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Easy, Homemade Pumpkin Cake with the BEST Cream Cheese Frosting

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Holidays, Recipes

Easy, Homemade Pumpkin Cake with the BEST Cream Cheese Frosting

This Pumpkin Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting is moist, perfectly spiced, and incredibly easy-to-make from scratch. Topped with the BEST Cream Cheese Frosting, this homemade Pumpkin Cake will quickly become your favorite fall dessert!

Round cake with fluffy cream cheese frosting, two cute pumpkins, and a purple flower on a wooden platter.

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Fall is FINALLY here! Which means pumpkin, pumpkin, everywhere!

This easy, homemade Pumpkin Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting is my absolute favorite cake of the season. It’s moist, tender, and the perfect balance of pumpkin and spice. 

Even people who don’t like pumpkin, love this cake. Especially when it’s smothered in luscious cream cheese frosting. 

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A tall Cake with fluffy frosting with three small pumpkins and two purple flowers.

How to Make Pumpkin Cake from Scratch?

A lot of other pumpkin cake recipes call for a boxed cake mix. Not this one. It’s incredibly easy to make delicious pumpkin cake from scratch. 

All you need is pumpkin, butter, brown sugar, white sugar, eggs, vanilla extract, flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, pumpkin pie spice, and ground cinnamon. 

Ingredients for Pumpkin Cake laid out on a marble table.

I only use one bowl and mix by hand.

But, you can also use one mixing bowl for the wet ingredients and another mixing bowl for the dry ingredients.

Combine both, then spread the batter into your baking pan or pans. Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. 

Pan or Pans? 

You can make this homemade pumpkin cake as a sheet cake with a 9 x 13 inch pan. 

I made a 3-layer cake with my new 6-inch round baking pan from this Wilton Round Cake Pan Set.

I only have one 6-inch pan, so I had to bake each layer separately and wait for it to cool before washing the pan, greasing it, and adding more batter to bake the next one. 

Round Cake with White Creamy Frosting and two small pumpkins.

It’s definitely easier with multiple pans. You can just divide the batter evenly in each pan (after greasing them) and bake. 

This pumpkin cake recipe makes enough batter for three 6-inch round pans or two 8-inch round pans (for a double layer cake). 

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Can I make this recipe into Pumpkin Cupcakes?

Absolutely! Just line a cupcake or muffin pan with cupcake liners, divide the batter evenly (filling each 2/3 full), and bake for 18-21 minutes or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean. 

This easy pumpkin cake recipe makes about 24 cupcakes. 

A Cupcake with white swirled frosting and a fondant orange pumpkin on top.

What kind of Pumpkin should I use?

Canned 100% Pure Pumpkin. Please do not use Pumpkin Pie filling. That has spices and sugar already added. We want pure pumpkin. 

If you have any pumpkin left over and have dogs, check out this recipe – Easy Pumpkin Peanut Butter Dog Treats.

How to Make Cream Cheese Frosting? 

The most important step to perfect cream cheese frosting is to make sure the butter and cream cheese are at room temperature before mixing. 

I do use a mixer when I make cream cheese frosting and all my other buttercreams. It’s the only way to get that dreamy whipped consistency. 

I use a stand mixer, like this KitchenAid one. It’s incredible and I’m obsessed with it. The pouring shield is a lifesaver (or kitchen saver) when mixing anything with powdered sugar.

You can also use a hand mixer though, like this KitchenAid 9-Speed Hand Mixer

It’s also important to use a block of cream cheese. Not the kind that is in a tub.

Cream cheese in a tub is made to be spreadable. It tends to have a higher water content, which will ruin the consistency of your cream cheese frosting. 

How to Decorate Homemade Pumpkin Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting?

I’m teaching myself how to use fondant, so I made cute, little pumpkins out of fondant. It took a little bit to figure out, but I’m happy with them. 

Slice of Pumpkin Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting on a White Plate with a Fondant Orange Pumpkin and real Purple Flower

There are little pumpkins available online, like these adorable ones.

You could also decorate your pumpkin cake with these festive fall sprinkles

Do I need to refrigerate Pumpkin Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting?

