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Pumpkin Cake with Chocolate Ganache

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. 

Slice of pumpkin cake with chocolate ganache on a plate.

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. 

What ingredients do you need?

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 Cake with Chocolate Ganache

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. 


Step by step photos showing how to make a pumpkin cake.

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. 

Cream cheese frosting in a glass bowl.

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. 

A layer of cream cheese frosting on top of a pumpkin cake.

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. 

Pouring ganache over top of pumpkin cake.

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. 

Storing the cake and leftovers:

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. 

Fork taking a piece of pumpkin cake.

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!

How to make Pumpkin Seeds

Pumpkin Zucchini Muffins

Pumpkin Icebox Cake

Pumpkin Hummus

Got a sweet tooth? Here are some of my most popular dessert recipes!

Easy Blueberry Crisp

White Chocolate Strawberry Cheesecake

Triple Chocolate Bundt Cake

Note: this recipe was originally written and published in 2013. It was updated with new photos, tips, nutrition information and a video in 2020. 

Overhead photo of pumpkin cake with chocolate ganache on white plate.

Pumpkin Cake with Chocolate Ganache

Pumpkin cake with chocolate ganache is the best cake recipe for Fall! This perfect pumpkin cake is layered with cream cheese frosting and it is SO good!
5 from 10 votes
Prep Time 30 mins
Cook Time 45 mins
Total Time 1 hr 15 mins
Course Desserts
Cuisine American
Servings 10 Servings
Calories 763 kcal


Pumpkin Cake Ingredients:

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

Cream Cheese Frosting Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup softened unsalted butter
  • 4 ounces softened cream cheese
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup powdered sugar

Chocolate Ganache Ingredients

  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 10 ounces semi sweet chocolate chips


  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour two 9-inch round cake pans.
  • In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream together the butter and sugar until fluffy. Beat in the eggs one at a time, being sure to scrape down the edges after adding each egg. Beat in the vanilla.
  • In another bowl, combine flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt and pumpkin spice. Slowly beat the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients. Once mixed, turn the mixer off and gently fold in the pumpkin puree.
  • Scoop batter equally into the cake pans and level with a knife. Bake in preheated oven for 35 – 40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Remove from oven and allow to cool for several minutes. Gently remove the cake from the pans and place on a cooling rack.
  • Make the cream cheese frosting filling by creaming together the butter and cream cheese. Beat in the vanilla. Beat in the powered sugar and mix until a stiff but spreadable mixture forms.
  • 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.
  • Make the ganache right before you are ready to use it, by heating the heavy cream in a saucepan just until simmering. Place the chocolate chips in a bowl you can easily pour from (I used my 4 cup measuring cup). Pour the hot cream over the top. Make sure all of the chocolate is submerged in the cream. Let stand for two minutes.
  • Gently whisk the chocolate and cream together until the chocolate has melted and the mixture has a glossy look to it.
  • Carefully, and working from the center outward, pour the chocolate ganache over the cake. The ganache will be thick, you can use a knife to spread it around. Do this quickly before the ganache hardens. Note: Some of the ganache may pool on the serving platter. You can remove it with a spoon and then wipe the platter with a paper towel. Or leave it :)
  • After ganache hardens, about 15 minutes you can slice and serve the cake.
  • Keep any leftovers in the refrigerator. Remove from the fridge about an hour before serving to allow the cake to come to room temperature.


Nutrition information for estimation purposes only.


Calories: 763kcalCarbohydrates: 84.6gProtein: 8gFat: 45.3gSaturated Fat: 27.1gCholesterol: 151mgSodium: 267mgFiber: 3.7gSugar: 60.3g
Tried this recipe?Mention @lifesambrosia or tag #lifesambrosia!
Keywords: cake, dessert, halloween, pumpkin, sweet, thanksgiving dessert, treat

Leave a Comment

Recipe Rating

  • Reply
    November 23, 2023 at 5:49 pm

    5 stars
    Delicious cake! Family enjoyed it as well.

