With a soft, moist texture filled with warm pumpkin flavor and laced with a cream cheese swirl, this pumpkin bundt cake is the picture-perfect dessert for fall.
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Table of Contents
- About Pumpkin Bundt Cake
- What’s in pumpkin bundt cake?
- Pumpkin puree vs pumpkin pie filling
- Can you still use pumpkin pie filling?
- What type of cake pan should you use?
- Tips for ensuring cake release
- How long is pumpkin cake good for?
- Can you freeze pumpkin cake?
- Notes & tips for pumpkin bundt cake
- More tasty pumpkin recipes
- Other great cake recipes
- How to make pumpkin bundt cake
- Recipe Details
About Pumpkin Bundt Cake
Made with creamy pumpkin puree, flavored with warm pumpkin spice, and swirled with cheesecake, this easy pumpkin bundt cake is a must-make as the weather beings to cool down.
What’s in pumpkin bundt cake?
To make this fall-infused bundt cake, you’ll need the following ingredients:
- Yellow cake mix – Used as a shortcut for assembling all the dry ingredients. Feel free to use any brand of cake mix (Duncan Hines, Betty Crocker, Swans Down, etc) or even experiment with other flavors (White, Spice, Chocolate, French Vanilla, etc).
- Pumpkin puree – Because you can’t have a pumpkin cake without some pumpkin. Can use storebought or homemade.
- Eggs, vegetable oil, water, sugar – Standard baking ingredients for a delicious cake.
- Cream cheese – Used for making the cream cheese filling and the cream cheese glaze.
Pumpkin puree vs pumpkin pie filling
When it comes to holiday treats, you’re going to be faced with two types of canned pumpkin in the baking aisle:
Pumpkin puree and pumpkin pie filling.
And while these types might seem interchangeable, there is a slight (yet significant) difference.
With pumpkin puree, the only contents are cooked and mashed pumpkin (or a variety of winter gourds), with no added flavors or spices. Pumpkin pie filling is made with cooked and mashed pumpkin, too, but it also has flavor added, typically with pumpkin pie spice.
The key difference here is convenience. If you don’t have (or don’t want to buy) pumpkin pie spice, using pumpkin pie filling can save you some time and effort; you simply add it to the recipe and skip measuring the spices. However, it does limit your ability to control the taste, and if you’re using the pumpkin pie filling with other flavors, there’s no way to guarantee how they’ll interact.
This is why you’ll see many homemade recipes use pumpkin puree (which, again, is just the gourds, no added flavor) and season and spice the recipe by hand as needed. It is a tad more work but it also gives you more control over the flavor of your fall treats.
Can you still use pumpkin pie filling?
If pumpkin pie filling is what you have to work with, then yes, you can use it in this recipe. Just be sure to omit the pumpkin pie spice when mixing the ingredients.
What type of cake pan should you use?
This recipe is ideal for a bundt cake pan, and you can you any variety (simple, decorative, etc) that’s at least 10 inches in diameter or has a 10 to 15 cup capacity. I personally used this 10-inch fluted bundt cake pan.
Tips for ensuring cake release
One of the trickiest (and potentially devastating) parts of cake making is ensuring that the cake will cleanly release from the pan. And this problem increases ten-fold when you’re dealing with a deep, decorative bundt cake pan.
But fear not! There are a couple of tips, methods, and tricks to help ensure that the tops and sides of your cake are as pretty as the bundt pan itself.
Properly inspect and prep your bundt cake pan for baking, which means:
- Check the condition of your bundt cake pan. Most modern bundt pans come with a nonstick coating, but continued use or certain methods of cleaning (like the dishwasher) can erode this layer away. For tips on checking the condition of your bundt cake pan, see this article: When to Throw Away Nonstick Pans. It’s written for items like frying pans, but the same basic concepts can apply to any cookware with a coating.
- Coat the pan with either baking spray, homemade cake release, or a layer of butter and dusting it with flour. If you’re the type that tends to have bad luck with cakes releasing – and there’s no shame in that, because I’m raising my hand right along with you – feel free to be generous in how much you use. The worst thing that will happen is that the outside of the cake might appear a darker color, but that’s much better than releasing your cake only to find that half the cake is still stuck inside the pan.
- For best results, wait to coat your cake pan with the above methods until just before you’re ready to pour in the batter. So prepare the batter, coat the pan, then pour.
Once baked, help a stubborn cake release from the pan by:
- Always allow the cake to cool completely in the bundt cake pan before attempting to release it. Be prepared that this may take a while. You can try to speed up the process by placing the cooling cake in the refrigerator.
