Packed with pumpkin and plenty of Autumn spices, this Pumpkin Spice Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting is a tasty way to celebrate the season!
Brace yourself, folks.
Pumpkin spice season is coming. Eh, check that. If you follow Starbucks’ calendar, then pumpkin spice season has been here since the end of August. I don’t know about you, but I can’t deal with pumpkin spice lattes in August. I’m still in grilling, backyard fun and chasing Robbie around the park mode! But fast forward a month, and I’m ok with the arrival of pumpkin spice season. (Ask me again in a couple of weeks…my answer might be different by then!)
The arrival of chilly evenings means pumpkin season is almost here. And pumpkins mean the Great Jack O’Lantern Blaze is back! Have you heard of this? The Great Jack O’Lantern Blaze is one of the most popular Halloween attractions in upstate New York. Imagine 7,000 carved pumpkins all lit up in intricate displays set up alongside the banks of the Hudson River. Oh, and did I mention that the festival is only ~20 minutes north of Sleepy Hollow? Yup, that Sleepy Hollow. Home of the Headless Horseman. Well, if the horseman is tired of his current head, he has ~7,000 different options to pick from each year at the Great Jack O’Lantern Blaze.
All of the pumpkins are carved on site by local artists and then assembled into giant displays. Everything from brontosauruses to spider webs to a moving carousel…all made out of pumpkins! Can you imagine the time and effort that it takes to pull this off? I’m always impressed by our ability to carve 1 pumpkin…much less 7,000!
Pumpkin Spice Cake with Brown Sugar Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting
Speaking of pumpkins, let’s talk about pumpkin cake. More specifically, Pumpkin Spice Cake with a Brown Sugar Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting. Whew, that’s a mouthful. But I promise it’s a delicious mouthful! This cake (and frosting) are packed with Autumn flavors in the best way possible. Laura says this cake reminds her of a pumpkin roll…which I guess makes sense. I mean a pumpkin roll is just cake in a slightly different form. I say this Pumpkin Spice Cake reminds me of light jacket weather, leaves turning colors and roasting pumpkin seeds in the oven.
This frosting recipe was shared with me years ago by a classmate who made a frosted pumpkin bread that was legendary around the department. I mixed things up (just slightly) by using that Brown Sugar Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting on a cake instead of loaves of pumpkin bread. Oh, and I added some toasted pecans, too. For some reason, I feel like pumpkin spice flavors pair so well with toasted pecans. Is that just me? If you’re not a nut fan, then you can certainly just omit the pecans as I only used them as a garnish…but I highly recommend ’em!
I hope you enjoy this Pumpkin Spice Cake as much as we do! It’s time to start scouting out the perfect pumpkin and (if you’re anywhere close to NYC) getting tickets to the Great Jack O’Lantern Blaze. Happy Fall, y’all!
Did you make this Pumpkin Spice Cake at home? Leave a comment. Or snap a photo and tag me on Instagram (@Spicedblog)!
Looking for more tasty pumpkin spice recipes? Check out these other favorites, too:
Pumpkin Spice Cake
For the Cake
- 2¾ cups all-purpose flour
- 2½ tsp baking powder
- 1½ tsp baking soda
- 1½ Tbsp pumpkin pie spice see note
- ½ tsp salt
- ¾ cup unsalted butter room temperature
- 2 cups granulated sugar
- 4 large eggs
- ¼ cup vegetable oil
- 1 15-oz. can pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie filling)
- ½ cup milk
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
For the Frosting
- 16 oz. cream cheese room temperature
- 1 cup unsalted butter room temperature
- ½ cup brown sugar
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- ½ Tbsp cinnamon
- 5 cups powdered sugar
- 1 cup pecan halves lightly toasted
For the Cake
- Preheat oven to 350°F.
- Lightly grease (3) 8” round cake pans. Line bottom of pans with parchment paper; set pans aside.
- Using a medium mixing bowl, add flour, baking powder, baking soda, pumpkin pie spice and salt; stir until well combined. Set bowl aside.
- Using a countertop mixer, cream together butter and sugar until light and fluffy (3-4 minutes on medium speed).
- Add eggs in 2 additions, mixing fully after each addition.
- Add half of the dry ingredients; stir until just combined.
- Add vegetable oil, pumpkin puree, milk and vanilla extract; stir until just combined.
- Add remaining flour; stir until just combined. (Tip: Don’t forget to scrape the bottom and sides of the bowl.)
- Divide batter evenly between 3 prepared cake pans.
- Bake 30-32 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of a cake comes out clean.
- Let cakes cool completely in pans.
For the Frosting
- Using an electric mixer, add the cream cheese and butter; mix on medium speed until well combined.
- Add brown sugar, vanilla extract and cinnamon; mix until well combined.
- Add the powdered sugar 1 cup at a time; mixing well after each addition. (Note: If frosting is too thin, add an additional ½ cup of powdered sugar. If too thick, add ½ Tbsp of milk.)
- Place one layer of cake on large platter. Spread ~1 cup of frosting on top.
- Repeat with 2nd and 3rd layers of cake.
- Use remaining frosting on top and sides of cake.
- Top cake with lightly toasted pecans.