Slice of frosted pumpkin layer cake on plate

Pumpkin Layer Cake

A soft pumpkin layer cake with cream cheese frosting from
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Keyword cake, pumpkin dessert
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Servings 12 slices
Calories 733kcal
Author Sam Merritt


Pumpkin Cake

  • 1 cup butter 2 sticks, softened to room temperature (226g)
  • ½ cup canola oil vegetable oil would also work (120ml)
  • 1 cup sugar (200g)
  • ½ cup brown sugar (100g)
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 Tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups pumpkin puree* (488g)
  • ¼ cup milk (60ml)
  • 2 ½ cups flour (310g)
  • 1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 4 teaspoons pumpkin spice
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon

Cream Cheese Frosting

  • 8 oz cream cheese softened (225g)
  • ½ cup unsalted butter softened (113g)
  • cups powdered sugar (315g)
  • 1 vanilla bean or 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • Tablespoons heavy cream


  • Preheat oven to 350F (175C) and prepare 2 8" cake pans by lightly greasing and flouring the sides and lining the bottom with parchment paper. Set aside.
  • Combine butter and sugars in the bowl of a stand mixer (or in a large bowl and use an electric mixer). Beat until well-combined and light and fluffy.
  • Add oil and beat to combine.
  • Stir in pumpkin.
  • Add eggs, stirring well after each addition, and then add vanilla extract.
  • Add milk and stir to combine. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl to ensure ingredients are evenly combined.
  • In a separate, medium-sized bowl, whisk together dry ingredients (flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, pumpkin spice, and cinnamon).
  • Gradually add dry ingredients to wet, stirring until completely combined (be sure to scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl). I prefer to do this with a spatula to avoid over-mixing the batter.
  • Divide batter evenly into prepared cake pans and bake on 350F (175C) for 35-45 minutes, or until centers spring back to the touch and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with few moist crumbs or clean.
  • Allow cakes to cool for 10 minutes and then invert onto cooling rack and allow to cool completely before frosting.

Cream Cheese Frosting**

  • In KitchenAid (or with hand mixer) cream together butter and cream cheese.
  • Gradually add powdered sugar to mixture until well-combined.
  • Stir in vanilla bean seeds (or vanilla extract) and salt. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl to ensure ingredients are well-combined.
  • Add heavy cream and gradually increase speed to medium-high. Beat for 30 seconds, until frosting is silky smooth.
  • Once cakes have cooled, ice/assemble cakes by generously icing between layers, applying an even layer on the top of the cake, and then applying a scant, semi-naked layer around the outside of the cake.


*This is slightly more than 1 15oz can of pumpkin puree. Make sure that you buy "100% pumpkin" and not "pumpkin pie filling" **This cake was frosted in a "semi-naked" style, which means not a lot of frosting was used. If you want to completely frost the whole cake, I recommend increasing by 50% and you may wish to omit the heavy cream for a firmer frosting.


Serving: 1slice | Calories: 733kcal