All of the best fall flavors mix and mingle in this easy Pumpkin Cinnamon Roll Cake recipe. Served for breakfast, brunch, or dessert, its buttery cinnamon filling and moist pumpkin base are utterly irresistible!
A Perfect, Easy, Sweet Fall Treat
What could be better than a homemade cinnamon roll? Not much, my friends, not much. But what about a cinnamon roll with pumpkin? And what if you didn’t have to worry about rising, punching down, and shaping because you had transformed that pumpkin cinnamon roll into a cake?
All of that is my long way of saying that this easy pumpkin cinnamon roll cake is going to be your go-to pumpkin breakfast, brunch, and snack recipe! It’s got all-of-the-delicious-things, wrapped up in one light, moist, and mouthwatering cake. Tender pumpkin spice cake swirled with a buttery cinnamon-sugar filling, and topped with sweet vanilla glaze is sure to be a family-pleasing standby in your fall baking rotation.
The List of Ingredients
There are basically three parts to this recipe: the main pumpkin cake part, the streusel-like filling that gets mixed into the cake, and the delightfully sweet, creamy glaze. Let’s take a closer look:
For the Cake
- Flour: All-purpose flour is the basis of the cake portion of this recipe.
- Salt: I use kosher salt, but any kind is fine.
- Pumpkin Pie Spice: Store-bought is great, or you can make your own.
- Baking Powder: Make sure to use baking powder, not baking soda, or the cake won’t be light!
- Sugar: I use a mix of granulated sugar and brown sugar to give the cake a little more depth.
- Pumpkin: Canned (or homemade) pumpkin puree gives this cake its name!
- Buttermilk: For a tangy, refreshing note. If you don’t have buttermilk, just mix a teaspoon of vinegar or lemon juice with enough fresh milk to make 1 cup. Let it stand for 5 minutes, stir, and it’s ready to use!
- Oil: Vegetable oil makes the cake light and moist.
- Eggs: A couple of large whole eggs, plus an extra egg yolk for richness. You can save the unused egg white for a breakfast scramble!
- Vanilla: Pure vanilla extract gives the best flavor.
For the Cake Filling
- Butter: Soften the butter before making the filling.
- Brown Sugar: Dark or light brown sugar is fine – use whichever one you prefer. Dark brown sugar has a more intense molasses taste, so keep that in mind.
- Flour: Again, all-purpose flour is all you need here, nothing fancy!
- Cinnamon: Ground cinnamon gives this filling such a delightful fall flavor.
For the Glaze
- Powdered Sugar: Powdered sugar dissolves easily in liquid, making a silky, milky glaze with no hassle.
- Milk: Speaking of milk, you’ll need a couple of tablespoons of your favorite milk to dissolve the sugar.
- Vanilla: A small amount of vanilla extract takes the glaze from “pretty good” to “oh my goodness, how did you make that?”
Are Canned Pumpkin and Pumpkin Puree the Same Thing?
Buyer beware – canned pumpkin puree isn’t the same as canned pumpkin pie filling, and these two can’t be substituted. The difference is that canned pumpkin pie filling is designed to be poured right into a crust and baked to make pumpkin pie. For that reason, it’s loaded with ingredients like pumpkin spice, dairy (or non-dairy) items, sugar, etc.
So watch those labels, and make sure you buy plain, canned pumpkin for this cake. Pumpkin puree will usually say “100% pumpkin” on the label somewhere, and of course, you can always check the ingredients to make sure.
Pumpkin Cinnamon Roll Cake makes a great breakfast, brunch, or dessert! You’ll adore the buttery cinnamon filling and sweet pumpkin flavor.
Let’s Bake a Cake!
As with most cakes, this follows the usual pattern: combine the dry ingredients, combine the wet ingredients, and then combine those two mixtures together! The buttery topping makes everything even tastier.
- Prep the Pan and Oven. To start, set the oven to preheat to 350°F, and grease a 9×13-inch baking pan with non-stick baking spray.
- Combine the Dry Cake Ingredients. In a mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, salt, pumpkin pie spice, baking powder and both sugars. Set aside.
- Combine the Wet Ingredients. In another mixing bowl, stir the pumpkin puree, buttermilk, vegetable oil, eggs, and vanilla together until smooth.
- Combine Both Mixtures. Gradually add the flour mixture into the pumpkin mixture, stirring or whisking until combined.
