Pumpkin Layer Cake With Cream Cheese Frosting

A delicious recipe for pumpkin spice layer cake iced with cream cheese frosting.

As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

Pumpkin Layer Cake With Cream Cheese Frosting

I am not a fan of frosting a cake. Just look at all my other recipes. Pound or bundt cakes, those are my go to’s. These are delicious, low effort cakes you can eat straight out of the oven or, at most, pour on a simple glaze.

However, as I was going through my mom’s 1971 classic Southern Living Cakes cookbook, looking for a pumpkin cake dessert, this Spiced Pumpkin Cake caught my taste buds. Though it was made of layers and frosting it sounded like a scrumptious and simple recipe for pumpkin cake.

In fact, it sounded so good that I decided to cheat on my pound and bundt cakes (a little culinary adultery) and make layers and frost.

And, it was worth the cheat. Even though it required frosting, this was an easy pumpkin cake recipe to make and required simple ingredients.

It was also a deliciously spiced pumpkin cake. The pumpkin pie spice brought about just the right blend of our favorite fall spices, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger and cloves.

Then covered with cream cheese frosting, WOW. Who knows if I’ll ever be able to stay true to pound and bundt cakes again.

I hope you’ll try this cake this fall or Thanksgiving. The extra effort is worth the amazing taste.

Spiced Pumpkin Cake

PUMPKIN LAYER CAKE INGREDIENTS

  • Cake Flour – Sifted. All purpose will work, if you don’t have cake flour.
  • Baking Soda
  • Baking Powder
  • Salt
  • Pumpkin Pie Spice
  • Shortening
  • Sugar – You can use brown or white sugar or a combination of both.
  • Eggs – For best results use room temperature.
  • Canned or Cooked Pumpkin – Not pumpkin pie filling (see why below).
  • Buttermilk – For best results use room temperature.
  • Vanilla
  • Chopped Nuts

EASY CREAM CHEESE FROSTING INGREDIENTS

  • Cream Cheese – For best results use room temperature
  • Butter – For best results use room temperature
  • Powdered Sugar – I sifted to get out all the little lumps.
  • Vanilla

HOW TO MAKE PUMPKIN LAYER CAKE WITH CREAM CHEESE FROSTING

Layer Cake

  • Sift dry ingredients
  • Cream shortening and sugar.
  • Add eggs and pumpkin.
  • Alternately add dry ingredients, buttermilk and vanilla.
  • Fold in nuts.
  • Bake for 25 to 30 minutes at 350

Cream Cheese Frosting

  • Cream cream cheese and butter
  • Add in powdered sugar and vanilla and mix well.
  • Spread in between cake layers and on sides of cake.
Spiced Pumpkin Cake

CAN YOU USE PUMPKIN PIE FILLING INSTEAD OF CANNED PUMPKIN?

Grabbing pumpkin pie filling instead of canned pumpkin is an easy mistake.  Unfortunately, you can’t substitute it for canned pumpkin when baking.

Canned pumpkin is just cooked pumpkin.  Pumpkin pie filling is sweetened and seasoned with spices such as cinnamon, cloves, allspice and more. 

Pumpkin Layer Cake With Cream Cheese Frosting

HOW TO TOAST NUTS FOR BAKING

Toasting the nuts exponentially brings out the flavor of the nuts.  It draws the natural oils to the surface, which enhances the rich flavor of the nuts.

Here are three methods to toast your nuts, which I found in this post from The Spruce Eats.

  • The Skillet Method 
    • In a skillet cook over medium heat in a even layer.  
    • Shake the skillet and stir with a wooden spoon.
    • Consistently turn the nuts until they are brown and fragrant.
    • Move them to a plate to cool as soon as they are browned and done.
  • The Oven Method
    • Preheat oven to 350 and place nuts in a single layer on rimmed baking sheet.
    • Bake for 10 – 15 minutes, periodically stirring and turning.
    • When done move nuts to a plate.
  • The Microwave Method
    • Put one cup of nuts on a plate.
    • Microwave 3 to 4 minutes, uncovered.
    • They will not be browned, but should have the nutty smell and taste.

HOW DO YOU KEEP NUTS FROM SINKING IN A CAKE?

How many of us have made a cake with nuts and all the nuts sunk to the bottom?  The cake is still good, but it’s just not a sexy look and it would be better if the nuts were dispersed evenly.

Here’s how to prevent that:

  • Place the nuts in a zippered bag or sealed container with one to two tablespoons of flour.  
  • Shake the bag or container so the flour lightly covers the nuts.
  • Fold the nuts in last, just before you put the cake in the oven.

