Pumpkin Spice Cake With Cream Cheese Frosting

This pumpkin spice cake is my favorite “welcome to fall” treat. A super moist butter cake that uses real pumpkin puree, pumpkin spices, buttermilk, and oil which helps it stay moist, even after a week in the fridge. Frosted with my thick and stable cream cheese frosting, I can't wait to make this cake every year! This cake is super versatile and can be made into cupcakes, bundt cake, and even mini loaves! Great for gift giving!

Pumpkin Spice Cake With Stable Cream Cheese Frosting Is A Must Have This Fall

This pumpkin spice cake is my favorite “welcome to fall” treat. A super moist butter cake that uses real pumpkin puree, pumpkin spices, buttermilk, and oil which helps it stay moist, even after a week in the fridge. The cream cheese frosting compliments the pumpkin spice cake perfectly and because it is a crusting (firms up) frosting, it actually helps hold in the moisture of the cake and is stable enough to pipe.

pumpkin spice cake

Tools For Decorating Pumpkin Spice Cake

  • 1M Piping Tip
  • Small Piping Tip
  • 2F Piping Tip
  • Round #3 Piping Tip
  • Red, egg yellow, orange, ivory food coloring
  • Cake cardboard (optional)

I actually made my pumpkin spice cake two weeks ago and I admit to eating a piece pretty much every day since. You could cut this recipe in half and bake it in a bread loaf pan if you prefer having a slice of cake for breakfast. Yes, I give you permission.

 Easy Pumpkin Spice Cake

So I had planned on making this very simple pumpkin spice cake recipe in my kitchen a few weeks ago and was setting everything up when someone interrupts me. My daughter Avalon who is now FOUR (I still can’t believe that) is like a cat and a can opener. As soon as she hears me setting up the camera she wants to be right in the middle of it all. I normally try to keep her out of the space while I bake but then something just kinda came over me.

pumpkin spice cake

These are the moments that will build her memories of me. She will forever remember me in the kitchen baking and decorating for the rest of her life. Do I want those memories to be of me telling her to stay out and leave me in peace or do I want them to be special memories of her in the kitchen with me. Learning. Having fun.

So when she said “mom can I bake a cake with you” I said SURE and got her the stepping stool.

Even though this is technically a tutorial with my DSLR all set up and everything over the top of the mixer, it didn’t take much for me to set up my phone and press the record button. I had no idea I what I was going to capture.

pumpkin spice cake

I decided to just hand Avalon each little bowl of ingredients and let her put them into the mixing bowl instead of doing it myself. She knew so many of the names of the ingredients! I was also super disappointed she didn’t say “ba-nilla” when she put it in the bowl because that is my favorite right now.

The great thing about this cake is that it’s so easy. No fancy mixing required.

How To Make Pumpkin Spice Cake

This pumpkin spice cake only has a few simple ingredients and it all comes together so quickly!

  1. Combine your flour, baking soda, baking powder, spices, and salt into a bowl and whisk together. Set the bowl aside.
  2. Blend together your eggs with the brown sugar, white sugar, and vanilla
  3. Add in your pumpkin, melted butter, oil and buttermilk (No buttermilk? Substitute with 1/2 cup buttermilk and 2 tsp white vinegar)
  4. While mixing on low, start adding in your flour mixture one cup at a time until it’s all combined together and smooth. 
  5. Bake!

    pumpkin spice pumpkin spice cake

This is a dense cake and is the perfect amount for two 8″x2″ cake pans or two bread loaf pans.

It took my pumpkin spice cake about 55 minutes to bake all the way because it’s so moist. Think banana bread. Low and slow is the way to go. Your baking time might vary depending on the size of your pan.

pumpkin spice cake

After my cakes had been cooling for about 10 minutes, I flipped them out onto a cooling rack and then wrapped them in some plastic wrap and put them in the freezer to chill for about an hour until they were cool enough to frost.

