A luscious 4-layer pumpkin cake recipe with pumpkin cream topping and caramel drizzle. This easy fall dessert starts with yellow cake mix and makes an impressive centerpiece for fall holidays and Thanksgiving entertaining.
This 4-layer pumpkin cake with pumpkin cream frosting is the perfect non-traditional dessert for fall parties and entertaining. I love to make this for Thanksgiving and Christmas too, as an alternative to the pie table.
It starts with a cake mix but gets elevated with some delicious additions like canned pumpkin and pumpkin pie spice. The canned pumpkin helps keep it moist too!
The combination of the cake and pumpkin cream filling is sensational. Adding a caramel drizzle and sugared pecans to the top makes it extra indulgent with crunch that you don’t want to miss.
How to make this cake
Here’s what you’ll need for this easy recipe. Full instructions are in the printable recipe card at the bottom.
- Yellow cake mix
- Canned pumpkin – NOT pumpkin pie filling. You’ll use part for the cake and part for the creamy frosting.
- Vegetable oil
- Pumpkin pie spice
Use a mixer to beat the cake mix, pumpkin, milk, oil, eggs and pumpkin pie spice together in a large bowl until well blended. Pour into greased and floured round baking pans and bake for 28 to 30 minutes.
Cool cake in pans for 10 minutes before removing them onto a cooling rack to cool completely.
TIP: Use four 6-inch cake pans to make the small 4-layer cake seen here. Cook for about 25 minutes.
To make the pumpkin cream topping you’ll need these ingredients.
- Block of cream cheese – make sure to set it out at room temperature so it can softened
- Powdered sugar
- Remaining pumpkin from the cake recipe
- Tub of frozen whipped topping, thawed
- Caramel ice cream topping – you can also use salted caramel topping.
Use a mixer to beat the cream cheese in medium bowl, until creamy. Then add sugar, remaining pumpkin, and spice, and mix well. Gently fold in whipped topping until smooth and creamy.
Top each cake layer with equal amounts of the pumpkin cream. You won’t be covering the sides though. Drizzle the top with about 3 or 4 tablespoons of the caramel topping, or to your taste.
Make this a 2-layer cake by dividing the cake batter into two 9-inch cake pans and bake for 28-30 minutes.
Make a 3-layer cake by dividing the batter into three 8-inch cake pans and bake about 25 minutes.
Make a 4-layer pumpkin torte by baking in two 9-inch pans as above. When cakes are cooled, slice the two layers in half to create four equal layers.
Always check cake doneness by inserting a toothpick into the center to see if it comes out clean. If it’s clean the cake is done. If it comes out gummy, continue cooking for 2 or 3 minutes.
Thanksgiving dessert recipe
There are usually so many pies on the menu, it’s a good idea to change it up and make a cake. This one has all the flavors of the season and you’re guests will devour it!
Make it part of your dessert table for Thanksgiving or Friendsgiving, or try one of these other fall recipes.
- If you’re looking for an easier dessert idea check out our Thanksgiving trifle which has similar flavors!
- For another twist on a traditional pie, try my pecan pie trifle recipe here.
- If you’re a traditionalist, try our family’s favorite easy pumpkin pie.
- This pumpkin dump cake is a classic recipe that serves a crowd and is easy to make-and-take.
Chris’ entertaining tips
- Make this cake for holidays and fall dinner parties. The tall layers make this a beautiful centerpiece on a dessert table and it can feed a small crowd.
- Make the cake early in the day or a day ahead. The pumpkin cream will be more flavorful, and the cake layers will be moist and delicious. Make sure to cover it well and keep it refrigerated until ready to serve.
- Serve this on a low profile cake stand or round platter to show off those luscious layers.
- Top the cake with my candied pecans for even more decadence.
- 1 pkg. (2-layer size) yellow cake mix
- 1 can (15 oz.) pumpkin; use 1 cup for cake & remaining amount for frosting below
- 1/2 cup milk
- 1/3 cup oil
- 4 eggs
- 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice, divided
Pumpkin Cream Frosting
- 1 pkg. (8 oz.) Cream Cheese, softened
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- remaining pumpkin from cake recipe
- 1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
- 1 tub (8 oz.) Whipped Topping, thawed
- 1/4 cup caramel ice cream topping
- Garnish with candied pecans or toffee candy bits
- HEAT oven to 350°F.
- BEAT cake mix, 1 cup pumpkin, milk, oil, eggs and pumpkin pie spice in large bowl with mixer until well blended. Pour into 2 greased and floured 9-inch round baking pans.
- BAKE for 28 to 30 min. or until toothpick inserted in centers comes out clean.
- Cool in pans for 10 min. Remove cake from pans onto wire rack and cool completely.
- BEAT cream cheese in medium bowl with mixer until creamy.
- Add sugar, remaining pumpkin, and spice; mix well.
- Gently fold in whipped topping.
- Cut each cake layer horizontally in half with serrated knife.
- Build the cake stack on a serving plate, spreading cream cheese filling between layers, and on top.
- Refrigerate for a couple of hours before serving.
- Drizzle with caramel topping just before serving and sprinkle the top with toffee bits.
- Refrigerate leftovers.