Fall dessert: Pumpkin cake with cream cheese frosting 


Slice of Grabowski’s pumpkin cake. Photo by Olivia Grabowski

Olivia Grabowski

It’s that time of year: the leaves are falling, the air is crisp, people are picking apples, and choosing pumpkins from the patch. And, with all of the joys of Autumn come seasonal spices and tasty treats. 

One way to make your Autumn more festive is to bake this delicious pumpkin cake. It will fill your home with a wonderful aroma that will get you into the fall spirit. 

This is a simple, one-bowl recipe that even an amature baker can make. It also requires ingredients that are probably already in your kitchen pantry.

Ingredients you will need:

For the pumpkin cake:

  • 2 cups all- purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt 
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 cup vegetable or canola oil
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 cup brown sugar packed (light or dark)
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • 1 (15 ounce) can pumpkin purée 
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract 

For the cream cheese frosting:

  • 1 block of cream cheese (8 ounces), softened to room temperature
  • ½ cup (8 tablespoons) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature 
  • 2 cups confectioners’ sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Tools needed:

  • Measuring cups and spoons 
  • Large mixing bowl
  • Nonstick cooking spray 
  • Electric mixer
  • Whisk
  • 13×9 baking pan


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and grease a 13×9 baking pan.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, ground cinnamon, and pumpkin pie spice.
  3. To the flour mixture, add oil,eggs, brown sugar, granulated sugar, pumpkin purée, and vanilla 
  4. With an electric mixer beat everything together on medium speed for about a minute, until the mixture is smooth.
  5. Spread mixture into the greased 13×9 baking pan, and bake for 40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the cake comes out clean.
  6. Let the cake cool completely (About an hour).

For cheese frosting:

  1. In a large bowl, beat the softened butter on medium-high speed, for 3 minutes, until the butter is pale and fluffy.
  2. Add the cream cheese and beat on medium speed until the mixture is smooth
  3. Slowly incorporate the confectioner’s sugar until combined
  4. Add in vanilla and beat for another 30 seconds until the frosting is smooth
  5. If the frosting is too thick add milk by the teaspoon, until the desired consistency is reached.