Recipes, Desserts

Pumpkin Layer Cake with Chai Cream Cheese Frosting

While we are still in warm 70-degree temps here in Orange County, California, I am in full holiday mode! Today I wanted to bring you guys a festive pumpkin layer cake with chai cream cheese frosting that packs a ton of fall flavor for all of your seasonal gatherings.

Pumpkin Layer Cake 4

I have been on a major chai kick and for great reason! Everyone is always so enamored by pumpkin this time of year (I don’t blame you!) and chai spice is pumpkin’s most perfect company. It kicks it up just like normal pumpkin spice but takes the flavor profile even further! I am a huge fan of cream cheese icing for cakes but this chai blend takes the frosting up a huge notch. You will seriously feel like you made a bakery grade frosting with all the spicy chai flavor.

Pumpkin Layer Cake 8
Pumpkin Layer Cake 9

When I think of pumpkin cakes and treats I always think of a super moist and flavorful. You know what my biggest pet peeve of pumpkin desserts is though?! Using only like a quarter of the can of pumpkin puree. Does anyone else always run into this problem? I am happy to report that this recipe will have you using every drop of canned pumpkin. It is safe to put your Tupperware away! The pumpkin cake has this great texture and is super decadent. For a little texture, I threw in some pecans for the cake's center but you're welcome to use any nut (or even chocolate chips!). My favorite combo is a slice of this cake and a warm cup of strong coffee. Happy fall baking!

Pumpkin Layer Cake 17
Pumpkin Layer Cake 19

Pumpkin Layer Cake with Chai Cream Cheese Frosting Recipe




20 minutes


60 minutes


For the Pumpkin Cake:

  • 3 cups of all purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons of baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon of kosher salt
  • 3 teaspoons of ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon of ginger
  • 1 teaspoon of cardamom
  • 1 teaspoon of nutmeg
  • 1 ½ cups of white granulated sugar
  • ½ cup of brown sugar
  • ½ cup of unsalted butter, room temp
  • ½ cup of vegetable or canola oil
  • 2 teaspoons of vanilla extract
  • 3 eggs
  • 15 oz (1 can) of pumpkin puree
  • ½ cup of whole milk
  • 1 cup of chopped pecans

For the Chai Cream Cheese Frosting:

  • ½ cup / 1 stick of softened unsalted butter
  • 8 oz of cream cheese
  • 1 teaspoons of vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon of kosher salt
  • 3 ½ cups of powdered sugar
  • 2 ½ teaspoons of cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon of ginger
  • 1 teaspoon of ground cardamom
  • 1 teaspoon of nutmeg
  • ½ Teaspoon of ground cloves
  • ¼ cup of half & half


Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Grease and flour two 9-inch cake tins and set aside.

In a large bowl combine flour, baking powder, spices and salt and whisk to evenly distribute spices. In a separate large bowl fitted with a stand or hand mixer add in butter, sugars and cream until fluffy. Add in oil and beat for 20 seconds and then add eggs one at a time mixing after each addition. In three separate increments add dry flour mixture, pumpkin puree and milk in this order.

Occasionally scrape down batter bowl after additions. Distribute batter evenly in cake tins and bake for 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Remove cakes from oven and allow cooling on a baking rack for 30-60 minutes. Ring a knife around cake edges before removing from tins.

In a large bowl whisk together powdered sugar, salt and spices. Cream butter and cream cheese on high until light and fluffy, about two minutes. Add in powdered sugar to cream cheese mixture in three separate increments adding a tablespoon of half & half after each addition. Depending on climate you may need to add more or less half & half to frosting. Frost cakes as desired and add chopped pecans to center layer of cake.

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