The perfect fall cake begins with a box of spice cake mix! Throw in some canned pumpkin puree, chopped pecans, and a few other ingredients. Just 10 minutes of prep time is all that's needed for this beauty.
Quick Notes: This post was originally published in November 2018. It was updated in December 2020 to include a few new photos and additional information. It may also contain Amazon affiliate links. Please read my disclosure statement for details. Thank you.
When fall is in the air (October, November), I know it's time to start thinking about all of the wonderful spice recipes! It seems like everything is either flavored or scented with the spices we associate with fall - cinnamon, nutmeg, and ginger to name a few.
Why This Cake Recipe is Awesome
Easy Prep - This pumpkin bundt cake is very easy because it takes less than 10 minutes to prepare. Just toss the ingredients in a bowl, mix, pour into a bundt pan, and bake.
Cake Mix Recipe - This recipe gets you off to a great start with a box of spice cake mix! Store-bought mix saves you some prep time (every little bit helps, right!).
One Layer - I like a bundt pan for this cake because it adds a special, decorative aspect. This is my favorite bundt pan from Nordic Ware. The handles come in handy when you're flipping the cake over to cool. Available now on Amazon.
Optional Frosting - Frosting this cake is not a requirement. It's moist and delicious all by itself. However, if you want to add a decorative touch, make my easy cream cheese icing recipe or buy a can of ready-made, cream cheese frosting.
What Goes Into This Recipe
please scroll down to the recipe card for detailed ingredients and step-by-by instructions
Spice Cake Mix: I've never met a cake mix I don't like. Some prefer Duncan Hines or Pillsbury, but honestly, the store brand is fine.
Canned Pumpkin Puree: Canned pumpkin and chopped pecans help to contribute to the autumnal vibes of this deliciously moist spice cake. (Be sure to use the canned pumpkin, aka pumpkin puree - NOT the pumpkin pie "mix"). Alternatively, you can make your own pumpkin puree. I love this Homemade Pumpkin Puree recipe from Love and Lemons!
Instant Vanilla Pudding Mix: This is my secret ingredient for this cake. While it might sound like a strange addition, I guarantee that it'll make your cake extra moist and extra delicious!
Cinnamon: I also love to add in just a touch of extra cinnamon to balance out the extra pumpkin and vanilla flavors. This is a spice cake after all, right?
Chopped Pecans: Pecans add a lovely flavor and texture to the cake. Pumpkins and nuts are a great combination! If you're worried, I only call for ½ cup of pecans, which won't overload the cake. Every now and again, you'll get a bite of cake with a pecan included. It's a nice little treat! Leave the pecans out if you're not a fan.
Oil, eggs, and vanilla extract: These are the remaining pantry staples you'll need to make this delicious spice cake.
Cream Cheese Icing Ingredients
The frosting requires just four simple ingredients that you probably already have on hand:
- powdered sugar
- cream cheese
- a tad bit of milk
- vanilla extract
If you opt to use the cream cheese frosting (I highly recommend you do), there is a very simple way to make a cute design out of it. Place the cream cheese frosting in a plastic ziplock bag, cut off a small part of one of the corners, and squeeze the frosting on top of the cake. It doesn't have to be perfect, as you can see from my very imperfect design.
How to Make Easy Pumpkin Spice Cake
(1) Mix all of the cake ingredients.
(2) Grease and flour cake pan.
(3) Pour the cake batter into the prepared pan.
(4) Bake at 350 for about 35-40 minutes. Cool completely and frost if desired.
You don't have to top this cake with the cream cheese frosting - I can't believe I just said that! - but the cream cheese frosting is the bee's knees. This is the best pumpkin cake recipe because it's easy and versatile 🙂
Frequently Asked Questions
Yes! Not only does this spiced cake taste better the next day, it's also a perfect cake to freeze.
Most cakes freeze well, and it often makes them even more moist and delicious than before you froze them! Just be sure the cake is completely cooled. Skip the frosting. Then wrap the unfrosted cake in several layers of plastic wrap, followed by a layer of tin foil.
Freeze for up to 3 months. When you're ready to eat the cake, remove the plastic wrap and foil, then let the cake thaw on the countertop for 2-3 hours. Frost as desired and enjoy!
Yes, this cake recipe makes delicious muffins (no frosting) or cupcakes (with frosting)! Line a muffin tin with paper liners. Preheat oven to 350F. Proceed to Step 2 in the recipe card. Fill the muffin tins ¾ full, then bake for 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Frost (if desired) when completely cooled. Makes about 12 muffins/cupcakes.
This cake will stay fresh for up to 3 days if left covered on your countertop. Keeping the cake in a plastic cake holder such as the Nordic Ware Bundt Cake Keeper will help keep the cake nice and fresh and prevent the icing from getting messed up. The lid locks onto the base and is also somewhat translucent so you can admire your creation.
Place a round cooling rack on the top of the bundt pan before flipping. The handles help hold the cake pan and the cooling rack together during the flipping process.
- If you choose to go with the store-bought cream cheese icing in the plastic tub, microwave it for about 15 seconds and give it a stir. You want to soften it up to make it easier to drizzle over the top of the cake. Just be sure to remove the inner seal before microwaving!
- Don't have a bundt cake pan? No problem! Use a 9x13 cake pan and bake for about 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the cake comes out clean.
- If you're looking for a simpler or lighter pumpkin bundt cake, you could dust the cooled cake with powdered sugar or serve it plain with whipped cream on top. This awesome pumpkin spice pound cake is extra delicious the next day and is great served cold. While it is decadent enough for dessert, it's also a lovely snacking cake. And also a yummy (albeit naughty) breakfast. In fact, I wish I had a slice right now 🙂
Need more cake inspiration?
If you made this super easy delicious cake, please comment below to let me know how it turned out for you! I always love hearing about your successes and am here to help you through any (temporary) defeats.
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Pumpkin Pecan Spice Cake
- Bundt pan
- Electric mixer
- large mixing bowl
- measuring cup(s)
- measuring spoons
- wire rack (for cooling cake pan)
- small mixing bowl
- 1 box Spice cake mix
- 1 cup Canned pumpkin (aka pumpkin puree) (NOT the pumpkin pie "mix")
- ¾ cup Oil
- ½ cup Unsalted chopped pecans
- ¼ cup Water
- 4 Large eggs
- 1 Instant vanilla pudding mix (3.4 oz box)
- 1 teaspoon Ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon Pure vanilla extract
CREAM CHEESE FROSTING INGREDIENTS
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- 8 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1-2 teaspoon milk
- Preheat oven to 350F. Grease and flour bundt pan.
- Mix all ingredients, except pecans, in a large bowl with mixer until well blended (about 5 minutes on medium speed). Then add pecans and mix well with a spoon.
- Bake for 35-40 minutes. Let cool 15 minutes then remove from pan and place on wire rack to cool completely.
- Dust with powdered sugar, serve with whipped cream, or top with your favorite cream cheese frosting (recipe below).
- Cream Cheese Frosting: Combine 1 cup powdered sugar, 8 oz softened cream cheese, 1-2 tablespoons milk, and 1 teaspoon vanilla extract.