This is an incredibly moist Pumpkin Cake Recipe that is slathered in the most indulgent layer of creamy homemade frosting. This Pumpkin Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting is baked in a standard 9×13 baking dish, and it’s so easy to put together with no decorating skills required.
This amazing Pumpkin Cake recipe is light and moist, topped with a fluffy cream cheese frosting that will have you begging for just one more bite! You can make Pumpkin Cake with Cream Cheese frosting in a standard baking dish for an easy, beautiful dessert that is so simple to serve or take to your next get together!
‘Tis the season for pumpkin everything… and this Pumpkin Cake will have even non-pumpkin lovers begging for more. Chris and the girls put this in their top 5 desserts of all time and I think you will, too!
While I love making cakes look as beautiful as they taste, I’m anything but a cake decorator. That’s why this cake is effortlessly pretty, made in a standard 9×13 baking dish and topped with a luxurious cream cheese frosting.
There’s so much beauty in simplicity – no decorating required, no special techniques or tools! This Pumpkin Cake recipe comes together as quickly and easily as it is devoured!
I like to give a lot of detail in my recipe posts to guide readers through any questions. If you’re just here for the printable recipe, feel free to click “jump to recipe” right under the title of this post and you’ll head straight there!
Table of Contents
What Makes this Pumpkin Cake So Great
- This cake is super moist with a delicate crumb. You won’t want to waste even one of those crumbs!
- It’s packed with a ton of fall flavor, including cinnamon spice and everything nice.
- It’s topped with a luxuriously creamy cream cheese frosting that’s thick and fluffy!
- It’s made in a 9×13 so it’s easy to bake and bring it to any event, including tailgates, hayrides, fall festivals, bake sales, Thanksgiving and more!
Pumpkin Cake Ingredients
Pumpkin Cake is made primarily of staple ingredients with the exception of canned pumpkin, which makes it easy to whip up any time or day!
I pair it with a light and fluffy cream cheese frosting. The sweet, yet tangy flavor balances the pumpkin spice beautifully! However, if you prefer buttercream, you can find my favorite buttercream frosting recipe here!
For the Cake
- Flour – All purpose flour and no need to sift.
- Leavening Agents – Baking Powder and Baking Soda make this cake rise to perfection.
- Salt – This pantry staple brings out all of the flavors of the other ingredients.
- Spices – A blend of cinnamon and allspice give this cake amazing fall flavor. Don’t have allspice? It’s so easy to make your own allspice blend with this recipe! If you don’t have any allspice or pumpkin pie spice on hand, don’t fret, just combine equal parts cinnamon, ground cloves, and nutmeg… or omit entirely.
- White Sugar – Sugar adds the perfect touch of sweetness.
- Vanilla – I use vanilla extract in just about everything and it adds just a touch of flavor that makes this cake out of this world good!
- Applesauce – The secret to making this cake immensely moist is in the sauce – applesauce! It adds moisture, acidity and a hint of fresh fruit flavor that takes this cake over the top!
- Vegetable Oil – Okay, we can’t give applesauce all the credit. Vegetable oil also adds to the tender crumb and moist texture of this cake.
- Pumpkin Puree – Canned pumpkin puree is cooked and mashed squash. Don’t be confused with pumpkin pie filling that is already sweetened and spiced or you’ll wind up with an over spiced Pumpkin Cake. 😉
- Eggs – The eggs in this cake act as a binder, and they also create more moisture and the perfect spongy texture.
For the Cream Cheese Frosting
- Butter – Salted or unsalted, it’s your choice! I always use salted.
- Cream Cheese – Full fat for best results.
- Vanilla – It’s the ultimate fragrant addition to your baking- don’t use imitation vanilla.
- Powdered Sugar – This is a must-have ingredient for your frosting because of the incredibly fine texture. No other sugar will do!
Don’t miss my essential post on how to soften cream cheese. Seriously, a few of these tricks might just change your life!