How To Make Thick Cream Cheese Frosting

I am ashamed to say that I had trouble with cream cheese frosting for WAY longer than what seems appropriate for a professional cake decorator. I just always felt my cream cheese was too soft to really do anything other than frost a cupcake, let alone decorate a cake.

thick cream cheese frosting

Then I finally tried a crusting cream cheese frosting recipe from Design Me A Cake and I was in love! Finally! A thick cream cheese frosting that I could use to actually decorate a cake. I tweaked the recipe a tad for my own tastes but it’s basically the best recipe ever just the way it is.

How To Make Cream Cheese Frosting

The best thing about this cream cheese recipe is that it can be used as a filling or for frosting the outside of your cake. After a few minutes, a crispy crust forms on the surface of the buttercream and keeps the frosting nice and stable so the details hold their shape.

  1. To make your cream cheese frosting simple place your room temperature butter into the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment and cream until smooth.
  2. Then add in your room temperature cream cheese and cream together until smooth with no lumps. (If you forgot to bring your cream cheese to room temperature you can cut it into cubes and place it onto a place and microwave for 15 seconds to soften).
  3. Then, add your powdered sugar one cup at a time while mixing on low. Wait until the sugar is fully incorporated before adding in more to keep your frosting from splitting and getting gritty.
  4. Once your cream cheese frosting is smooth, add in your salt and vanilla extract. You can also use lemon or orange extract instead of vanilla if you want a citrus kick.

cream cheese frosting recipe  

Other frostings that would be FABULOUS with this cake!

Brown Butter Frosting
Easy Buttercream
Traditional Cream Cheese Frosting (Just as tasty but a little softer than my crusting cream cheese frosting)

BONUS: Want step-by-step instructions on how to make your first cake? Watch my how to make a cake video tutorial! 

how to make a cake tutorial

How To Make A Pumpkin Spice Layer Cake With Cream Cheese Frosting Rosettes

After my cake is cooled, I trimmed off the dome of my cake with a bread knife and place the layers on a cake cardboard. You could tort (split your cakes in half lengthwise) but I like nice tall layers of cake.

I put a nice layer of my cream cheese frosting in the middle of the two layers, sprinkled it with some cinnamon and gave it a quick crumb coat to seal in all the crumbs of the cake. Then I put the whole cake into the fridge to chill for about 20 minutes.

pumpkin spice cake

I decided to color my cream cheese frosting with a little egg yellow, orange, red and ivory food coloring to make some fall colors. I just divided my frosting up into separate bowls, added in my colors and mixed them until they where the shade I wanted.

Then I put the colored buttercream in a piping bag with a piping tip. I started out with my 1M piping tip to make some rosettes with the red. I tried to space my colors out evenly. Then I switched to my next bag and small star tip to make some more rosettes and dollops.

crusting cream cheese frosting

I basically repeat this process in various sized tips and shapes until the whole cake was covered in some beautiful fall colors.

After a few minutes, the cream cheese crusts and sets and your cake is now stable! Pretty cool huh! I have not tested this frosting under fondant. Typically fondant and cream cheese frosting do not get along. 

pumpkin spice cake

Since the frosting contains cream cheese, you will have to keep it stored in the fridge. If you cut a slice and let it sit at room temp for 10 minutes it’s perfect. The cream cheese frosting will always be firm on the outside. That’s part of what helps keep the cake moist.

Pumpkin Spice Cupcakes With Cream Cheese Frosting

This recipe works really well for cupcakes too. Fill your liners up 3/4 of the way full. Bake the cupcakes at 400ºF for about 20 minutes or until the center is set. Let cool and frost with your cream cheese frosting.

pumpkin spice cupcakes

The simple video instructions on how to make this cake and decorate it can be found in the recipe card below. I also made this adorable video of Avalon helping me make this cake.

Blame my mommy heart, I may have melted a little bit watching this. I just love baking with this girl in the kitchen. 

