This 3-ingredient pumpkin cake recipe couldn’t be easier. Not only is it super simple, but also it is scrumptious. You can’t go wrong with this yummy treat in the fall, but you don’t have to limit this to one season per year.
If you like the flavor of pumpkin as much as we do, stock up on canned pumpkin when it’s available and on sale. Then you can make it any time of year when the mood strikes.
AKA Pumpkin Dump Cake
This delicious cake is also known as a pumpkin dump cake. I hesitate to call it that because I don’t think it sounds nearly as good as it tastes.
In fact, if you like pumpkin, it will quickly become one of your favorite desserts. Leave it as is or add cream cheese frosting. I love it both ways, depending on my mood.
Whether you want something to serve for dessert or you like a sweet afternoon snack, this is ideal. It’s also a great afternoon snack.
If you ever want to bring something to a get-together with friends, this makes an excellent coffee cake. Add some nuts or coconut to the mix to make it a little different, and everyone will think you’re brilliant.
3-Ingredient Pumpkin Cake in an Hour
Have you run into someone you haven’t seen in a while? Go ahead and invite her over for cake and coffee. The 3-ingredient pumpkin cake recipe is so easy you can make it on the spur of the moment.
Throw the ingredients into a bowl, mix them up, put them in a pan, and bake. After it comes out of the oven, it only needs a few minutes to cool before you add cream cheese icing and serve it.
Your kids will be delighted if they come home to a treat of a slice of pumpkin cake, these fruit kabobs, and a glass of milk. You’ll love the cake with a cup of coffee or tea.
Ingredients in 3-Ingredient Pumpkin Cake
As the name implies, this cake only has 3 ingredients. Here’s what you’ll need:
- Can of pumpkin puree (not the pumpkin pie mix but the one that has 100% pure pumpkin on the can)
- Cake mix
- Pumpkin pie spice
That’s all. The moist pumpkin puree makes up for the lack of other ingredients listed in the directions on the back of the cake mix box.
For exact measurements of each ingredient and full directions, go to the recipe card at the bottom of the page. You can even print out the card by using the “print” button.
You’ll notice that I used a gluten-free cake mix, but a regular mix comes out the same. It’s just nice to know that everyone has options.
There are times when I drop in a little extra pumpkin pie spice … just because it sounds good and I want to. Then it turns into a pumpkin spice cake, which is fine with me.
Another option is to start out with spice cake mix. I haven’t been able to find one that’s gluten-free, but I’ve learned to improvise.
How to Make 3-Ingredient Pumpkin Cake
Put all of the ingredients in a medium-size mixing bowl.
Stir well until there are no lumps left in the cake mix.
Spread evenly in a baking dish or pan.
Bake until it’s done. You can use the toothpick or knife test to determine whether or not the cake is done. Insert it in the middle of the cake and pull it out.
If it comes out clean, it’s done. If there is still some gooey cake mix on the toothpick or knife, stick it back in the oven for a few more minutes.
How to Make Pumpkin Pie Spice at Home
There have been times when the pumpkin pie spice was sold out at the grocery store, so I’ve had to make it myself. It’s actually easy and has ingredients you might already have. So don’t be intimidated.
Here’s what you’ll need:
- 2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
- 1-1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1-1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1 teaspoon allspice
Combine all of the ingredients in a small bowl and whisk until they are well mixed. Now they’re ready for adding to your pumpkin cake or anything else you want to put it in.
To Frost or Not to Frost
This cake is delicious without anything else on it. However, if you love icing on your cake, I recommend keeping it simple and using cream cheese frosting that’s ready-made.
I have to admit that although I like it either way, I prefer it plain. It’s also good with just a very thin layer of icing.
Or you can spritz a bit of whipped cream on top to dress it up a bit. I’ve also sprinkled a little powdered sugar on top when I didn’t have anything else on hand.
Pumpkin Cake Add-Ons
You can serve this pumpkin cake either as-is, or you can add more ingredients for additional flavor and texture.
- Here are some things you can add to the cake mix or on top of the frosting:
- Pecans or whatever nuts you have on hand
- Seeds—sunflower or pumpkin
- Chocolate chips
- Coconut, either right out of the bag or toasted until crunchy
- Sprinkles to decorate for a birthday or holiday
Whether you serve this to your family for dessert, the kids when they get home from school, or your friends when they stop by for coffee, you’ll love this easy yet versatile pumpkin cake.
Benefits of Pumpkin
Don’t forget about the health benefits of pumpkin. According to Healthline.com, pumpkin is extremely nutritious.
Here are some of the benefits that might interest you:
- Pumpkin has a high amount of antioxidants that help fight cancer and other diseases.
- It’s loaded with vitamins—especially vitamin A.
- The combination of vitamin A and vitamin C helps protect your immune system.
- Vitamin A and lutein found in pumpkin are good for eye health.
- It also contains quite a bit of fiber and potassium—both good for your heart.
More Delicious Desserts and Snacks
If you enjoy treating your family and friends to dessert and snacks, you’ll love these:
Peanut butter cookies without flour – These gluten-free treats are delicious and actually melt in your mouth.
Chocolate walnut pie – Make this yummy pie with a regular or gluten-free pie crust. It’s super easy and only takes a few minutes from start to finish.
Mug cake – This is the perfect dessert to serve when everyone prefers a different flavor. It’s also super quick and easy!
Granola Fruit Crisp – Serve this variation of the old-fashioned fruit cobbler with ice cream. This is another dessert that is quick, easy, and only has a few ingredients.
3-Ingredient Chocolate Cake — Enjoy this delicious flourless cake with a light dusting of powdered sugar or your favorite frosting.
Chocolate Caramel Cookies – This is the perfect option for those who enjoy the blended flavors of chocolate and caramel. They’re perfect to serve with coffee or to take to a potluck!
Quick and Easy Dessert
There are times when you need a quick and easy dessert. Whether you have last-minute company or you simply want a sweet treat, this pumpkin cake should hit the spot!
- 1 box of yellow cake mix (regular or gluten-free)
- 1 can of pumpkin (100% pumpkin, not the pie filling)
- 1 teaspoon of pumpkin pie spice
- Preheat the oven to 350. Spray the bottom of a 7” x 11” baking dish or pan with nonstick cooking spray.
- Combine the cake mix, pumpkin, and pumpkin pie spice in a medium-size bowl. Mix well.
- Spread the mixture evenly in the baking dish.
- Put in the oven and bake for 30 minutes.
- Allow the cake to cool before serving.
You can make a thinner cake in a 9” x 13” baking dish or pan. If you do this, cut 5 minutes from the cooking time and take it out of the oven after 25 minutes. Test it by inserting a toothpick. The cake is done when the toothpick comes out clean.
Serve warm or allow it to cool and top with your favorite frosting. I like cream cheese frosting.
Nutrition InformationYield 12 Serving Size 1
Amount Per Serving Calories 168Total Fat 2gSaturated Fat 1gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 0gCholesterol 0mgSodium 318mgCarbohydrates 37gFiber 1gSugar 19gProtein 2g
The nutrition information is a product of online calculators. I try to provide true and accurate information, but these numbers are estimates.