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Pumpkin Spice Cake with Honey Frosting

Be sure to use canned pumpkin puree -- not pumpkin pie filling or fresh pumpkin puree.

  • prep: 25 mins
    total time: 2 hours 30 mins
  • servings: 9

Ingredients

For the Cake

  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted, plus more for pan
  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, (spooned and leveled)
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon pumpkin-pie spice (or 1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon, 3/4 teaspoon ginger, 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg, and 1/8 teaspoon each allspice and cloves)
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1 can (15 ounces) solid-pack pumpkin puree

For the Honey Frosting

  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, very soft
  • 1 bar (8 ounces) regular (or reduced-fat) cream cheese, very soft
  • 1/4 cup honey

Cook's Note

You can also use a 9-by-5-inch loaf pan: Increase baking time by 25 to 30 minutes (tent loaf with foil if it browns too quickly).

Directions

  1. Step 1

    Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter a 9-inch square baking pan.

  2. Step 2

    In a medium bowl, whisk flour, baking soda, salt, and pumpkin-pie spice. In a large bowl, whisk eggs, sugar, butter, and pumpkin puree until combined. Add dry ingredients to pumpkin mixture, and mix gently until smooth.

  3. Step 3

    Turn batter into prepared pan, and smooth top. Bake until a toothpick inserted in center of cake comes out with just a few moist crumbs attached, 45 to 50 minutes. Cool cake 10 minutes in pan, then turn out of pan, and cool completely, right side up, on a rack.

  4. Step 4

    Make Honey Frosting: In a medium bowl, whisk butter, cream cheese, and honey until smooth.

  5. Step 5

    Spread top of cooled cake with honey frosting. Cut cake into squares to serve.

Source
Everyday Food, November 2005

Reviews (52)

  • 26 Nov, 2013

    This recipe is disappointing. I used pumpkin pie spice as called for, but the cake has a very bland flavor. For the frosting, I used low fat cream cheese instead of regular cream cheese. The frosting is not sweet enough, and combined with the bland cake, a big let down indeed. I've never been sure how Martha Stewart makes a "Living" with her recipes since so many of them are just plain mediocre.

  • 16 Nov, 2013

    Made this today. Came out very good. Had to bake longer than stated but only about 10 mins. Added some chopped pecans. Only made half the amount of icing as I do not like a lot. I actually did not put the icing on the cake because I am diabetic and would rather not have it but left it optional for the rest of family to add however much they liked. Tasted like sweeter pumpkin bread.

  • 14 Oct, 2012

    Made this for my son's 21st birthday and the whole family loved it. I used whipped cream instead of the frosting at his request, but I will definitely make this again & try the frosting!!!

  • 19 Nov, 2011

    This recipe is wonderful it's simple and delicious! the frosting adds to the cake. I made sure the cream cheese and butter at room temperature before blending the ingredients. I made this for a family get together, everyone enjoyed it. I will make this again.

  • 14 Nov, 2011

    Delicious!!! I added 1/2 tsp of vanilla to the frosting and it perked it up nicely!

  • 16 Mar, 2011

    So why can't we use fresh pumpkin puree, especially if it's reduced well and not watery??? There must be some reason??? I will try it and get back to you all!

  • 17 Dec, 2010

    absolutely delicious! i didn't care for the honey frosting so i made another from a recipe i found on foodnetwork.com. it's my 'go to' cream cheese frosting.
    2 (8-ounce) packages cream cheese, 1 cup confectioners sugar, 1/4 cup milk, 1 tablespoon vanilla extract, zest of one lemon. I also added cinnamon to the frosting. The lemon zest makes it!!

  • 28 Nov, 2010

    Delicious! This is a thick cake, so next time I'm going to bake it in a 9''x13'' pan. I didn't have the ingredients to make the honey frosting, so I combined 8 ounces of cream cheese, with 1 cup powdered sugar and 1/2 teaspoon vanilla.

  • 21 Nov, 2010

    I made this 2 days ago, and have really been enjoying it. It was an easy recipe and the cake turned out beautifully. I made the frosting ahead and put it in the fridge for about an hour before frosting the cake. I recommend this delicious seasonal cake!

