If autumn days taste like something, it’s this Pumpkin Bundt Cake. This easy pumpkin bundt cake recipe has the perfect balance of warm spices, pumpkin puree, and brown sugar which adds subtle caramel notes. This delicious cake is finished with a smooth and luscious homemade cream cheese frosting that makes this the perfect fall dessert.
Pumpkin Bundt Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting
Once the leaves start falling and the fall season approaches, the only two ingredients that matter in this world are pumpkin pie spice and pumpkin puree. Luckily, this moist pumpkin cake recipe has both.
With a tender crumb, the subtle notes of caramel from brown sugar and warm fall spices, this moist pumpkin bundt cake is simply sublime.
The silky and tangy cream cheese frosting and the crunchy toasted pecans sprinkled on top add a wonderful contrast of textures . This is the perfect dessert or snack for chilly afternoons and cozy movie nights in.
If you’re looking for easy pumpkin desserts that everyone will love, this moist cake is always a hit!
Why You’ll Love This Fluffy Pumpkin Bundt Cake Recipe?
- Flavorful: This easy recipe is packed with pumpkin spice flavor and the most decadent and best tasting cream cheese glaze.
- Versatile: This delicious pumpkin bundt cake can be served for breakfast, snack or dessert. It makes a great homemade holiday edible gift too!
- Affordable: This flavorful pumpkin cake costs a fraction of the price to make at home compared to buying one at a bakery or at Nothing Bundt Cakes!
What You’ll Need
Check the printable recipe card below for the complete ingredient’s list and their exact quantities.
For the Bundt Cake
- Flour: Use all-purpose flour, not whole-grain. The earthy nuttiness of whole-grain flour can dull the pumpkin spice. Using it will also mean your cake will have a firmer texture (which is not the end of the world if you’re intent on adding it) and won’t be as spongy.
- Baking Powder and Baking Soda: Used as leavening, these ingredients help the cake rise.
- Pumpkin Spice: Store-bought pumpkin spice can be a life-saver, but you can also make your own. It’s easy! Combine 3 tbsp ground cinnamon, 2 tsp ground ginger, 1 3/4 tsp nutmeg, 1 1/2 tsp allspice, and 1 1/4 tsp ground cloves. That’s it.
- Pumpkin Purée: I use canned pumpkin purée. Do not substitute this for pumpkin pie filling which has thickeners, sugars and spices.
- Oil: This ingredient helps in keeping cakes moist and soft. Vegetable oil or canola oil are perfect for this recipe. You can also use any neutral-tasting oil with a high smoking point like grapeseed for best results.
- Sugar: This pumpkin spice bundt cake recipe uses two types of sugar. Granulated sugar aka white sugar and light brown sugar which adds a mellow caramelized flavor to the cake because of the molasses in the sugar. Brown sugar also imparts moisture to baked goods.
- Eggs: I use large eggs. Room temperature eggs always incorporate better into batters because there’s no temperature shock with the rest of the ingredients. If you forgot to take them out of the fridge, pop them into a glass of lukewarm water while you gather the rest of your ingredients.
- Vanilla extract – I use 100% pure vanilla extract.
For the Cream Cheese Frosting
- Cream Cheese: Full-fat cream cheese makes a much creamier and decadent frosting. Make sure your cream cheese is at room temperature to prevent a lumpy frosting.
- Butter: I prefer using unsalted butter for the frosting; however, salted butter can be used. Make sure it’s room temperature.
- Confectioners’ sugar – Never swap this for granulated sugars, especially in frostings.
- Milk: Use whole or 2% milk.
- Pecans – These do not go into the frosting. They’re to garnish the top of your bundt cake and are completely optional. Walnuts and candied pecans are also great substitutes.
How to Make Pumpkin Bundt Cake?
For specific instructions and times, please check the printable recipe card below.
