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Spiced Pumpkin Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

If you find yourself with leftover pumpkin puree this season, here’s a cake for you. A moist, delicately spiced cake slathered with cream cheese frosting – not too much, we went with the exposed sides look – that’s perfect for this time of year. And the layers freeze well, so you can pack them away for the holidays. As a bonus, frozen cake layers are easy to frost, with minimal crumbs!


  1. 1/2 cup butter, at room temperature
  2. 1/4 cup canola oil
  3. 1 cup packed brown sugar
  4. 3 large eggs
  5. 2 tsp vanilla
  6. 1 1/2 cups pure pumpkin puree (or a 14 oz/398 mL can)
  7. 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  8. 1 tsp baking powder 5 ml
  9. 1 tsp baking soda
  10. 1 tsp cinnamon
  11. 1/2 tsp powdered ginger
  12. 1/4 tsp nutmeg or allspice (or both)
  13. 1/4 tsp salt
  1. 1/2 cup butter, at room temperature
  2. 1 8 oz pkg cream cheese, at room temperature
  3. 3 cups icing sugar
  4. 1 tsp vanilla
  1. Preheat the oven to 350˚F.
  2. In a large bowl, beat the butter, oil and brown sugar until pale and light. Add the eggs and vanilla and beat until well combined. Beat in the pumpkin puree - it may look separated, but that’s OK.
  3. In a smaller bowl, stir together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, allspice and salt. Add to the pumpkin mixture and beat on low or stir by hand just until combined.
  4. Divide the batter between three 8 or 9-inch round cake pans, smoothing the top. Bake for 25 minutes, or until golden and springy to the touch. Invert onto a wire rack to cool completely while you make the frosting. (At this point you can wrap the cooled cakes and freeze them for up to 6 months.)
  5. To make the frosting, beat the butter and cream cheese until smooth. Add the icing sugar and vanilla and beat until you have a spreadable frosting, adding a spoonful of water if it’s too thick, and a little extra icing sugar if it seems too runny.
  6. In the cakes are domed on top, slice off the domed part with a serrated knife to make more even layers. Spread the frosting over the cake, thinly on the sides to allow the layers to show through.
  7. Makes 1 cake; serves 12.
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