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photo of a pumpkin shaped cake on a wooden stand with a piece being removed.

Pumpkin Bundt Cake

 This pumpkin bundt cake looks just like a giant pumpkin and it just might be the ultimate holiday centerpiece!
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 20 minutes
Servings 12
Calories 245kcal


For the Cake

  • 3 cups pumpkin puree
  • 4 tsp cinnamon
  • 4 tsp ground ginger
  • 1 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1 tsp ground cloves
  • 1 tsp allspice
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 8 tsp baking powder
  • 8 cups all-purpose flour
  • 5 cups dark brown sugar packed
  • 8 large eggs
  • 2 cup buttermilk
  • 2 cup unsalted butter room temp
  • 1 cup sour cream

For the Cream Cheese Frosting:

  • 16 oz cream cheese softened
  • 4 cups powdered sugar
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract

For the Buttercream

  • 2 lb confectioner's sugar
  • 2 cup salted butter room temp
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 20 drops orange food coloring Depends on brand used and desired color.

For the Stem:

  • 4 tablespoons un salted butter room temperature
  • 2 cups confectioners sugar
  • 5 drops food coloring Green and brown


For the Cake

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees. 
  • Butter and flour 2 large bundt pans.
  • Mix the buttermilk and sour cream in a bowl and set aside.
  • Sift the dry ingredients (except the sugar) together and give a good whisk to mix well.
  • Cream the butter and sugar together in a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment for approximately 4 minutes on medium.
  • Add the eggs one at a time making sure each is incorporated well before adding the next.
  • Add the flour mixture in three batches alternating with the milk mixture. Making sure you start and end with the flour mixture. Do not over-mix, just beat until combined.
  • Mix in the pumpkin puree. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and make sure the pumpkin is well incorporated.
  • Pour batter into bundt pans. Bake for about 60 minutes or until a skewer inserted in the center comes out clean.
  • Allow cakes to rest in pans for about 20 minutes then invert onto a wire rack to cool. 

For the Cream Cheese Frosting:

  • Beat the cream cheese in a bowl until it is smooth. Add in vanilla and powdered sugar. Mix until ingredients are well-incorporated and desired consistency is reached.

For the Buttercream:

  • Beat butter until light and fluffy. Add vanilla and then slowly add sugar. Add milk a few tablespoons at a time until desired consistency is reached. If want a stiffer buttercream, use less milk. Add in the food coloring.

For the Assembly:

  • Cut bottoms off cakes.
    Mega Pumpkin Cake
  • Pipe or smear cream cheese frosting onto bottoms. Sandwich together.
    Mega Pumpkin Cake
  • Depending on the shape bundt pan you use, you may need to contour the outside using a knife to sculpt into a pumpkin shape.
    Mega Pumpkin Cake
  • Cover in orange buttercream. Refrigerate to help the sculpting process.
  • Using a knife, smooth into ridges. Add a second layer of dark buttercream to create dimension. 
  • Smooth the buttercream. I cut a yogurt cup into a half circle-shaped tool. It's flexible and doesn't gouge the buttercream. 
  • For the final smoothing chill the pumpkin in the freezer and use the back of a spoon dipped in hot water.

For the Stem:

  • Mix together butter and sugar until you get a consistency that is similar to clay. Mix in green food coloring. Sculpt into a stem figure. Use a piping bag with brown food coloring to create a natural look. 
    Mega Pumpkin Cake
  • Add stem to the top of the pumpkin. 



  • If you want to go for added realism then whip up two batches of buttercream in similar shades of orange. Cover your pumpkin in one batch and begin shaping it.
  • Pop it into the fridge and let it chill to harden, then add highlights or lowlights (your choice) on the pumpkin's ridges and smooth them out to blend. I have a couple of things to say about the stem.
  • At first I tried to make one by covering an inverted cupcake in green buttercream and then sculpting. It looked OK but kind of cartoonish and out of proportion. I ended up mixing up a very thick batch of buttercream and rolling it into the desired shape then carved away at it, added some brown streaks and an off-white top the result was significantly more realistic and easier to make. Your third option is to shape one from fondant.


Serving: 1slice | Calories: 245kcal | Carbohydrates: 36g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 4g | Saturated Fat: 1.9g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 8mg | Sodium: 210mg | Potassium: 34mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 14g | Vitamin A: 150IU | Vitamin C: 7.4mg | Calcium: 70mg | Iron: 0.2mg