Pumpkin Spice Cake Recipe
4 mins read

Pumpkin Spice Cake Recipe

We believe in addressing one holiday at a time (save the Black Friday sales for Friday – Thursday is for family) and Thanksgiving is one of our favorites.

We are so grateful for the wonderful blessings in our lives and this cake helps us savor the celebration!

Thanksgiving Pumpkin Spice Cake Recipe

Ingredients – makes 1 (9-inch) round cake

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon pumpkin spice
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup dark brown sugar, packed
  • 3/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 (15 oz.) can pumpkin puree
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped walnuts, (optional)
  • 1 batch of Pumpkin Cream Cheese Frosting



Preheat the oven to 325°F. Butter and flour two 9-inch round cake pans and set aside.

Place the flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and spices in a medium bowl. Whisk together and set aside. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, mix the sugars and oil on medium speed until combined. Add the eggs, one at a time, blending on low speed until each is incorporated. Add the vanilla and then pumpkin puree.

Mix until combined and no lumps are present.  Add half of the dry ingredients and mix on low speed until fully incorporated. Add the second half of the dry ingredients, mixing on low speed until incorporated. Use a spatula to fold in the 1/2 cup of nuts if elected. Mix until just combined.

Pour the batter into the prepared pans and spread it evenly. Bake for 30 to 40 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Remove from the oven and cool completely.

Place one cooled cake layer upside down on a serving platter and use a knife or angled spatula to spread frosting over the top and sides, being generous on top as it will be a filling layer. Place the next layer right side up on top of the first and complete the frosting of the top and sides.

Modern Variation:  Frost just the center (filling) and top of the cake for a more contemporary look.

Sass it up: This recipe is very versatile.  If you want to be impressive, and don’t mind a bit more labor, use three rounds. Just split the batter evenly among the pans and don’t forget to adjust your baking time if using a pan different than the one specified. If you want to bring a treat to school or work, you can even try making pumpkin cupcakes.

(Cupcakes, yum!)

Pumpkin Cream Cheese Frosting

  • 2 (8-ounce) packages pumpkin cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) butter, at room temperature
  • 2 (16-ounce) boxes confectioner’s sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract



In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the cream cheese and butter. Blend on medium speed until smooth. Turn the mixer on low speed and add the confectioner’s sugar a little bit at a time until fully incorporated. Beat until light and fluffy. Stir in the vanilla. This recipe may be doubled if, like us, you indulge in eating the frosting while decorating the cake.

Sass it up: Decorate the cake by sprinkling 2 tablespoons Amaretti cookies (crushed) on top of the cake. If you enjoy the crunch, go crazy and add in 1 tablespoon of raw sugar for a pretty visual that tastes unique and delicious.

Check out Momma Reiner and “Sugar, Sugar” in USC Dornsife Magazine Fall 2012/Winter 2013 Issue (see page 59). http://dornsife.usc.edu/magazine

Happy Thanksgiving,



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“Sugar, Sugar: Every Recipe Has a Story” now on Amazon.com (Andrews McMeel Publishing, October 26, 2011).  Amazon.com: Sugar, Sugar: Every Recipe Has a Story (9781449403584): Kimberly “Momma” Reiner, Jenna Sanz-Agero: Books


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