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Pumpkin Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

This Moist and Delicious Layered Pumpkin Cake is made with Fluffy Cream Cheese Frosting and a drizzle of Chocolate. The Cream Cheese Frosting has some dulce de leche added, so you know it’s extra good! Make this showstopper for Thanksgiving and you’ll be the talk of the town, for sure!

This Moist and Delicious Layered Pumpkin Cake is made with Fluffy Cream Cheese Frosting and a drizzle of Chocolate. The Cream Cheese Frosting has some dulce de leche added, so you know it's extra good! Make this showstopper for Thanksgiving and you'll be the talk of the town, for sure!

Pumpkins are the thing to cook with in the fall. If you’re looking for a very delicious and beautiful way to enjoy them this season, make it be this Pumpkin Layer Cake. Of course, you could use just any kind of Cream Cheese based buttercream or frosting for your Pumpkin Cake, but make the cream with the addition of dulce de leche and you have just elevated your cake game by a 100 points.

What makes this our FAVORITE Pumpkin Layer Cake?

This Pumpkin Layer Cake hits all the right notes, perfectly. The pumpkin cake itself is very tender and moist. The Cream Cheese Buttercream is velvety smooth, creamy and with just the right amount of caramel added to give you that perfect amount of sweetness. And the chocolate, the chocolate adds that last touch of sophistication that makes this cake fancy enough to show off on display.

This Moist and Delicious Layered Pumpkin Cake is made with Fluffy Cream Cheese Frosting and a drizzle of Chocolate. The Cream Cheese Frosting has some dulce de leche added, so you know it's extra good! Make this showstopper for Thanksgiving and you'll be the talk of the town, for sure!

Tips for Success with Pumpkin Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting:

  • Start with room temperature eggs. Eggs that are cold do not whip to their fullest potential and will leave the Pumpkin Cake less fluffy.
  • Use room temperature butter for this Cream Cheese Frosting. Butter left at room temperature for 3 hours is the perfect consistency for whipping into the buttercream.
  • Substitute for Dulce de Leche: use any kind of caramel that isn’t too runny in place of dulce de leche if that is what you have on hand.
  • Use only the block or packaged type of cream cheese for the cream. Do not use the spreadable or whipped cream cheese.

Layered Pumpkin Cake with Cream Cheese buttercream and Chocolate

Pumpkin Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

How to make the Pumpkin Layer Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

  • Preheat oven to 350 F. Spray two 9 inch round baking pans with nonstick spray, or butter and flour the pans, or line the baking pans with parchment paper, or line with aluminum foil and spray with non-stick spray; set aside. Fasten the wet cake strips around the baking pans if you have them.
  • To a bowl of a stand mixer add the eggs and sugar, then whip for about 10 minutes or until fluffy. Whisk in the oil and the pumpkin purée.

This Moist and Delicious Layered Pumpkin Cake is made with Fluffy Cream Cheese Frosting and a drizzle of Chocolate. The Cream Cheese Frosting has some dulce de leche added, so you know it's extra good! Make this showstopper for Thanksgiving and you'll be the talk of the town, for sure!

  • Next, sift the flour, baking powder, and baking soda, salt and cinnamon (if using) and carefully fold it in. Lastly fold in 1/2 cup sour cream until smooth batter forms.

This Moist and Delicious Layered Pumpkin Cake is made with Fluffy Cream Cheese Frosting and a drizzle of Chocolate. The Cream Cheese Frosting has some dulce de leche added, so you know it's extra good! Make this showstopper for Thanksgiving and you'll be the talk of the town, for sure!

  • Divide the batter between the two prepared pans evenly and bake for about 45 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Do not open the oven before 30 minutes.
  • Remove cakes from the oven and allow to cool for about 10 minutes before running a knife around the inside of the baking pan to loosen the cake away from the sides. Transfer to a cooling rack and cool completely (very important).
  • If you did not use cake strips, cut off the domed tops of the cake. Then, with a serrated knife cut each cake layer into two horizontally.

This Moist and Delicious Layered Pumpkin Cake is made with Fluffy Cream Cheese Frosting and a drizzle of Chocolate. The Cream Cheese Frosting has some dulce de leche added, so you know it's extra good! Make this showstopper for Thanksgiving and you'll be the talk of the town, for sure!

How to make the Cream Cheese Dulce de Leche Buttercream

  • Whip the butter until light and fluffy (about 5 minutes), scraping down the sides several times. Add the dulce de leche and whip until incorporated. Next add the cream cheese, powdered sugar, and the vanilla extract and whip until fully incorporated and smooth.

This Moist and Delicious Layered Pumpkin Cake is made with Fluffy Cream Cheese Frosting and a drizzle of Chocolate. The Cream Cheese Frosting has some dulce de leche added, so you know it's extra good! Make this showstopper for Thanksgiving and you'll be the talk of the town, for sure!

How to make the Chocolate Ganache

  • Microwave the heavy whipping cream until boiling hot, add the chocolate chips and allow to sit for 1 minute, then stir until smooth. Bring to room temperature. Place into a sandwich size ziplock bag or a pastry bag. Trim the corner to drizzle right before assembling the cake.

