Photo: Becky Luigart-Stayner; Styling: Sabrina Bone
24 servings (serving size: 1 piece)

Pumpkin cake is moist and fluffy and a great change-up from classic pumpkin pie.

How to Make It

Step 1

Preheat oven to 350°.

Step 2

To prepare cake, weigh or lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine flour, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt in a small bowl, stirring with a whisk.

Step 3

Combine brown sugar, 1/4 cup butter, and 1 teaspoon vanilla in a large bowl; beat with a mixer at medium speed until well combined. Add eggs, 1 at a time, to sugar mixture; beat well after each addition. Add pumpkin; mix well. Fold in flour mixture. Spread batter into a 13 x 9-inch baking pan coated with cooking spray. Bake at 350° for 25 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted into the center comes out clean. Cool completely in pan on a wire rack.

Step 4

To prepare the frosting, combine 2 tablespoons butter, 1/2 teaspoon vanilla, and cream cheese in a medium bowl; beat with a mixer at medium speed until combined. Gradually add the powdered sugar, beating until well combined. Spread frosting evenly over top of cake.

Ratings & Reviews

Did not rise, doesn't look like picture

October 24, 2015
It was tasty but too dense, more like a bread than a cake.  I saw a lot of people making modifications which is suspect as a good recipe shouldn't need modifications.  One was use a smaller pan, which may have helped but really, the right pan size should be a given.  I would look for another recipe to try.

Rajiv Kumar

September 12, 2017
Fabulous cake!!! It is very amazing, Thanks for sharing this very simple recipe. Last sunday we made this cake, All children became very happy after taking it. Thanks alot!!!!!!!!!! I saw some such cakes on:

meghabyte's Review

November 13, 2009
The picture in the magazine looked awesome, but I made it and was very disappointed. I made the recipe as it stated except I subbed fresh pumpkin for the canned stuff thinking it would make it even better. The cake was dense and didn't have much flavor. The icing was not as sweet as other cream cheese icings I have had. I won't make this again.

ginny77's Review

November 06, 2009
We loved this recipe! This is a dense cake, so don't expect it to rise very much. I would describe it as a cross between cake and cheesecake in consistency. Very moist and flavorful, it was a big hit at our house. Loved the frosting, too. Our guests even asked for the recipe! Will definitely make again.

davidslori's Review

December 26, 2009
Wow. What negative publicity this recipe is receiving. I saw this recipe and made for my birthday cake in November, and it came out beautiful and was very delicious. I have a favorite Martha recipe for this cake which is high in calories, but not only was THIS cooking light recipe delicious and pumpkin-y but I felt no guilt enjoying the alotted big serving. I dare all others to try this recipe again. If not, you are truly missing out! CL, don't eliminate this one based on the previous neg reviews, I give you 5 stars!! No ingredient is left out, perhaps a bad atmospheric cooking day for the other ladies.

Gordon17's Review

June 24, 2011
It was not fluffy and it lacked a pumpkin taste. I was looking forward to a taste similar to pumkin spice bread but was very dissapointed. (The frosting was yummy though!!)

lynnahiggins's Review

December 02, 2009
Cake didn't rise at all. Virtually flavorless. My family hated it. Will not make again.

bipbippy's Review

October 22, 2013

serendipity1008's Review

October 19, 2010
If only I had read the reviews before I made this! From the density that is neither here nor there and poor, flat flavor to its unpleasant aesthetic, it isn't worth my time to "make it work." CL has many other outstanding recipes. Not to sound snooty, but I have higher standards than this.

GailFool's Review

December 02, 2009
I agree with the other reviewers. I followed the instructions carefully and the cake did not rise and was a disaster. I also thought it was because my baking powder was old, but apparently that is not the problem. The problem is with the recipe itself. I ended up throwing it all away and going back to my recipe for pumpkin squares, which is a fool-proof recipe.