The best pumpkin cake recipe ever! So easy to make and so moist, with a hint of warm fall spice and a thick blanket of tangy cream cheese frosting.
Hello, my friend!
How are you? For real, I feel like it’s been a while since we really talked.
I’ve been busy working on a lot of behind the scenes stuff here at Baking a Moment. Namely, updating old recipes. It’s so funny when I go back and look at posts from a few years ago, to see how different I used to write back then. It just felt so much more conversational and real.
These days, it’s all about giving lots of tips about the recipe, and making sure to keyword everything just so, so that it shows up in google search results.
I kinda miss the good old days, lol.
But sometimes you just gotta do what you gotta do.
But enough about that! You came here for pumpkin cake, right?
Now that it’s October we can fully indulge all of our deepest, darkest pumpkin spice cravings. You’ll find lots of great pumpkin recipes here, like pumpkin pie, pumpkin scones, and pumpkin cheesecake.
And, as of today, there is a new recipe to add to the roster: pumpkin cake!
This one is a total classic and it’s so easy to make, in just one bowl! It’s got a moist, fluffy texture and a hint of warm fall spice. And the fluffy cream cheese frosting is the perfect crowning touch!
Read on, to learn all about how to make the best pumpkin cake recipe ever.
HOW TO MAKE PUMPKIN CAKE
This recipe utilizes the reverse creaming method.
I use this method a ton on so many of my favorite cake recipes. It’s practically a foolproof technique, and it allows everything to happen in just one bowl! Hooray for less dirty dishes!
Start by placing all the dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl. Flour, sugar, brown sugar, leavening, salt, and spices can all get whisked together until combined.
Next, add the softened butter.
Mix the butter in to the dry ingredients until the mixture resembles damp sand. This usually takes about a minute or so.
Next, add the eggs in, one at a time. It’s important to allow each egg to fully incorporate before adding the next. This will prevent lumps in the batter.
Now the rest of the wet ingredients can go in.
Pumpkin puree, sour cream, and vanilla extract get mixed in until well-blended. Then, turn the mixer up to medium speed and beat the batter for about a minute to a minute and a half. This will aerate it, and help to build the cake’s structure.
Transfer the batter to a greased and lined 9×13-inch pan, and smooth it into an even layer.
Bake it until a toothpick inserted in the thickest part of the cake comes out clean, then allow it to cool completely, and slather it with fluffy cream cheese frosting. So YUM!
For garnish, I like to dust the top of the cake with a sprinkling of cinnamon. It really brings out all the warm fall flavors!
CAN THIS RECIPE BE MADE IN DIFFERENT SIZED PANS?
This pumpkin cake recipe makes enough batter for one 9×13-inch rectangular cake.
But you could also make it in three 6-inch diameter round pans, or two 8- or 9-inch diameter round pans.
Or, you could make 24 cupcakes.
If you are using anything other than a 9×13-inch pan, you will most likely need to adjust the baking time. You’ll know your cakes/cupcakes are done baking when a toothpick inserted in the thickest part comes out clean.
WHAT ICING FOR PUMPKIN CAKE
In my opinion, nothing goes better with pumpkin cake than cream cheese frosting.
And if you’ve ever struggled with cream cheese frosting, I’ve got all the best tips for you here: Cream Cheese Frosting. Sometimes it’s not easy to get cream cheese frosting really fluffy and stiff enough to pipe or hold luscious swirls, but that post has tons of great tips and a really effective technique!
CAN THIS RECIPE BE MADE AHEAD?
It’s always a good idea to make cakes ahead of time. It gives them enough time to fully cool before getting iced, and I often find that they somehow get better with age.
If time allows, try chilling your cake in the fridge before frosting it. It really helps the buttercream to go on more smoothly, without picking up any crumbs or falling apart.
HOW LONG WILL PUMPKIN CAKE LAST
This cake will keep at room temperature for a day or so, or in the fridge for around a week. Just be sure to keep it covered so it doesn’t dry out or become stale.
CAN YOU FREEZE PUMPKIN CAKE?
This pumpkin cake freezes very well.
Wrap it tightly in plastic wrap so it doesn’t pick up any funky freezer odors, and it will last in the freezer for a couple of months.
Thaw it in the fridge or at room temperature before frosting and serving.
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- 2 cups (250 g) all-purpose flour
- 2/3 cup (133.33 g) granulated sugar
- 1/3 cup (73.33 g) brown sugar, (packed)
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon, (plus extra for garnish)
- 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
- 3/4 cup (170.25 g) unsalted butter, (1 1/2 sticks), softened
- 2 eggs, (large)
- 2/3 cup (163.33 g) pure pumpkin puree
- 2/3 cup (153.33 g) sour cream*
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 batch cream cheese frosting
- Place the flour, sugar, brown sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, and ginger in a large mixing bowl, and whisk together until combined.
- Add the butter, and mix on medium-low speed until the mixture resembles damp sand.
- Add the eggs, one at a time, allowing each one to fully incorporate before adding the next.
- Stir in the pumpkin puree, sour cream, and vanilla, then scrape the bottom and sides of the bowl with a silicone spatula.
- Turn the mixer up to medium speed and mix for about 90 seconds, to aerate the batter and develop the cake's structure.
- Transfer the batter to the prepared pan, and bake for 25 to 35 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the thickest part of the cake comes out clean.
- Cool completely, ice with cream cheese frosting, and dust with additional cinnamon for garnish.