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Pumpkin Cake


This super easy Pumpkin Cake is the stuff dreams are made of. It is so moist and light, and topped with an incredibly creamy, fluffy whipped topping. It is always a crowd-pleaser, and one slice is never enough!

A slice of pumpkin cake with a whipped topping sprinkled with cinnamon.

The Most Delicious Pumpkin Cake Ever.

We’ve worked pumpkin into our fair share of recipes. From chili to pancakes, we never seem to tire of the sweet earthy flavor. And I hope you’re not tired of it either, because I have a new recipe that is going to knock your socks off.

This Pumpkin Cake (aka Pumpkin Dream Cake) is one I have been making for years. It shows up at many a family gathering, is often requested, and an all-around favorite. Not only is it incredibly fast and easy to make, it produces one of the most fluffy, moist, and downright addicting pumpkin treats you’ve ever eaten. When I say easy, I mean throw all of the cake batter ingredients into a bowl and give it a good beating. Bake. And top with a simple, 3-ingredient topping. It really doesn’t get any easier than that. And one taste and you will be simultaneously thanking me and cursing me for introducing you to this dreamy cake. It might be the only pumpkin dessert you’ll ever need.

A close up picture of a slice of pumpkin cake with fluffy icing on a serving plate with a fork.

Ingredients You’ll Need to Make this Pumpkin Cake:

  • Yellow Cake Mix– Just the dry mix, you won’t follow the package directions.
  • Canned Pumpkin– Pure pumpkin- no pumpkin pie filling here!
  • Instant Vanilla Pudding– This increases the flavor, texture, and moisture of your cake.
  • Eggs
  • Cinnamon, Ginger & Cloves– Classic, pumpkin pie spices.
  • Heavy Whipping Cream
  • Whipped Topping– I just regular Cool Whip. Make sure it is thawed evenly before using.
  • Light Brown Sugar– This adds just a touch of caramel flavor to the topping.
Ingredients you need to make a pumpkin dream cake.

How to Make Pumpkin Cake:

  1. Make the cake batter. To a large mixing bowl, add the cake mix, vanilla pudding mix, pumpkin, eggs, water, and spices. Beat with an electric mixer for a full 4 minutes.
  2. Bake the cake. Pour the batter into a greased 13×18″ baking sheet. Bake at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes. This is a very moist cake- don’t be tempted to overbake it! If you lightly touch the top, it will stay indented. If a toothpick comes out mostly clean, take it out. Allow to cool completely before adding the topping.
  3. Make the topping. In a large bowl, beat the heavy cream until you have stiff peaks. Gently fold in the whipped topping and brown sugar. Mix until combined.
  4. Ice the cake. Spread the topping onto the cooled cake. Chill for 2 hours before serving. Sprinkle with ground nutmeg as a garnish, if desired. Enjoy!!
Process shots showing how to make pumpkin cake.

Tips & Suggestions

Use pumpkin pie spice.

In place of the spice mixture in this pumpkin cake, you can use 2 teaspoons of pumpkin pie spice.

How to store leftover pumpkin cake.

Cover leftover cake with plastic wrap. Store in the refrigerator and enjoy within 4-5 days.

Variations and Substitutions:

Cake Mix: I have always used a dry cake mix with this recipe. I have tried different brands with equal success. Spice cake mix is also yummy and gives an extra boost of that delicious spice flavor.

Cream Cheese Icing: While we are big fans of the fluffy, whipped topping on this cake, a classic cream cheese frosting can also be used.

Pumpkin cake with a fluffy topping in a blue baking pan.
Pumpkin cake with whipped topping garnished with nutmeg with a green linen and a small pumpkin in the background.

Looking for More Delicious Pumpkin Recipes?

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4.8 from 6 votes

Pumpkin Cake

This pumpkin cake is like no other you have had! The cake is light and fluffy with the comforting flavors of pumpkin topped with a creamy whipped frosting.
Prep Time15 minutes
Cook Time20 minutes
Chill Time1 hour
Total Time1 hour 35 minutes
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Servings: 32 servings
Calories: 123kcal





  • Preheat oven to 350℉. Grease a baking sheet 13×18" with cooking spray.
  • In a stand mixer, or a large bowl with a hand mixer, combine all the cake ingredients and beat for 4 full minutes.
  • Pour into prepared baking sheet and bake for 20-25 minutes. The cake will be very moist when it's done, and if you touch the top, your fingerprint will stay indented. Don't worry, the cake doesn't need to be cooked longer! If you insert a toothpick and it comes out mostly clean, then the cake is done and you can remove it from the oven. Wait until the cake is completely cool to spread the topping.


  • In a large mixing bowl, beat the cream until stiff peaks form. Be patient – this will take about 8 minutes!
  • Fold in the cool whip and brown sugar. Mix until combined.
  • Spread on the cooled cake and sprinkle with a dusting of nutmeg. Chill for 1-2 hours and serve cold. Enjoy!


Calories: 123kcal | Carbohydrates: 21g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 4g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Trans Fat: 0.04g | Cholesterol: 21mg | Sodium: 150mg | Potassium: 60mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 13g | Vitamin A: 2345IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 54mg | Iron: 1mg
Keyword : Pumpkin Dream Cake


Natalie Monson

I'm a registered dietitian, mom of 4, avid lover of food and strong promoter of healthy habits. Here you will find lots of delicious recipes full of fruits and veggies, tips for getting your kids to eat better and become intuitive eaters and lots of resources for feeding your family.

Learn More about Natalie

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Recipe Rating


Is this a safe recipe to use for one who’s allergic? My little sister has become allergic to pumpkin over the last year or two, and she really enjoys pumpkin pie. I was wondering if this would be a good alternative?

Did you try covering the crust with aluminum foil during the majority of baking time, like one would do when baking a turkey?

I haven’t had her try it yet, but thank you. Just trying to figure out a way to give her the pumpkin taste without actually giving her pumpkin.

I made this last night. I only wisked it and didn’t use a machine but I found it to be really eggy. Could I use less eggs? And add some flour or something? I may try experimenting between this healthy version and the classic pumkin pie. It was a nice texture and tasted good but yeah just tasted too much like egg. I have never had pumkin pie however so I don’t have anything to compare this to.

I have never used butternut squash, but have made many sweet potato pies, especially when they are really cheap and in season. Many people think they are eating a sweeter pumpkin pie! No complaints, either!

I love this recipe. I’ve used it a million times! I’m going to try it with a sweet mama squash. It’s delicious, healthy, and also great for my friend with food allergies.