  • Reply
    Christy Long
    November 10, 2023 at 3:00 pm

    5 stars
    O.M.G. I made this to take to work, but…it never made it out the door. My daughter and I ate the entire thing! It took awhile, but we did it😉This is probably the Best Cake I’ve ever tasted. I’m going to make another one now!

    • Reply
      November 11, 2023 at 10:30 am

      haha! Well I am glad you enjoyed it that much!! :)

  • Reply
    Sandy m
    October 19, 2023 at 2:07 am

    5 stars
    Will be making this every thanksgiving delisious

  • Reply
    September 21, 2023 at 5:39 pm

    5 stars
    I think this is a great recipe. My cake turned out perfectly. It was in the oven for about 30 minutes.

    I think when I make this cake again, I will slice the two layers in half making it a four layer cake. I will increase the cream cheese and put it between two layers.

    I think I would like to try whipping the ganache as I think it would be a fluffier, lighter texture.

    • Reply
      September 24, 2023 at 9:41 pm

      I am so happy to hear that, Stella! And turning this into a 4 layer cake would really make it a show stopper!

  • Reply
    Christy Long
    September 6, 2023 at 10:28 pm

    5 stars
    This is one of the BEST things I’ve ever eaten in my LIFE!!!! I’m a pastry chef, and I would not change a THING! 🥰🥰🥰

    • Reply
      September 7, 2023 at 11:13 am

      Wow! What a wonderful compliment! Thank you, Christy!! :)

  • Reply
    Donna Byerly
    November 21, 2022 at 11:13 am

    5 stars
    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!

    • Reply
      November 21, 2022 at 8:28 pm

      You are so welcome, Donna! I am so happy to hear that :) Happy Thanksgiving!

  • Reply
    September 10, 2020 at 11:38 pm

    5 stars
    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!

  • Reply
    October 15, 2019 at 8:42 am

    5 stars
    Does Cream Cheese frosting really go well with dark chocolate ?

  • Reply
    Cheryl Merritt
    October 6, 2018 at 4:51 pm

    5 stars
    Best cake ever! No fail recipe. It is my “go to” for Thanksgiving.

    • Reply
      October 6, 2018 at 9:32 pm

      That is great to hear! Thank you Cheryl!

  • Reply
    September 25, 2018 at 2:36 pm

    5 stars
    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.

    • Reply
      September 25, 2018 at 8:54 pm

      You are welcome Penny! So glad you and your coworkers enjoyed it!

  • Reply
    Nela Maretić
    April 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.

  • Reply
    Eden Passante
    October 5, 2016 at 8:35 pm

    Love all the pumpkin! Yum!

  • Reply
    February 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?
    Thank you!

    • Reply
      February 23, 2015 at 8:36 pm

      Hi Leslie, the batter should go up about halfway the sides of the pan.

  • Reply
    December 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.

    • Reply
      December 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.

  • Reply
    November 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.

  • Reply
    October 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?

    • Reply
      October 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!

      • Reply
        Emily Shore
        November 4, 2014 at 6:17 pm

        Thanks! I’m gonna give it a shot!

  • Reply
    Mary Ann
    October 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.

    • Reply
      October 29, 2014 at 9:51 pm

      You’re welcome! So happy to hear that you enjoyed it :)

  • Reply
    July 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!

    • Reply
      July 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 :)

  • Reply
    Pamela Joy
    July 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.

    • Reply
      July 31, 2014 at 9:33 pm

      I totally understand! I love anything pumpkin :)

  • Reply
    Matt Downs
    September 27, 2013 at 6:41 am

    If I don’t have paddles, can I use standard beaters instead?

    • Reply
      September 27, 2013 at 7:48 am

      Matt- Yes, you could absolutely do this in a standard hand mixer. :)

  • Reply
    September 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 :)

    • Reply
      September 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!

  • Reply
    Ashley - Baker by Nature
    September 10, 2013 at 11:02 am

    Oh my goooooooodness! This pumpkin cake has my name written ALL over it.

  • 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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