ground Cinnamon
  • ½ tsp Allspice
  • ½ tsp Ginger
  • ½ tsp Salt
  • 1 Cup Brown Sugar packed
  • ½ Cup Granulated Sugar
  • 8 Tbs Butter
  • 2 Large Eggs
  • ¾ Cup Buttermilk
  • ½ Cup Chopped Nuts optional


  • Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
  • In your mixing bowl, stir together flour, baking powder, salt, baking soda, and your spices.
  • In separate bowl, cream butter and sugar until smooth.
  • Mix in eggs one at a time. Mixture will be light and smooth.
  • Alternately mix in small amounts of buttermilk then your flour mixture (then back to buttermilk and so on) until well combined.
  • Mix in pumpkin until well combined.
  • Note: Add nuts now if desired.
  • Grease pan and then pour in cake batter.
  • Bake for approximately 30 minutes. Cake is done when inserted skewer comes out clean.
  • Cool cake completely, then frost.
  • Serve and enjoy!


Calories: 286kcal
Keyword Cream Cheese Frosting, Pumpkin Cake
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