A moist and delicious pumpkin cake recipe is something everyone should have on hand. This pumpkin cake is called the "best" because it is that good! It is definitely a Fall type dessert but I can eat it all year long.
You can technically call this a pumpkin bread since it is a more dense pumpkin recipe and because it does not have frosting. Honestly, this pumpkin cake tastes so good you do not need any topping at all.
I like to call it cake since to me, cake is more like a dessert (which this is), it has plenty of sugar (way more than a bread) and this pumpkin cake is so delicious.
This pumpkin cake is moist and delicious and it almost tastes like you are eating pumpkin pie. This is a pumpkin cake made with butter so it is nice and rich.
It honestly is that moist and full of flavor. Pumpkin pie is a favorite dessert around here and this cake can definitely rival it.
The ingredients you will need for this Pumpkin Cake are:
- canned pumpkin (not pumpkin pie filling but plain canned pumpkin)
- baking powder
The ingredient list may seem long but it is actually very easy and manageable, I promise! It is also completely worth all the effort because this pumpkin cake is that good.
The steps to making this cake are pretty straight forward. You will mix wet and dry ingredients separately and then combine them together. There is a secret last step that really makes this cake moist which I will talk about later!
Here are the steps to make this pumpkin cake:
- In one bowl add your dry ingredients and mix.
- Grab a separate bowl and add your wet ingredients (except the milk).
- Now mix the wet and dry ingredients together with a mixer.
- Now add your warm milk and mix until combined.
- Pour into a prepared baking pan and bake.
That special step that I mentioned earlier is adding warm milk after you have mixed your wet and dry ingredients. It really makes for the most deliciously moist cake.
Preparing your cake pan for this pumpkin cake:
When I bake, I like to prepare my pans to the point of overload because I have had one too many times where my cake didn't lift out of a pan. This is no fun and you may think you are saving time by not doing this but it only will come back to haunt you after baking.
Here is how I prepare my cake pan:
- The first thing I do is butter the entire inside of the pan (sides and bottom). This is the glue that will hold your parchment paper in the next step.
- Now I cut two pieces of parchment paper: one that will sit inside the pan lengthwise and the other width wise. To figure out the size to cut I just place my baking pan on top of the parchment paper and make a cut mark in the paper just to the inside of where the cake pan sits on it. Then cut away!
- After I have my strips of parchment placed inside the cake pan in both directions, I butter or grease the tops of that.
- That is my cake preparation overload!
You can take it or leave it or use just some of it, but doing this whole process works every single time for me 🙂 I also like that my parchment paper makes easy lifting handles so I do not have to invert my cake on to a plate after baking.
Questions and tips when making this pumpkin cake recipe:
What is the difference between canned pumpkin and pumpkin pie filling?
The difference between these two is the canned pumpkin pie filling is full of its own spices which we do not want. This will also have some sort of sweetener in too.
The plain canned pumpkin is just the pumpkin and nothing else. This is always the one you want to bake with since you can control all of the ingredients.
I love time savers in the kitchen but here is not one of those times to do that with the wrong canned pumpkin.
Does this pumpkin cake need to be refrigerated?
Yes. Anytime you are working with moist cakes like this one, you will want to refrigerate it to keep it fresh. I will leave this out on the counter on the day I baked it but then I place it in the refrigerator after that.
Can I freeze this pumpkin cake?
You bet you can! Pumpkin cake is wonderful for the freezer and here is how I do it:
- Once your cake is cool, wrap it in parchment paper to cover all of the cake.
- Now place the wrapped cake in a freezer proof plastic ziploc bag.
- Freeze for up to 2 months.
To thaw your cake:
- Remove the pumpkin cake from the freezer and place it in the fridge overnight or until thawed. Leave the bag and everything on the cake while it defrosts.
- Once thawed, remove the cake from the bag and discard the parchment paper.
- Serve immediately or refrigerate for up to 1 week.
I have tried many pumpkin cake recipes and this is by far my favorite one. In fact, my family has been using this recipe for years now! Give this a try and I am sure you will be adding it to your rotation for years to come.
For More Fall Recipes:
- Carrot and Acorn Squash Soup
- Fall Shortbread Cookies
- Pumpkin Rice Krispie Treats
- Pear and Vanilla Frangipane Tart
- Apple Galette with Brown Butter Frosting
The Best Pumpkin Cake
- loaf pan or round cake pan
- 1 stick of softened unsalted butter 8 ounces
- 1 ⅔ cup All Purpose Flour
- 2 tsp ground cinnamon
- ¼ tsp nutmeg
- ¼ tsp salt
- ½ tsp baking soda
- ½ tsp baking powder
- 1 ¼ cup sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 1 cup pumpkin puree not pumpkin pie puree but plain pureed pumpkin
- ½ cup very warm milk microwave for about 1 minute
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- Pre heat your oven to 350 degrees
- Grease and flour a round cake pan or loaf pan (this is when you grease your pan then add a couple tbsp of flour and coat the greased pan by turning the flour around your pan until it is all coated or follow my steps above on how to use parchment paper)
- Grab 2 bowls. In the first bowl add your flour, spices, salt, baking powder and baking soda and set aside.
- In your other bowl add your butter and sugar and cream it with a hand mixer until it is fluffy.
- Next, add your eggs and mix well until it is incorporated.
- Now add your pumpkin, vanilla and mix well.
- Next, add your dry ingredients from the other bowl and mix by hand just until it is all incorporated.
- Now add your warm milk and mix well into your batter.
- Pour your batter into your prepared pans
- If you are using a cake pan, bake for about 50-60 minutes or just until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.If you are using a loaf pan, place loaf pan on a sheet tray (to prevent any leaks) and bake for about 55-65 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean
- When done, remove from the oven and let cool for 15 minutes
- Once cool, take a knife carefully around the edge and loosen the cake from the pan. Then invert it (place a plate on top and flip it over on to the plate) and let cool for another 15 minutes. If you used parchment paper just lift the sides of the parchment paper up and remove the cake from the pan.
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