Pumpkin Cake with Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting

Prep 15 mins
Cook 40 mins
Add'l 45 mins
Total 1 hr 40 mins

This is the BEST Pumpkin Cake I have ever made! It’s a three layer cake of super moist pumpkin cake and a crazy delicious cinnamon cream cheese frosting! 

The Best Pumpkin Cake with Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting!

Since it is September 1st, and I am dying for it to be Fall already, I am throwing it back to 2012 with my all time favorite Pumpkin Dream Cake!

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 cake! And while you are at it, check out all the other Dream Cakes.

It’s an incredibly hard choice for me, but I have to say that the Banana Dream Cake and the Chocolate Peanut Butter Dream Cake tie for second place!

The Best Pumpkin Cake with Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting!

This cake is simple to put together and an easy enough recipe for even a beginner baker — so no excuses! 😉

P.S. I love this cake so much that I have even made it into cupcakes: Pumpkin Maple Cupcakes with Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting

Yield: 8 servings

Pumpkin Cake with Cinnamon 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! #Pumpkin #Cake #Dessert #FallRecipes #PumpkinRecipes

This is the BEST Pumpkin Cake I have ever made! It’s a three layer cake of super moist pumpkin cake and a crazy delicious cinnamon cream cheese frosting! 

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Additional Time 45 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 40 minutes


  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 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


  1. Preheat oven to 300°F. Grease 3, 8-inch round cake pans. Set aside.
  2. In a medium bowl, mix flour, 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. Remove pans from oven and immediately place in freezer for 45 minutes. (This keeps the cake moist by immediately stopping the baking so the cake does not continue to bake when you remove it form the oven.)
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. Apply one final thick and even layer around the outside of the cake. Store in the fridge until ready to serve.

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 1297Total Fat: 58gSaturated Fat: 31gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 23gCholesterol: 205mgSodium: 694mgCarbohydrates: 178gFiber: 2gSugar: 137gProtein: 18g

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This recipe was originally posted in October 2012.

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68 Responses
  1. Joan

    I’m anxious to try this. Do you think I could use the pumpkin pie can of pumpkin to give it more flavor? And can it be frozen for a few days before its frosted?

    1. Jessica

      Hi Joan! I’m a little confused, yes this recipe uses a can of pure 100% pumpkin to give it pumpkin flavor. And yes, you can freeze the cooked cake before it’s frosted!

  2. Charlotte

    This cake turned out well for me no adjustments for high altitude, & despite over creaming butter & sugar, and baking it in a 9X13 pan. BUT, I added spices…lots more cinnamon to cake & frosting, and nutmeg to cake. Was tasteless without added spices. Baked it for a group, only took one small square home!

  3. Anna Henson

    OMG!!!! This is literally the BEST cake I have ever had! I could not get enough, this will definitely be made every year!!

    1. Sarah

      Your recipe says to apply a crumb coat to top and sides, but I see no crumbs on the photo of the cake in the post, nor a reference in the recipe as to to what the “crumbs” are? Can you clarify?

      1. Jessica

        A crumb coat is a thin layer of frosting called the “crumb coat” that seals in stray crumbs before a second frosting layer is applied.

  4. Dana

    Delicious! Added cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger to the cake. Added freshly grated nutmeg & lemon juice to the frosting to cut the sweetness. The BEST pumpkin cake I’ve made. Very moist crumb. Would make again

  5. Stephanie Richardson

    Ok so somehow I left out the 1 cup of milk. I realized it after the batter was already in the oven. I kept a close eye on it and took it out of the oven a few minutes early. I was scared it was going to be dry and ruined. It is SO delicious!  The icing is to DIE for. I actually used pumpkin pie spice instead of cinnamon. I will definitely be making this cake again. Next time maybe I will remember to put the milk in, but hey, maybe not!! I give this recipe 10/10

  6. Sharon Monroe

    Thank you so much for this recipe, I love pumpkin and sweet potato cake so much: I wish I could take it off my screen to taste it. I really appreciate you for sharing it and I can’t wait to try your recipe.

  7. Ash

    I have my cakes in the oven but I did add some cinnamon and pumpkin spice. I actually got to the end of the recipe before I noticed it wasn’t in there and I thought what?? Ha. I’m sure it’s still good but I definitely think pumpkin needs some spice. Can’t wait to try it later, I’m sure it’s going to be delish.

  8. Bruce Nicely

    Help! Dumb question — the cakes are in the oven, and I am not sure whether they go in the freezer IN the pans, or remove them from the pans first?

    1. Jessica

      Hi Judy, I sadly am not adept at high altitude conversions having always lived in the South. If you try it, please share what changes you needed to make so I can share with anyone else in a high altitude going forward. Thanks! 

  9. Vanessa

    I love all things pumpkin, and this cake was good. The sweetness was just enough but it was lacking a little extra flavor. Not sure what but maybe I’ll try adding pumpkin pie spice to it next time. Thank you!

  10. Bianca

    This cake is truly divine! You are right, its the best pumpkin cake I’ve tasted! I’m in Australia, and my sister celebrates thanksgiving every year. I decided upon this recipe and it was so moist and gorgeous. People were going back for seconds and asking for pieces to take home! Thank you so much for this recipe. I did add some spices to the base (cinnamon and small amounts of ginger, cloves, nutmeg, all spice) and also used cake flour instead. Yum yum yum, can’t wait to make it again. This cake tasted like Christmas !

  11. Shelby

    Do you just grease the pans or grease AND flour the pans? Just baked a cake recently where the recipe just said to grease the pans and it did not come out of the pan. I had to completely ruin the cake to get it out. Would love to make this recipe for my daughter’s first birthday!

