If you make anything with a precious can of Libby’s this season, let this be it! This moist pumpkin pound cake with cream cheese glaze is buttery, fluffy, and FULL of flavor.
Hope y’all are excited for the very first pumpkin recipe here on the blog, because I’ve just been dying to share it! But I wanted to wait until it was actually fall. Isn’t it kind of annoying when pumpkin stuff pops up too early? Like, middle-of-August early? It’s like when you were a kid on summer break and the back-to-school commercials started. I don’t want to rush into the season, ya know?
You’ve probably seen a bajillion pumpkin bread recipes by now; maybe you’ve even tried one or two. Well, put them on the backburner, and let me tell you why this moist pumpkin pound cake with cream cheese glaze is the SUPREME:
- Amazingly MOIST: The soft texture of this cake will blow you out of the water!
- Full of FLAVOR: *smacks lips* I mean…it’s autumn in a cake! FULL of tasty pumpkin, brown sugar, and spices.
- It’s GORGEOUS: Give this pound cake a tiara and sign it up for Miss Universe. Couldn’t you just stare at it all day?
How to make moist pumpkin pound cake from scratch
Pound cake is one of those desserts that really doesn’t have to be intimidating or complicated. Here, we’re following the basic pound cake formula (1 pound each of sugar, flour, and eggs) with a few tweaks. Here are some of the ingredients you’ll need to make a moist pumpkin pound cake completely from scratch:
- Butter at room temperature (let it sit out for at least an hour)
- Dark brown sugar for moisture and flavor
- 1 can pumpkin
- Eggs at room temperature
- Cake flour (this is not optional)
- Cream cheese at room temperature, for the glaze
Yes, you read that correctly. Cake flour is not optional. I am not recommending any substitutions for this ingredient at all. And I’ll explain why below.
The best flour to use for a pound cake
Maybe you rolled your eyes when you saw cake flour in the ingredients list. That’s okay, because I used to get super annoyed when I saw anything other than all-purpose flour used in a recipe. But cake flour is essential to the texture of our pumpkin pound cake.
Pound cake, by nature, is already heavy. After all, it does contain a pound of each ingredient. However, this does not mean that the cake has to be extremely dense and dry. We can successfully avoid this by using cake flour, which is 27 times finer than all-purpose flour. You know what that means? Fluffiness, tenderness, and that light-as-air texture that is found in only the most impressive cakes.
My preferred brand of cake flour is Swan’s Down. King Arthur Flour also makes good quality cake flour.
Other things to make with cake flour
Cake flour doesn’t come in as big a package as other flours, so you won’t have too much leftover. If you’re worried about waste, here are some other baked goods you can use it in:
How to store moist pumpkin pound cake with cream cheese glaze
Once this glorious pumpkin pound cake has been baked and glazed, you’ve got two jobs: eat it all or store it for enjoyment at a later time.
While this dessert is delicious, I would be seriously impressed (and concerned?) if you managed to eat the entire thing in one go, so let’s talk how you can store pound cake properly to keep it tasting moist and fresh. Here are three storage methods you can use, depending on your needs:
- Store completely cooled cake at room temperature in an airtight container. It can keep this way for up to three days. Make sure your house is not too hot, as the cream cheese glaze could spoil.
- Wrap cake in a layer of plastic wrap and foil. Keep in the refrigerator for about week.
- Keep a cake wrapped in plastic wrap and foil in the freezer for up to 6 months.
My additional advice for a successful pound cake are to be sure to use room temperature ingredients and to measure your flour correctly, by either using a digital scale or the scoop and level technique.
When done right, this pumpkin pound cake is truly a delight. I know I’ll be adding it to our Thanksgiving menu this year, and I hope it becomes a seasonal staple in your home!
Moist Pumpkin Pound Cake with Cream Cheese Glaze
- 9.5 D x 3.5 H fluted cake pan or 10-12 cup bundt pan
Pumpkin Pound Cake
- 2 cups (4 full sticks) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
- 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
- 2 cups dark brown sugar, packed
- 15 ounce can pumpkin puree
- 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
- 6 large eggs, room temperature
- 3 1/2 cups (392 grams) cake flour, sifted
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1/2 teaspoon all spice
- 1 teaspoon ground cloves
Cream Cheese Glaze
- 4 ounces cream cheese, softened to room temperature
- 1/2 cup powdered sugar
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 3-4 tablespoons milk
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees F and generously grease pan with butter. Make sure every corner of the pan is greased, so that the cake does not get stuck. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, and spices. Set aside.
- Add butter, salt, and sugar to a very large mixing bowl. Use a handheld or stand mixer to cream the ingredients together on high speed until fluffy and smooth, about 2-3 minutes. Add pumpkin puree and beat on high speed until fully combined with the butter and sugar, about 1-2 minutes. Add vanilla, then one egg, and beat on low speed until fully combined before adding in the remaining eggs one by one. Be careful not to over-mix.
- Now, add the dry ingredients, and beat on medium speed until just combined. Do not overmix, as this will cause the cake to be dry and dense. Once there are no longer any large streaks of flour remaining and the ingredients have formed a thick, cohesive batter, stop mixing. Use a spatula to give the batter one large stir to ensure that everything has been mixed together well. This batter will be thick and look like soft buttercream frosting.
- Use a large spoon or ice cream scoop to add the batter to the prepared pan, filling the pan about three-quarters of the way. Be careful not to overfill. Bake in the preheated oven for about 55-60 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean. Remove from the oven and let cool in the pan for at least 10 minutes before inverting the cake onto a wire rack.
- While the cake continues to cool, make the cream cheese glaze. In a medium bowl, beat cream cheese until smooth, then beat in powdered sugar until completely combined with the cream cheese. Lastly, stir in vanilla and milk. Once the cake is completely cooled, drizzle the glaze over the cake. Slice and serve.
- Start checking the cake for doneness at around the 40-minute mark. It may take longer or shorter than 60 minutes to bake depending on your own oven.
- I prefer Libby’s pumpkin puree, but any brand canned pumpkin should work.
- Cream cheese glaze recipe belongs to The Spruce Eats.