How to make a Pumpkin Spice Latte Cake – The world famous Autumn drink in cake form! Three layers of pumpkin spice cake soaked in a coffee syrup and covered in a dreamy cinnamon cream cheese frosting.
It had to happen. I couldn’t let Autumn go by without posting at least a couple of pumpkin recipes, could I?
Everyone who knows me is well aware of my love for coffee. I have a special fondness for flavoured coffee. When the gingerbread and pumpkin spice lattes start to appear in the coffee shops, you will find me at the front of the line.
I have such a love for pumpkin spice that I even made up my own version of a homemade pumpkin spice latte so I could enjoy them in the comfort of my own home. Heaven!
I wanted to try my hand at a pumpkin spice latte cake last year, but time got the better of me and I just didn’t get around to it.
I had elaborate plans on how the finished cake would look in my head, but I ended up winging it last minute.
I really wanted to make some fondant pumpkins to adorn the top of the cake, but since my energy levels aren’t back to normal after coming down with the worst cold I’ve had in a very long time, I ditched that idea.
I kept it nice and simple instead with a scattering of chocolate coffee beans, pumpkin seeds and pecan nuts. Maybe I’ll re-do it next year with the pumpkins……
It’s been a long time since I made a layer cake, but apart from the fact that I rushed the icing and it wasn’t as smooth as I would have liked, I was pretty pleased with how it turned out. It tasted exactly like I imagined it would.
For the coffee element, I drizzled a delicious coffee syrup over the freshly baked sponges. I iced the cake with a generous (as it should be!) amount of cinnamon cream cheese frosting.
Reader comment – “Fantastic! Pumpkin Spice Heaven” “The cake is so moist and PERFECT! I did bake the 3 pans for only 15-20 minutes. Next, I want to experiment with adding candied pumpkin seeds to the top. So YUM. Thank you!” – Tammy
why you should try this recipe
- The sponge recipe is nice and easy – it’s simply a case of mixing together the wet and dry ingredients together.
- You don’t need any special equipment to make it – you could use a mixer if you wanted, but a large mixing bowl, a whisk and a rubber spatula will do the job just fine.
- If you’re a fan of pumpkin spice, you must give this cake a go! If you like my pumpkin spice muffins, you’ll love this pumpkin cake.
- The coffee, pumpkin and warming spices are a match made in heaven!
more pumpkin bakes
If you liked this recipe, you’re sure to love my other pumpkin bakes!
- pumpkin bread rolls
- pumpkin and ginger scones
- pumpkin cinnamon swirl bread
- pumpkin cinnamon rolls
- spiced rum pumpkin pie
how to make a pumpkin spice latte cake
scroll to the bottom of the post to find the printable recipe card with ingredients and detailed instructions.
step one – make the sponges
- In a large mixing bowl, sieve together self-raising flour, salt, ground cinnamon, ground ginger, ground cloves, nutmeg and cardamom.
- In another bowl, whisk together soft light brown sugar, caster sugar, pumpkin puree, oil, eggs, buttermilk and vanilla extract until the mixture is smooth.
- Pour the wet ingredients over the spiced flour mixture and using a whisk initially, start to mix the ingredients together.
- Once everything has just blended together, switch to a rubber spatula and lightly fold the batter to make sure there is no flour sitting at the bottom of the bowl.
- Pour the batter into three 20cm round cake tins. I used these loose based round sandwich tins from Lakeland. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until the sponges are risen and spring back when lightly pressed in the middle.
step two – make the coffee syrup
I was thinking of making a coffee spiked buttercream to ice the cake, but I really wanted coffee flavour in the actual sponge.
While I could have just added espresso powder to the cake mixture, brushing the baked sponges with some syrup is a fabulous way of injecting flavour and moisture into sponges – I know it’s tempting to skip this extra step but it’s so worth doing.
- To make the coffee syrup, place an equal amount of freshly brewed coffee and caster sugar in a small saucepan and bring to a boil. Turn down the heat and simmer for a few minutes until the mixture has thickened into a syrup.
- Brush the warm cakes with the coffee syrup and leave to cool completely.
step three – make the cream cheese frosting
- To make the cinnamon cream cheese frosting, beat together unsalted butter, icing sugar, vanilla extract and ground cinnamon until the mixture is smooth and fluffy.
- Add cold cream cheese and mix briefly just until the mixture is smooth. If you overbeat the cream cheese can turn very runny, so stop as soon as you have a nice smooth icing.
step four – assembling the cake
- Sandwich the cake layers together with the cream cheese frosting.
- Ice the top and sides of the cake and smooth with a cake scraper. I unfortunately lost mine when we re-did our kitchen, so I must order a new one! If I had already done this, my cake would have looked much less rustic. But hey ho.
