We took the popular fall beverage and turned it into a CAKE! This is a single layer pumpkin spice cake topped with a creamy espresso frosting. The perfect combination of flavors: warm spices, pumpkin, vanilla, and coffee. Not only is the cake delicious, but it’s super easy, too.
If you follow me on social media you may have seen me mention that this is my favorite pumpkin dessert. Yes, ever. I don’t know what it is about the combination of espresso frosting and spiced pumpkin cake but I just can’t get enough! And since this is a single layer “snack” cake we don’t need a special occasion to make it.
This cake is
Easy: The cake batter comes together in minutes! Since it is a single layer cake you don’t have to bother with stacking and frosting multiple layers.
Flavorful: Plenty of spices, just enough pumpkin, and a bold coffee-flavored frosting.
Soft and moist: Pumpkin puree, vegetable oil, and sour cream keep this cake from being dry.
Perfectly sized: This is a single layer 9×9 square cake. The size is large enough for a small gathering but small enough that you don’t need a special occasion to make it.
Basic recipe overview
*Full recipe below in recipe card*
Cake: Whisk pumpkin, spices, sugars, eggs, oil, sour cream, and vanilla. Add flour, baking powder, spices, and salt. Pour into a greased 9×9 pan. Bake and cool.
Frosting: Beat butter. Add powdered sugar followed by milk, espresso powder, and vanilla.
Assembly: Spread the frosting on the cake. Serve!
Ingredient spotlight: espresso powder
This recipe calls for espresso powder or instant espresso. Espresso powder is finely ground coffee crystals that have a strong and concentrated coffee flavor. This ingredient is sold in most well stocked grocery stores near the coffee or on the baking aisle. You can also purchase it on Amazon or here.
Use pumpkin puree not pumpkin pie filling. I highly recommend Libby’s brand.
Don’t overmix the cake batter. Mix just until the ingredients are incorporated.
Use fresh spices. Pumpkin pie spice only gets used one season a year so check and make sure what you have in your spice cabinet is fresh and flavorful.
Not a fan of coffee? If you’d prefer to skip the coffee-flavored frosting you can swap the espresso powder for 1 teaspoon of cinnamon or pumpkin pie spice.
Leftover pumpkin puree? Make Pumpkin Spice Coffee Creamer.
Serving and storage
Serving: Serve this cake chilled or at room temperature. It’s best within 2 days of being made.
Storage: Store this cake at cool room temperature for up to 2 days or refrigerated for up to 4 days.
Pumpkin Spice Latte Cake
- 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons all purpose flour, see note
- 1¼ teaspoons baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1½ teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
- ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 cup canned pumpkin puree, not pumpkin pie filling
- ½ cup light brown sugar
- ⅓ cup granulated sugar
- ¼ cup sour cream or plain yogurt
- ¼ cup vegetable oil
- 2 large eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 10 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened to cool room temperature
- 2½ cups powdered sugar
- 2 teaspoons milk, plus more, if needed
- 2 teaspoons espresso powder, adjust to taste
- ¾ teaspoon vanilla extract
- Preheat oven to 350°F with a rack in the center of the oven.
- Whisk flour, baking powder, salt, pie spice, and cinnamon until combined. Set aside.
- In a large bowl, whisk pumpkin, brown sugar, granulated sugar, sour cream, oil, eggs, and vanilla. Add the flour mixture and whisked until just combined (don't overmix). Tap the excess batter off the whisk and use a rubber/silicone spatula to stir the batter a couple of times, scraping the sides and bottom of the bowl.
- Grease a 9×9 square baking pan and pour the batter into the pan. Tap the pan gently but firmly on the countertop a couple times to remove air bubbles. Bake for 22-26 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Place the pan on a wire rack to cool completely.
- Using a hand mixer or stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat butter until smooth. Add the powdered sugar, a cup at a time, followed by milk, espresso powder (see note), and vanilla. Beat on high speed for one full minute. If desired you can adjust the consistency by adding more powdered sugar to thicken or more milk to thin.
- Spread the frosting all over the top of the cooled cake.
Nutritional Information is an estimate based on third-party calculations and may vary based on products used and serving sizes.