Home > Desserts > Cakes & Cupcakes > Pumpkin Cake (BEST EVER!) Pumpkin Cake (BEST EVER!) September 3, 2019 | 38 Comments SAVE TO RECIPE BOX Jump to Recipe This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure policy. The best-ever moist and perfectly spiced Pumpkin Cake has a luscious cream cheese frosting and optionally garnished with candied pecans. Everyone loves this recipe! Pumpkin Cake has been on my list to perfect every fall, and after creating this pumpkin carrot cake, I thought my work was done. (Seriously, that cake is unbelievable!) But as August started approaching this year, I was dying to pull out the pumpkin and experiment; so, I set to make the best Pumpkin (without carrot!) Cake. The perfect Pumpkin Cake is moist, sweet, perfectly spiced, AND have the perfect cream cheese frosting. I’m excited to tell you this cake ticks all the boxes (and then some) and it’s been a hit with everyone who has tried it — especially my pumpkin-obsessed boys! How do you make Pumpkin Cake? Pumpkin Cake is exceptionally easy to make! It’s as simple as mixing the wet ingredients (pumpkin, eggs, oil, vanilla, brown and white sugar) in one bowl, mixing the dry ingredients (flour, baking soda, salt and lots of pumpkin-y spices) in a separate bowl, and then combining the two! You don’t need a stand mixer to make this cake — a hand mixer works just fine! Once the mixture is combined just pour it into a prepared pan (greased and floured) and bake it. While the Pumpkin Cake is baking, you can whip up the frosting and spread it over the cake the minute it’s completely cooled! Can you make Pumpkin Cake with canned pumpkin? Fresh pumpkin? Make this recipe with a good solid-pack canned pumpkin. I highly recommend Libby’s® canned pumpkin (not sponsored), as I’ve found it always has the best results for moisture content, color, and overall flavor. However, you can use cooked, fresh pumpkin at the same volume (1-3/4 cup fresh puree for 1-3/4 cup canned for this specific recipe) as long as it has the proper consistency. If you are using fresh pumpkin, make sure you drain any excess moisture to avoid a pumpkin cake that is too wet and doesn’t cook properly. To drain cooked, fresh pumpkin, rest a fine-mesh strainer over a large bowl. Line the strainer with cheesecloth and then add the fresh pumpkin puree to the lined strainer. Let the pumpkin stand (at room temperature) and drain for 1-2 hours or until the pumpkin is thick and can hold its shape when pressed together in the cheesecloth. Once the pumpkin is to this consistency, you can use it in this recipe! Tips for success Don’t overmix the batter. Overmixing the batter activates the gluten in flour (great for bread and rolls, but not so much for cakes and cupcakes!) which will result in a heavy, dense cake, as opposed to a light and airy cake. Measure the flour accurately. If you press a measuring cup into a bag of flour, you will pack in way too much flour (which will result in a cake with the wrong texture — way too dense!). To accurately measure the flour, spoon the flour into the measuring cup until it’s overfilled. Then use the back of a table knife to level the measuring cup at the top. You’ll have a perfect flour measurement now! Use room-temperature eggs. This ensures the eggs disperse more evenly into the batter, giving this cake a lighter texture (the eggs trap air). Soaking refrigerated eggs in a bowl of warm (not hot) water for about 10 minutes is a quick way to do this. Otherwise, remove the eggs from the refrigerator about 30 minutes before use. Is Pumpkin Cake healthy? I don’t consider this a healthy cake, but using a vegetable like pumpkin in a cake will make it a better option than, say, a chocolate or vanilla cake. This cake has pumpkin, eggs, and many different delicious spices (which are zero calories). You can see our nutrition facts below the recipe and see if it fits your definition of healthy. To make a few healthier substitutions, you can use white whole wheat flour in place of the white flour (1:1 substitution), reduce or omit the frosting, and reduce the sugar by up to 1/2 cup. For the best results and a rich and delicious Pumpkin Cake, follow the ingredients listed. After all, this is a cake, and cake is a treat. This recipe has cream cheese frosting on it, which is my all-time favorite! If you want to try a different frosting here are several ideas. You can cover Pumpkin Cake in a glaze (which is especially pretty on a Bundt cake). For this cake, I’d suggest using a glaze like this one. If you like the combination of chocolate and pumpkin I recommend using this milk chocolate frosting. If you’re going the chocolate + pumpkin route, I’d also add a cup of miniature chocolate chips to the cake batter. Finally, this cake would also be really good with a brown-butter frosting. I’d recommend this one. Can I freeze Pumpkin Cake? You CAN freeze Pumpkin Cake. The pre-baked cake will freeze well and retain its moisture and flavor for up to 2 months. After 2 months you can expect the flavor to change a little and it may have a drier texture. If freezing this cake, I would suggest freezing