Pumpkin Cake with Spiced Buttercream

pumpkin cake
Perfectly moist with that classic pumpkin flavor, my Pumpkin Cake with Spiced Buttercream is the quintessential fall dessert.

Love it or hate it, pumpkin is such a holiday flavor. 

I’m in the “love it” group for sure.  

The flavor and texture pumpkin brings to baked goods is absolutely amazing.  Like baking with bananas, baking with pumpkin creates an unbeatably moist, delicious crumb.

And my Pumpkin Cake with Spiced Buttercream definitely has that pumpkin flavor and texture so many of us find completely addicting.

Why This is The Pumpkin Cake You Should Make

There are so many pumpkin cake recipes to choose from.  So here are a few reasons why this pumpkin cake is the one you should make:

  • It’s a one bowl recipe.  That means this cake comes together quickly, and is easy to clean up.
  • The spiced buttercream.  If you love classic buttercream, I’m sure you’ll find my pumpkin spiced buttercream absolutely addicting.  My daughter and I eat it right off the spoon.  (Am I a terrible mother?)
  • This recipe makes a 9×13 inch cake, so it’s the perfect size to bring to work, or to holiday parties.
pumpkin cake

Frost the Cake. Or Don't.

If you’re not a frosting person, this cake stands alone without it.  When I don’t frost this cake, I like to put chocolate chips in the batter.  Pumpkin and chocolate is another wining combination in my book.

Make This Pumpkin Cake!

Make this pumpkin cake for your holiday table.  I’m sure it will be the pumpkin season hit in your home that it is in mine.

pumpkin cake

One Thing!

Spreading frosting can be a pain.  Unless you have the right tool.  And an offset spatula is the right tool. 

This simple and inexpensive kitchen utensil makes frosting cakes unbelievably easy.  You can find my favorite offset spatula set here on Amazon [aff. link].  I prefer to use the second largest or largest offset spatula in the set to frost this cake.

Pumpkin Cake
5 from 3 votes

Pumpkin Cake with Spiced Buttercream

Perfectly moist with that classic pumpkin flavor, my Pumpkin Cake with Spiced Buttercream is the quintessential fall dessert.
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time30 mins
Total Time45 mins
Servings: 16
Print Recipe


Wet Ingredients

  • 1 cup pumpkin, from a can
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 1 cup coconut milk, (full fat, from a can)
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • cup canola oil
  • 2 eggs

Dry Ingredients

  • 1 cup almond meal
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • ¼ tsp baking soda
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
  • ¾ cup chocolate chips, optional (use if not frosting the cake)

For the Spiced Buttercream

  • ½ cup butter, at room temperature
  • 3 cups powdered sugar
  • tsp salt
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
  • 2 Tbsp almond milk, or milk of choice


Preheat the oven

  • Preheat the oven to 375 degrees, and grease a 9x13 inch glass baking dish.

Combine the wet ingredients

  • In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the pumpkin, oil, brown sugar, and sugar.
  • Once incorporated, whisk in the coconut milk, vanilla extract, and eggs.

Add the dry ingredients

  • Now add the flour, almond flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and pumpkin pie spice. (Now is also the time to add in the chocolate chips if you are making this pumpkin cake with chocolate chips and no frosting.)
  • Stir everything together until you have a smooth batter. Be careful not to overmix!

Bake the cake

  • Pour the batter into your greased 9x13 inch glass baking dish. Make sure the batter is evenly distributed.
  • Bake the cake at 375 degrees for 30 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. The top of the cake will be firm, and the edges of the cake will be golden brown.
  • Let the cake cool to room temperature before frosting, or enjoy without frosting after the cake has cooled for at least 20 minutes.

Make the buttercream

  • With a stand or handheld mixer, mix the butter, powdered sugar, salt, vanilla extract, pumpkin pie spice, and 1 Tbsp almond milk in a large bowl until everything comes together.
  • Now add the remaining 1 Tbsp almond milk. Mix until that last Tbsp of almond milk has thinned the frosting out a bit, and the buttercream is smooth, creamy, and still thick enough to hold its shape. Add more almond milk if the frosting is too thick, and add more powdered sugar if it's too wet.

Frost the cake

  • Once the cake has cooled, use an offset spatula to frost the cake.
  • Tip: the cake will be easier to frost if the cake is completely cooled, and the frosting is at room temperature. If the frosting is cold, it will not spread as easily.

Serve and enjoy!

  • Serve this pumpkin cake alone, or with a large glass of almond milk.


Wait for the cake to come to room temperature before frosting so the frosting doesn't melt.
Make sure the frosting is at room temperature when you frost the cake. If the frosting is cold, it will be difficult to spread.
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