Pumpkin Pudding Cake Dessert is for you if you love pumpkin but are tired of pie. This light, fluffy cake has a thick and creamy vanilla pudding center. Add just a dollop of whipped cream and it is the perfect fall dessert.

Pumpkin Pudding Cake Dessert slice of cake on white plate with caramel drizzle and whipped cream on top.
Caramel Drizzle and Whipped Cream

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The Lovely Season of Fall (Desserts)

Fall brings a whole culture with it. The sight of leaves changing, the smell of crisp air and baked goods, the weather turns cooler and brings about a desire to be cozy.

Cozy blankets and sweaters, warm soups and stews, and a freshly baked pie or cake utilize the season’s bountiful harvest.

I love each and every season, however fall is by far my favorite.

Even though, the onset of this season has become a bit of a laugh with PSL season starting earlier and earlier each year.

Pumpkin Pudding Cake Dessert on a white plate with a slice missing and pecans scattered around
Pecans and frosting

At any rate, I never mind the autumn season approaching sooner.

To me, there is something so soothing and comfortable about slipping back in to those familiar rhythms of harvest and preservation.

For instance, cozying in to our homes, gathering together, and the warmth of a crackling fire bring fond reminders of family traditions and seasons past.

Ingredients for Pumpkin Pudding Cake Dessert. Avocado oil, cake mix, pumpkin puree, eggs, gelatin, instant pudding mix

Let’s Get Baking!

What ingredients do you think of when you think of this fall season? Pumpkins, apples, pecans and walnuts, sweet potatoes, cinnamon and nutmeg?

Perhaps the traditional pumpkin pie, pecan pie or even apple pie often come to mind.

In this recipe, we are going to try something a little different! I always love a good twist on a classic dish.

So let’s head to the kitchen and whip up this delightful Pumpkin cake!

Pumpkin Pudding Cake Dessert on a white plate
Pumpkin Cake on plate with Pecans

What is Pumpkin Pudding Cake Dessert?

A somewhat typical layer cake, this is a delicious way to use up fresh pumpkin, or if you are short on time like me, canned pumpkin.

Instead of a frosting layer, this delectable dessert features a vanilla pudding center.

This spice cake with a vanilla pudding center has such a creamy, moist texture that it is sure to be a crowd favorite!

Mixing the ingredients for Pumpkin Pudding Cake Dessert
Mixing the batter

Why Should I Make Pumpkin Pudding Cake?

A sweet treat like Pumpkin Pudding Cake is so versatile! Perfect for Sunday dinner, a potluck, Friendsgiving, or even your family Thanksgiving gathering.

In other words, it’s a delicious pumpkin dessert that probably won’t be what everyone else is bringing to dinner this holiday season.

And that’s part of what makes it fun!

Fresh out of the oven, cake ready to be made into Pumpkin Pudding Cake Dessert
Cake fresh out of the oven

How Do I Make Pumpkin Pudding Cake Dessert?

Supplies:

Simple Ingredients:

Cake

Dry Ingredients
Wet Ingredients
  • Canned Pumpkin Puree (or you can substitute Pumpkin Pie Filling & omit the Pumpkin Pie Spice)
  • Eggs
  • Water
  • Oil (coconut oil or avocado oil)
Pumpkin Pudding Cake Dessert is in the process of being made. Next step, add pudding to cake.
Adding the pudding to the cake
pudding
frosting
extras
  • Toppings: Vanilla Ice Cream, Caramel Sauce, Whipped Cream, Crushed Pecans, Crushed Walnuts

Basic Instructions:

  • Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Prepare your baking pans with oil or lard
  • Mix together your cake mix according to the directions on the box
  • Pour cake mix into prepared pans and bake according to the time for your size pans found on the cake mix box
  • Mix together your Instant Pudding following instructions on box
  • Turn cake onto a cooling rack and let cake cool completely
  • Prepare frosting by mixing all ingredients together until thick
  • Once the cake is cool, spoon pudding onto the top of one cake in the center making about a 4 inch circle
  • Place next cake on top carefully so it doesn’t slide, allow to stand for 5 minutes
  • Frost the entire cake, add any additional toppings you like, and keep in a cool or room temperature location until it is served
A slice of Pumkin Pudding Cake Dessert
A slice of cake

Frequently Asked Questions

Does Pumpkin Pudding Cake Need to Be Refrigerated?

This dessert will be fine on the counter for a few days, if it even lasts that long! If you do not think it will be finished in 3 days time, then you will want to refrigerate or freeze it.

Are Pumpkin Puree and Canned Pumpkin the Same?

Yes they are! Different words for the same ingredient. However, you can also make your own fresh pumpkin puree, so that could be where the difference is.

Can You Make Pumpkin Pudding Cake Dessert from Scratch?

You absolutely can! I used instant pudding mix in this recipe, but you could use homemade vanilla pudding and you can also make the cake and the pumpkin pie spice from scratch.

While you’re at it, you could also make the whipped topping or vanilla ice cream from scratch too! I think both are fun to make.

However, using a box cake mix and instant pudding mix does cut down on the time it takes to make this recipe!