just the cake base and making the frosting fresh at serving time. (If you’re in a pinch, cream cheese frosting is one of the best frostings to freeze, but I prefer fresh-made frosting.) To freeze: Make sure you cover the cake well before freezing. Wrap it in plastic wrap several times before freezing. When you take it out of the freezer, expect it to take about 1-2 hours (at room temperature) to defrost. During that time, you can whip up the frosting. For best results make sure the Pumpkin Cake is fully defrosted before frosting it. How far in advance can you make this cake? Fresh Pumpkin Cake like this will last about 3-4 days at its peak. If you keep it refrigerated, it should last about a week. If you frost this pumpkin cake with cream cheese frosting, you’ll want to refrigerate it (covered tightly) the same day you’ve made it. I actually like this cake best the SECOND DAY it’s made! The spice flavors and moistness intensify. Whenever I make this cake to share with others, I make it a day in advance. This recipe is adapted from Taste of Home For more delicious recipes, follow along on Pinterest, Instagram, Facebook, and YouTube More Amazing Pumpkin treats Feel the PSL vibes! Pumpkin Cookies With cinnamon frosting! Pumpkin Cupcakes Streusel-caramel topped Pumpkin Cheesecake Bars Pumpkin Bread (Best Ever!) Two-layered Pumpkin Carrot Cake Chewy and Crisp Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies FOLLOW ALONG! Subscribe to my newsletter and follow along on Facebook, Pinterest and Instagram for the latest updates, recipes and content. Pumpkin Cake 5 from 8 votes - Review this recipe The best-ever moist and perfectly spiced Pumpkin Cake has a luscious cream cheese frosting and optionally garnished with candied pecans. Feel free to make this cake the night before; we like it best on the second day! SAVE TO RECIPE BOX Print Recipe Pumpkin Cake 5 from 8 votes - Review this recipe SAVE TO RECIPE BOX Print Recipe The best-ever moist and perfectly spiced Pumpkin Cake has a luscious cream cheese frosting and optionally garnished with candied pecans. Feel free to make this cake the night before; we like it best on the second day! Course Dessert Cuisine American Keyword pumpkin cake Prep Time 20 minutes Cook Time 50 minutes Total Time 1 hour 10 minutes Servings 10 -12 slices Calories 692kcal Author Chelsea Cost $4.49 Ingredients1 can (15 ounces, 425g) or 1-3/4 cups solid-packed pumpkin I highly recommend Libby's1 and 1/2 cups (311g) white granulated sugar1/2 cup (113g) light brown sugar, packed4 large eggs1 cup (224g) vegetable oil1 teaspoon vanilla extract2 cups (250g) all-purpose white flour2 teaspoons baking soda2 teaspoons ground cinnamon3/4 teaspoon ground cloves1/2 teaspoon salt1/2 teaspoon ground ginger1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spiceCream Cheese Frosting1 package (8 ounces) full-fat cream cheese, at room temperature1/2 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature3 cups (342g) powdered sugar1/4 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice1 teaspoon vanilla extract1/8 teaspoon saltChopped (plain or candied) pecans, optional InstructionsPreheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Generously grease and lightly flour a 10-inch bundt pan. Set aside.Place the canned pumpkin in a large bowl (if you have wet or fresh pumpkin, make sure to drain off excess liquid) along with the white sugar, brown sugar, eggs, oil, and vanilla extract. Beat with a hand mixer until combined and well blended. In another bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, ground cloves, salt, ground ginger, ground nutmeg, and pumpkin pie spice. Whisk until combined. Add the dry ingredients into the wet and beat until just combined. Use a spatula to make sure all the ingredients are fully incorporated.Pour mixture into a prepared Bundt pan and bake for 50-65 minutes or until a toothpick when inserted into the center comes out clean or with moist cake crumbs. The cake should spring back when lightly touched. Remove from the oven and cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes before inverting the cake onto the cooling rack to cool completely. For the frosting: In a large bowl, beat ROOM-TEMPERATURE cream cheese and butter until completely smooth. It's important the cream cheese and butter are at the same temperature so you don't get lumpy cream cheese! Add powdered sugar, pumpkin pie spice, vanilla and salt; beat until completely smooth. Spread or pipe over the completely cooled cake. If desired, garnish with chopped candied or plain pecans. (See recipe notes for my candied pecan recipe). Video Recipe NotesTo make candied pecans, click here. Nutrition FactsCalories: 692kcal | Carbohydrates: 97g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 33g | Saturated Fat: 24g | Cholesterol: 99mg | Sodium: 400mg | Potassium: 69mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 76g | Vitamin A: 407IU | Calcium: 32mg | Iron: 2mg DID YOU MAKE THIS RECIPE? I love hearing from you when you've made one of my recipes! Tag me on Instagram at @ChelseasMessyApron or leave me a comment below.