Years ago, I didn’t think I would come to enjoy pumpkin flavored baked goods. It took a long time for me to realize the wonders of pumpkin and I’m still not the biggest fan, but I LOVE pumpkin bread and pumpkin cake. The turning point for me happened about a year and a half ago when I was offered pumpkin bread at a B&B, and just like that, I was hooked. This moist pumpkin cake is the perfect way to enjoy pumpkin, and it’s especially perfect in the form of this pumpkin pie CAKE! That’s right; this is not a pie! I repeat, this is not a pie!
Pie is absolutely delicious, but I still think cake will always win in a fight. Cake has my heart forever, so I thought I’d cater to all of you who feel the same. This year at Thanksgiving, skip the pumpkin pie and serve a pumpkin pie cake instead!
Scroll down for the full recipe card and how-to! 👇🏼
It’s actually incredibly easy because it’s just a good ‘ol one-layer cake! It just looks like a pie when you serve it in a pie pan with a fondant crust, which is also easy to make with the built-in shape your pie pan crust offers. I don’t work with fondant often. As much as I’d love to play around with it and become a cake master, I don’t like the taste of it, so I use it sparingly. After all, a cake has to taste as good as it looks! Luckily, this cake using small amount of fondant, and it’s easy to eat around it if you don’t like the taste.
A slice of pumpkin pie cake with this moist pumpkin cake and cinnamon cream cheese frosting is the only dessert you need this season. I’m telling you I could eat this cinnamon cream cheese frosting with a spoon, and I’d probably end up eating way too much of it. It’s that good!
For good measure, I topped it with a dollop of homemade whipped cream because EVERY piece of pie has to come with whipped cream, in my humble opinion. Serve a big dollop in the center of the pie, or add a small dollop to each piece…or, you know, both. In the end, it’s a delicious combo of creamy flavors, sweets, spices and, of course, pumpkin. For reals, this cake is one of my favorites and, like I said, I’m not pumpkin’s biggest fan.
It’s worth mentioning that this is a small batch of cake batter. It’s just enough to make one 8-inch cake for this pie cake tutorial.
Serve this cute cake at Thanksgiving, and maybe you’ll have all your guests fooled until you cut into it to reveal what’s really inside! I bet they’ll be pleasantly surprised. Cheers to the season of baking!
- 1 cup + 3 tbsp all-purpose flour
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp nutmeg
- 1/4 tsp ginger
- 1/4 tsp cloves
- (or substitute 1 3/4 tsp pumpkin pie spice)
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 6 tbsp light brown sugar
- 1/4 cup butter, melted
- 1/4 cup vegetable oil
- 2 eggs
- 1 cup pumpkin puree
- 3 tbsp milk
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 8oz. package of cream cheese, room temperature
- 1/2 cup butter, room temperature
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 2-3 cups powdered sugar
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- Orange gel food coloring
- Fondant, dyed light brown or tan
- 8-inch pie pan
- Rolling pin
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and spray one 8-inch cake pan with cooking spray. Set aside
- In one bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt and spices and set aside
- In the bowl of your electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, mix together the sugars. Mix in the melted, cooled butter and vegetable oil until well-combined
- Mix in each egg, followed by the pumpkin puree, milk and vanilla until batter is smooth
- Add the dry ingredients in batches, scraping the bowl in between until just combined
- Pour the batter into the cake pan and bake for 25-28 minutes until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Let cool completely before removing from pan
- Beat the butter and cream cheese together with a paddle attachment for several minutes until smooth and fluffy
- Add the powdered sugar in batches, scraping the bowl occasionally, until you reach desired sweetness
- Mix in vanilla and cinnamon
- Mix in orange food coloring until bright orange color is reached. Can also add a small amount of brown to darken the colo
- Roll out the light brown or tan-tinted fondant until about 1/4 inch thick on a powdered sugar covered surface
- Measure the approximate height of your one-layer cake and cut a long strip of fondant that it at least one inch wider than the height of the cake
- Lay the strip around the inside edge of the pie pan, and add a second strip if it does not wrap all the way around. Pinch edges together to appear seamless
- Pinch the top of the fondant to match the waves of the pie pan and create the look of a signature pumpkin pie crust. Once satisfied, move to fridge to set
- Remove pie crust from fridge. Level the cooled cake layer flat and carefully place inside the pie crust. If sized are correct, the cake should reach the edges of the pan
- Spread a thick layer of frosting on the cake, reaching the fondant.
- Once done and/or when ready to serve, add a dollop of whipped cream and serve!