This bundt cake is fairly simple to make. With a little patience and some guidance, your kitchen will smell like cozy autumn and pumpkin spice in no time. Here’s everything you need to do:
- Prep: Preheat the oven to 350°F. Then generously grease a 10-cup bundt pan with nonstick spray. You can also use butter and a sprinkle of flour, making sure to dust off any excess. Get into all the crevices. All it takes is a missed spot for your cake to stick.
- Mix the dry ingredients. Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, pumpkin spice, and salt in a medium bowl. Although the sugars are technically dry ingredients, don’t add them in yet.
- Mix the wet ingredients and sugar. Whisk together the oil, pumpkin puree, brown sugar, granulated sugar, eggs, and vanilla extract in a large bowl. Whisk until just combined.
- Combine wet and dry ingredients. Gradually add the flour mixture to the wet ingredients and mix until just combined. It’s important not to over-mix the cake batter. Doing so will activate the gluten in the flour, making a dense cake. It’s okay if a few small lumps remain.
- Bake and cool. Pour batter into the prepared bundt pan and spread it evenly. Bake for 60 to 70 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for at least 15 minutes. Try not to place it on a cake plate until it’s fully cooled The condensed steam will make the bottom of your cake stick to it, thus a wire rack is best for cooling.
- Make the frosting: In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment or with a hand mixer, beat the cream cheese and the butter until light and fluffy. Lower the speed to medium and gradually add the sifted confectioners’ sugar. Continue beating until smooth and creamy. Don’t forget to sift the confectioners’ sugar beforehand otherwise, your frosting will have lumps of sugar in it. Add the milk and vanilla extract. Continue to beat until they’re well incorporated into the mixture.
- Decorate and garnish: Use a spoon or piping bag to decorate the cooled cake with cream cheese icing. If you’d like, you can garnish it with pecans, walnuts, candied pecans, or chocolate chips.
Can I Use Pumpkin Pie Filling Instead of Pumpkin Puree / Pure Pumpkin?
No. Although both are canned, pumpkin purée is 100% pure pumpkin while pumpkin pie filling usually has spices, plus hidden sugar and sodium. This will inevitably affect this perfectly balanced, not-too-sweet not-too-salty bundt cake. Pumpkin pie filling also comes with plenty of added thickeners that we don’t need in this dessert. Only pumpkin puree will work here.
How Do You Know When a Bundt Cake is Done Baking?
The easiest way is to insert a toothpick in the center of the cake. If it comes out clean, it’s ready. If it’s covered in batter or too moist, it still needs time in the oven. Despite this, sometimes it’s not entirely clear whether a cake is ready. If that’s the case, there are several things you can do.
Use your index and middle finger to gently and carefully press the top of the cake. The batter shouldn’t stick to your hands. Additionally, if you find yourself accidentally poking holes through the cake, then it’s definitely not done yet. Instead, it should be springy and present a bit of resistance to your touch.
Finally, you can look at the sides of the cake. They should be golden brown and start to pull away from the sides of the pan. Gently try to introduce the tip of a knife or offset spatula around the edges. If there’s some wiggle room, your cake is most likely ready.
Making Ahead, Storing and Freezing
Can I Make This Cake Ahead of Time?
Yes, this pumpkin bundt cake can be made ahead of time. You can store the frosted cake covered in the refrigerator for 4 days.
How to Store a Frosted Bundt Cake?
This pumpkin bundt cake needs to be stored in the fridge because of the cream cheese frosting. Thus, you will need to refrigerate the whole cake or in slices.
You can chill the entire cake in the fridge for about an hour first to firm up the frosting, then cover it with a cake lid or plastic wrap. You can store smaller pieces in an airtight container.
The cake will last for about 4 days in the fridge. When you plan to enjoy it, let it come to room temperature first.
Can I Freeze Pumpkin Bundt Cake?
You can only freeze this bundt cake if it’s unfrosted. The cream cheese frosting can separate in the freezer and give way to more ice crystals that could potentially cause freezer burn.
To freeze it properly, let the pumpkin bundt cake cool to room temperature completely, then wrap it in a couple of layers of plastic wrap. Make sure there are no gaps. Then place it in a freezer-friendly container or wrap it in aluminum foil. Freeze it for up to three months.