This Moist and Delicious Layered Pumpkin Cake is made with Fluffy Cream Cheese Frosting and a drizzle of Chocolate. The Cream Cheese Frosting has some dulce de leche added, so you know it's extra good! Make this showstopper for Thanksgiving and you'll be the talk of the town, for sure!

How to Make Puff Pastry Maple Leaves (Optional)

  • Use a maple leave cutter like the one sold HERE and cut out about 10 maple leaves. Brush the puff pastry leaves with egg wash and sprinkle with sugar. Bake in preheated to 400F oven for about 10 minutes or until puffed up and golden. Allow to cool completely.

This Moist and Delicious Layered Pumpkin Cake is made with Fluffy Cream Cheese Frosting and a drizzle of Chocolate. The Cream Cheese Frosting has some dulce de leche added, so you know it's extra good! Make this showstopper for Thanksgiving and you'll be the talk of the town, for sure!

Assemble the Pumpkin Cake

  • Reserve 1 1/2 cup of frosting for covering the outside of the cake and set aside.
  • Place a small dab of frosting onto the cake platter and press the first cake layer to adhere. Add 1/3 of the frosting and spread around into an even layer. Drizzle couple tablespoons of cooled chocolate ganache on top. Repeat with the remaining pumpkin cake layers and the frosting.
  • If planning to use the puff pastry maple leaves for decoration, reserve about 3-4 tablespoons of cream for adhering the cookie leaves to the top of the cake. Otherwise, use all reserved cream to cover the cake, smooth it with a spatula or a cake scraper, then after you drizzle the cake with chocolate ganache, pipe about 10 “dots” border around one edge of the cake.

This Moist and Delicious Layered Pumpkin Cake is made with Fluffy Cream Cheese Frosting and a drizzle of Chocolate. The Cream Cheese Frosting has some dulce de leche added, so you know it's extra good! Make this showstopper for Thanksgiving and you'll be the talk of the town, for sure!

How to drizzle the cake with Chocolate Ganache

  • If the remaining ganache has thickened too much, microwave it in 2-3 second intervals until pourable consistency. Do not make the ganache warm or it will melt the buttercream as you pour it.
  • Pour the ganache in the middle top of the cake and spread it around with an offset spatula, bringing it to the edges until it just drizzles over the sides of the cake.
  • With a middle sized plain round tip pipe small dot border around the bottom of the cake.

This Moist and Delicious Layered Pumpkin Cake is made with Fluffy Cream Cheese Frosting and a drizzle of Chocolate. The Cream Cheese Frosting has some dulce de leche added, so you know it's extra good! Make this showstopper for Thanksgiving and you'll be the talk of the town, for sure!

How to decorate the Layered Pumpkin Cake with Maple Leaves

  • If decorating with the cookie leaves, pipe small dollops of cream in a moon shape pattern, then lean the puff pastry maple leaves against these piped dollops.
  • Refrigerate the cake for about 4-5 hours before cutting. Leave at room temperature for about 1 hour before serving.

Layered Pumpkin Cake slice with Cream Cheese Dulce de Leche Buttercream on a plate.

Layered Pumpkin Cake slice with Cream Cheese

This Moist and Delicious Layered Pumpkin Cake is made with Fluffy Cream Cheese Frosting and a drizzle of Chocolate. The Cream Cheese Frosting has some dulce de leche added, so you know it's extra good! Make this showstopper for Thanksgiving and you'll be the talk of the town, for sure!
4.5 from 2 votes

This Moist and Delicious Layered Pumpkin Cake is made with Fluffy Cream Cheese Frosting and a drizzle of Chocolate. The Cream Cheese Frosting has some dulce de leche added, so you know it's extra good! Make this showstopper for Thanksgiving and you'll be the talk of the town, for sure!

Author: Marina | Let the Baking Begin
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: cream cheese frosting, pumpkin cake
Calories: 531 kcal
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 5 minutes
Servings: 16

Ingredients

Pumpkin Cake Ingredients

Dulce de Leche Buttercream

Chocolate Ganache

Instructions

How to make the Pumpkin Cake

  1. Preheat oven to 350 F. Spray two 9 inch round baking pans with nonstick spray, or butter and flour the pans, or line the baking pans with parchment paper, or line with aluminum foil and spray with non-stick spray; set aside. Fasten the wet cake strips around the baking pans if you have them.

  2. To a bowl of a stand mixer add the eggs and sugar, then whip for about 5 minutes or until fluffy. Whisk in the oil and the pumpkin puree. Next, sift the flour, baking powder, and baking soda, salt and cinnamon (if using) and carefully fold it in. 
    Lastly fold in 1/2 cup sour cream until smooth batter forms. 

How to bake the Pumpkin Cake

  1. Divide the batter between the two prepared pans evenly and bake for about 45 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Do not check before 30 minutes. 

  2. Remove cakes from the oven and allow to cool for about 10 minutes before running a knife around the inside of the baking pan to loosen the cake away from the sides. Transfer to a cooling rack and cool completely (very important).

