Pumpkin Bundt Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting
This is the best pumpkin cake recipe for fall! Topped with cream cheese frosting, this moist pumpkin bundt cake has all the fall spices and it’s easy to make from scratch. Anything in a bundt pan is a must-try because the cakes turn out so darn gorgeous. This pumpkin cake is no exception.
This is the best pumpkin bundt cake because it has all the spices you need for a flavorful cake. The addition of cream cheese frosting makes each slice irresistible while a sprinkle of pecans on top adds a nice touch for this beautiful fall dessert. Personally I think this cake is better than pumpkin pie for Thanksgiving!
Why this recipe works
Pumpkin purée creates a festive orange color, but it also makes cake soft and fluffy. The addition of pumpkin pie spices and brown sugar adds plenty of flavor. Cream cheese frosting naturally complements the spices and cozy pumpkin taste (it has the same effect on these frosted pumpkin bars!)
- Pumpkin purée: Use 100% pure pumpkin purée from the can such as Libby’s. You can also use homemade pumpkin purée, but be sure to blot if with a towel to remove the excess moisture.
- Pumpkin pie spice: I like using my homemade pumpkin pie spice, but if you prefer, you can use individual spices.
- Brown sugar: Light brown sugar is preferred to keep the cake tender and light, but if you only have dark brown sugar that may be used as well.
- Vegetable oil: To make the cake light and fluffy, use vegetable oil. For a more dense cake with richer flavor, use melted butter (same amount).
- Cream cheese: For the frosting, the cream cheese should be softened, but still cool.
Pumpkin bundt cake can be topped with various frostings, icings or glazes. I prefer cream cheese frosting, but if you want something different, I suggest trying the caramel glaze on fresh apple bundt cake. Another option is the cinnamon glaze I used on my cinnamon zucchini bundt cake.
If you like chocolate chips or nuts in your pumpkin cake, you can add 1 1/2 cups of either. I prefer pecans in pumpkin cakes, but walnuts would work well too!
How to make pumpkin bundt cake
- Whisk together the dry ingredients—flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt and spiced. Set aside.
- Mix wet ingredients with an electric mixer. Start with the sugars and vegetable oil, then add eggs one at a time. Mix in vanilla.
- Stir in half the flour mixture, then the pumpkin puree, then remaining flour mixture.
- Bake for 60 to 70 minutes. Allow the cake to cool completely before frosting.
- Make the frosting. Beat cream cheese and butter until fluffy. Add confectioners’ sugar and mix until incorporated. Add vanilla and milk, then mix until combined. Pour frosting over cooled cake. Garnish with chopped pecans or spiced pecans.
When baking cakes, weigh your ingredients with a kitchen scale for the most accurate measuring. If you don’t have a kitchen scale, fluff your flour with a fork and spoon it into a measuring up (don’t pack it in). Level off with a fork.
Avoid over-mixing the batter when adding the flour mixture as this will create a dense cake. Allow the cake to cool in the pan for only 10 to 15 minutes before inverting it onto a wire rack to cool completely. If the pan is hot, the cake will continue to “bake” and the outside will be crisp.
For the cream cheese frosting, use cream cheese and butter that is softened, but still cool. If the cream cheese and butter are too soft, the frosting will be runny and goopy. It’s also important that the cake is cooled completely before frosting.
To prevent my bundt cake from sticking, use my magic cake pan release. This paste releases cakes from the pan without a crumb left behind!
Frequently Asked Questions
Yes, 1 Tablespoon pumpkin pie spice may be used in place of individual spices.
This recipe makes approximately 10 cups of batter, which can fit in a 9×2 inch square pan or two 8x4inch loaf pans.
No, but if you’re in a warm climate I suggest doing so so the frosting doesn’t melt. Store pumpkin bundt cake in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days.
Yes. Allow the cake to cool completely. Wrap the cake securely in plastic wrap and store in an airtight container or a double layer of aluminum foil to prevent freezer burn. Cake will keep for up to 1 month in the freezer. Defrost in the refrigerator before serving.
No, unfortunately pumpkin pie filling does not work since it has added sugar and spices. This will throw off the ratio of ingredients.
Pumpkin is popular throughout October. Check out these pumpkin recipes and popular bundt cakes:
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Pumpkin Bundt Cake
Pumpkin Bundt Cake
- 3 cups (375 g) all purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon ground ginger
- ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- ¼ teaspoon ground cloves, or all spice
- 1 cup (200 g) granulated sugar
- ¾ cup (150 g) packed light brown sugar
- 1 cup (224 ml) vegetable oil
- 3 large eggs, room temperature
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 cups (one 15 oz can or 425 g) 100% pure pumpkin puree
Cream Cheese Frosting
- ½ cup (4 oz or 113 g) cream cheese, room temperature
- 1 tablespoon butter, room temperature
- 1 cup (120 g) confectioners’ sugar, sifted
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1-3 Tablespoons milk
- Chopped pecans for garnish
- Preheat oven to 350° F. Grease and flour a bundt cake pan (or use magic cake pan release) and set aside.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt and spices. Set aside.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle (or using a hand mixer), combine granulated sugar, brown sugar and vegetable oil together until oil is absorbed. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition, then mix in the vanilla. Using a rubber spatula, stir in half the flour mixture just until combined, then add the pumpkin puree and stir until incorporated. Add remaining flour mixture and stir just until combined making sure to scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl.
- Transfer batter to prepared bundt cake pan and bake for 60-70 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the cake comes out with little to no crumbs. Allow the cake to cool in the pan for 10-15 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
- For the cream cheese frosting, use an electric mixer to beat cream cheese and butter until combined. Add confectioners’ sugar and mix until incorporated. Add vanilla and 1 Tablespoon milk, then mix until combined. If a thinner consistency is desired, add more milk. Pour frosting over the cooled cake allowing it to drip down the sides. Garnish with chopped pecans, slice and serve.
Adapted from Just So Tasty