Perfect Pumpkin Cake is super moist, easy to make, and packed full of the most pumpkin spice flavor!  Top this simple cake with rich cream cheese frosting for the best fall treat!

pumpkin cake slice

Easy Moist Pumpkin Cake:

I have been waiting since last year to share this perfect pumpkin cake on the blog!  We’ve tested it so many times to make sure it is absolutely perfect in texture and flavor, and it is! This cake has a soft, velvety texture with the perfect amount of sweetness and pumpkin spice!  I’ve truly never, ever tasted a pumpkin cake with more flavor and the perfectly soft and moist texture.  The cinnamon cream cheese frosting is rich, creamy and really easy to make also, as is the cake itself.  I also really love Pumpkin Pancakes and our Easy Pumpkin Soup but if you’re going to make one pumpkin dessert from our blog this season, make it this cake!

How to Make Pumpkin Cake:

First, grab yourself two large bowls, a 9×13 inch baking dish and either a good whisk or a hand mixer.  You can of course do this in your stand mixer if that’s what you prefer.

  1. Whisk together your dry ingredients for just a few seconds:  Flour, baking soda, cinnamon, salt, and pumpkin pie spice.  You don’t need to spend a lot of time on this step.  I just whisk it around about 5 times.
  2. Now, use your mixer to combine everything else:  Canned pumpkin puree, brown sugar, granulated sugar, vegetable oil.
  3. After those are mixed, you’ll mix in your eggs one at a time just mixing well after each one, then the vanilla goes in.
  4. Add the dry ingredients into the wet mixture.  Do this in two batches, stirring gently with a spatula after each addition.  Be careful not to over mix the batter, only stir until just combined and no dry streaks remain.
  5. You can see a picture of the fully mixed together batter below.  The batter will be a little lumpy and that is fine!
  6. Now, pour everything into your greased 9×13 inch baking dish.  Don’t forget to grease with butter or cooking spray!  Depending on oven temp you can bake now for 45-50 minutes.

how to make pumpkin cake photo collage


Pumpkin Cake Recipe Notes and Tips:

  • Don’t skip the cinnamon or pumpkin pie spice in this recipe!  You want to use both for the most spice flavor possible!
  • Make sure you use both brown (dark or light is fine) and granulated sugar and not only one or the other.  We found this gave the very best sweet flavor.
  • Make sure that you are using 100% canned pumpkin puree for this cake.  Don’t use canned pumpkin pie filling, there is a difference and the cake won’t turn out the same.
  • This cake calls for sour cream.  I’ve used light sour cream and regular and both worked well.  I don’t recommend fat free.  You can also substitute this with full fat plain greek yogurt if you wish.
  • Oven temperatures can vary.  I recommend checking the cake at 40 minutes with a toothpick inserted in the center.  If it’s still wet, let the cake cook for 5-10 more minutes.
  • FOR THE FROSTING:  This frosting is a simple mixture of butter, cream cheese, powdered sugar, cinnamon, salt, and vanilla.  All you need to do is beat everything together with a hand or stand mixer until combined.  It’s a thick but fluffy consistency.  If you want a plain cream cheese frosting, just leave the cinnamon out.
  • I tend to store this cake on my counter, covered at room temp for about 3 days.  If you prefer, you can definitely keep it in the refrigerator too and it will be fine for 3-4 days.

pumpkin cake in a pan



5 from 4 votes

Perfect Pumpkin Cake

Perfect Pumpkin Cake is super moist, easy to make, and packed full of the most pumpkin spice flavor!  Top this simple cake with rich cream cheese frosting for the best fall treat!
Prep 20 minutes
Cook 45 minutes
Total 1 hour 5 minutes
Servings 12




  • 8 Ounces Cream Cheese Softened
  • 1/2 Cup Unsalted Butter Softened
  • 2 1/2 Cups Powdered Sugar
  • 1 teaspoon Ground Cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
  • 1/8 teaspoon Salt



  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9x13 inch baking dish with butter or non-stick spray and set aside.
  • In a large bowl whisk together the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, salt, and pumpkin pie spice.
  • In a second large bowl whisk together the pumpkin puree, both sugars, vegetable oil, and sour cream until smooth. Then, whisk in each egg one at a time. Lastly, whisk in the vanilla extract.
  • Add the dry ingredients to the wet, in two additions, stirring well after each addition. Stir just until no large lumps remain.
  • Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake in preheated oven for 30-40 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
  • Remove the cake from the oven and place the pan on a wire rack to cool.
  • Allow the cake to cool completely before frosting.


  • Use a hand or stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment to beat together the cream cheese and butter for 1-2 minutes until smooth.
  • Add in the sugar, cinnamon, vanilla, and salt and continue beating on medium speed for 3-4 minutes until well combined. Frost cooled cake as desired.



Calories: 545kcal, Carbohydrates: 73g, Protein: 5g, Fat: 27g, Saturated Fat: 18g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g, Monounsaturated Fat: 6g, Trans Fat: 1g, Cholesterol: 101mg, Sodium: 497mg, Potassium: 114mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 56g, Vitamin A: 631IU, Vitamin C: 1mg, Calcium: 65mg, Iron: 2mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Additional Info

Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Like this? Rate & review this recipe below!




Hey! Nice to meet you! I'm Nichole!

Welcome to The Salty Marshmallow! I'm a mom, animal lover, photographer, & kitchen mess-maker. Here you will find the result of my decades-long passion for chasing the best flavors in the kitchen, all meant to be cooked by regular people with busy lives just like you and me.

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  1. 5 stars
    This cake is moist, delicious, and has the perfect amount of spice in it. The icing is the perfect complement. I will be making this again soon!

  2. 5 stars
    This cake was crazy good! The day I made it, I injured my hand so I talked my husband step by step through the preparation. He was impressed with himself for “making a cake from scratch” . This cake is perfectly moist, perfectly sweet and pumpkin-ee. Frosting is the perfect pair. I want to make this cake and give it as gifts, it’s THAT GOOD!