  3. If you did not use cake strips, cut off the domed tops of the cake. Then, with a serrated knife cut each cake layer into two horizontally. 

How to make the Dulce de Leche Buttercream

  1. Whip the butter for about 5 minutes, scraping down the sides several times. Add the condensed milk and whip until incorporated. Next add the cream cheese, powdered sugar, and the vanilla extract and whip until fully incorporated and smooth.

How to make the Chocolate Ganache

  1. Microwave the heavy whipping cream until boiling hot, add the chocolate chips and allow to sit for 1 minute, then stir until smooth. Bring to room temperature. Place into a sandwich size ziplock bag or a pastry bag. Trim the corner to drizzle right before assembling the cake.

How to Make Puff Pastry Maple Leaves (Optional)

  1. Use a maple leave cutter like the one sold HERE and cut out about 10 maple leaves. Brush the puff pastry leaves with egg wash and sprinkle with sugar. Bake in preheated to 400F oven for about 10 minutes or until puffed up and golden. Allow to cool completely.

Assemble the Pumpkin Cake

  1. Reserve 1 1/2 cup of frosting for covering the outside of the cake and set aside. 

  2. Place a small dab of frosting onto the cake platter and press the first cake layer to adhere. Add 1/3 of the frosting and spread around into an even layer. Drizzle couple tablespoons of cooled chocolate ganache on top. Repeat with the remaining pumpkin cake layers and the frosting. 

  3. If using the puff pastry maple leaves for decoration, reserve about 3-4 tablespoons of cream for adhering the cookie leaves to the cake. Otherwise, use all reserved cream to cover the cake, smooth it with a spatula or a cake scraper, then pipe a "dot" border around the bottom of the cake.

How to drizzle the cake with Chocolate Ganache

  1. If the remaining ganache has thickened too much, microwave it in 2-3 second intervals until pourable consistency. Do not make the ganache warm or it will melt the buttercream as you pour it. 

    Pour the ganache in the middle top of the cake and spread it around with an offset spatula, bringing it to the edges until it just drizzles over the sides of the cake. 

How to decorate the Pumpkin Cake with Maple Leaves

  1. If decorating with the cookie leaves, pipe small dollops of cream in a moon shape pattern, then lean the puff pastry maple leaves against these piped dollops.

  2. Refrigerate the cake for about 4-5 hours before cutting. Leave at room temperature for about 1 hour before serving.

Nutrition Facts
Layered Pumpkin Cake slice with Cream Cheese
Amount Per Serving
Calories 531 Calories from Fat 198
% Daily Value*
Fat 22g34%
Saturated Fat 12g75%
Cholesterol 117mg39%
Sodium 418mg18%
Potassium 422mg12%
Carbohydrates 73g24%
Fiber 2g8%
Sugar 51g57%
Protein 9g18%
Vitamin A 6790IU136%
Vitamin C 2.4mg3%
Calcium 201mg20%
Iron 2.3mg13%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

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Marina | Let the Baking Begin

Welcome to Let the Baking Begin! I'm Marina and my love and passion for eating only the most delicious foods drive me to share that love here on Let the Baking Begin (since 2009). With over 20 years of experience in the kitchen, you know the recipes are tested and retested until perfect. I'm so happy to have you here. Enjoy! Read more...

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  • lily

    i am making this cake for жатва because we have lots of pumpkin puree. im still not sure how this will turn out, but its looking good right now. i was wondering if this cake can stand in fridge for a couple of days?
    by the way i love your recipes, they are so fancy. and you are the only one (from all that i know) that had a big pumpkin cake that i could take to church feeling good about it;)

    · Reply
    • Thank you so much Lily! Hope you love it!
      You can keep it in the fridge for a couple of days, then bring it to room temp before serving.

      The cake flavors peak at around 24 hours post-assembly so if you can make it a day ahead it would be best though.

      · Reply
      • lily

        i just wanted to tell you that I didn’t even get to try this cake, it was that good. people finished it very fast. thank you again

        · Reply
  • Hi! I have some questions. Some people say 1 cup of flour weighs 120 grams, others say 150 grams, others say other stuff.
    1) How many GRAMS of flour for this recipe?
    2) Will using LESS than 2 cups of sugar alter the TEXTURE of the cake? My family doesn’t like anything too sweet. I am thinking of only using 1 cup…
    3) For the buttercream, I have some leftover dulce de leche from another recipe, but there isn’t enough. I probably have 3/4-1 cup of it. Will that suffice?
    Thanks!

    · Reply
    • Hello Monica,
      1. My cup of flour weighs 140 g.
      2. Anytime you change the recipe, you’re going to see a difference in texture or flavor. I haven’t tried changing the sugar amount so can not tell you if it’s going to still come out right with less sugar. If you do try it, let me know how it went. I bet others would like to know too. The cake doesn’t come out too sweet though, so I wouldn’t change the amount of sugar.
      3. You can use less dulce and just replace the missing amount with powdered sugar (by weight), but the buttercream will end up with less intensely flavored flavor.

      · Reply
  • Mom's Dish

    Marina, you are so talented. Wow!!! This cake looks so good!

    · Reply

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