Yes, because the frosting contains cream cheese. I honestly think it tastes even better cold. 

Place the cake or individual slices in an airtight container and store in the fridge for up to four days. 

Tall Pumpkin Cake with a Slice Missing. Two Pumpkins on the cake and one on the wooden serving tray.

For more fall favorites, check out these recipes: 
How to Make Baked Apple Cider Donut Muffins
Fireball Poke Cupcakes – How to Make This Boozy Favorite
Cranberry Almond Raisin Biscotti Crisps

And throw the BEST Halloween Party with these 7 Easy Halloween Party Ideas!!

Round cake with fluffy cream cheese frosting, two cute pumpkins, and a purple flower on a wooden platter.
Print Recipe
5 from 4 votes

Pumpkin Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

This Pumpkin Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting is moist, perfectly spiced, and incredibly easy to make from scratch. Topped with the BEST Cream Cheese Frosting, this homemade Pumpkin Cake will quickly become your favorite fall dessert!
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time30 mins
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Easy Baking, Easy Dessert Recipes, Fall Desserts, Fall Recipes, Party Food, Pumpkin Cake
Servings: 12 slices

Ingredients

Pumpkin Cake

  • 1/2 cup Butter softened to room temperature
  • 3/4 cup Brown Sugar
  • 1/2 cup Granulated Sugar
  • 1 tsp Vanilla Extract
  • 3 Eggs large
  • 1 1/2 cup Pumpkin canned
  • 2 cups Flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp Baking Powder
  • 1 tsp Baking Soda
  • 1/2 tsp Salt
  • 2 tsp Pumpkin Pie Spice
  • 1/2 tsp Ground Cinnamon

Cream Cheese Frosting

  • 1/2 cup Butter softened to room temperature
  • 8 oz Cream Cheese softened to room temperature
  • 1 tsp Vanilla Extract
  • 1/4 tsp Salt
  • 4 cups Powdered Sugar

Instructions

Pumpkin Cake

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  • Prep baking pan (sizes discussed above in "Pan or Pans" section) with olive oil or nonstick spray.
  • In a large mixing bowl, cream butter and sugar (brown & granulated) together.
  • Add eggs, vanilla extract, and pumpkin. Mix.
  • Add flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, pumpkin pie spice, and cinnamon. Mix until combined.
  • Pour batter into prepared pan.
  • Bake for 30-35 minutes or until done (a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean).
  • Let cool completely before frosting.

Cream Cheese Frosting

  • In a large bowl, beat together room temperature butter and cream cheese until completely smooth.
  • Add vanilla and salt. Beat until combined.
  • Gradually add the powdered sugar. Mix on low until combined (or it’ll fly up into your face and all over your kitchen… I speak from experience.). If you are using a hand mixer, add about 1/2 cup of powdered sugar, mix on low, add another 1/2 cup of powdered sugar, mix on low again, and so on. Do this until everything is combined.
  • Once combined, increase speed to medium-high and beat until thick and creamy (about 1-2 minutes).
  • Frost your cake!

Video

Notes

  • Allow all ingredients to warm to room temperature before beginning, even the eggs. Cold eggs will solidify the butter and lead to clumps. 
  • Size – Batter can fill one 9×13″ pan, two 8″ round pans, or three 6″ round pans. If baking with 6″ pans, adjust the baking time. Please begin to check your cakes around 25 minutes. 
  • For cupcakes, bake at 350 degrees F for 18-21 minutes or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean. 

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(4) Comments

  1. 5 stars
    Yummy! That looks so good and what a great idea. Print it and will make it for the Holiday season.
    Thank you for sharing!

  2. 5 stars
    This pumpkin cream cheese cake was delicious! I loved the pumpkin flavor!

  3. 5 stars
    Yes I’m so excited for all the pumpkin desserts, this delicious cake included! I can’t wait to try!

  4. Eliza Cross says:

    5 stars
    Such a gorgeous pumpkin cake, and what a great recipe. Thank you for sharing such detailed directions and photos, too. Another winner from Love Mischka!

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