Cake Batter and Frosting Calculator

Select an option below to calculate how much batter or frosting you need. Adjust the servings slider on the recipe card to change the amounts the recipe makes.

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Cups of Batter Needed

8 cups

Cups of Frosting Needed

5 cups

Note: measurements are estimated based off the vanilla cake recipe using standard US cake pans and sizes. Measurements used are for 2" tall cake pans only. Your results may vary. Do not overfill cake pans above manufacturer's recommended guidelines.

Did You Make This Recipe?Leave a rating and tell me how it went!

Pumpkin Spice Cake With Cream Cheese Frosting

This pumpkin spice cake is my favorite “welcome to fall” treat. A super moist butter cake that uses real pumpkin puree, pumpkin spices, buttermilk, and oil which helps it stay moist, even after a week in the fridge. Frosted with my thick and stable cream cheese frosting, I can't wait to make this cake every year! This cake is super versatile and can be made into cupcakes, bundt cake, and even mini loaves! Great for gift giving!
5 from 8 votes
Print Rate
Prep Time: 10 mins
Cook Time: 50 mins
Serves: 8 cups
Calories: 1909kcal

Ingredients

Pumpkin Spice Cake Ingredients

  • 14 oz (397 g) AP Flour
  • 2 tsp (2 tsp) Baking Soda
  • 1 tsp (1 tsp) Baking Powder
  • 2 tsp (2 tsp) Cinnamon
  • 2 tsp (2 tsp) Cloves
  • 2 tsp (2 tsp) Nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp (1/2 tsp) Ginger
  • 1 tsp (1 tsp) Salt
  • 8 Large (8 Large) Eggs
  • 12 oz (340 g) Sugar
  • 3 oz (85 g) Light Brown Sugar
  • 12 oz (340 g) Pumpkin Puree
  • 6 oz (170 g) oil
  • 2 tsp (2 tsp ) Vanilla
  • 4 oz (113 g) Buttermilk
  • 12 oz (340 g) Melted Butter

Cream Cheese Frosting Ingredients

  • 12 oz (340 g) cream cheese room temp
  • 12 oz (340 g) unsalted butter room temp
  • 48 oz (1361 g) powdered sugar
  • 1 tbsp (1 tbsp) clear vanilla
  • 1/2 tsp (1/2 tsp) salt
  • 1 tsp (1 tsp) Vanilla

Equipment

  • Stand Mixer
  • Paddle Attachment
  • 1 M Piping Tip
  • 2 F Piping Tip
  • Wilton #32 Tip
  • #3 Round Piping Tip
  • Piping Bags
  • Red, Yellow, Orange, Ivory Food Coloring

Instructions

Cake Instructions

  • Preheat your oven to 350ºF
    Prepare two 8"x2" cake pans with cake goop or other preferred pan release
  • Combine your flour, baking soda, baking powder, spices and salt in a bowl and whisk together to combine. Set aside. 
  • In the bowl of a stand mixer, add your eggs, sugar, brown sugar and vanilla. Mix on low with the paddle attachment until smooth. You can also do this by hand with a whisk if you don't have a mixer. 
  • Add in your pumpkin puree, oil, melted butter and buttermilk and mix until smooth
  • While mixing on low, add in your flour mixture one cup at a time until all your dry ingredients are incorporated and your batter is smooth. Do not over-mix. 
  • Pour batter into prepared cake pans. Bake the cakes for 40-50 minutes until the center of the cake is set. Let cakes cool ten minutes and turn out onto a cake rack to fully cool before frosting.

Frosting Instructions

  • Cream the softened butter with the paddle attachment until smooth. Add in your softened cream cheese and continue creaming on low until fully incorporated and smooth. 
  • Slowly add in powdered sugar one cup at a time, letting fully incorporate before adding the next cup. Add in vanilla and salt. Mix at low for 5-6 minutes until smooth.
  • For a whiter buttercream, add white food coloring. Store leftover buttercream in the fridge for up to a week or freeze up to 6 months. 

