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Pumpkin Cheesecake Cake

OH, Happy Day today! I love spice cake and pumpkin cake.  And I’m a cheesecake fanatic.  So Happy Birthday to Me!  No, seriously… it’s my birthday.  And since these are my favorite things, I made us a Pumpkin Cheesecake Cake with Pumpkin Cream Cheese Frosting and Candied Pecans.

I have someone to thank for this idea:  my friend Joey.  My friend Joey (now a caterer in San Francisco) is from way, way back… high school, in fact.  We found each other on Facebook, and now he follows my blog.  Fun, huh?  I love how facebook reconnects us to old friends who would otherwise probably be lost forever.  Anyway- back in August when I made that last cheesecake cake of the strawberry variety, Joey commented and told me that he thought I should make a pumpkin spice themed one for the fall season with candied pecans.  I listened real good to that advice, and I haven’t been able to shake it out of my head.

Armed with plenty of Gold Medal Flour and pumpkin puree, I got to work creating my own birthday cake (which I don’t mind at all, by the way!)

Pretty, pretty pumpkin cake batter.

Here are those magical cake strips that you absolute MUST have if you ever bake cakes.  Soak them briefly in water, then wrap them around your cake pans and bake.  Your cake layers will not rise up in the middle, and you will end up with two perfectly nice and even cake layers (which makes for much prettier and easier frosting).

Assemble as shown:  Place one cake layer on a platter (little strips of waxed paper placed underneath the edges to protect the platter from frosting), and then spread a light layer of frosting on the 1st layer.  The cheesecake comes next.  It will be frozen, so you’ll need to hold it in your hands and shave off the edges a bit with a sharp knife until you have a size that matches your cake layers (both are baked in 9-inch pans, but the cheesecake seems to come out slightly larger).  Place it on the frosted first layer, then frost the cheesecake layer lightly too.  Place the 2nd cake layer on top of the cheesecake.  Then frost the rest of the cake!

I’m not much of a fancy cake decorator, but slather the whole thing in frosting however you see fit.  Keep it refrigerated until you’re ready to slice and serve.

I whipped up some candied pecans a-la-Joey’s suggestion and sprinkled them on top of my cake.  SUCH a good addition.

And there it is… my birthday cake slice.  I ate that already and maybe two or five slices more over the span of a few days’ time.  When it’s your birthday, you can have your cake AND eat it (guilt-free) too 🙂

I bought myself all kinds of fun stuff for my birthday:  a bag full of new fall clothes at Loft, a couple of pairs of designer jeans on My Habit (be careful… it really is a habit!), and I’m seriously thinking about pressing the “purchase” button on my Zappos shopping cart, which contains not one… not two… but THREE pairs of new boots.  Yeah, I’m a shopping addict.  But since it’s my birthday, I don’t feel terribly guilty about it.  The hubster is taking me to La Jolla tonight for an overnight getaway where we can walk the beach, go to Happy Hour and pretend like we’re 25 again, and enjoy a little time together sans child.  He’s a good husband, indeed.

Thanks for another great year, dear readers… last year I made you a Kit Kat Cake and announced my new cookbook!  Sheesh, it takes so long to produce a cookbook that it’s STILL not out yet, but it’s there in all-it’s-glory on Amazon ready for pre-order, at least 🙂  Have a great, great weekend!

OH, the CAKE!  Two layers of pumpkin spice cake with that thick layer of cheesecake tucked inside, a delicious frosting and the crunchy, candied pecans.  I loved my cake! Thanks, HS friend Joey for suggesting the combo!

Yield: 12 to 14 servings

Prep Time: 1 hr + cooling and chill times

Cook Time: 1 hour 15 min

Pumpkin Cheesecake Cake

Don't let the long recipe scare you. There are many steps, but just take it one step at a time & it's really not difficult to make!


