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Pumpkin Cake with Maple Cream Cheese Frosting

Pumpkin Cake with Maple Cream Cheese Frosting

Pumpkin Cake with Maple Cream Cheese Frosting

Last week my 5-year old son announced we should make a pumpkin cake. Not one to argue about such things, I started looking at recipes. A bunch of them were 2 or 3 layer jobs or had ingredient lists a mile long. Way more involved than I was interested in tackling on a Tuesday afternoon.

Then I found this recipe from Bon Appetit and knew it was the perfect fit. Basic ingredients, simple steps, and we were eating cake about an hour after we started. Now that’s my idea of a good time.

Pumpkin Cake with Maple Cream Cheese Frosting

The cake is dense without being heavy and moist without being greasy (So many pumpkin recipes start with 1 cup of oil! And I love that this one calls for coconut oil.). The pumpkin and spices give it the perfect fall flavor. It smells amazing in the oven and tastes delicious on the plate. No bland bundt cake here!

The tangy cream cheese frosting gets a touch of sweetness from maple syrup. Whipped cream would be good, too. Or skip the frosting. This cake can stand alone (then you call it a bar and eat it whenever you want).

No one in my house complained when I made this pumpkin cake two days in a row. Now it’s your turn! The perfect quick snack or dessert for a Thursday afternoon. Friday morning breakfast? Again, I’m not one to argue.

Looking for something gluten or dairy free? These Paleo Pumpkin Bars with Vanilla Frosting are AMAZING.

Pumpkin Cake with Maple Cream Cheese Frosting

Pumpkin Cake with Maple Cream Cheese Frosting
adapted from a Bon Appetit recipe
serves 8

Cake Ingredients:

1¼ cup all-purpose flour
½ cup whole wheat flour
2 t. baking powder
1 t. each ground cinnamon and ground ginger
¼ t. each ground allspice and ground nutmeg
⅛ t. ground cloves
1 t. salt
2 eggs, room temperature
1 cup (packed) light brown sugar
1 cup canned pumpkin puree (or homemade)
½ cup coconut oil, warmed, slightly cooled


4 oz. cream cheese, room temperature
2 T. butter, room temperature
3/4-1 c. powdered sugar
2 T. maple syrup

  1. Preheat oven to 350°. Lightly coat an 8×8″ baking dish with nonstick spray or coconut oil and line with an 8″ strip of parchment paper, leaving a 2″ overhang over 2 sides (gives you a “sling” to pull the entire cake out when cool).
  2. Whisk all-purpose flour, whole wheat flour, baking powder, cinnamon, ginger, salt, allspice, nutmeg, and cloves in a large bowl.
  3. In another medium bowl, whisk eggs, pumpkin, brown sugar, and oil until smooth. Mix in dry ingredients.
  4. Scrape batter into prepared baking dish; smooth top.
  5. Bake cake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, 30–35 minutes. Let cool.
  6. Using an electric mixer on medium-high speed, beat cream cheese and butter in a medium bowl until smooth. Reduce speed to low and gradually add sugar, then maple syrup; beat until smooth. Spread frosting over top of cooled cake.
  7. Sprinkle with pumpkin seeds and/or a drizzle of maple syrup, if desired.


Bon Appetit is one of the only magazines I subscribe to anymore. Every issue is interesting and has a handful of recipes I tear out to try. I feel like their recipes are more approachable than you would think. Giving the gift of Bon Appetit to a friend that loves to cook would be such a thoughtful gesture! Or gesture thoughtfully to yourself. Because that’s important too.

Looking for more delicious pumpkin recipes?

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