How do I use Fresh Pumpkin?

You cut the pumpkin in half, and then remove the pulp. Oil the surfaces, and place cut side down in a roasting pan with a bit of water. Bake until the pumpkin is tender. Allow to cool enough to touch.

Scoop out the pumpkin and puree it. Pumpkin has a high water content, so you will want to let it drain for a while. Now you have pumpkin puree to use in any recipe!

Should I use Homemade Vanilla Pudding or Pudding Mix?

You can either one that works best for you! If you have the time and ingredients, I highly recommend making the homemade pudding.

If you don’t, the instant vanilla pudding mix works just fine!

Storing Leftover Cake

This cake is best stored in an airtight container or under a cake cover, on the counter. You can also use a large bowl in place of a cake cover.

If you live in a warm climate, or like me have a wood burning stove near your kitchen, you will want to find a cool or room temperature location for your cake. Heat can melt frosting and dry out your cake.Pumpkin Pudding Cake Dessert

Could I Freeze the Leftover Cake?

Yes you can freeze leftover cake! Allow the cake to completely cool, cut into slices, wrap in plastic wrap, and then store in a freezer safe container or freezer bag.

I highly recommend leaving the cake without frosting or only lightly frosted if you will be freezing it. The plastic wrap may stick to the frosting. If you lightly frost it, then you could add more frosting once you thaw the cake.

What Size Cake Mix Should I Use?

The cake mix used in this recipe is 15.25 oz, however you could use any size cake mix that is close to this size and it should work just fine.

Serving Suggestions for Pumpkin Pudding Cake

Vanilla ice cream, whipped topping, caramel sauce, and/or crushed nuts are great topping ideas for this recipe.

Can I Substitute Sweet Potatoes for the Pumpkin? What about Butternut Squash?

You can substitute sweet potato puree or butternut squash puree in this recipe.

Sweet Potatoes tend to have a lower water content than pumpkin, so you may need to adjust the liquid in the cake batter to accommodate this.

Best Way to Reheat This Recipe?

This recipe is best warm from the oven or room temperature. If you want to reheat it, or I would only slightly warm it.

Be aware, reheating this cake will melt the frosting.

Substitution for Pumpkin Pie Spice?

If you do not have premixed Pumpkin Pie Spice in your cupboard, you can easily make your own pumpkin spice using spices you probably already have! The 5 simple ingredients include: cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, allspice, and cloves.

Can I Use Canned Pumpkin Pie Mix in Place of the Canned Pumpkin and Spices?

You can use the premade pumpkin pie mix in this recipe. You will just omit the Canned Pumpkin and the Pumpkin Pie Spice.

Pumpkin Pudding Cake Dessert slice of cake on white plate with caramel drizzle and whipped cream on top.

Pumpkin Pudding Cake Dessert

Yield: 8-10
Prep Time: 40 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Additional Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 15 minutes

Pumpkin Pudding Cake Dessert is for you if you love pumpkin but are tired of pie. This light, fluffy cake has a thick and creamy vanilla pudding center. Add just a dollop of whipped cream and it is the perfect fall dessert.

Ingredients

Cake

  • 15.25 oz box of Spice Cake Mix (I used Duncan Hines)
  • 1 teaspoon Pumpkin Pie Spice
  • 15 oz can of Pumpkin Puree (or you can substitute Pumpkin Pie Filling & omit the Pumpkin Pie Spice and puree)
  • 3 Eggs (or the amount your cake mix requires)
  • 1 cup Water
  • 1/2 cup Oil

Pudding

  • 3.4 oz. box of Vanilla Instant Pudding
  • 2 cups Whole Milk
  • 0.25 oz Gelatin

Frosting

  • 8 oz Softened Cream Cheese
  • 1 tsp Vanilla Extract
  • 2-4 cups Powdered Sugar (until desired consistency is reached)

Optional: Toppings

  • Crushed Pecans
  • Crushed Walnuts
  • Vanilla Ice Cream
  • Whipped Cream
  • Caramel Sauce

Instructions

  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit
  2. Prepare your baking pans with oil or lard
  3. Mix together your cake mix according to the directions on the box
  4. Mix together your Instant Pudding following instructions on box
  5. Pour cake mix into prepared pans and bake according to the time for your size pans found on the cake mix box
  6. Turn cake onto a cooling rack and allow to cool completely
  7. Prepare frosting by mixing all ingredients together until fluffy
  8. Once the cake is cool, spoon pudding onto the top of one cake in a 4 inch circle in the center
  9. Place next cake on top carefully so it doesn't slide, allow to stand for 5 minutes
  10. Frost the entire cake, and keep in a cool or room temperature location until it is served

Did you make this recipe?

Please leave a comment on the blog or share a photo on Instagram

one last thing…

Planning to try this? I’d love to hear what you think in the comments below! If you loved this article, I would love it if you gave it 5 stars!

Also, let me know what you think of it and what you will use it for by tagging me @_thecultivationofcozy_  on Instagram or at The Cultivation of Cozy on Facebook!

Snap a photo and use the hashtag #thecultivationofcozy to join in the community! I can’t wait to see it!

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