This delicious autumn dessert is perfect for lunchboxes and after-school snacks.
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🗝️ Key takeaways
- Super easy to make and full of cozy pumpkin spice flavor. Plus it freezes well!
- We love it as a quick snack the during hectic back-to-school season but it's a delicious dessert any time.
- Be sure to check out the Things to Know section for hints on getting those instagram-worthy slices!
This tasty cake is one of my favorite pumpkin desserts to serve during autumn.
It's an easy recipe that comes together super quickly—thankfully, because with so many fun fall festivities going on, who wants to spend all day in the kitchen?!
This is an overview of the ingredients. You'll find the full measurements and instructions in the green recipe card (printable) at the bottom of the page.
- Make a layer cake instead by baking the batter in two, 8-inch cake pans for 20-25 minutes. Spread frosting in between the cake layers and on top of the cake. Then, decorate as you please!
- Spoon the batter into two cupcakes tins (for a total of 2 dozen cupcakes.) Bake for 15-20 minutes.
- Use fresh pumpkin puree instead of store-bought. (Remember to save those pumpkin seeds for roasting!)
- Try using mashed sweet potato or winter squash instead of the pumpkin.
- If you have it on hand, a splash of vanilla extract tastes great in the cake batter.
- Swirl some chopped pecans into the batter for a nutty addition.
- Tangy cream cheese frosting is the perfect complement to the sweet, pumpkin flavor. However, you can use your favorite frosting—if you love pumpkin, try a pumpkin spice buttercream!
- Make a brown sugar caramel and drizzle it over the cake when serving for an extra-special touch!
- Sprinkle the cake with crushed gingersnaps for a flavorful and pretty finishing touch! Or, garnish each slice with cute pumpkin candies.
- Leftover cake get stale? Crumble it up with the bread in this pumpkin pecan bread pudding recipe!
This pumpkin spice cake recipe is super easy but don't let that fool you! It's absolutely delicious!
This is an overview of the instructions. Full instructions are in the green recipe card at the bottom of the page.
- In a large mixing bowl, add the wet and dry ingredients to the canned pumpkin.
- Mix until smooth.
- Spread in a baking dish or sheet pan.
- Bake, then cool on a wire rack.
🥫 How to store leftover pumpkin spice cake
It can be left covered at room temperature for three to four days.if you've used shelf-stable buttercream frosting.
Store cake leftovers in the refrigerator if you use cream cheese frosting. This will prevent the cream cheese from spoiling.
The cake will last about a week when covered with plastic wrap or aluminum foil in the fridge.
Moist pumpkin cake also freezes quite well, which is great if you only want a little bite of sweetness every now and again.
Store it in an airtight container or carefully wrapped with plastic wrap and aluminum foil for up to three months.
One of my favorite ways to freeze this is to cut it into servings and then put it in the freezer for about 3 hours.
When the cake is thoroughly frozen I put the pieces in an airtight container with parchment paper between the layers.
That way I can pull out as many pieces as I need. I can pack it in a lunch box - it thaws by lunchtime!
💭 Things to know
Expert Tip: To keep cake slices neat and Instagram-worthy, chill the cake for an hour before cutting into it. Be sure to wipe the knife in between each cut, too.
- In this recipe, be sure to let your eggs come to room temperature before mixing them into the batter! They'll emulsify better this way.
- Make sure to grab pumpkin puree—not pumpkin pie filling. Sometimes it's labeled "pure pumpkin." They might be next to each other in the grocery store, so shop carefully!
- This recipe is written for a glass baking dish. However, cooking in a glass or dark metal pan requires a slightly different temperature than a shiny metal pan (like a disposable foil baking dish.) When in doubt, double-check the recipe box that your mix came in to see what it recommends for your specific pan type.
- You can use an electric stand mixer to combine the ingredients, but don't go overboard! Just mix on medium speed with the paddle attachment until everything has come together evenly.
- You don't need to replace the bourbon with another liquid if you choose to omit it.
Sure! The flavors in the spice cake mix enhance the pumpkin flavor, but you can use a white or yellow mix if you prefer! In this case, I'd recommend adding a pinch of ground pumpkin pie spice to bring back some of that cozy fall flavor.
That's the fun of using a boxed mix! Most of the ingredients you need are in the flour mixture already—leavening agents included. Simply follow the pumpkin spice cake recipe as written and you'll have a light, fluffy, moist delicacy in no time at all!
This pumpkin spice cake is super moist, which is one reason why it's so delicious. However, it is best baked in flat layers.
If you want to go the bundt cake route, I'd recommend using this Pumpkin Bundt Cake recipe, instead. It's a moist cake that's just as delicious, but it's formulated to better withstand intricate bundt pan designs.
Yes you can use homemade pumpkin puree but you'll need to make sure that you press out any excess liquid. Homemade pumpkin puree is often more moist than commercial kinds and it may change the texture of your cake.
📚 Related recipes
- These Copycat Starbucks Pumpkin Scones are better than the original—with a maple bourbon glaze, you'll crave them for breakfast all season!
- Roasted pumpkin is the key to these scrumptious Pumpkin Pie Cupcakes. They're a big hit, so make a double batch and thank me later.
- Pumpkin Spice Quick Bread is full of your favorite autumn aromatics and baked with sweet, nutty pecans. Plus, it only takes 10 minutes to prep!
- White Texas Sheet cake is a snap to make and it's so moist and decadent. Perfect for potlucks and feeding a crowd.
- If you love spice cake don't miss this old fashioned gingerbread recipe!
- Pumpkin-Shaped Cheese Ball
- Creamy Pumpkin Pie Dip
📞 The last word
I pull this pumpkin sheet cake recipe out of the recipe box just about the time school starts up. It's so good for an after-school snack!
I love fall flavors!
In fact, it doesn't get better than a slice of this with a big scoop of cinnamon gelato on top - yum!
You may also like this rich spice cake with cream cheese frosting! It's perfect for fall baking.
If you click on the number of servings in the recipe card you can adjust the measurements up or down for the exact number of servings you need. Don't forget that you can click on "add to collection" to save it to your own, private recipe box!
If you love this recipe please give it 5 stars! ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
Pumpkin Spice CakePrint Pin Recipe Save Saved!
- 15.25 oz spice cake mix
- 15 oz pumpkin puree, not pumpkin pie filling
- 3 eggs
- 2 tablespoons bourbon, optional
- ¼ teaspoon ground cloves, optional
- 2 cups cream cheese frosting, or topping of choice
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- Preheat the oven to 350F and grease a 13x9-inch pan.
- Add the cake mix, canned pumpkin, and eggs to a large bowl. Add in the bourbon and cloves if you're using them.
- Stir the ingredients together with a large spoon until smooth.
- Spoon into the prepared 13x9-inch pan.
- Bake at 350F for 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.
- Cool and top with the cream cheese frosting or your favorite topping.
- This batter will also make 2 8-inch layers or 24 cupcakes. Bake the layers for 20-25 minutes and the cupcakes for 15-20 minutes.
- Make sure your eggs are at room temperature before using.
- If you leave out the bourbon there's no need to replace it. Just continue with the recipe.
- Gingersnap crumbs make a pretty (and delicious) garnish for the finished cake if you've frosted it.
- Keep the cake refrigerated if you use homemade cream cheese frosting. If you don't then the cake doesn't need to be refrigerated.
- This should be fine at room temperature for 3-4 days or up to a week in the refrigerator.
- Freeze for longer storage - up to three months.
Nutrition information is estimated as a courtesy. If using for medical purposes, please verify information using your own nutritional calculator. Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
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First published October 15, 2020. Last updated July 30, 2023 for editorial improvements.