This works in any type of cake.  The flour helps suspend the nuts in the batter while it bakes.

Pumpkin Layer Cake With Cream Cheese Frosting

HOW TO FREEZE FROSTED CAKE

Do you ever have left over cake you want to freeze, but don’t want the frosting to stick to the plastic wrap or aluminum foil? Here’s a fix for that from Savvy Apron.

  • Put your cake in the freezer with nothing covering it. I promise this will not hurt the cake.
  • Let the cake sit in the freezer until the icing hardens. This will probably take about an hour.
  • After the icing hardens cover the cake well with plastic wrap. You will probably want to wrap the cake several times, making sure they’re no holes.
  • Keep the cake in the freezer until you’re ready to serve. I have read up to two months.
  • Several hours before serving, remove the cake from the freezer.
  • To remove the plastic wrap, cut it with scissors.

MORE FALL THEMED CAKES:

Pumpkin Layer Cake With Cream Cheese Frosting
Print Jump to Recipe Pin Recipe

Spiced Pumpkin Cake With Cream Cheese Frosting

Easy to make pumpkin layer cakes. They are full of warm, delicious pumpkin spices and covered in creamy, rich cream cheese frosting.
Course Brunch, Dessert, Snack
Cuisine American
Keyword Easy, from scratch, best, moist, bundt, homemade, simple, spiced pumpkin cake, recipe for pumpkin cake, pumpkin cake dessert, pumpkin spiced pound cake, starbucks pumpkin pound cake, pumpkin cake
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Cooling Time 15 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Servings 18 slices
Calories 400kcal
Cost $4.00

Equipment

  • Stand or Hand Mixer
  • Long Spatula
  • (2) 8 inch layer pans

Ingredients

Ingredients For Pumpkin Layer Cakes

  • cups Sifted cake flour
  • ¼ tsp Baking soda
  • 3 tsp Baking powder
  • ½ tsp Salt
  • tsp Pumpkin pie spice
  • ½ cup Shortening
  • cups Sugar I used brown sugar. You can use white sugar or a combination of brown sugar and white sugar.
  • 2 Eggs Room temperature
  • ¾ cup Canned or cooked pumpkin
  • ½ cup Buttermilk Room temperature
  • ½ tsp Vanilla I used close to 1 tsp.
  • ½ cup Nuts I used toasted walnuts. Instructions on toasting nuts are above and down below in the recipe notes.

Ingredients For Cream Cheese Frosting

  • 8 ounces Cream Cheese
  • ½ stick Butter Real butter at room temperature
  • 16 ounces Powdered sugar I sifted mine to get rid of any lumps.
  • 1 tsp Vanilla Be generous. I used more.

Instructions

Instructions For Pumpkin Layer Cakes

  • Sift together cake flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt and pumpkin pie spice.
  • Cream shortening and gradually blend in sugar.
  • Add eggs, one at a time, beating about 1 minute after each addition..
  • Blend in pumpkin.
  • Add sifted dry ingredients alternately with buttermilk and vanilla. Begin and end with dry ingredients.
  • Fold in nuts.
  • Pour batter evenly into 2 greased 8 inch layer cake pans.
  • Bake at 350° for 25 to 30 minutes.
  • Cool for 10 to 15 minutes
  • Frost with cream cheese frosting.

Instructions For Cream Cheese Frosting

  • Cream cream cheese and butter until smooth.
  • Add sugar and mix well.
  • Add vanilla
  • Spread between layers and on top and sides of cake.

Notes

Here are three methods to toast your nuts, which I found in this post on toasting nuts from The Spruce Eats.
  • The Skillet Method 
    • In a skillet cook over medium heat in a even layer.  
    • Shake the skillet and stir with a wooden spoon.
    • Consistently turn the nuts until they are brown and fragrant.
    • Move them to a plate to cool as soon as they are browned and done.
  • The Oven Method
    • Preheat oven to 350 and place nuts in a single layer on rimmed baking sheet.
    • Bake for 10 – 15 minutes, periodically stirring and turning.
    • When done move nuts to a plate.
  • The Microwave Method
    • Put one cup of nuts on a plate.
    • Microwave 3 to 4 minutes, uncovered.
    • They will not be browned, but should have the nutty smell and taste.

Nutrition

Calories: 400kcal

Spiced Pumpkin Cake With Cream Cheese Frosting

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating




This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.