  12. Hollie devany

    I’m from the UK, I have researched and found out baking soda is the same as bicarbonate of soda.
    However it says it should only be used as a rising agent if an acidic ingredient is in the cake.
    Just checking that baking soda is definitely the same as bicarbonate of soda and that this case rises okay.
    Not sure if I should be using baking powder?
    Thank you,

    1. Katie

      Hi there! American who used to live I. The UK and had the same problem except opposite when I moved there. Yes they are the same! 

  13. Rachel

    Have you ever tried adding pumpkin pie spice to the cake mix? Or does the cinnamon in the frosting add enough “spice” I love the spicyness of pumpkin pie…but don’t want it to be overpowering with cinnamon frosting. Anyone? Thoughts?

    1. Raechel

      I just made the recipe but in cupcake form , and I wish I would have added some pumpkin spice to it. Don’t get me wrong, it turned out good, but i think it would have elevated the recipe. I’ll absolutely keep this recipe for my fall collections! Thank you!! 

  14. Vicky

    Thank you for the recipe. Waiting for it right now:) According to the reviews it’s going to be amazing!
    But by the way, seems little bit (at least) impolite do not’r response for ?-s, as previous one;)
    Usually people are inspired by the pic and since an any author is the first who’s tried or created a recipe, so, as result, we ask you guys.

    Happy Holiday time to everyone!

  15. Amber

    What exactly do you mean when you say “Then apply a thin crumb coat on the top” what is a crumb coat? Thanks!

    1. Rae

      A crumb top is a mixture of frosting and cake crumbs. After assembling your cake, the layer of crumb top will help build a foundation for your smooth icing. Filling any nooks and crannies, etc.

  16. Bianca S

    This cake is amazing!
    I helped my friend remake the top tier of her wedding cake, it was pumpkin, and she said this one was better than her 900 dollar wedding cake!
    We made a mini cake but made the full recipe so we actually had cupcakes and OMG.

    To be honest, I’ve never tasted pumpkin in anything and I ABSOLUTELY hate sweetened cream cheese. BUT this absolutely changed my mind about cream cheese frosting, the cinnamon and vanilla is beautiful. I’ll be making this cake for Thanksgiving!

    If you’re thinking about making this JUST DO IT, you will not regret it at all.

  17. Ann

    I put the cakes in the freezer as suggested and now I can’t get them out of the pans. I’ve always taken cakes out of the pans while they were still slightly warm, so I’m not surprised this happened, but have no idea how I will get them out now. 

  18. Jaci

    This cake was awesome!   Had so many compliments.  I want to try it in a Bundt pan so it can look like a pumpkin. 

    1. Gerard

      I want to make this in a Bundt pan as well….how did yours come out? Did you alter the recipe at all to accommodate for the bundt pan?

  19. Kristen

    Thanks for this recipe! This is the best cake ive ever made! Going to make it for this weekend and Thanksgiving,.etc. Love it!!!

  20. Sue

    This cake is wonderful. I was surprised that there were no spices like cinnamon in it though. Seems like they always go together. It had a good pumpkin flavor.

  21. Thali

    Could I switch maple syrup for pumpkin spice? Not a biiiig fan of maple syrup unless it’s on a pancake 🙂 

  22. Renee

    Could this be made in a 9×13 pan and if so what adjustments do I need to make? Same temp. and for how long do you think? Thanks for a wonderful looking recipe.

    1. Jessica

      Hi Renee! I have never tried this in a 9×13 so I do not have a time frame. I know it will work, just do not know how long it will need to bake. Keep a close eye on it and it should be fine!

  23. Rachel

    I had asked earlier about dairy free versions of this recipe and so I tried it out for myself and was incredibly successful! I used the same amounts as listed in the recipe but replaced the butter with Earth Balance sticks of unsalted margarine, the milk with rice milk (unsweetened), and the cream cheese with Tofutti cream cheese, and no one who ate the cake could tell there was no dairy in the recipe and it had a beautiful texture and the frosting was delicious!

  24. Patricia

    Thank you so much for sharing this recepy, I live in Portugal and we don’t have canned pumpkin. Can I just purée some natural raw pumpkin? Like in carrot cake. Anxiously waiting for your answer so I can try this one!

    1. Jessica

      Hi Lori,

      I have had people write that they have made it and didn’t need any adjustments. However, I do not personally know as I have never baked anywhere north of Texas/Florida. 😉

  25. Richa

    I’ve been looking for a good pumpkin cake recipe, and yours looks warm and moist and fluffy and just beautiful. Lovely pictures!

  26. Amy

    I’m obsessed with pumpkin. As soon as autumn comes knocking you find me searching for anything pumpkin flavored. So to come across this was heaven! I’m having a couple friends over tonight and the cupcake version is the perfect treat! I had some batter left over after filling my cupcake tin so I decided to make the last drops into mini baked donuts. Those were so delicious they got eaten minutes after they came out of the oven, no time for sugar or glaze! Now I really need an excuse to make the entire cake…

  27. Gabriel @ The Dinner Special podcast

    The color of this cake and with this cinnamon cream cheese frosting! I’m sad that summer is nearly over but I’m happy to drown my sorrows with this!

    1. Amelia

      I just saw the post from Kay wanting a Carrot Cake recipe.  I have the absolute best Carrot Cake recipe, if she hasn’t found one yet. 

  28. June @ How to Philosophize with Cake

    What a lovely cake that looks like! I’m sure the cinnamon frosting goes wonderfully with the pumpkin flavor 🙂

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I'm a trial & error, self taught, sugar addict who thankfully learned how to survive in the kitchen! I am also a wife, mama of 3.
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