Notes

Important Things To Note Before You Start
1. Bring all your ingredients to room temperature or even a little warm (eggs, buttermilk, butter, etc) to ensure your cake batter does not break or curdle. 
2. Use a scale to weigh your ingredients (including liquids) unless otherwise instructed (Tablespoons, teaspoons, pinch etc). Metric measurements are available in the recipe card. Scaled ingredients are much more accurate than using cups and help ensure the success of your recipe. 
3. Practice Mise en Place (everything in it's place). Measure out your ingredients ahead of time and have them ready before you start mixing to reduce the chances of accidentally leaving something out.
4. Chill your cakes before frosting and filling. You can cover a frosted and chilled cake in fondant if you wish. This cake is also great for stacking. I always keep my cakes chilled in the refrigerator before delivery for easy transporting. 

Nutrition

Serving: 0.25cups | Calories: 1909kcal (95%) | Carbohydrates: 268g (89%) | Protein: 15g (30%) | Fat: 89g (137%) | Saturated Fat: 54g (270%) | Cholesterol: 417mg (139%) | Sodium: 1292mg (54%) | Potassium: 385mg (11%) | Fiber: 3g (12%) | Sugar: 223g (248%) | Vitamin A: 9610IU (192%) | Vitamin C: 1.8mg (2%) | Calcium: 171mg (17%) | Iron: 4.2mg (23%)

39 comments on “Pumpkin Spice Cake

  1. This looks so good! I definitely want to try it! Do you think for a 6” round 2” tall layers it would take the same amount of time to bake?
    These moments with your daughter are so sweet ?

  2. Liz, I have watched a lot of your tutorials over the past few years. And this one is, hands down, my favorite. Got me over here missing the snot out of my daughter, who is only at school. I do have an urge to go sign her out early and bring her home to bake something. Avalon is so adorable, and she did an outstanding job. This cake is now on my list of things to do this week. Thank you.

    1. Awww thank you so much! I think we will do this again together, it’s a lot more fun with her than the typical just film the bowl style lol. I’ll be sure to prepare myself and my kitchen a little bit better lol

  3. I’d like to do this cake in a bundt pan with a glaze. How would you adjust baking temp and time for a bundt pan?

  4. 5 stars
    Loved the video!?Avalon was great!! Made this cake more interesting!! Thanks for the recipe!!!

  5. This is absolutely precious! Well done, mama! You will never regret taking time with your littles as all TOO FAST they grow up!

  6. 5 stars
    Lizzo,
    You my sweet friend are amazing, I know I have told you that many times before but I just feel the need to say it again. I totally understand being tired and busy and sometimes not wanting to make a mess and have to clean up after but I also get being a mom and making memories with my children, you are a real superwoman!!! I love how you are a boss/owner/ wife/mom/ friend/ cake designer/ cake decorator and much much more. I have always loved and admired and appreciated you and your tutorials on sugar geek show and I’m very proud to be a sugar geek elite but I have to tell you it brought pure joy and love to my heart watching you teach and bake with Avalon. My mom passed away when I was 10 , she had cancer all over her body and when i was 7-9 she would show me how to cook and bake as she sat in her wheelchair she showed me what to do next and that is my greatest memory of all. I had told you before about her recipe for a chocolate mayonnaise cake with mint icing. Anyway I just wanted to say thank you. Not only thank you for always sharing your ideas, knowledge and best recipes but also showing us the beautiful bond between a mother and daughter and how special and important these times are together for you both, they grow up so fast and it’s nice to have those moments to look back on. You are a wonderful lady and sweet friend. Thank you again for all you do. I cant wait to try this recipe. Tell Avalon she did an awesome job!!!!!

