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Pumpkin Cake

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posted: 11/24/20

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This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure policy

This Pumpkin Cake is easy to make, moist, and delicious – the perfect fall treat! Topped with the best cream cheese frosting, you won’t be able to resist this amazing pumpkin spice cake.

close up picture of a piece of pumpkin cake topped with cream cheese frosting on a plate

I just couldn’t resist giving you one last pumpkin treat!

Baking is a huge hit in my house every single time. Any time I suggest to my kids that we make muffins, cookies, or bread together, their faces light up. This is especially true if it is for a special occasion.

Baking to celebrate is like a magic wand spreading happiness.

That is, perhaps, one of the magical qualities of this great Pumpkin Pie Cake. It is an fast to make cake that tastes just like your favorite Thanksgiving pie. This is a perfect recipe to make with the kids, especially given how easily it comes together.

This is the perfect cake to make for holidays, but will bring smiles to any fall weekend baking.

overhead view of a pumpkin spice cake in a baking dish topped with cream cheese frosting and small pumpkin candies

How to Make Pumpkin Cake

This cake comes together in about 20 minutes. Here is a brief overview so you can see what a no fuss recipe it is. Make sure to grab the full instructions and measurements in the recipe card below.

  1. In a large bowl whisk together the dry ingredients – flour, baking soda, baking powder, and spices.
  2. In another bowl whisk together the wet ingredients – eggs, pumpkin, sugar, and vegetable oil – until smooth.
  3. Fold the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients. Pour into a prepared baking dish and bake.

Using Pumpkin Spice

If you would like, you can replace the spices in this recipe with Pumpkin Pie Spice. You will need 1 tablespoon Pumpkin Pie Spice to replace the cinnamon, ginger, cloves, and nutmeg.

Trouble Shooting this Pumpkin Spice Cake

Measuring Flour

When you measure the flour for this cake recipe, make sure to scoop the flour from the bag into a dry measuring cup and then level it off with the flat edge of a spatula.

Scooping directly from the bag will result in the flour packing. This can lead to up to 25% more flour in your recipe and a dry cake that no one likes.

Baking Soda and Baking Powder

Baking Soda and Baking Powder that are still reactive are key to a making a baking recipe work. They should be replaced in your cabinet every six months.

If you are like me, you definitely don’t do that. They are easy to test to make sure that they still work for your recipes though.

  • Baking Soda: To test the reactivity of your baking soda, drop a little in some vinegar. It should bubble immediately.
  • Baking Powder: To test the reactivity of your baking powder, drop a little in some water. It should bubble immediately.
a fork pushing into a piece of pumpkin pie cake topped with cream cheese frosting

Sifting Dry Ingredients

I recommend sifting the dry ingredients in this recipe. It will add about 2 minutes to your cake making time, and it means that no one will get an entire bite full of cloves. Because of the number of spices in this recipe, I think sifting is a really great safeguard to make sure everything gets distributed evenly.

Pumpkin Puree vs. Pumpkin Pie Filling

Pumpkin Puree and Pumpkin Pie Filling both come in cans and are found in the baking aisle of grocery stores in the United States. They are not the same thing though.

Pumpkin puree is what we are using in this recipe. Made from baking pumpkins and containing 100% pumpkin, that is what you will want to use when making this pumpkin cake. Double check which can you pick up for ultimate success with this recipe.

close up of a pumpkin cake in a metal baking dish that has been cut into

Pumpkin Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

I really believe that it is the cream cheese frosting that pulls this recipe together. I’m a frosting girl through and through, and the cream cheese frosting on top of this case is one of my favorites.

Recommended Tools

Here are some of my favorite baking tools. They come in handy in this recipe.

  • Pyrex Mixing Bowls: In reality, I should have two sets of these (especially the biggest one) because they are used multiple times a day in my house.
  • Measuring Spoons: Perfect for a recipe that calls for lots of teaspoons and tablespoons, I love these because they are double sided.
  • Strainer: This is perfect for quickly sifting your dry ingredients.
  • Hand Mixer: For quick cakes like this one, I don’t like to break out my big stand mixer. This little hand mixer does the trick perfectly.
close up picture of a pumpkin cake with cream cheese frosting with a bite missing
a piece of pumpkin pie cake topped with cream cheese frosting on a plate with candy pumpkins and cinnamon sticks
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Pumpkin Bars

Serves: 24 pieces
(tap # to scale)
Prep: 20 minutes
Cook: 30 minutes
Total: 50 minutes
This Pumpkin Cake is easy to make, moist, and delicious – the perfect fall treat! Topped with the best cream cheese frosting, you won't be able to resist this amazing pumpkin spice cake.

Ingredients

  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 4 eggs
  • 15 ounces 100% pumpkin puree
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 cup vegetable oil

For Cream Cheese Frosting

  • 8 ounces cream cheese room temperature
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter room temperature
  • 2 cups powdered sugar scooped into the measuring cup with a spoon and leveled off
  • 1 – 2 teaspoons vanilla extract (to taste)

Instructions

  • Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 9 by 13 inch baking dish with cooking spray. Set aside
  • In a large bowl whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and spices. For best results, sift the dry ingredients to fully combine. Read more about sifting here.
  • In a smaller bowl mix together the pumpkin, eggs, oil, and sugar. Gently fold the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients, until completely smooth.
  • Pour in the prepared baking dish and bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the middle of the cake comes out with just a few crumbs.
  • Allow the cake to cool compltely before frosting.
  • To make frosting, beat together the cream cheese and butter until smooth. Add in the powdered sugar and beat until full combined. Then beat in the vanilla.
  • Smooth the frosting over the cake with an offset spatula. Cut and serve.
Author: Lisa Longley
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
a piece of pumpkin pie cake topped with cream cheese frosting on a plate with candy pumpkins and cinnamon sticks

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Pumpkin Bars

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Hi! I'm Lisa Longley, and I am committed to giving you simple dinner ideas and recipes that are easy to make; recipes that will fill your home with joy. I am the owner and author of SimpleJoy.com and I'm so glad that you are here.

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  1. Donna L Rogers says

    I am so glad that I bought more canned pumpkin today, have to make this Pumpkin cake! And then try the fudge!

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