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Pumpkin Spice Cake (with Cream Cheese Frosting)

A dense spice cake with a festive twist, perfect for eating and sharing on a cold fall day.
Prep Time 45 mins
Cook Time 25 mins
Total Time 2 hrs 10 mins
Servings 16 slices


For the cake

  • 1 box spice cake mix
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/3 cup sour cream
  • 1 can (15 oz) pumpkin

For the frosting

  • 2 packages (8 oz each) cream cheese
  • 1/4 cup butter (softened)
  • 5 cups powdered sugar


  • Heat oven to 350ºF (325º for dark or non-stick pans). Spray the bottoms of two 9-inch round cake pans.
  • In a large bowl, mix the cake ingredients with an electric mixer on low until the cake mix is all wet, then on high for 2 minutes. Divide the batter equally among the pans. Bake for 25-30 minutes, until a toothpick in the center comes out clean.
  • While the cakes are baking, beat the cream cheese and butter in a bowl on low with an electric mixer until smooth. Slowly beat in the powdered sugar 1 cup at a time until smooth. Cover and refrigerate for about 30 minutes, until it's the right consistency for spreading.
  • When the cakes are cool and the frosting is chilled, level the cakes and stack them with a thin layer of frosting between them. Spread a thin layer of frosting over the whole cake to capture any crumbs (the top of the cake WILL come up easily, so a crumb coat is important), and follow that up with a thicker layer of frosting. To store the cake, keep it covered in the refrigerator.


This recipe is adapted from Betty Crocker's recipe, found here.