Pumpkin Layer Cake with Creamy Cinnamon Whip
With moist pumpkin spice cake and fluffy whipped topping, this Pumpkin Layer Cake with Cinnamon Whip is not only decadent and impressive, but also easy to make! No special decorating tools required!
Easy Pumpkin Spice Cake
Our youngest daughter is always full of sweetness and compliments. And she’s a very truthful soul. So a number of years ago when Tessa declared that this Pumpkin Layer Cake with Creamy Cinnamon Whip is the best thing I’d ever made…I just knew this cake was a winner!
This impressive dessert is comprised of alternating layers of moist spiced pumpkin cake and the dreamiest, creamiest cinnamon-spiked whippy frosting. It’s easy to put together. I purposefully didn’t use any special decorating equipment, like frosting tips or special spatulas, so you could see just how approachable a beautiful layer cake really can be.
This fall pumpkin treat would look mighty gorgeous at any fall gathering, especially on your Thanksgiving table!
This pumpkin spice cake recipe was born from my experimenting with whole wheat flour many years ago. I’ve never been a huge fan of baking with whole wheat flour, as I find the flavor and texture too heavy and oftentimes dry, but I do appreciate the fiber and nutrition it provides.
Then I discovered white whole wheat flour, which turns out to be the best of both worlds. The nutrition of wheat flour with the mild, light texture and flavor of white flour.
The cake is moist, beautifully flavored and textured, and my family loves it!
What You’ll Need
This decadent pumpkin spice layer cake is made with pumpkin, warm spices, cream, and cream cheese – plus baking staples.
FOR THE PUMPKIN CAKE:
- Flour – I use King Arthur’s white whole wheat flour.
- Leavening agents – Both baking soda and baking powder are used in this pumpkin cake.
- Spices – A mixture of cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and cloves achieve that delightful pumpkin pie flavor.
- Sugar – Granulated sugar is used to sweeten this cake.
- Eggs – For structure, leavening, color, and flavor.
- Pumpkin puree – Be sure you’re using pure pumpkin puree, not pumpkin pie filling that already contains sugar and spices.
- Butter – I use unsalted butter in all my baking.
- Vanilla extract – A beautiful warm flavor to round out the the pumpkin and spices.
FOR THE CREAMY CINNAMON WHIP:
- Heavy whipping cream – Use full fat whipping cream, avoid any light versions.
- Powdered sugar – Be sure to sift it first to prevent lumps.
- Cream cheese – Avoid reduced fat cream cheese which will give a different texture.
- Vanilla extract – I ALWAYS include vanilla in my whipped cream, so why not include it in this dreamy topping?!
- Cinnamon and ginger – Provide the warm flavor. I like to use extra cinnamon for dusting the cake!
How to Make Pumpkin Layer Cake with Creamy Cinnamon Whip
One of my favorite things about this cake is just how easy it is. No need to get overwhelmed by making this layer cake!
- Prepare the pumpkin cake batter. Stir together dry ingredients in one bowl and the wet ingredients in another. Add the wet ingredients to the dry and stir until just moistened.
- Bake. Divide the batter between two prepared cake pans. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes. Cool in pans on a wire rack.
- Make the creamy cinnamon whip. Whip the cream until stiff. Add the powdered sugar and beat to combine, then move to the fridge. Beat the cream cheese until smooth, stir in the vanilla extract and spices, and add the sweetened whipped cream back to the bowl, folding gently to combine.
- Assemble the cake. Place the first cake on a cake stand with half of the cinnamon whip on top. Place the second layer on top, pressing gently. Add the remaining cinnamon whip to the top.
- Chill. Chill the cake for 2 to 3 hours before serving.
Tips for Success
For a moist cake with creamy, fluffy cinnamon whip there are just a few things you’ll want to keep in mind.
- Bring the cream cheese to room temperature. While you want the heavy cream to be chilled, you’ll achieve the smoothest texture with no lumps if the cream cheese is at room temperature.
- Don’t overstir the batter. It’s okay if it’s just a bit lumpy. The dry ingredients should be just moistened.
- Avoid over-baking. For a moist pumpkin cake, be sure to remove it as soon as a toothpick comes out clean or just a bit before.
- Use chilled bowls and beaters. Pop your bowl and beaters in the freezer when you start baking the cake, so that they are chilled when you begin making the cinnamon whip. This will help achieve the perfect peaks and texture you want.
This pumpkin layer cake should be served chilled. Since it’s a layer cake, you can cut the pieces thinner than you might normally, which makes this a great dessert for the Thanksgiving dessert table or any other fall gathering. Dust a little extra cinnamon across the top if you like!
How to Store Leftovers
Leftover pumpkin cake should be stored in the fridge, tightly covered or in an airtight container. It’s best when enjoyed within 3 days.
Can I Freeze This?
I don’t recommend freezing the assembled cake as the cinnamon whip will lose its texture during the thawing process. However, you can freeze the individual pumpkin cakes. Just allow to cool, then wrap in plastic wrap and foil. Place in the freezer for up to 3 months and thaw in the fridge. Then make the whippy topping and assemble!
More Pumpkin Recipes:
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Pumpkin Layer Cake with Creamy Cinnamon Whip
for the pumpkin cake:
- 2.5 cups white whole wheat flour
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 2 teaspoons cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon ground ginger
- ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- ¼ teaspoon ground cloves
- 1.5 cups sugar
- 3 large eggs
- 1 15- oz. can pumpkin purée not pre-spiced pumpkin pie filling
- ¾ cup unsalted butter melted
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
for the creamy cinnamon whip:
- 1.5 cups heavy whipping cream
- 1.5 cups powdered sugar sifted
- 12 ounces cream cheese not reduced fat, at room temperature
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon plus more for dusting the assembled cake
- ⅛ teaspoon ground ginger
- For the pumpkin cake: Preheat oven to 350° F. Prepare two 9” round cake pans by first buttering and flouring each pan. Then line the bottom of the pans with parchment paper rounds, and butter the paper. Set aside.
- In a medium bowl, sift together flour, salt, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and cloves. Stir in sugar to incorporate. Make a well in the center of the flour mixture and set aside.
- In another medium bowl, combine the eggs, pumpkin, melted butter, and vanilla. Add the pumpkin mixture all at once to the flour mixture. Stir until just moistened – batter may be just a bit lumpy. Divide batter evenly between the two prepared pans.
- Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, or just until a wooden toothpick inserted into centers comes out clean. Do not overbake. Let cool completely in pans on a wire rack.
- For the creamy cinnamon whip: Using a chilled bowl and beaters, whip the cream until stiff. With mixer on low, add powdered sugar and beat just to combine. Remove sweetened whipped cream to another bowl and set it in the refrigerator.
- Add cream cheese to the same chilled bowl and cream until very smooth (no lumps), about 1 to 2 minutes. Blend in the vanilla, cinnamon, and ginger. Now add the sweetened whipped cream back into the chilled bowl with the cream cheese, folding gently to combine. The mixture should be thickened, with a fluffy/creamy texture.
- To assemble the layer cake: Arrange first layer of cake on platter or cake stand. Place about half of the creamy cinnamon whip on top of the cake. Using a spatula or the back of a serving spoon, gently spread the frosting in an even layer over the top of the cake.
- Place the second layer of cake on top of the creamy cinnamon whip and press it down very gently to compress the layers just a bit. Add the remaining creamy cinnamon whip to the top cake layer and spread it over the top evenly. Incorporate swirls with the back of a spoon, if desired.
- Dust top of cake with additional cinnamon and then chill cake for 2 to 3 hours for best cutting results.
This post was originally published in 2012 and updated in 2021.