- Add the Filling Mixture. Pour the cake batter into the prepared baking pan. Next, in a separate bowl, combine the filling ingredients, mixing with a fork. Spoon this over the cake batter, and use a knife to swirl the two together.
- Bake! Place the cake pan in the oven, and bake until a toothpick inserted in the middle of the cake comes out clean. This should take about 40 minutes.
- Cool Slightly and Make the Glaze. Once the cake is done, take it out of the oven and let it cool for around 10 minutes. While it cools, make the glaze by whisking the powdered sugar, 2 tablespoons of milk and vanilla extract in a small bowl. (If your glaze is too thick, add the extra tablespoon of milk.)
- Enjoy! Drizzle the glaze over the cake, and serve warm.
Tips and Tricks
Pumpkin, swirls, and cake pans, oh my! These helpful hints will give you even more ideas for making this sweet, homestyle pumpkin cake. Enjoy!
- Assembly Instructions: Another way to assemble this cake is to pour half the batter into the pan, sprinkle with half the topping, and swirl it in. Then pour the remaining batter on top, followed by the remaining topping. Bake!
- Bars vs. Cake: This can also be made in a larger pan and will be more like bars instead of cake.
- Frosting vs. Glaze: If you prefer frosted cinnamon rolls to glazed cinnamon rolls, then you might like to top this cake with frosting instead of glaze. Cream cheese frosting would be great!
But wait, there’s more! You can tweak this recipe in lots of amazing ways, and I’ve collected some of the most delicious ideas right here. Read on, and happy baking!
- Add Mix-Ins: Chopped nuts, raisins, and white chocolate chips would all add even more oomph to this cozy cake. Just fold them right in.
- Add Caramel Sauce: The Caramel Sauce in this recipe is easy to make, and would be fantastic drizzled over the top of the cake, in place of the glaze.
- Add Praline: If you really want to go all out, omit the glaze and replace it with this unbelievable Pecan Praline Sauce! It’s incredibly decadent!
It’s so easy to store this! Like many cakes, it doesn’t even need to be refrigerated. Just cover it tightly and keep it on the counter for up to 5 days.
Can I Freeze Pumpkin Cinnamon Roll Cake?
Sure can! To do so successfully, cut it into pieces and wrap each piece tightly in plastic wrap. Then pop the pieces in a large freezer bag, or wrap in a layer of foil. Mark with the date, and freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw before serving.
Easy Pumpkin Cinnamon Roll Cake
For the Cake:
- 3 cups all purpose flour
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice
- 4 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- ½ cup brown sugar
- 1 15 oz can pumpkin puree
- 1 cup buttermilk
- ½ cup vegetable oil
- 2 large eggs, plus 1 egg yolk
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
For the Cake Filling:
- 1 cup butter, softened
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 2 tablespoon all purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon cinnamon
For the Glaze:
- 2 cups powdered sugar
- 2 to 3 tablespoons milk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Preheat the oven to 350°F and grease a 9×13-inch baking pan with non-stick baking spray.
- Combine the flour, salt, pumpkin pie spice, baking powder and both sugars together in a bowl.
- In another mixing bowl, combine the pumpkin puree, buttermilk, vegetable oil, eggs, and vanilla. Gradually mix in the flour mixture, until combined.
- Pour the mixture into the greased pan.
- In a medium sized bowl, combine the topping ingredients: butter, brown sugar, flour and cinnamon, with a fork until well combined. Spoon the mixture over the cake and use a knife to swirl it into the cake.
- Place cake in the oven and bake until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean, about 40 minutes.
- Remove cake once done baking and let it cool for 10 minutes.
Make the icing:
- In a small bowl, whisk to combine the powdered sugar, 2 tablespoons of milk and vanilla extract. If your glaze is too thick, add the extra tablespoon of milk, if needed.
- Drizzle the icing over the cake and serve immediately!
More Pumpkin Treats
- Chewy Pumpkin Snickerdoodles
- Pumpkin Pie Pops
- Maple Pumpkin Cupcakes with Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting
- Pumpkin Bread
- Pumpkin Roll with Toffee Filling
- Pumpkin Earthquake Cake
- Soft Pumpkin Cookies
- Bakery Style Pumpkin Muffins
- Best Pumpkin Cheesecake
- The Best Pumpkin Cake
- Easy Pumpkin Pie Cheesecake
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