  • 30 Oct, 2010

    I used 1/2 cup olive oil ( not extra virgin- regular) instaed of butter - delicious! I think it is much much better! And I topped it with roasted salted pumpkin seeds, and I loved the interesting salty-sweet taste, but my kids didn't like it! They prefered the half that had raw sugar sprinkled on it!

  • 19 Oct, 2010

    Sooo.. has anyone actually used pumpkin puree from a REAL pumpkin? I JUST saw that I should be using canned pumpkin, and I have all my ingredients mixed... Ooops!

  • 17 Oct, 2010

    Has anyone tried to make cupcakes with this recipe? If so, how long do you bake them? We love the cake but I thought cupcakes would be fun for Halloween.

  • 17 Oct, 2010

    I think the cream cheese frosting definitely needs to be refrigerated until slightly firm before using, which was left out of the instructions. It was very thin and runny right after mixing it. Maybe it depends on the honey used. I used a dark runny honey, not a light colored thick honey. It tastes amazing though!

  • 17 Oct, 2010

    I think the cream cheese frosting definitely needs to be refrigerated until slightly firm before using, which was left out of the instructions. It was very thin and runny right after mixing it. Maybe it depends on the honey used. I used a dark runny honey, not a light colored thick honey. It tastes amazing though!

  • 21 Sep, 2010

    I'm not sure why the recipe says not to use fresh pumpkin... it's all I use and it always turns out amazing!

  • 21 Sep, 2010

    Here is another site to use by measuring the liquid volume of your pan first
    www.whatscookingamerica.net/Q-A/bakingdish.htm

  • 21 Sep, 2010

    Here's another site www.whatscookingamerica.net/Q-A/bakingdish.htm

  • 21 Sep, 2010

    mrsrace referring to pan size equivalents go to www.joyofbaking.com/PanSizes.html

  • 13 Sep, 2010

    Any tips on making this a layer cake with 9 inch round pans? Thanks

  • 17 Feb, 2009

    I'd like to make this recipe with maple syrup in place of the sugar. Has anyone tried this yet?

  • 2 Feb, 2009

    We enjoyed this cake but thought it was much more like bread than cake--very dense. So next time I'm going to try baking it in 2 loaf pans and cut it like bread. The frosting was really good!

  • 14 Dec, 2008

    I skipped the honey frosting and used just plain old cream cheese icing. The cake was nice, but I added more spice mix.

  • 13 Dec, 2008

    I made this cake last night for a Christmas party tonight. I doubled the recipe and make a three layer cake using three 8" round cake pans. I put about 1 1/2 X the spices and added about 1/2 Tablespoon of cinnamon to the icing. I also made pecan pralines for the top! The cake was amazing!! It looked beautiful and tasted wonderful! It comes out super moist! The icing seemed too sweet the first day but after letting the cake sit iced for a day it was perfect!! Will make again for sure!

  • 9 Dec, 2008

    The cake was delicious...it was the icing I had trouble with. It basically slid off of the cake and it never looked as thick and rich as the photo. The cake was cooled when I applied the frosting.

  • 8 Dec, 2008

    I need help! :) Does anyone know if I could double this recipe and put it in two 8 or 9n n n n n n round cake pans and layer it rather than doing the 9n n n n n n square? Do you know if it would hold together and how I would adjust the temperature and cooking time? Thank you SO much for your help!!!

  • 8 Dec, 2008

    I need help! :) Does anyone know if I could double this recipe and put it in two 8 or 9n n n n n n round cake pans and layer it rather than doing the 9n n n n n n square? Do you know if it would hold together and how I would adjust the temperature and cooking time? Thank you SO much for your help!!!

  • 4 Dec, 2008

    This cake is great, it is very moist and quite quick to throw together.

  • 27 Nov, 2008

    I just made it for Thanksgiving and everyone really liked it =] I used honey-cream cheese frosting and just let people put it on themselves if they wanted some. Very tasty!!

