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Pumpkin Cake with Amaretto Cream Cheese Frosting

Pumpkin Cake with Amaretto Cream Cheese Frosting is the perfect homemade cake recipe to celebrate the fall! 

If you are looking for a sweet, decadent Pumpkin cake to enjoy this fall look no further than this Pumpkin Cake with Amaretto Cream Cheese frosting. The cake is tender and moist like a good cake should be. And while cream cheese frosting is always good on pumpkin cake, Amaretto cream cheese frosting takes it to another level. 

Slice of pumpkin pie.

This cake will be right at home in the middle of all of your celebrations this holiday season. Or, if we’re really being honest, any time of year because pumpkin doesn’t only need to be enjoyed in the fall! 

Let’s talk about what you need to make it. 

Ingredients you’ll need: 

This recipe is essentially split into two separate recipes: the pumpkin cake and the amaretto cream cheese frosting. 

For the pumpkin cake you’ll need all the regular players: flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, pumpkin pie spice, eggs, brown sugar, granulated sugar and vegetable oil. And because this is a pumpkin cake, you’ll also need pureed pumpkin. Make sure you use pumpkin puree and not pumpkin pie mix. 

Pumpkin cake ingredients.

For the amaretto cream cheese frosting: 

  • CREAM CHEESE: To make the smoothest cream cheese frosting you’re going to want to make sure that the cream cheese is at room temperature. That will help ensure that there are no lumps in the frosting. 
  • BUTTER: This also needs to be room temperature so that it blends the best. 
  • POWDERED SUGAR: Make sure you use powdered and not granulated sugar. Powdered sugar dissolves and makes for a smoother frosting than granulated sugar would. 
  • AMARETTO: Amaretto is an almond flavored Italian liqueur. If you cannot find it, you can use almond extract. 
Amaretto cream cheese frosting ingredients.

Step by Step Photos and Instructions: 

Sometimes cakes can be intimidating to make because of all the steps but you can follow along with these easy step by step photos and instructions. 

  • STEP #1: Sift together dry ingredients and whisk together wet ingredients in another bowl. 
  • STEP #2: Gently fold the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients. Then fold in the pumpkin puree. 
  • STEP #3: Divide the cake into two pans (batter will be thick) and bake. Cool completely before frosting. 
  • STEP #4: Make frosting. 
  • STEP #5: After cake has cooled, spread some frosting on the top of one cake. Place the other cake on top. Then frost the whole cake. 

Storage and Leftovers:

Because of the cream cheese frosting, this cake will need to be kept in the refrigerator. I recommend taking it out about 30 minutes before you want to serve it so it has a chance to come up to room temperature. Eat within 3 – 4 days.

Looking for more Pumpkin Recipes? Try these!

Note: This post was originally published in 2009. It was updated with new photos

This Pumpkin Cake with Amaretto Cream Cheese Frosting is the perfect fall celebration cake!

Pumpkin Cake with Amaretto Cream Cheese Frosting

This Pumpkin Cake with Amaretto Cream Cheese Frosting is the perfect homemade cake recipe for a fall celebration. This easy cake recipe is moist and rich!
5 from 3 votes
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 40 mins
Total Time 55 mins
Course Desserts
Cuisine American
Servings 10 Servings
Calories 362 kcal


Pumpkin Cake Ingredients:

  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 3 eggs room temperature
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 1/2 cups pumpkin puree

Amaretto Cream Cheese Frosting Ingredients:

  • 8 ounces cream cheese softened
  • 1/2 cup butter softened
  • 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon Amaretto
  • 2-3 cups powdered sugar


  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour two 8-inch round cake pans. Set aside.
  • Sift together flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt and pumpkin pie spice.
  • In another bowl, whisk together eggs, sugar, vegetable oil and vanilla.
  • Slowly whisk flour mixture into egg mixture. Fold in pureed pumpkin.
  • Evenly divide cake mixture between the two prepared cake pans.
  • Bake for 25 - 35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with a few crumbs on it.
  • Cool cakes in pans completely before transferring to a cake plate. About 1 hour.
  • While the cake is cooling make the frosting. Using a hand held mixer, cream together cream cheese and butter until smooth. Beat in Amaretto. Gradually beat in powdered sugar until frosting becomes thick and spreadable.
  • Once the cakes are cool, spread a layer of Amaretto cream cheese frosting on the top of one cake layer. Place the other cake layer on top. Use remaining frosting to frost the cake.


Cake batter will be on the thicker side. 
If you don't have (or don't want to use) amaretto substitute almond extract. 
Room temperature butter and cream cheese will make the smoothest frosting. 
Cake needs to be kept in the refrigerator because of the cream cheese frosting. Take out 30 minutes before serving. 
Nutrition information for estimation purposes only. 