Let it come to room temperature when you’re ready to eat it and prepare a fresh batch of frosting right before serving.
Recipe Tips for Success
- Use the right pan: You need a 10-cup bundt pan to make this recipe.
- Room temperature ingredients: Room temperature eggs always incorporate better into batters. If you forgot to take them out of the fridge, pop them into a glass of lukewarm water while you gather the rest of your ingredients. Make sure the cream cheese is softened to prevent lumpy frosting.
- Pumpkin purée: I’ve been using the exact same brand of pumpkin purée for years. Libby’s is a great quality product with the right consistency and color and great pumpkin flavor (and I am not getting paid to say it!).
- Unmold with care. Warm cakes have a much higher risk of falling to pieces when unmolded. Let your cake cool for at least 15 minutes before removing it from the bundt pan. Do not keep it in the mold until it reaches room temperature because the cake’s condensed heat tends to make the walls of the cake stick.
- Use non-stick spray. Grease the entire bundt pan extremely well. Nothing is sadder than putting loads of effort into your cake and then having it stick when you try to unmold it. PAM is my favorite brand because it works really well. If you can’t find it, use lots of butter and lightly sprinkle the pan with flour.
- Add something crunchy. Switching the pecans or walnuts for candied pecans can make for an amazing textural ingredient that maintains all the nutty goodness but also provides rich caramel flavor and crunch in every bite.
- Let it cool. Make sure your cake is 100% cooled when you frost it. Even if it’s still the slightest bit warm on the inside, it’ll melt your frosting and make your beautiful cake a soggy mess.
- Make it chocolate-chip. If you’re not already topping it with some chocolate chips, add them to your batter for a decadent mixture of pumpkin and chocolate. Bittersweet ones are my favorite kind, but it’s totally up to you.
If You Love All Things Pumpkin, Take A Look At Some of Our Favorite Pumpkin Recipes:
- Pumpkin Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting and Salted Caramel
- Swirled Pumpkin Cheesecake Bars
- Pumpkin Whoopie Pies
- Homemade Pumpkin Pie
- Easy Pumpkin Bread with Chocolate Chips
- Pumpkin Pancakes
Follow me on social media for more recipe ideas & inspiration!
Pumpkin Bundt Cake
- Bundt pan
For the Bundt Cake
For the Cream Cheese Frosting
To Garnish (Optional)
- 1 cup toasted pecans or walnuts roughly chopped
- ½ cup chocolate chips
For the Bundt Cake
- Preheat the oven. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and grease a large (10-cup) bundt pan with cooking spray or butter and flour the pan tapping out any excess flour. Make sure you grease all the crevices of the bundt pan.
- Mix the dry ingredients. Whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, pumpkin spice and salt in a medium mixing bowl.
- Mix the wet ingredients and sugar. Whisk together the oil, pumpkin puree, brown sugar, granulated sugar, eggs and vanilla extract in a large mixing bowl. Whisk until just combined.
- Combine wet and dry ingredients. Gradually, add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix until just combined.
- Pour the batter. Transfer the batter to the prepared bundt pan smoothing out the top with a spatula or tapping it against the counter a few times.
- Bake and cool. Bake for 60 to 70 minutes or until a cake tester or a wooden skewer inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Remove from the oven and cool on a wire rack for about 15 minutes, then turn it out onto a cake plate or wire rack to cool completely before frosting.
For the Cream Cheese Frosting
- Beat the cream cheese. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment or in a large mixing bowl if using an electric mixer, combine the cream cheese and the butter and beat until light and fluffy.
- Add the remaining ingredients. Gradually, add the sifted confectioners’ sugar and mix on medium speed until creamy and smooth. Mix in the milk and vanilla extract. If the frosting appears too thick or too thin, add additional milk or confectioners’ sugar until the desired consistency is reached.
- Frost. Spoon over the top of the cool bundt cake. Sprinkle with nuts or chocolate chips if desired (optional).