  • 20 Nov, 2008

    Vixx - solid-pack pumpkin puree is basically the canned pumpkin you buy in the store (as opposed to fresh pumpkin puree, which has a looser, more watery consistency). It's completely different from packed brown sugar.

  • 11 Nov, 2008

    this is the best pumpkin cake ever!!!! Everyone that had tried it loves it!!!!!

  • 8 Nov, 2008

    For the icing, I used a local buckwheat honey and I also added (around) a cup of icing sugar and (about) a tsp of vanilla extract. Turned out delicious! The flavour form the buckwheat gave the icing a very interesting taste that complements the spices in the cake.
    The cake its self is tasty, easy to make, but I had to bake it a little extra than what the recipe called.

  • 2 Nov, 2008

    This recipe calls for solid-pack pumpkin puree. Is that similar to packed brown sugar?

  • 2 Nov, 2008

    This recipe calls for solid-pack pumpkin puree. Is that similar to packed brown sugar?

  • 12 Oct, 2008

    A huge hit!

  • 12 Oct, 2008

    A huge hit!

  • 13 Jul, 2008

    This was only my 2nd time baking something from scratch and it was A SUCCESS! I made an initial test cake to see how it came out. It was so rich and tasty--even better after sitting in the fridge over night! I made another one for work and it was devoured!! Thank you!!

  • 16 Jun, 2008

    I substituted the pumkin to papaya puree. I live in Tahiti and am often loaded with them. Tastes great. It's a good alternative.

  • 22 May, 2008

    everytime i make this its a hit. highly recommended!

  • 16 Apr, 2008

    This was a wonderful cake. It was moist, somewhat dense and delicious. I decided to bake it in a 9 X 13 so that it was a little thinner. The frosting was good, but I added a bit of vanilla and a little icing sugar. My husband loved it!

  • 18 Jan, 2008

    For the baking challenged, like me, this is a great easy cake to make, and the frosting is killer. I have made this several times to rave reviews. Definitely a family favorite.

  • 16 Jan, 2008

    This cake is amazing. The honey cream cheese frosting is to DIE for! I used 1 Tbs. pumpkin pie spice then added an additional combination of fresh grated nutmeg, ground cloves, ground allspice, and ground cinnamon to kick this cake up a notch and it definitely delivered.

  • 17 Dec, 2007

    My husband makes a similar cake, but this frosting is so much easier and a lot better tasting. My husband does most of the baking in the family and since I've started presenting him with Martha's recipes he has been very busy.

  • 13 Dec, 2007

    TRY IT AGAIN SWEET1SS, ONLY THIS TIME BE SURE TO READ THE VERY FIRST PARAGRAPH. REMEMBER MARTHA HAS TEST KITCHENS WITH MANY EXPERT CHEFS WHO TRY THESE RECIPES BEFORE THEY GO ON THE WEB. AND THEY TELL US EXACTLY WHAT TO DO AND WHAT TO USE. I LIKE YOU HAVE ALSO HAD TO LEARN THE HARD WAY. ROMA

  • 23 Nov, 2007

    turned out very dry. perhaps it's because I used pumpkin pie filling instead of puree. I removed from the oven only after 30 minutes and was still dry.

  • 23 Nov, 2007

    turned out very dry. perhaps it's because I used pumpkin pie filling instead of puree. I removed from the oven only after 30 minutes and was still dry.

  • 21 Nov, 2007

    Hands down, the best cream cheese frosting - will never use powdered sugar again! And no mess, just wisk and done! Made the cake gluten free and shared it for Thanksgiving. WOW!

  • 20 Nov, 2007

    fan-freakin-tastic!

    yes, canned pumpkin puree is at the grocery store - in the baking aisle - look for Libby's.

  • 16 Nov, 2007

    Is "canned pumpkin puree" available at the grocery store?

  • 14 Nov, 2007

    The frosting is to die for

  • 14 Nov, 2007

    simple delicious

  • 14 Nov, 2007

    simple delicious

  • 7 Nov, 2007

    Turtle's favorite cake