- Place the bundt cake pan (with the cake still inside) in the freezer for 30 minutes. This should cause the cake itself to shrink, helping it pull away from the sides of the pan and allow for easy release. You can repeat this step as needed until the cake has enough room to release. And don’t worry, the cake will bounce back to its intended size as it comes to room temperature.
- Submerge the top half of the bundt cake pan in hot water (and just to be clear, submerging the top half of the pan means keeping the bottom of the cake facing toward the ceiling). This should help the material of the bundt cake pan expand, pulling it away from the cake and allowing for an easy release. This method the opposite of freezing and whether either method works could depend on the type of cake or the material of the bundt cake pan.
- If you have a thin spatula made of silicone or soft plastic (avoid sharp metal objects) you can gently poke around the exposed bottom and sides of the cake to help free some areas it may be stuck. However, this method has iffy results, since you can only safely access a small portion of the cake.
- When in doubt, let gravity do the work. If you’ve tried the above methods and the cake still won’t drop, place a few kitchen towels on a wire cooling rack and rest the bundt cake pan, cake side down, on top of the towels. The cake may just need the help of its own weight to fall out in its own time and the towels will help cushion (and lessen the distance) when it lands.
How long is pumpkin cake good for?
Once prepared, this cake can be stored in a sealed container in the refrigerator for up to five to seven days.
Can you freeze pumpkin cake?
Yes, you totally can! Cakes are amazing for freezing.
Once prepared and cooled, wrap the whole cake (or individual pieces) in plastic wrap, then store it in a sealed container or a freezer bag for up to six months.
When ready to eat, transfer the cake to the refrigerator to thaw overnight, then place it on the counter to come to temperature.
Notes & tips for pumpkin bundt cake
- When making cakes like this, I highly recommend using a stand mixer with a flat beater or flat edge attachment. These are ideal for working with large amounts of batter and efficiently creaming butter and sugar. You can read more about different types of attachments here: Which beater do I use?
More tasty pumpkin recipes
Other great cake recipes
How to make pumpkin bundt cake
This next part is only a photo tutorial of the recipe steps. If you’re looking for the full recipe measurements and instructions, scroll down to Recipe Details.
Step 2 – In another large bowl, whip together the cake ingredients: yellow cake mix, pumpkin puree, water, vegetable oil, pumpkin pie spice, and eggs.
Step 3 – Pour half of the pumpkin cake batter into a 10 inch bundt cake pan, then top that with the cream cheese filling (being careful to avoid the edge). Finish by pouring in the remaining half of the pumpkin cake batter.
Step 4 – Bake!
Step 5 – While the cake bakes and cools, prepare the cream cheese glaze. Whisk together the cream cheese, butter, and powdered sugar until smooth.
Step 6 – Decorate the cooled bundt cake with glaze as desired.
Step 7 – Serve and enjoy!
Pumpkin Bundt Cake
Cream Cheese Filling
- 8 ounces cream cheese, softened
- 1/3 cup granulated sugar
- 1 egg
Cream Cheese Glaze
- 4 ounces cream cheese, softened
- 1/4 cup salted butter, softened
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- water, for consistency
For the Cream Cheese Filling
For the Pumpkin Cake
- Using a stand mixer with a flat beater (or a hand mixer + large bowl), cream together yellow cake mix, pumpkin puree, water, vegetable oil, pumpkin pie spice, and eggs until combined, about 5-7 minutes.15.25 ounces yellow cake mix, 1 cup pumpkin puree, 1/2 cup water, 1/3 cup vegetable oil, 1 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice, 4 eggs
- Pour half of the pumpkin cake batter into the prepared bundt cake pan. Next, pour in cream cheese filling, evenly distributing around pan and avoiding edges. Top with remaining pumpkin cake batter. If needed, use a spatula to smooth out the top.
- Remove cake from oven and allow to cool, still in the bundt cake pan, for 20-30 minutes. Once cool, remove cake from bundt pan and allow cake to finish cooling completely on a wire cooling rack.
For the Cream Cheese Glaze
- In a small bowl, whisk together cream cheese, butter, and powdered sugar until smooth.4 ounces cream cheese, 1/4 cup salted butter, 1 cup powdered sugar
- Check consistency; glaze should be thick but spreadable. If needed, add 1 tablespoon of water, whisk, then check consistency again. Continue adding water and mixing in until desired consistency is reached.water
Putting it All Together
- Drizzle cream cheese glaze over cooled bundt cake, either all over cake or filling in grooves and designs.
- Serve immediately.
I do my best to provide nutrition information, but please keep in mind that I’m not a certified nutritionist. Any nutritional information discussed or disclosed in this post should only be seen as my best amateur estimates of the correct values.