Two 8-ounce packages cream cheese, at room temperature
2/3 cup granulated white sugar
pinch of salt
2 large eggs
1/3 cup sour cream
1/3 cup heavy cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

3/4 cup vegetable or canola oil
1 3/4 cups granulated white sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar
3 eggs
One 15-ounce can unsweetened pumpkin puree
2 1/2 cups Gold Medal® All-Purpose Flour
1 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1 cup buttermilk

One 8-ounce package cream cheese, softened
1/3 cup unsweetened pumpkin puree
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
4 to 5 cups powdered sugar, sifted


1. Prepare the cheesecake layer: Preheat the oven to 325dgF. Place a large roasting pan on the lower third rack of the oven. Place a kettle of water on the stove to boil. Spray a 9-inch springform pan with nonstick spray. Wrap a double layer of heavy duty foil around the bottom and up the sides of the pan (you want to seal it so the water from the water bath doesn’t seep into the pan).

In a large bowl, use an electric mixer to blend the cream cheese until it is smooth and creamy, 1 to 2 minutes. Mix in the sugar and salt and blend for 2 minutes, scraping down the sides of the bowl to make sure all is mixed in. Add the eggs, one at a time, blending after each addition. Finally, mix in the sour cream, whipping cream and vanilla (and food color, if using). Mix until smooth. Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Set the pan into the roasting pan in the pre-heated oven. Carefully pour the hot water from your kettle into the roasting pan. Pour enough water so that there is about an inch of water coming up the foil along the sides of the cheesecake pan.

Bake the cheesecake for 45 minutes. It should be set to the touch and not jiggly. Remove the cheesecake from the roasting pan and let it cool on a wire rack for at least an hour. When it has cooled, place the pan into the freezer and let the cheesecake freeze completely (4 to 5 hours or overnight).

2. Prepare the cake: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Spray two 9-inch round cake pans with nonstick spray, then line each with a round of parchment paper.

In a large bowl, use an electric mixer to combine the oil and sugars. Mix until well-combined. Add in eggs, one at a time, beating after each addition. Mix in the pumpkin.

In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour and remaining dry ingredients (through nutmeg). Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients alternately with the buttermilk, beating well after each addition. Divide the batter between the two pans. Bake 30 to 35 minutes, or until the cake tests done with a toothpick inserted in the center coming out clean. Cool the cake in the pans for about 20 minutes, then carefully turn them out to a rack to cool completely (remove the parchment paper and discard).

3. Prepare the frosting: In a large bowl, use an electric mixer to combine the cream cheese, pumpkin, spices and vanilla. Add 2 cups of powdered sugar and mix until combined. Add 2 additional cups of sugar and continue to mix. Add additional powdered sugar by the spoonful, as needed, and mix until you have your desired spreading consistency.

4. Assemble the cake: Place one cake layer into the center of a cake plate or platter. Spread a small amount of frosting on the first cake layer. Remove the cheesecake from the freezer, take off the sides of the pan, and slide a knife under the cheesecake to remove it from the pan. Measure your cheesecake layer against the cake layers. If the cheesecake layer turns out to be a slightly larger round than your cake, move it to a cutting board and gently shave off some of the exterior of the cheesecake to get it to the same size as your cake layers. Place the cheesecake layer on top of the first cake layer. Spread a small amount of frosting on the cheesecake layer. Place the 2nd cake layer on top of the cheesecake. Use the rest of the frosting to frost the entire cake.

5. Keep the cake refrigerated (no need to cover) until ready to slice and serve. It will slice best when it has had a chance to chill for at least a couple of hours (or overnight).


*If you wish to make the candied pecans, you can find that recipe HERE.


Disclosure:  I’m working with Gold Medal Flour to create seasonal recipes for the next few months.  This is one of those goodies.  All opinions shared are my own.

69 Responses to “Pumpkin Cheesecake Cake”

  1. postedNov 2, 2012 4:04 AM

    I want to face plant in that frosting. Right now! Happy Birthday!!!!

