Pumpkin Snack Cake

Pumpkin Snack Cake takes the flavours of pumpkin and spices and turns them into a delightful cake to celebrate the pumpkin season. This is a cake that is sure to satisfy your craving for pumpkin and pumpkin spice. It’s all about that warm, spiced aroma filling your kitchen and the first bite that screams autumn comfort.

Pumpkin Cake

Fall Means Pumpkin Spice Everything

It is that time of year when everything is flavoured with pumpkin spice. Everywhere you go, you are bound to find something pumpkin-spiced. It started with pumpkin spice lattes and now you can find pumpkin-spiced everything, from cookies to cereal. A search on Google for pumpkin-spiced foods brings up so many options. There is even a Captain Morgan’s pumpkin spiced rum (Jack O’Blast).

This pumpkin cake recipe is sure to fill your kitchen with that warm, spiced aroma of fall. And that first bite into this pumpkin snack cake will feel like the cozy comfort of fall.

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Ingredients For Pumpkin Snack Cake

This easy pumpkin snack cake recipe has ten ingredients. Most of these ingredients are standard cake ingredients.

  • All-Purpose Flour. The base of almost every cake is some kind of flour. For this recipe, all-purpose flour is used.
  • Sugar. White granulated sugar provides the sweetness for this cake.
  • Pumpkin Puree. This is the star ingredient of the cake recipe. Not to be confused with pumpkin pie filling, this ingredient is pure pumpkin puree.
  • Baking Powder and Baking Soda. These two leavening agents are needed to make the cake rise and become airy. Baking soda also reacts with the pumpkin puree to create carbon dioxide which helps the batter rise while baking.
  • Eggs. An essential ingredient in baking. Eggs add richness and moisture to baking, which results in a tender crumb.
  • Vanilla Extract. This flavour enhancer is found in many recipes and it compliments the pumpkin in this cake recipe.
  • Vegetable oil. Fat is another essential ingredient in baking. Without it, cakes would be dry and tasteless.
  • Cinnamon. It adds a touch of spiciness and compliments the pumpkin in this cake.
  • Salt. Every recipe needs a little salt, especially baking recipes. It enhances flavours and balances out the sweetness in recipes.

Cream Cheese Icing (optional)

Cream cheese icing is an added touch to this snack cake. There are a total of four ingredients in this icing.

  • Cream Cheese. A brick of softened cream cheese is the base of this recipe. Full-fat cream cheese is what we use for this icing.
  • Confectioner’s Sugar. Also known as Icing Sugar or Powdered Sugar. This type of sugar is very sweet and perfect for making cream cheese icing. The sweetness balances out the tangy flavour of the cream cheese.
  • Milk. Very little milk is used in this icing recipe, but it is needed to thin out the cream cheese and sugar.
  • Clear Vanilla Extract. This is a preference for me when making any white icing. Regular vanilla can also be used.

Can Fresh Pumpkin Be Used In Place Of Canned In Cake?

The short answer to this question is: Yes!

I have made this cake using fresh pumpkin that I roast and puree myself. It is a bit more work but it is worth it. I make a few mason jars full of pumpkin puree every fall to make pies, tarts, and this recipe.

To roast or cook a pumpkin for this recipe, you will need about one average-sized (2 pounds/1 kilogram) pie pumpkin or sugar pumpkin. Cut the pumpkin into quarters, and remove the seeds and strings of the pumpkin. Bake in a 350ºF oven for 30 to 60 minutes or until tender. Allow to cool a little. Remove the skin and puree in a food processor until smooth. Store in mason jars in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.

How To Serve Pumpkin Snack Cake

When it comes to serving this cake, there are a variety of ways to serve it:

  • With cream cheese icing, which is what the recipe below calls for. Add a sprinkle of cinnamon over the icing or mix it into the icing for more flavour.
  • Drizzle warm maple syrup or honey over the cake with or without the icing. I like to do this without any icing on the cake.
  • Dust the cake with powdered sugar instead of icing.
  • Top an iced cake with chopped walnuts or pecans
  • Top with creme fraiche or whipped cream

Serve this cake with:

  • coffee or tea, especially chai latte
  • A sniffer of brandy or cognac goes well with this cake for an after-dinner treat

How To Store Pumpkin Snack Cake

Covered loosely and kept at room temperature is the best way to store this cake if you have leftovers.

Or it can be stored in an air-tight container for up to three days.

It can also be stored in the freezer without the icing for up to three months. Thaw at room temperature, then add the icing.

If you like pumpkin without spice and want to try it in a cake, this cake is it. You can taste the pumpkin without the overwhelming taste of pumpkin spices.

I hope you enjoy it as much as my family does. And if you want a taste of pumpkin spice, I am sure adding pumpkin spice blend instead of cinnamon will work in this recipe as well. 

And if you love pumpkin and want to try another recipe, check out my Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Bread which makes a great snack any time of day.

Pumpkin Cake

Pumpkin Snack Cake

This is a cake that is sure to satisfy your craving for pumpkin and pumpkin spice. It's all about that warm, spiced aroma filling your kitchen and the first bite that screams autumn comfort.
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Cooling and Icing 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 10 minutes
Course Dessert, Snack
Cuisine American, Canadian
Servings 15 slices


  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 cups canned pumpkin
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

Cream Cheese Icing

  • cup cream cheese, softened
  • 2 cups confectioner's sugar
  • 1 Tbsp milk
  • 1 tsp clear vanilla


  • Preheat oven to 350°F
  • Grease and flour a 13" x 9" cake pan
  • In a medium-sized bowl, whisk together the flour, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
  • In a larger bowl, lightly beat the eggs.
  • Add vegetable oil, pumpkin and vanilla. Beat until smooth and creamy
  • Fold in the dry ingredients until just combined.
  • Pour into the prepared pan
  • Bake in preheated oven for 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in centre comes out clean
  • Cool in pan on a cooling rack until completely cooled
  • Once cooled, spread cream cheese icing over top, cut into squares and serve

Cream Cheese Icing

  • Beat cream cheese until smooth
  • Add sugar, ¼ cup cup at a time, beating between additions
  • Add milk and vanilla and beat until smooth and creamy
  • IF icing is too thick add a little more milk, ½ tablespoon at a time, until it is smooth and easy to spread.
  • Spread over cake. Refrigerate any leftover icing up to one week.


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