Pumpkin Dream Cake

Pumpkin Dream Cake: three big layers of super moist pumpkin spiced cake, made completely from scratch, frosted with a sweet cinnamon maple cream cheese icing!

This gorgeously stacked cake is the BEST PUMPKIN CAKE YOU WILL EVER EAT. That is why it is rightly named the Pumpkin Dream Cake.

While this is an old tried and true recipe (just read the comments), I am updating this post with new photos and video. It’s been 5 years, I figured it was time for a little tune up.

But here is the original photo, to show you that this is still the cake you remember and make year after year. I promise I haven’t changed a thing to the recipe!

If you are new to the blog, this cake is one of the best rated recipes I have ever shared. Just read all those comments — you HAVE to make this pumpkin cake.

And while you are at it, check out all the other Dream Cakes. While the Pumpkin Dream Cake is my all time favorite, because PUMPKIN. I have two that share second place in my heart: the Banana Dream Cake and the Chocolate Peanut Butter Dream Cake.

You start with a pumpkin spice cake from scratch. It uses an entire 15oz can of pumpkin, so no worries about wasting or having any leftovers.

Then we keep it extra moist by adding butter and oil to the cake batter. I use pumpkin spice in my cake, but you can use plain cinnamon as well if you prefer.

For the frosting, you whip up a quick cream cheese icing that is flavored with cinnamon, real maple syrup and vanilla extract. When you put it all together, it is seriously the best pumpkin cake recipe ever.

UPDATE: I love this cake so much that I have even made it into cupcakes: Pumpkin Maple Cupcakes with Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting! But I have to be honest, the cake still tastes better. It stays much more moist!

Pumpkin Dream Cake with Cinnamon Maple Cream Cheese Frosting

Pumpkin Dream Cake: three big layers of super moist pumpkin spiced cake, made completely from scratch, frosted with a sweet cinnamon maple cream cheese icing!

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice (optional)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1 (15 oz) can pumpkin
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 cup milk
 
  • 12 oz (1 1/2 packages) cream cheese, softened
  • 3/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 3 tablespoons pure maple syrup
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 6 cups powdered sugar

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 300°F. Grease 3, 8-inch round cake pans. Set aside.
  2. In a medium bowl, mix flour, pumpkin pie spice, baking soda and salt. Set aside.
  3. In a large bowl/stand mixer, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs one at a time, then stir in vanilla, pumpkin and vegetable oil. Beat in the flour mixture alternately with the milk.
  4. Divide batter evenly into prepared pans. Bake for 35-40 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean.
  5. Remove pans from oven and place in freezer for 45 minutes to cool. (UPDATE: Through more testing... You do not have to do this step, it is optional. You can let the cakes cool completely at regular room temperature with no issues. The original freezer method was designed to keep the cake moist by immediately stopping the baking process. And it DOES work, but the cake is just as amazing when cooled at room temperature. Do whichever you find easier.)
  6. For the frosting: In a large bowl, cream butter and cream cheese until smooth. Beat in maple syrup, vanilla and cinnamon. Add confectioners' sugar and beat on low speed until combined, then on high until frosting is smooth.
  7. Assemble the 3 layers with a thick layer of frosting in between each layer. Then apply a thin crumb coat on the top and sides. Pop back in the freezer to harden the crumb coat for about 10 minutes.
  8. Apply one final thick and even layer around the outside of the cake. Store in the fridge until ready to serve.

My girls and Mickey Mouse were all three very excited I had to remake this cake for a video! Look at those faces covered in orange pumpkin cake!