  2. postedNov 2, 2012 4:22 AM

    Now THIS is a cake to beat all! Pumpkin, cheesecake, frosting, layers (love those strips!) and a very happy Bday to you, Lori!

  3. postedNov 2, 2012 5:56 AM

    Oh my goodness. Every single layer of this looks AMAZING! And happy, happy birthday to you, Lori! 🙂 Hope it’s a great one!

  4. postedNov 2, 2012 6:12 AM

    Happy Birthday! What a great cake to celebrate with. I need to get some of those strips.

  5. postedNov 2, 2012 6:13 AM

    Happy Birthday Lori! This cake looks stinking AMAZING.

  6. postedNov 2, 2012 6:44 AM

    These kind of layer cakes are so much fun! Love it. Great job Lori!

  7. postedNov 2, 2012 7:17 AM

    no way on earth i’d be sharing this cake with anyone else…no way!

  8. postedNov 2, 2012 7:20 AM

    Happy B-day!!!This cake is a dream, it is the best pumpkin cake I’ve ever seen.

  9. postedNov 2, 2012 7:28 AM

    And I thought it couldn’t get any better than the red velvet version. This looks awesome!

  10. postedNov 2, 2012 7:37 AM

    Haaaappy Birthday!! And ohmygosh this looks so insane. And I need it.

  11. postedNov 2, 2012 7:42 AM

    Happy Birthday!!!! THis cake looks amazingggggggggg! I totally clicked through and looked at all of your other cheesecake cakes…the chocolate one screams my name!

    Have fun in La Jolla!

  12. postedNov 2, 2012 7:45 AM

    Yummy! That looks so good! Happy Birthday!

  13. postedNov 2, 2012 8:21 AM

    Happy Birthday! This cake look very yummy. I like the candies pecans on top!

  14. postedNov 2, 2012 8:27 AM

    Happy Birthday

  15. postedNov 2, 2012 9:00 AM

    Happy Birthday to you! I am also a cheesecake fanatic 😉 and tend to make cheesecake for my birthday… except when I specifically request an ice-cream cake.
    I love that you put a cheesecake as the middle layer!

  16. postedNov 2, 2012 9:09 AM

    Happiest of birthday’s to you Lori! I say go ahead and push the check out button on your Zappo’s account. You deserve it!!!
    BTW, this cake looks truly incredible!!! Great choice for your birthday celebration!

  17. postedNov 2, 2012 9:39 AM

    Oh yum! Putting this one on the list of possible Thanksgiving desserts.
    Happy Birthday!

  18. postedNov 2, 2012 9:49 AM

    Happy Happy Birthday to YOU!!!! Enjoy your day!
    This cake looks AMAZING. I want a huge slice right now.

  19. postedNov 2, 2012 10:41 AM

    WOW!!! Can’t wait to try it!! Happy Birthday!!! My birthday is the 10th of November so this will be a Happy day for me as well when I make this cake!! 🙂 🙂

  20. postedNov 2, 2012 11:06 AM

    That cake is so darn gorgeous. I don’t really like sweet pumpkin things but you’ve changed my views with this one. Seriously, gorgeous! Hope you have a great, great birthday!!! xoxo

  21. postedNov 2, 2012 12:16 PM
    Carol in the OC

    Happy Birthday Lori! Your cake looks divine, I think I’ll make it for Thanksgiving, thanks for sharing with us!

  22. postedNov 2, 2012 12:20 PM

    Looks delish! I need to get his to someone to make it for my birthday…which is today as well! Happy Birthday!

  23. postedNov 2, 2012 12:25 PM

    this is absolutely glorious, lori–happy birthday!

  24. postedNov 2, 2012 12:31 PM

    First off, HAPPY BIRTHDAY! And let me just say that I’m a cheesecake nut too and would totally dig this!

  25. postedNov 2, 2012 1:30 PM
    Yvette N.

    Happy Birthday Lori. Hope your special day was filled with love and

    Your cake looks gorgeous!

    Where can you buy the little strips that you wrap around the pans?

