Pumpkin cake with chocolate ganache is the best cake recipe to kick off the fall season! Two layers of pumpkin cake, cream cheese frosting covered in a layer of chocolate ganache. Fall dessert heaven.
If you are looking for a fall dessert that will really wow your family and friends you have got to try this Pumpkin Cake with Chocolate Ganache. It’s perfect for birthdays, holidays or any day you want a little sweet pumpkin dessert in your life.
This cake has two layers of pumpkin cake, a layer of cream cheese frosting all topped with a decadent chocolate ganache. Like I said, this one will wow your guests.
For the cake you’ll need the traditional ingredients flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, sugar and butter. To give it the pumpkin flavor you’ll need two additional ingredients:
Pumpkin Puree: It’s very important that you just pumpkin puree here, not pumpkin pie mix. Pumpkin pie mix has additional ingredients and a different texture than you’ll want for this recipe.
Pumpkin Pie Spice: A blend of cinnamon, ginger, cloves, allspice and nutmeg. You buy it or can make your own .
To make the cream cheese frosting you’ll need cream cheese, powdered sugar and vanilla. Pretty easy!
To make the ganache you’ll only need heavy cream and chocolate chips.
I know the three different components to this cake might make it seem a little bit daunting but it’s not that hard at all. Let me show you!
STEP #1: Combine all of the dry ingredients for the cake in a bowl. Whisk together until well combined.
STEP #2: In a large bowl, cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add in the eggs one at a time and then add in the vanilla extract.
STEP #3: Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients.
STEP #4: Fold in the pumpkin puree.
DES’ TIP: The batter in this recipe is going to be very thick. You’ll need to make sure to divide the cake batter equally between the two cake pans and spread it in an even layer before baking.
STEP #5: Make the cream cheese frosting by creaming together the cream cheese and butter. Once fluffy add in the powdered sugar and vanilla. Continue beating until creamy and smooth.
STEP #6: Place one of the cakes bottom side up on a cake stand. Spread the cream cheese frosting over the top. Place the other cake, top side up, on top of the frosting.
STEP 7: To make the ganache, heat cream until steaming and pour over chocolate chips. Let sit for 2 minutes. Whisk until shiny and smooth. Let sit for a couple more minutes. Slowly pour over the cake. As the ganache cools it will start to harden and you can spread it on the cake. Allow to harden for at least 15 minutes before serving.
DES’ TIP: The longer that the ganache sets, the thicker that it will get. If the ganache is too thin when you start to pour it, wait a minute or so for it to thicken.
Because of the cream cheese frosting and the cream in the ganache, it is better (safer) to store any leftover cake in the refrigerator. Note that the ganache may lose it’s shine in the refrigerator but it will still taste just as delicious.
When you’re ready to serve the leftovers, take the cake out of the refrigerator at least an hour beforehand. This will give the cake a chance to come up to room temperature.
This decadent, moist, oh so flavorful pumpkin cake recipe is one that my family absolutely loves for fall. And we aren’t the only ones!
REVIEW: “Best cake ever! No fail recipe. It is my “go to” for Thanksgiving.”- Cheryl
Looking for more pumpkin related recipes? Here are some of my favorites!
Got a sweet tooth? Here are some of my most popular dessert recipes!
White Chocolate Strawberry Cheesecake
Note: this recipe was originally written and published in 2013. It was updated with new photos, tips, nutrition information and a video in 2020.
Donna ByerlyNovember 21, 2022 at 11:13 am
This cake is amazing! The flavors are so good together and it’s not too sweet. I made it for Pastor appreciation and everyone loved it. I’m making it again for my coworkers and as one of the desserts for Thanksgiving. Thank you for the wonderful recipe!
DesereeNovember 21, 2022 at 8:28 pm
You are so welcome, Donna! I am so happy to hear that :) Happy Thanksgiving!
EvaSeptember 10, 2020 at 11:38 pm
This cake looks delicius and I’m so happy fall is here because I love all things fall. You may have just inspired me to make the first pumpkin cake for the season!
JohannaOctober 15, 2019 at 8:42 am
Does Cream Cheese frosting really go well with dark chocolate ?
Cheryl MerrittOctober 6, 2018 at 4:51 pm
Best cake ever! No fail recipe. It is my “go to” for Thanksgiving.
DesereeOctober 6, 2018 at 9:32 pm
That is great to hear! Thank you Cheryl!
PennySeptember 25, 2018 at 2:36 pm
This cake is moist and flavorful. This will now be my go to pumpkin cake. Co workers loved it. Wasn’t sure panache would be a hit but it was!!! Thank you for a great recipe.
