Pumpkin Cake with Cake Mix

This Pumpkin Cake with Spice Cake Mix is a quick and easy fall dessert! It's packed full of fall spices that we all love and topped with a cream cheese frosting.

Close up top down view of single slice of pumpkin cake on a square white plate


 

A rich, dense, beautifully frosted pumpkin cake with cake mix is one of the easiest desserts to make and one of the most popular with your family and friends.

A dressed-up spice cake mix with pumpkin puree and added spices takes on a whole new level of yumminess when you add our homemade cream cheese frosting with a dusting of cinnamon.

Ingredients for Pumpkin Cake From Cake Mix

  • Spice Cake Mix - with pudding in the mix. If you can't find one with pudding, a regular spice cake mix will work.
  • Eggs - I use the large size for baking in all my recipes.
  • Pumpkin Purée - Do not accidentally grab pumpkin pie filling.
  • Evaporated Milk - This is not the same as sweetened condensed milk.
  • Vegetable Oil - Canola oil is also a very good choice for a neutral flavor.
  • Light Brown Sugar - If you only have dark brown sugar, use that instead.
  • Pumpkin Pie Spice - Did you know you can make your own?
  • Vanilla Extract - You can also use vanilla bean paste.

Pumpkin Frosting Ingredients

  • Cream Cheese - Don't purchase generic unless the ingredients are the same as the name-brand version. Many generic dairy products add fillers that dilute the product. Comparing the ingredients will help you make an informed choice.
  • Butter
  • Powdered Sugar
  • Vanilla Extract
  • Ground Cinnamon

How to Make a Pumpkin Cake from Cake Mix Step-By-Step

Two pictures showcasing the ingredients for a delectable pumpkin cake recipe in a white bowl with an orange and a white and orange linen under the bowl
  1. Preheat the oven to 350º F. Grease a 9 x 13 baking pan with nonstick baking spray.
  2. In a large bowl, add the spice cake mix, eggs, pumpkin purée, evaporated milk, vegetable oil, brown sugar, pumpkin pie spice, and vanilla extract. Beat using a hand mixer on medium speed until the batter is smooth and the eggs are incorporated.
  3. Pour the batter into the prepared baking pan and spread it out.
  4. Place in the preheated oven and bake for 32 - 37 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean or with moist crumbs.
  5. Remove from the oven and let cool completely. Make the frosting while the cake cools and frost before serving.
Top down of unfrosted cake in a white rectangle baking dish

How to Make Pumpkin Frosting

  1. In a large mixing bowl, add the cream cheese and butter. Beat using a hand mixer on medium speed until smooth.
  2. Add in the powdered sugar and vanilla extract. Beat on low until the powdered sugar is mostly worked into the frosting, and then turn the mixer to medium and beat until the frosting is whipped, about 30 seconds to 1 minute.

Frosting the Pumpkin Cake

  1. Spread the frosting on top of the cooled cake.
  2. Using a fine mesh strainer, add the cinnamon into it and dust the top of the frosting with cinnamon.
  3. Cover with plastic wrap and store in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
close-up view of single slice of pumpkin cake mix cake on a rimmed white plate with an orange linen under the plate

Tips for Best Results

Preheat your oven first to make sure the cake bakes evenly in the time prescribed.

Tap your cake pan on the counter a few times after filling it to smooth out the batter and let any bubbles escape.

Set out the cream cheese and butter while the cake is baking to bring them up to room temperature. It will make mixing the frosting easier.

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If you have a small hand mixer, use your stand mixer for the frosting instead. It is easy to burn out a hand mixer with frosting recipes because they tend to be thick.

Top down view of a frosted pumpkin cake that's been sprinkled with cinnamon and sitting on a white surface with orange, white, and yellow linens

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I store pumpkin cake made with cake mix?

Cover with plastic wrap or place in an airtight container. Store in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.

Can I freeze a pumpkin cake made with cake mix?

Yes. Freeze a whole cake or individual slices. If you haven't frosted the cake yet, freeze the frosting separately. If it is already frosted, that is fine. To thaw the cake, simply thaw it at room temperature.

Can I use a different cake mix?

Yes. If you can't find a spice cake mix, use a carrot cake mix or a gingerbread cake mix. It would also work pretty well with a yellow cake mix.

Can I make this cake with a gluten-free cake mix?

I haven't tried this, but I believe it would work based on my experience with gluten-free cake mixes and similar recipes. If you try it, please let us know in the comments!

Pumpkin Cake using Spice Cake Mix with a pumpkin decor on top of the cream cheese frosting

More Great Pumpkin Recipes

A slice of pumpkin cake displayed with orange napkins.

Pumpkin Cake using Spice Cake Mix

This Pumpkin Cake with Spice Cake Mix is a quick and easy fall dessert! It's packed full of fall spices that we all love and topped with a cream cheese frosting.
4.77 from 13 votes
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Cool Time 1 hour
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Servings 12 slices
Calories 363 kcal

Ingredients
  

Cake

  • 15.25 ounce box Spice Cake Mix with pudding mix
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 cup pumpkin purée
  • 1 ¼ cup evaporated milk
  • ½ cup vegetable oil
  • cup light brown sugar packed
  • 2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Cream Cheese Frosting

  • 4 ounces cream cheese
  • ½ cup butter room temperature
  • 2 ½ cups powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon for dusting

Instructions

Cake

  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 9x13 baking pan with nonstick baking spray.
  • In a large bowl, add in the spice cake mix, eggs, pumpkin purée, evaporated milk, vegetable oil, brown sugar, pumpkin pie spice, and vanilla extract. Beat using a hand mixer on medium speed until the batter is smooth and the eggs are incorporated.
  • Pour the batter into the prepared baking pan and spread out.
  • Place in the preheated oven and bake for 32 - 37 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean or with moist crumbs.
  • Remove from the oven and let cool completely.

Frosting

  • In a large mixing bowl, add in the cream cheese and butter. Beat using a hand mixer on medium speed until smooth.
  • Add in the powdered sugar and vanilla extract. Beat on low until the powdered sugar is mostly worked into the frosting and then turn the mixer to medium and beat until the frosting is whipped, about 30 seconds to 1 minute.
  • Spread the frosting on top of the cooled cake.
  • Using a fine mesh strainer, add the cinnamon into it and dust the top of the frosting with cinnamon.
  • Cover with plastic wrap and store in the refrigerator up to 5 days.

Nutrition

Calories: 363kcalCarbohydrates: 36gProtein: 4gFat: 23gSaturated Fat: 10gPolyunsaturated Fat: 6gMonounsaturated Fat: 6gTrans Fat: 0.4gCholesterol: 78mgSodium: 137mgPotassium: 164mgFiber: 1gSugar: 34gVitamin A: 3664IUVitamin C: 1mgCalcium: 100mgIron: 1mg

(Nutrition facts are an estimate and not guaranteed to be accurate. Please see a registered dietitian for special diet advice.)

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2 Comments

  1. May I ask how long you would cook these if made as cupcakes? And could you make a suggestion as to how full to fill the cupcake liners?

    1. I haven't tried it, but I would say fill the cupcake liners 2/3 full and start checking the cupcakes after 15 minutes in the oven.

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