Calories: 362kcalCarbohydrates: 82gProtein: 10gFat: 11gSaturated Fat: 6gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 77mgSodium: 412mgPotassium: 240mgFiber: 2gSugar: 35gVitamin A: 6119IUVitamin C: 2mgCalcium: 126mgIron: 2mg
Tried this recipe?Mention @lifesambrosia or tag #lifesambrosia!
Keywords: amaretto, cake, Cream Cheese, dessert, fall, pumpkin, pumpkin puree

Leave a Comment

Recipe Rating

  • Reply
    Eleanor K Hawkins
    October 28, 2023 at 9:14 am

    5 stars

  • Reply
    September 22, 2019 at 11:34 am

    5 stars
    Ever since the first year you have posted this recipe, I have baked this cake. Its a highly anticipated cake. I have so much fun making this from scratch. From roasting the pie pumpkins for puree, to making the frosting. You may not realize it, but you have created wonderful memories with my daughters, that I will cherish.

    • Reply
      September 22, 2019 at 12:08 pm

      Melissa- This means so much to me! I am so happy to hear that this recipe has allowed your family to create memories. Thank you so much for sharing!

  • Reply
    May 25, 2019 at 2:21 pm

    5 stars
    I have made this cake twice and it is my net favorite. Thanks for the recipe it’s a huge hit.

  • Reply
    Suzi Kilmer
    December 25, 2010 at 2:57 pm

    I made the Pumpkin Cake with Amaretto Cream Cheese Frosting to take to my family Christmas Eve dinner last night. It was a huge hit and I was asked for the recipe. This was the first time I have made a cake from scratch and it was exceptionally easy and FUN!

  • Reply
    George Ashford
    November 28, 2009 at 4:04 pm

    I found spenda makes it taste it even better with fewer cal.

  • Reply
    Diane Marino
    November 23, 2009 at 3:53 pm

    Congratulations you made it 1 yr!!!!! Everythig looks great in the recepie except the amount of oil. Did you really use one & a half cups of oil? that seems like a lot of oil for a single receipe.

    • Reply
      November 23, 2009 at 5:15 pm

      Thanks Diane! I’ve updated the recipe to 1 cup, after some feed back from others who have tried the recipe. I hope you enjoy it!

  • Reply
    November 23, 2009 at 12:40 pm

    Gareth- Did you click the Print recipe button at the top of the page? I just tested and it printed 2 pages. If you do a file then print, then yes you will get a lot of pages. Try using the button and let me know if you continue to have problems. Thanks!

  • Reply
    November 23, 2009 at 12:14 pm

    I wanted the Pumpkin Cake Recepie w/Amoretta Icing ONLY, not all the STORY about it. Tried to p[rint it out, first page said “1 of 14 pages” no way for just a recepie. Can you fix it so I can print the recepies ONLY !

  • Reply
    November 23, 2009 at 11:44 am

    I can’t wait to try!!

  • Reply
    November 23, 2009 at 11:37 am

    P.S. Keeping with the “seasonal pumpkin time” this would make a great replacement to rum cake from Christmas to New Year’s for parties also.

  • Reply
    November 23, 2009 at 11:31 am

    Congrats on your blogaversary and keep these wonderful recipes coming! (Happy upcoming Birthday too)
    About the only sweets I eat are pies, cakes, cookies and brownies. I love to bake and am a heart patient. I don’t know if you have published this; but if you like baking like I do (and sweets once in a while) a person can stay away from the “extra” problems by using substitutions.
    i.e. for the eggs try eggbeaters or comparable
    for the oil try using applesauce (I know it sounds wierd, but try it it works well and doesn’t change the true tastes your looking for in your baking)
    Thanks again, Dan

  • Reply
    October 8, 2009 at 3:41 pm

    Happy blogiversary. What a great way to celebrate – this cake looks delish!

  • Reply
    Cheryl R.
    October 8, 2009 at 2:43 pm

    Wow, I was really excited to try this cake recipe, it sounds so delicious. BUT… I mixed it, tasted it, and it’s oh-so-pasty… but I put it in the oven anyway. Missing one key ingredient: SUGAR. Care to share with the rest of us eager bakers how much sugar this recipe calls for??

    • Reply
      October 8, 2009 at 2:48 pm

      Oh my gosh Cheryl, I am so sorry. I used 1 1/2 cups of granulated sugar. I am updating the recipe right now. Thank you so much for catching this.

  • Reply
    Angelia McGowan
    October 8, 2009 at 12:36 pm

    Thats a great photo and delicious looking cake. I love eating fall recipes, even though my baby and I are still having to go to the pool every afternoon and cool off. Happy blogaversary!