DesereeSeptember 25, 2018 at 8:54 pm
You are welcome Penny! So glad you and your coworkers enjoyed it!
Nela MaretićApril 7, 2017 at 8:44 am
i just tried to make it as a muffin – it worked perfectly! they smelled so good I couldn’t wait for them to cool off so i tried them while they where warm :) :) Baking time is aprox 15min on 350 degrees.
Eden PassanteOctober 5, 2016 at 8:35 pm
Love all the pumpkin! Yum!
LeslieFebruary 23, 2015 at 11:34 am
Hi, I just finished making the batter and it only fills one rectangular bread pan…not enough for 2 9″ round pans…were they supposed to be thin layers?
DesereeFebruary 23, 2015 at 8:36 pm
Hi Leslie, the batter should go up about halfway the sides of the pan.
mariaDecember 8, 2014 at 9:04 pm
In your recipe, I don’t believe you specified the cake pan size or what type of pan you used. (Helps adjust cooking time) For example, 8″ or 9″ diameter? Was it all aluminum (such as Fat Daddio’s brand) or was it one of those heavier non-stick pans? The difference between 8 and 9 inch makes a difference for me because I only have 8 x 8 square pans. The closest volume equivalency for 8 x 8 square pan is 9″ round.
mariaDecember 8, 2014 at 9:05 pm
Never mind!! I re-read your recipe (in my sleep deprived, new mommy state) and see that you specified the pan size right at the beginning.
KiraNovember 29, 2014 at 7:34 pm
I made this for thanksgiving and I don’t know what went wrong both my cakes feel apart. It was honestly the ugliest cake I’ve ever seen. But with that being said this was hands down the best cake I’ve ever tasted and it was gone very fast. Everyone who tried it was disappointed it was gone and so was I. It was the perfect flavor infusion and I will be making it again soon but hopefully it won’t fall apart like my first attempt. Thank you very much.
EmilyOctober 30, 2014 at 7:18 pm
Could this be switched around? I have a piping decoration I want to frost on top of my daughter’s 1 yo bday cake, but I like the idea of having ganache in the cake as well. So could I switch the cream cheese and ganache and just keep the ganache in the center and have the cream cheese on top?
DesereeOctober 30, 2014 at 10:54 pm
I’ve never tried that but I don’t see why not. The ganache layer in the center would be thin though. And just to be on the safe side I’d double the cream cheese frosting recipe just to make sure you have enough to frost the whole cake. Hope this helps and Happy Birthday to your little one!
Emily ShoreNovember 4, 2014 at 6:17 pm
Thanks! I’m gonna give it a shot!
Mary AnnOctober 27, 2014 at 10:22 am
I truly don’t know how this could have been better. Such a great combination of pumpkin, cream cheese, chocolate. Thank you for the recipe – it’s a keeper.
DesereeOctober 29, 2014 at 9:51 pm
You’re welcome! So happy to hear that you enjoyed it :)
LindsayJuly 31, 2014 at 7:54 pm
I LOVE LOVE LOVE that you posted this today! The kids and I just put our pumpkins in the garden today- and they were reminiscing about the pumpkins muffins, bread, and pies I made last year! Can’t wait to try this out with them! Perfect timing!
DesereeJuly 31, 2014 at 9:32 pm
Jealous that you get to grow pumpkins, I wish I had the space for that! Hope you enjoy this cake :)
Pamela JoyJuly 31, 2014 at 2:49 pm
YUM!!! I have been craving pumpkin , even though it is not even August yet. Made Pumpkin bread the other night.
DesereeJuly 31, 2014 at 9:33 pm
I totally understand! I love anything pumpkin :)
Matt DownsSeptember 27, 2013 at 6:41 am
If I don’t have paddles, can I use standard beaters instead?
DesereeSeptember 27, 2013 at 7:48 am
Matt- Yes, you could absolutely do this in a standard hand mixer. :)
SafooraSeptember 11, 2013 at 2:41 am
This looks amazing, thanks for sharing! If I had to use canned pumpkin, how much would I need. Would one can suffice? Thanks :)
DesereeSeptember 11, 2013 at 1:10 pm
Thanks Safoora! I actually used 1 1/2 cups canned pumpkin puree (Not the pumpkin pie mix) and it turned out to be about 1 of the smaller cans of pumpkin. Hope this helps!
Ashley - Baker by NatureSeptember 10, 2013 at 11:02 am
Oh my goooooooodness! This pumpkin cake has my name written ALL over it.