Crazy Good Pumpkin Cake | Julie Blanner

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. 

A delectable pumpkin cake on a plate.

This amazing 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 this 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 five 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!

★★★★★

5 STAR REVIEW

“You had me at cream cheese frosting, but let’s be honest- if a cake is crazy good, then there’s no denying that I will try it- and I’m so glad I did!”

—KATIE—

A slice of pumpkin cake on a white plate.

Pumpkin Cake

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!

  • So Moist – This cake is super moist with a delicate crumb. You won’t want to waste even one of those crumbs!
  • Perfectly Spiced – It’s packed with a ton of fall flavor, including cinnamon spice and everything nice.
  • The Frosting – It’s topped with a luxuriously creamy cream cheese frosting that’s thick and fluffy!
A slice of pumpkin cake on a white plate.

Ingredients and Substitutions

For the Pumpkin 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 Fluffy Cream Cheese Frosting

  • Butter – Salted or unsalted, it’s your choice! I always use salted because I like the balance of salty to sweet. Learn how to soften butter quickly.
  • Cream Cheese – Full fat for best results. Don’t miss my essential post on how to soften cream cheese.
  • 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. Learn how to make powdered sugar here if you don’t have any on hand.
A Pumpkin cake with frosting on a plate.

Variations

  • If you prefer buttercream frosting, you can find my favorite buttercream frosting recipe here!
  • 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.
A close up of a scrumptious pumpkin cake.

How to Make

An overview, visit the printable recipe card for complete ingredients and instructions.

  1. Prep – Mix wet ingredients and dry ingredients in separate bowls.
  2. Combine – Gradually fold dry into wet until just combined. For the fluffiest cake, don’t over mix.
  3. Bake – Pour into prepared pan and bake as directed.
  4. Make cream cheese frosting.
  5. Frost and Serve – Allow cake to cool completely, frost and serve! A loaf of pumpkin bread in a glass pan on a stove.
A pumpkin cake with frosting on a marble table.

Tips

  • Need help with baking conversions? Check out my Essential Measurement Conversion Chart or use the slider in the recipe card.
  • Fresh Pumpkin – You can make this pumpkin cake recipe 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.
  • Prepare 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!
  • Use the Toothpick Test – Insert a toothpick in the center. When it comes out clean, it’s done.
A close up of a slice of homemade pumpkin cake.

Baking Alternatives

  • Make Cupcakes – This batter yields approximately 24 standard cupcakes. Simply spray or fill your muffin tins with liners, fill 2/3 full and bake 18-20 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.
  • Make it Ornate –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.
A slice of pumpkin cake removed from a glass pan full of cake.

How to Store

  • Room Temperature – Due to the cream cheese frosting, this pumpkin cake is best served immediately and refrigerated within two hours of serving.
  • Refrigerator – Cover the cake using plastic wrap or foil. Refrigerate up to five days.
  • Freezer – This cake freezes well, though the texture of the cream cheese frosting might not be quite as good as fresh. However, it maintains both the moisture and original flavor. Double wrap the cake to avoid any freezer odor from seeping in and freeze up to three months. Bring to room temperature before serving by allowing it to thaw in the refrigerator overnight.

Curious about freezing your cream cheese recipes? Read more in Can you Freeze Cream Cheese to learn all about what works and what doesn’t!

Dietary Considerations

  • Gluten Free – to make this cake gluten free, simply replace flour with a 1:1 gluten free flour.
  • Nut Free
  • Vegetarian
A slice of pumpkin cake.

Prevent your screen from going dark

  • Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease 9×13″ 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 prepared 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.

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. 

How to Store

  • Room Temperature – Due to the cream cheese frosting, this cake is best served immediately and refrigerated within two hours of serving.
  • Refrigerator – Cover the cake using plastic wrap or foil. Refrigerate up to five days.
  • Freezer – This cake freezes well, though the texture of the cream cheese frosting might not be quite as good as fresh. However, it maintains both the moisture and original flavor. Double wrap the cake to avoid any freezer odor from seeping in and freeze up to three 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. 

Calories: 354kcal | Carbohydrates: 37g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 22g | Saturated Fat: 10g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 5g | Monounsaturated Fat: 5g | Trans Fat: 0.4g | Cholesterol: 67mg | Sodium: 247mg | Potassium: 140mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 28g | Vitamin A: 1356IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 54mg | Iron: 1mg

Estimated nutrition information is provided as a courtesy and is not guaranteed.

#Crazy #Good #Pumpkin #Cake #Julie #Blanner

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