    1. Thank you for sharing Brenda <3 I am so glad you have those wonderful memories of your mother to cherish. I do have one memory of my mother baking a blackberry sponge cake that was always so good and a favorite in our family but she rarely baked anything else that I can remember. I cherish that one recipe and wish we would have had more time together before she passed when I was 19. Unfortunately she was ill for most of my childhood so I don't have many memories of her. Baking really does bring families together <3

  7. This looks amazing. Could the flour be swapped for Bob’s Red Mill 1:1 GF flour successfully you think?

  8. Saved and printed! Did you use unsalted butter? Thanks!

  9. Liz,
    Let me give you some mommy advice (if I may)! Avalon is only going to be four, for a short time, the best I can say as a mother of three boys, is enjoy every single moment that she wants to spend with you, you are her greatest teacher, when my boys were little they loved to help me cook and bake so much so that today they are men (30, 28, &26) who not only love to cook (my middle son is a chef), but love to bake as well. Our family Sunday dinners are about whose cooking who’s preparing but most importantly the boys tell stories about when they were little and mommy taught them how to make all sorts of things. We will never get back those times so make them worth every minute I promise you that someday in the future your daughter will think of you as her hero, especially that you own and run your business take care of your family. I give you a lot of credit for doing what you do so never give up and enjoy each and every memory making minute that’ll be you most precious masterpiece.
    A fan forever,
    Terryann

  10. 5 stars
    OMG
    I just watched the video, Avalon you are Beautiful!!! And keep baking with mommy so we can watch more of you as you grow up. Mommy is pretty terrific too! ???❤️?

  11. How well does this recipe hold up for cupcakes?

  12. I don’t see any room temp ingredients noted on the cake recipe. Only the frosting. But the but the Super Important note about room temp ingredients is in cake directions, so I just wanted to verify!

  13. I’m looking for more of a spice cake recipe, I don’t want a lot of pumpkin flavor. Can I leave out the pumpkin or substitute it for something?

    1. I dont know for sure since I haven’t tried that. I don’t think it would be the same. What I usually do is just add spices to my vanilla cake recipe 🙂

  14. Liz,

    What did I do wrong??? My cake came out too oily. I had a little bit of extra batter (like in your video) and made 4 cupcakes – even those were an oily mess. I followed the recipe to a T, used room temperature ingredients, weighed all the ingredients, baked at 335 for 45 minutes…By the way, the toothpick came out oily, but clean. However, I think the cakes are a little bit undone. What could have happened? Anyone else had this problem?

    1. The cake is a bit oily when it first bakes up but after a day in the fridge that oil is important to making the cake taste moist. I hope you didn’t throw it out! It’s so yummy!

  15. 5 stars
    I can’t wait to try this recipe it’s looks delicious and Avalon did a fantastic job, she’s so stinkin’ Adorable, my 5 year old son Ben has been my bakin’ baby since he was one, I love including him in the videos.

  16. 5 stars
    I love this recipe! But I have one concern, it does come out oily and when I make it into cupcakes the liners are very greasy. What type of liner should I use to help in this or should I cut back on butter or oil.

  17. Hello

    I am really excited to make this cake, what icing nozzles did you use for the “roses”?

    Thanks,

    Pip

  18. Will this cake hold up under fondant? Plan on using easy buttercream because the cake will be sitting out for a few hours.

  19. I’m looking for a sturdy cream cheese frosting so I will try this. I would also like it to be a little tart. Do you think I can get away with adding a little extra cream cheese to it, or would it become too soft?

    Thanks,
    Bonnie

    1. The reason it’s so sturdy is because of the extra powdered sugar. You can definitely add more cream cheese but it will affect the stability

  20. 5 stars
    I’m planning on doing this the evening before thanksgiving. How does it taste if left in the fridge over night? Do I have to cover it?

    Thank you!

  21. 5 stars
    I made this for my family this Thanksgiving, and it’s a KEEPER! I brushed each layer with a little pumpkin spice coffee creamer for extra flavor. Super moist and delicious!

  22. Would it work if a I want to make it as loaf ?? Can I do 1/2 cake flour and 1/2 AP flour

    Thank you ?

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