Today’s recipe is the softest, most delicious pumpkin cake with cream cheese frosting. I absolutely love all the spices in this cake and how well they pair with the cream cheese frosting.
If you need to use up some leftover pumpkin after making this cake, try my pumpkin flax muffins or my pumpkin oatmeal chocolate chip muffins. Both of which make a delicious healthy snack or breakfast on the go.
This cake is chocked full of pumpkin which creates the most tender crumb and fluffiest bite. I love any kind of spice cake and have put an array in this cake, some probably a bit less common like cardamom. I’ve also added a hint of lemon zest to enhance the pumpkin flavour and create a nice bright taste. Don’t worry if you’re not a lemon fan though, you won’t taste the actual lemon flavour. I promise you won’t regret making this cake!
This cake is actually the first recipe I ever completed and one of my partner’s favourites’. I love making this cake on a Saturday afternoon for our family get togethers’ as it’s quick and easy, plus I have leftovers for breakfast on Sunday morning. This cake with a cup of tea is perfection! My kids also enjoy it although my son eats a lot more of the frosting then cake.
How to Properly Measure Flour
So when it comes to measuring flour, the most accurate and easiest way is to use a kitchen scale. I always use a scale and could never go back to measuring in cups. It’s such a hassle and way more dishes!
If you don’t own a scale, there are a couple steps to properly measure flour as it becomes compacted just sitting in the bag or container. I highly recommend you follow these as just scooping flour out of the bag can potentially lead to at least an additional 1/4 cup of flour. This equals dry and dense baked goods which is not what anybody is going for.
1. Fluff the flour by giving it a mix with a whisk or fork.
2. Spoon the flour into your measuring cup.
3. Level the excess flour off using a butter knife. (With the back of the knife level to the top of the measuring cup, run it over top, pushing the excess flour back into it’s container.)
4. Repeat until you’ve measured the amount the recipe calls for.
- I recommend adding the spices by the amount they are written in the recipe as that is where half the flavour in this cake comes from.
- Ensure you don’t overmix the cake batter once you’ve added the flour mixture or the cake will be dense and lose it’s fluffiness.
- I created the cream cheese frosting so that it’s got that nice tang as I find most cream cheese icings too sweet. If you prefer a sweeter icing though, you can absolutely add more sugar. I recommend adding a 1/4 cup at a time, then tasting, so you don’t end up with an icing that’s too sweet.
- While this cake looks pretty baked in a glass dish, I recommend baking it in a metal pan as glass takes a lot longer to heat up compared to a metal pan. This can lead to your cake baking unevenly, causing the middle of the cake to be underbaked and the corners to be overcooked.
- I create my recipes based off weights so I recommend measuring by weights if you own a scale. It’s actually so much easier and makes for much less cleanup. I wish I had baked by weight from the beginning, I could never go back now.
More Fall Baking
My song today is in honour of the late Gordon Lightfoot. His music is so beautiful and soothing and I grew up listening to this song. Here’s Sundown by Gordon Lightfoot. Happy Baking! **Disclaimer: Liv’s Little Muffins owns no rights to this song.
Pumpkin Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting
- 4 large eggs
- 1 cup (200g) granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup (90g) light brown sugar , packed
- 1 cup (180g) canola oil (or other neutral oil)
- 2 1/4 cups (450g) pumpkin puree
- Zest from 1/2 lemon
- 2 cups (240g) all purpose flour
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp salt
- 2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp ground cloves
- 1/2 tsp ground allspice
- 1/2 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
- 1/4 tsp ground cardamom
Cream Cheese Frosting
- 170g/6oz cream cheese, room temperature (full fat)
- 1/3 cup (76g) unsalted butter, softened
- 1 cup (140g) icing sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- Line or spray a 9×13 pan. Preheat your oven to 350℉.
- In a large mixing bowl, whisk the eggs and sugars for 1 minute. Whisk in the oil and pumpkin puree. Add in the zest from 1/2 a lemon.
- In a separate medium mixing bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, ground cinnamon, cloves, allspice, nutmeg and cardamom.
- Add the dry ingredients to the wet mixture and whisk until combined. Ensure you don't overmix so the cake keeps a tender crumb.
- Spread the cake mixture into your 9×13 pan and bake for 40-45 minutes or until the centre is set and a toothpick comes out clean.
- While the cake is cooling, make your frosting by adding the cream cheese and butter to a medium mixing bowl. Using a stand mixer or hand mixer, mix the two for 1 minute, until creamy.
- Add in the icing sugar and vanilla extract and mix on low speed until combined. Then increase to medium speed for an additional 30 seconds until the icing is smooth.
- Once the cake is completely cooled, add the frosting to the top and spread it with an offset spatula. Cut the cake into slices and serve! Enjoy!
- Store the cake in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 1 day or in the fridge for up to 5 days.