  26. postedNov 2, 2012 1:36 PM

    Joey is one smart man, that’s a killer combo! Wishing you a very Happy Birthday Lori, enjoy your romantic evening and all your fun new birthday buys!

  27. postedNov 2, 2012 1:47 PM
    Yvette N.

    Happy Birthday Lori,
    Hope your special day was filled with love and laughter 🙂

    Your cake was absolutely beautiful!

    Where can I buy the strips for my cake pans?

  28. postedNov 2, 2012 2:38 PM

    Happy birthday Lori! <3

  29. postedNov 2, 2012 4:47 PM

    That is one amazing cake!!! I especially love all that frosting!!! Happy Birthday!!

  30. postedNov 2, 2012 5:25 PM

    Looks like the most PERFECT birthday cake! LOVE it!

  31. postedNov 2, 2012 6:35 PM

    Hope you had a wonderful Birthday! Your cake looks awesome. I’m going to have to try that soon.

  32. postedNov 2, 2012 7:26 PM

    This cake looks so unreal! LOVE this recipe!

  33. postedNov 3, 2012 5:44 AM

    Your cake looks amazing!!! You do such wonderful work frosting!! One thing I haven’t made in forever is cake!!! I should make some, but I’d probably eat it all!! 🙂

  34. postedNov 3, 2012 7:03 AM

    Absolutely perfect!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  35. postedNov 3, 2012 7:28 AM

    Happy Birthday Lori! What a great way to celebrate.

  36. postedNov 3, 2012 7:42 AM

    Happy Birthday! I love how you use cheesecake as a layer in cake – this one is so perfect. The flavors are great, love it!

  37. postedNov 3, 2012 9:59 AM

    Happy belated birthday Lori!!

  38. postedNov 3, 2012 10:03 AM

    This cake looks fabulous – I hope you really enjoyed it and had a super birthday!

  39. postedNov 3, 2012 11:54 AM

    Happy Birthday..that cake looks delicious and since my own bday is in a couple weeks that very cake may end up on my own plate…Enjoy your getaway.

  40. postedNov 3, 2012 4:21 PM
    Jennifer @ Delicieux

    Happy birthday!!! I hope you had a fantastic day! What a fantastic cake to celebrate with! I’m all for anything with cheesecake at the moment, especially as frosting on cupcakes, but had never thought of using it as a cake filling. I SO have to try this.

  41. postedNov 3, 2012 6:23 PM
    Lisa Cornely

    Happy Birthday. This will definitely be on the Thanksgiving desert table. It looks and sounds amazing.

  42. postedNov 4, 2012 12:25 AM

    Happy birthday, Lori! And this cheesecake is seriously such an awesome way to celebrate!

  43. postedNov 4, 2012 9:03 AM

    Oh my, oh my, oh my! I just might have to make this but a boozy version…It think bourbon or whiskey. 🙂 And, I’ve just put those strips on my amazon list! Lovely cake!

  44. postedNov 4, 2012 10:58 AM

    Happy birthday Lori..your cake looks wonderful !

  45. postedNov 4, 2012 8:56 PM
    RecipeGirl's Mom

    What a great way to spend your birthday. My son-in-law definitetly knows how to please! The cheese cake looks so good I can almost taste it. Wish I could. I love anything pumpkin.

  46. postedNov 5, 2012 10:33 AM

    Happy Belated Birthday!

  47. postedNov 5, 2012 4:36 PM

    I made this recipe and have received rave reviews from my boyfriend, co-workers, and friends. This is what I’ll be bringing to Thanksgiving! It may be worth mentioning that this is the first layer cake AND my first baked cheesecake that I ever made and it came out wonderful! If I can do it, anyone can!

    • postedNov 5, 2012 4:38 PM

      I am so happy to hear that you had great success with it!! Yay!!

  48. postedNov 5, 2012 4:44 PM

    Wow! I’d be thrilled to celebrate my birthday with your cake!!