- To echo the flavours in the pumpkin spice latte cake, I dusted the top with a mixture of espresso powder and ground cinnamon.
- For a final flourish, I decorated the top with pumpkin seeds, pecan nuts and chocolate coated coffee beans. This was not in my plans – I was just using up what I had in my cupboards!
- Please make sure your canned pumpkin puree is 100% pumpkin, not pumpkin pie filling.
- Don’t over-mix the cake batter – if you do, the sponges could become dense and rubbery. Mix only until no flour streaks remain.
- Brush the sponges with the coffee syrup while they are still warm. If you do this when the cakes are cold, the syrup won’t soak all the way through – it will just sit on top of the sponges and create a sticky layer. Not what you want!
- I brush the cakes with the syrup about 10 minutes after removing them from the oven.
- The individual spices can be swapped for pumpkin pie spice if you like – about 2 teaspoons would be enough.
The cake will keep in an airtight container for up to 3 or 4 days. Since the frosting contains cream cheese, it must be kept in the fridge. Bring back to room temperature before serving.
can this cake be frozen?
Yes, the cooled uniced sponges can be frozen for up to 3 months.
did you make this reciPe?
I hope you enjoyed it! Let me know what you thought of it by leaving a comment below and rate the recipe by clicking on the stars in the recipe card.
- 350g (2 cups + 3 tablespoons) self raising flour
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger
- ¼ teaspoon ground cloves
- ¼ teaspoon ground cardamom
- ½ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
- 1 teaspoon fine salt
- 4 large eggs, at room temperature
- 200g (1 cup) soft light brown sugar
- 200g (1 cup) caster sugar
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 425g (15oz can) pumpkin purée
- 125ml (1/2 cup) vegetable or sunflower oil
- 125ml (1/2 cup) buttermilk
- FOR THE COFFEE SYRUP
- 50ml (3 tablespoons + one teaspoon) freshly brewed coffee
- 50g (1/4 cup) caster sugar
- FOR THE CINNAMON CREAM CHEESE FROSTING
- 225g (one cup/8oz) soft unsalted butter
- 450g (3 cups + one tablespoon) icing sugar, sifted
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 or 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon, depending on how much you like cinnamon! Add 1/2 teaspoon first then decide if you want to add more.
- 350g (1 1/2 cups/12oz) full fat cold cream cheese
- Preheat the oven to 180C/160Fan/350F/Gas mark 4. Grease and line the bases of three 20cm round cake tins.
- Sieve the self raising flour, ground cinnamon, ginger, cloves, cardamom, nutmeg and salt together in a large mixing bowl.
- in a medium bowl or measuring jug, whisk together the eggs, brown sugar, caster sugar, vanilla extract, pumpkin puree, oil and buttermilk.
- Make a well in the centre of the dry ingredients and pour in the wet ingredients. Using a wooden spoon or rubber spatula, combine the ingredients together. Stop mixing as soon as no flour streaks are visible and you have a smooth, shiny batter.
- Pour the mixture into the lined tins and bake for 30-35 minutes or until risen and spring back when lightly pressed in the centre. When the cakes are in the oven, make the coffee syrup.
- Place the coffee and sugar in a small saucepan. Bring to the boil, then immediately turn down the heat and simmer on a medium heat for about 5 minutes or until the mixture has thickened and looks syrupy. Remove from the heat and set aside.
- Remove the cakes from the oven and place on a wire rack. Leave the sponges in the tins for about 10 minutes before carefully turning out, then while the sponges are still warm (this is very important!), brush them with the coffee syrup. Leave the sponges to cool completely before icing.
- For the cream cheese frosting, beat together the soft butter, icing sugar, vanilla extract and ground cinnamon. When the mixture is smooth, beat in the cold cream cheese. Take care not to overbeat or the mixture may turn runny.
- To assemble the cake, place one of the sponges on a serving plate. TIP - if your sponges are a little bit wonky (it happens to the best bakers!), you might want to trim them a little so there are no gaps when you put the cake together. I absolutely swear by a cake leveller - you can buy them for a few pounds online. Spread over some of the cream cheese frosting, then place another sponge on top. Repeat with the final third layer, then ice the top and sides of the cake. Smooth the sides and top with a cake scraper or leave it swirly if you wish. Dust the top of the cake with cinnamon and instant coffee powder and decorate with pecans, chocolate coffee beans and pumpkin seeds.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 16 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 515Total Fat: 21gSaturated Fat: 12gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 8gCholesterol: 97mgSodium: 515mgCarbohydrates: 78gFiber: 2gSugar: 58gProtein: 6g
Calories and nutritional information are provided by a third party application and should be viewed as indicative figures only.