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5 from 5 votes

Pumpkin Cake with Salted Caramel Frosting

This Easy Pumpkin Cake with Salted Caramel Frosting is the perfect easy fall or winter dessert! An easy one-bowl pumpkin cake that's moist and flavourful and topped with sweet caramel sauce and flaky sea salt.
Course Baking, Brunch, Coffee Break, Dessert
Cuisine Cake, Christmas, Fall, Pumpkin, Thanksgiving, Winter
Keyword Pumpkin Cake with Salted Caramel Frosting, Pumpkin Layer Cake, Salted Caramel Buttercream
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes
Servings 12 servings
Calories 694kcal
Author Chrissie


For the cake:

  • 1 can pumpkin puree (15 ounces or 425 grams)
  • 4 eggs at room temperature
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 3 cups all purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg

For the frosting:

  • 1 cup unsalted butter at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup salted caramel sauce at room temperature
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 2 teaspoons heavy whipping cream

For topping:

  • 1/4 cup salted caramel sauce use up to 1/3 cup if desired
  • flaky sea salt


  • Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Grease and flour two 8-inch round cake pans with high sides and line the bottoms with parchment paper (for easy release). Set aside.
  • In a large mixing bowl, combine the pumpkin puree, eggs, sugar, and vegetable oil with a whisk until well combined.
  • Add the flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, and nutmeg, and mix them into the wet ingredients with a rubber spatula just until no streaks of flour remain.
  • Pour the batter into the prepared baking pans and smooth out the top.
  • Bake for about 27-32 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the middle of one of the cakes comes out clean.
  • Let the cakes cool almost completely in the pan (on a wire rack, if possible) before turning them out onto a wire rack to cool completely. Remove the parchment paper from the bottom of the cakes (if you used it) before finishing the cooling process.

For the frosting:

  • Beat the butter on high speed for about 2 minutes until it's light and fluffy, using a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment or a hand mixer.
  • Drizzle in the salted caramel sauce slowly as the mixer is running on low speed. Feel free to use store-bought caramel sauce for this (go for a variety in a jar, not a squeeze bottle...they're generally thicker and higher quality), or make your own.
  • Add the powdered sugar 1 cup at a time, scraping down the sides of the bowl to make sure it's fully incorporated.
  • Add the salt and the heavy cream, mixing on medium-high speed until the frosting becomes light and fluffy.
  • Trim the cakes (if necessary) to level them, using a serrated knife.
  • Place one cake, right side up, on a plate or cake board. Add a large dollop of frosting on top and spread it out in a thick layer to reach the edges of the cake.
  • Place the other cake on top of the frosting, upside down so the flat side faces up. Add the remainder of the frosting to the top of this cake and spread it over the top and down the sides of the cake, making sure to smooth it out to fill in any holes or cracks in the cake to create a very smooth edge.
  • Remove any excess frosting - it's fine if the cake is showing through just a little bit...this creates a "naked cake" look. Place the cake in the fridge to chill for about 45 minutes. Refrigerating the cake will cause the butter in the frosting to harden and it will create the perfect canvas for the salted caramel topping.

For topping:

  • Add about 1/4 cup of caramel sauce (you can use up to 1/3 cup if you want) to the top of the cake and slowly spread it out toward the edge with an offset spatula.
  • Let the caramel drizzle over the sides of the cake slightly.
  • Once you've achieved the desired effect, refrigerate the cake for about one hour or until ready to serve.
  • Top with flaky sea salt before serving.


This cake keeps for up to 2 days in the fridge in an airtight container.
If making this cake ahead of time, simply frost the cake as desired up to one day ahead and wait until about one hour before serving to add the caramel sauce on top. Then, refrigerate until ready to serve and serve as directed.


Serving: 1slice | Calories: 694kcal | Carbohydrates: 92g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 36g | Saturated Fat: 25g | Cholesterol: 97mg | Sodium: 355mg | Potassium: 157mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 55g | Vitamin A: 6099IU | Vitamin C: 4mg | Calcium: 39mg | Iron: 2mg