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Pumpkin Layer Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

Dreamy rich and indulgent pumpkin layer cake with caramel.  This layer cake is perfectly frosted with pumpkin spice cream cheese buttercream and pecans. This layer cake is the perfect seasonal dessert to share with family!
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Prep Time 1 hour 10 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 25 minutes
Servings 16


For the Cake

  • 2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/52 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup packed light-brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup canola oil
  • 4 large eggs
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 2 teaspoons caramel extract
  • 15 ounces canned pumpkin puree
  • 1/2 cup milk

For the Cream Cheese Frosting

  • 24 ounces cream cheese block(s), at room temperature
  • 8 tablespoons unsalted butter ( 1 stick )
  • 7 1/2 - 8 cups powdered confectioner's sugar
  • 1 teaspoon caramel extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground pumpkin spice
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups chopped pecans


  • For the Cake
    Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease three 8 x 8 inch round cake pans; set aside. Alternatively, you may use an 8 x 8 inch round cake pan and bake three separate layers.
    In a large bowl, whisk together all-purpose flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, and ginger; set aside.
    In a bowl fit with a mixer, beat butter, granulated sugar and brown sugar; about 4 minutes.
    Slowly mix in half the oil then beat; 3 minutes. Beat in the remaining oil.
    With the mixer on low speed, beat in eggs, one at a time until fully combined. Beat in pumpkin puree.
    Slowly beat dry ingredients into wet ingredients, alternating between dry ingredients and milk. End with dry ingredients then beat just until mixed.
    Evenly divide pumpkin batter between three prepared cake pans or bake one at a time. Bake for 30-40 minutes or until center of cake is set. Cake is done if the toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
    Allow cake to cool then remove from cake pan(s) and place on cooling rack. Cake should be completely cooled before frosting crumb coat.
    To Make the Frosting
    Beat cream cheese and butter in a large bowl.
    Slowly beat in powdered confectioner's sugar.
    Heat flour in microwave for 30 seconds then beat in flour.
    Beat in caramel extract, vanilla extract and salt.
    Refrigerate, about 1 hour.
    To Assemble and Frost Cake
    Place cake on cake stand. Place first layer on bottom. Add frosting to first layer then evenly spread. Place second layer on top. Repeat with frosting. Place third layer on top. Coat with frosting, working down the sides of the cake until coated. Place cake and remaining frosting in refrigerator until frosting hardens and cools. Work the second coat of frosting over cake top and sides. Use an offset spatula dipped in hot water to smooth frosting top of cake. Carefully add chopped pecans to side of cake. Place pecans in hand then pat onto sides. Refrigerate until ready to serve. 


Cake layers inspired from Cooking Classy