  49. postedNov 5, 2012 8:13 PM

    Happy belated Birthday Lori!! I hope you had a wonderful day, how could you not with this cake?! It looks wonderfully decadent as all birthday cakes should!

  50. postedNov 6, 2012 2:12 AM

    that looks absolutely scrumptious. I’ve made spice cakes several times and pumpkin cheesecake a few times too – but to put them together – wow! And it looks so easy too… incredible… maybe that will be the treat i bring to the Thanksgiving potluck this year 🙂 Thanks for the inspirational recipes 🙂

  51. postedNov 6, 2012 12:00 PM
    Richard Farner

    Lori, this cake is baking as I write, and if the raw batter in any indication, the cake will six stars on a 5-star scale. Many thanks for the great recipe!

    It would be helpful to have an alternate spice version for people who don’t have, or don’t use pumpkin pie spice. It’s a bit confusing at first to see pumpkin pie spice and then additional cinnamon and nutmeg… Just a thought.

    And happy belated birthday!

  52. postedNov 6, 2012 2:44 PM

    Happy (belated) birthday Lori! I completely agree that you should have NO guilt on your birthday! This cake looks utterly fantastic! I really want to make a cheesecake cake! It looks like so much fun! And I just love pumpkin! And oh my gosh! I had no idea about those magic cake pan strips! I NEED to get myself some of those!!!

  53. postedNov 9, 2012 7:19 PM

    Happy belated birthday, Lori! Hopefully you had a great trip. This is my kind of cake! That frosting looks to die for!

  54. postedNov 11, 2012 7:28 PM

    A giant slice of this is all I want for Thanksgiving dinner. Seriously.

  55. postedNov 18, 2012 12:40 PM

    This looks AMAZING, Lori! And you reminded me that I *have* those cake strips around here somewhere. I’ve never used them. Guess it’s a good excuse to make this cake! 🙂

  56. postedNov 21, 2012 11:19 AM

    This is in the oven right now for our Thanksgiving dessert! It looks amazing. I can’t wait to try it.

  57. postedDec 25, 2012 1:28 AM

    The frosting recipe surely must be wrong – after 6 cups of powdered sugar, it was still runny. – maybe you should try 16 oz of cream cheese

    • postedDec 27, 2012 7:43 AM

      The recipe worked for my cake as written!

  58. postedSep 6, 2013 3:14 PM

    This looks just as good as the red white and blue cheesecake cake you posted – I made it for my husband’s July 1st bday and I think my daughter and I ate the whole thing – delicious!

  59. postedSep 20, 2013 9:30 PM

    I know this is an old recipe but could you tell me if this cake is good on it’s own…I’m looking to make pumpkin cupcakes, and after having your white cake you were my go to girl. Thanks so much.

  60. postedNov 21, 2013 7:38 AM

    I’ve been wondering if anyone has had success using a cake mix and adding pumpkin puree to it?I have never made a cake from scratch and truthfully, this looks a bit daunting. Thank you for the recipe!

  61. postedNov 28, 2013 7:48 PM

    I made this cake for Thanksgiving. My family loved it! I followed the directions exactly, completing it over three a day period, making it exceptionally.

    This cake is elegant and well worth the effort.

  62. postedNov 28, 2013 7:51 PM

    Above comment should read:

    I followed the directions exactly, completing it over three a day period, making it exceptionally easy.

  63. postedNov 30, 2013 10:41 AM

    I just made this cake 2 days ago. IT IS THE BEST CAKE EVER!!!

  64. postedDec 3, 2013 12:09 PM
    Kelli Murdock

    Made this cake for Thanksgiving this year. it was a HUGE success! Thanks for ALL the great recipes. Can’t wait to try the red velvet Cheesecake cake! 🙂

  65. postedOct 10, 2014 8:13 AM

    This sounds amazing Lori!

  66. postedNov 28, 2014 10:22 AM

    Amazing!!!!!! Made it for thanksgiving and will make it every year from now on!

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