- This cake certainly doesn’t need anything else, but if you wish, you can fold chocolate chips, white chocolate chips, walnuts or pecans into the batter.
- Decorate it with your favorite fall nuts or Candied Nuts.
- Spice it up – add 1 Tablespoon pumpkin spice to the cream cheese frosting.
- Top with Salted Caramel Frosting. Just add a touch of heavy cream or heavy milk for a fluffier texture, or top with Cool Whip.
How to Make this Pumpkin Cake Recipe
This is a quick and easy cake to make! In fact, it’s foolproof! You don’t even need to worry about decorating this amazing fall cake because it’s truly beautiful as is!
- Mix wet ingredients.
- Mix dry ingredients.
- Gradually fold dry into wet until just combined. For the fluffiest cake, don’t over mix.
- Pour into a prepared 9×13″ prepared pan.
- Make cream cheese frosting.
- Allow cake to cool completely, frost and serve!
Tips for Pumpkin Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting
Preparing your Baking Dish
I am obsessed with this baking spray! It’s a game changer. No need to spray and flour. Cakes come out clean every time!
Make into Pumpkin Cupcakes
This batter yields approximately 24 standard cupcakes. Simply spray or fill your muffin tins with liners, fill 2/3 full and bake 18 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. About 18-20 minutes.
Make a Pumpkin Bundt Cake
Prepare bundt pan using spray (and flour unless using the baking spray mentioned above) and bake 45 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean. Allow to cool 10-15 minutes on wire rack then flip onto rack and allow to completely cool before moving or icing with a Cream Cheese Glaze.
Make with Fresh Pumpkin
You can make Pumpkin Cake with fresh pumpkin, however I prefer using canned pumpkin puree. A general rule of thumb to replace canned pumpkin with fresh pumpkin is one can pumpkin puree to two cups fresh pumpkin.
How to Store Pumpkin Cake
Due to the cream cheese frosting, this cake is best served immediately or refrigerated. Cover the cake using plastic wrap or foil. Refrigerate up to 5 days.
This cake also freezes incredibly well! It maintains both the moisture and original flavor. Double wrap the cake to avoid any freezer odor from seeping in and freeze up to 3 months. Bring to room temperature before serving by allowing it to thaw in the refrigerator overnight.
I can’t wait to hear what you think of this recipe!
Love this pumpkin sheet cake? You’ll also love my vintage-inspired butterscotch cake recipe! For something unique that’s sure to be a hit with friends and family, check out my cookie butter cake recipe as well.
If you love a little cream cheese flavor in your fall dessert line-up, don’t miss this incredible cream cheese pie crust! It makes pies SO EASY – you’ll never go back to a store bought crust again!
Need help with the conversions while baking? Check out my Essential Measurement Conversion Chart.
More Pumpkin Recipes You’ll Love
If you love everything pumpkin, be sure to start with my ultimate pumpkin baking guide. You’ll find tips, tricks and incredible recipes! Check out a few more fun pumpkin ideas right here, too.
- Best Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins
- Pumpkin Muffin Recipe
- Soft and Chewy Pumpkin Sugar Cookies
- Pumpkin Pound Cake
- Pumpkin Gooey Butter Cookies
- Pumpkin Bundt Cake
Cream Cheese Frosting
- 1 c butter softened
- 16 oz cream cheese
- 1 Tbsp vanilla
- 2 c powdered sugar
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease 9×12" baking dish.
- Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and allspice. Set aside.
- In a large mixing bowl or mixer, combine sugar, oil, applesauce, vanilla and pumpkin.
- Beat eggs in one at a time.
- Gradually beat in flour mixture.
- Pour batter into 9×13 baking dish. Bake 45 minutes or until a toothpick comes clean.
Cream Cheese Frosting
- Beat butter and cream cheese in large mixing bowl until light and fluffy (about 5 minutes)..
- Add vanilla.
- Gradually add powdered sugar on low until incorporated.
- Increase speed to high and beat until light and fluffy (about 3 minutes).
- Spread onto cooled cake.