Crazy Good Pumpkin Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

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  • 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. 

    Small white plate with a slice of pumpkin cake, pale blue linen napkin and gold fork to the side. #pumpkincake #pumpkincakerecipe

    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!

    White marble counter top, with a full sheet cake with creamy white frosting on top. #pumpkincake #pumpkinsheetcake #pumpkincakewithcreamcheesefrosting

    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!

    Small white plate with a slice of pumpkin cake, pale blue linen napkin and gold fork to the side. #pumpkincake #pumpkincakerecipe

    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!

    • 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. 

    Close up of a pumpkin sheet cake with frosting on top, one slice removed. #pumpkincake

    Cream Cheese Frosting Ingredients

    • 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!

    Close up of a pumpkin sheet cake with frosting on top, one slice removed. #pumpkincake

    Variations:

    • 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.

    Small white plate with a slice of pumpkin cake, glass baking dish of cake in the background. #pumpkincake #pumpkincakerecipe

    Pumpkin Cake Recipe

    You can click jump to the recipe or scroll to bypass additional details about this amazing 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!

    1. Mix wet ingredients.
    2. Mix dry ingredients.
    3. Gradually fold dry into wet until just combined. For the fluffiest cake, don’t over mix.
    4. Pour into a prepared 9×13″ prepared pan. 
    5. Bake.
    6. Make cream cheese frosting.
    7. Allow cake to cool completely, frost and serve!

    Close-up of a slice of pumpkin cake covered in creamy frosting. #pumpkincake #pumpkincakerecipe

    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.

    Small white plate with a slice of pumpkin cake, pale blue linen napkin and gold fork to the side. #pumpkincake #pumpkincakerecipe 

    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.

    Close up of a pumpkin sheet cake with frosting on top, one slice removed. #pumpkincake

    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! 

    Small white plate with a slice of pumpkin cake, pale blue linen napkin and gold fork to the side. #pumpkincake #pumpkincakerecipe

    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.

    Love this pumpkin sheet cake? You’ll also love my vintage-inspired butterscotch cake recipe

    For even more amazing pumpkin recipes visit my friends through the links below!

    Deliciou Pumpkin Pecan Coffee Cake by Ella Claire & Co. | Pumpkin Spice Cinnamon Roll Hack by Craftberry Bush | Pumpkin Baked Oatmeal by Tidy Mom | Moist Pumpkin Bread by Happy Happy Nester

    Pumpkin Cake by Julie Blanner | Pumpkin Streusel Muffins by French Country Cottage | Gluten/Dairy Free Pumpkin Thumbprint Cookies by Zevy Joy | Pumpkin Smoothie by Town and Country Living

    Pumpkin Pull Apart Bread by Inspired by Charm | Pumpkin Cookie Butter S’mores by Nest of Posies | Best Pumpkin Pie by anderson + grant | Pumpkin Bruschetta by My Sweet Savannah

    Baked Pumpkin Spice Donuts by Jenna Kate at Home | Pumpkin Smoothie Bowl by Tidbits | Pumpkin Cranberry Muffins by My 100 Year Old Home |Keto Pumpkin Muffins by Summer Adams

    Pumpkin Cupcake Mason Jar Triffles by Home Made Lovely | Favorite pumpkin Spice Sheet Cake by Handmade Farmhouse | Healthy Pumpkin Bread with Chocolate Chips by Boxwood Avenue | Pumpkin Lasagna by The Chronicles of Home

    Need help with the conversions while baking? Check out my Essential Measurement Conversion Chart 

    Small white plate with a slice of pumpkin cake, pale blue linen napkin and gold fork to the side. #pumpkincake #pumpkincakerecipe
    5 from 6 votes
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    Pumpkin Cake

    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 easy to serve or take to your next get together!

    Course Dessert
    Cuisine American
    Keyword cake, pumpkin, pumpkin cake, pumpkin cake recipe, pumpkin cake with cream cheese frosting
    Prep Time 15 minutes
    Cook Time 45 minutes
    Servings 20
    Calories 409 kcal

    Ingredients

    • 2 c flour
    • 1 Tbsp baking powder
    • 2 tsp baking soda
    • 1/4 tsp salt
    • 1 Tbsp cinnamon
    • 1 tsp allspice optional
    • 2 c sugar
    • 3/4 c vegetable oil
    • 1/2 c applesauce
    • 1 tsp vanilla
    • 4 eggs
    • 2 c pumpkin canned (15 oz)

    Cream Cheese Frosting

    • 1 c butter softened
    • 16 oz cream cheese
    • 1 Tbsp vanilla
    • 2 c powdered sugar

    Instructions

    1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease 9x12" baking dish.

    2. Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and allspice. Set aside.

    3. In a large mixing bowl or mixer, combine sugar, oil, applesauce, vanilla and pumpkin.

    4. Beat eggs in one at a time.

    5. Gradually beat in flour mixture.

    6. Pour batter into 9x13 baking dish. Bake 45 minutes or until a toothpick comes clean.

    Cream Cheese Frosting

    1. Beat butter and cream cheese in large mixing bowl until light and fluffy (about 5 minutes)..

    2. Add vanilla.

    3. Gradually add powdered sugar on low until incorporated.

    4. Increase speed to high and beat until light and fluffy (about 3 minutes).

    5. Spread onto cooled cake.

    Recipe Notes

    Make 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.

    Substitute 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 1 can pumpkin puree  to 2 cups fresh pumpkin.

    How to Store Pumpkin Cake

    Cover the cake using plastic wrap or foil. Refrigerate up to 5 days.

    This cake also freezes incredibly well! It maintains it's moisture and 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.

    Variations

    • Fold in chocolate chips, white chocolate chips, walnuts or pecans into the batter. 
    • Decorate it with Candied Nuts.
    • Spice it up - add 1 Tablespoon pumpkin spice to the cream cheese frosting.
    • Top with Salted Caramel Frosting or Cool Whip instead. 
    Nutrition Facts
    Pumpkin Cake
    Amount Per Serving
    Calories 409 Calories from Fat 225
    % Daily Value*
    Fat 25g38%
    Saturated Fat 17g85%
    Cholesterol 49mg16%
    Sodium 310mg13%
    Potassium 152mg4%
    Carbohydrates 45g15%
    Fiber 1g4%
    Sugar 33g37%
    Protein 3g6%
    Vitamin A 1576IU32%
    Vitamin C 1mg1%
    Calcium 60mg6%
    Iron 1mg6%
    * Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
     
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