  • Reply
    October 8, 2009 at 8:49 am

    Happy Anniversary, Des! The cake looks delicious – I will try it this weekend =)

  • Reply
    October 7, 2009 at 8:42 pm

    Thank you everyone for the birthday and blogversary wishes! All of your comments have been so sweet and I am enjoying reading each and every one. It really does mean a lot to me. Jackie- to answer your questions I used unbleached flour because that is what I always have on hand. I used butter to grease my cake pans. Whenever I am baking I use iodized salt. I used large eggs. You could certainly substitute canola oil and I did not sift the powdered sugar first. I hope that helps! And thank you for the suggestion about the print button. That is one of the things Ryan and I have on our list of ways to improve the site. It will take some time but we are working on it.

  • Reply
    October 7, 2009 at 8:18 pm

    Hi Des

    Another thing you could add to your blog is a print button. I think your readers would really appreciate it. It could save us a lot of paper.

  • Reply
    StreamingGourmet (Amy Wilson)
    October 7, 2009 at 7:57 pm

    Congratulations! I just celebrated my one year blogging anniversary too. This cake looks fabulous. I like the idea of amaretto in the cream cheese frosting. Cheers.

  • Reply
    October 7, 2009 at 7:25 pm

    Hi Des

    Congratulations to your first year of blogging and Happy Birthday to you and I hope all your birthday wishes come true, please enjoy your day. On to the cake: 1. Did you use bleach or unbleached flour in your recipe. Did you use shortening or butter to grease your cake pans. What type of salt did you use. What size eggs did you use. Could I use canola oil instead of vegetable oil. Did you sift the powdered sugar before using.

  • Reply
    October 7, 2009 at 6:44 pm

    Congratulations on your first blogversay!!! Cake is always a good option to celebrate and yours look beautiful

  • Reply
    October 7, 2009 at 6:40 pm

    This cake looks amazing! Happy anniversary and happy birthday!!

  • Reply
    October 7, 2009 at 6:38 pm

    It does look like a wonderful cake. Great job hanging in there and making the blog work for you. Happy Blog anniversary and happy birthday!

  • Reply
    October 7, 2009 at 4:08 pm

    I’ve never written in your comments, but I do visit your website often and have a tried a few of your recipes. Congrats on your one year!

    Now, mostly I had to comment because I need to urge you to try this pumpkin cake recipe. I tried this recipe on the blog below right when it was posted. It is amazing! I often get requests for this cake from my friends and at the office. When it’s paired with the browned butter cream cheese frosting also from this site, it is out of this world! And better yet, it’s easy and requires..well…two ingredients! Also, I make this with spice cake mix…you won’t regret it.



  • Reply
    Ryan Kazda
    October 7, 2009 at 3:08 pm

    Congrats babe, I’m proud of you! :)

  • Reply
    October 7, 2009 at 1:55 pm

    The pumpkin cake sounds delicious, but I think it’s the frosting that makes it perfect for a celebration. Yum! Congrats on your first year!!

  • Reply
    October 7, 2009 at 1:49 pm

    Aw. Happy 1st birthday Life’s Ambrosia! I love your recipes, Deseree. Here is to many more.

  • Reply
    October 7, 2009 at 1:09 pm

    Happy one year Deseree!! Thank you so much for all your posts! I have so enjoyed not only reading your posts and checking out the yummy looking photos, but for all the wonderful recipes you have inspired me to make! Can’t wait to see what the next year will bring!

  • Reply
    October 7, 2009 at 11:32 am

    Thank you all for your nice comments! And thank you hangglidded for catching that. I’ve made the change. Can’t believe I made that typo, was always a pet peeve of mine! And yes think it would work for a 13 x 9. You may have more frosting than you would need but you can always use that for something else. :)

  • Reply
    October 7, 2009 at 11:19 am

    Congrats 2 U & continued success & happiness. HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!

    Typo: Grease and flour to 9-inch round cake pans

    Do u think this recipe would be OK for a 13 X 9 pan?

  • Reply
    October 7, 2009 at 11:12 am

    Happy 1 year! The cake looks fantastic. And happy early birthday, too! :)

  • Reply
    October 7, 2009 at 10:21 am

    Beautiful cake!

  • Reply
    October 7, 2009 at 10:15 am

    Happy one year! I’m so happy I found your blog a couple of months back because you have a lot of awesome recipes and sweet treats, that cake is a prime example of delish sweet treats.

    Oh and it’s nice to see a fellow foodie who is also a huge SVU fan like I am :)

  • Reply
    Lorna Yee
    October 7, 2009 at 9:47 am

    Beautiful cake! Happy 1st to your blog, and happy early birthday to you too!

  • Des

    Hey! I'm Des!

    Welcome to Life’s Ambrosia where Dinner is served and memories are made. Here you will find over 1000 tried and true recipes for every possible occasion. In the last 10 years, this blog has helped millions of families put dinner on the table and create food memories. Let me help you too.

    Read more »

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