Pumpkin Snack Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

I have to admit, I am obsessed with cream cheese frosting.  It really doesn’t matter what the cake is – if it has cream cheese frosting on top, I am in.  Another obsession I have though is with snack cakes.  Maybe it is because I was not allowed to have sweets growing up.  My friends would bring these snack cakes to school in their lunches (mostly the prepackaged kinds), and I would stare longingly.  I remember there was one girl in my class in 5th grade that brought some type of snack cake (Yodels, Twinkies, Ding Dongs, Ho Hos, etc…) every day in her lunch.  I decided that I needed to be friends with her in hopes that she would invite me over after school – just so I could try one of those goodies when we got to her house.  I still remember the strawberry rolls we had.  That marshmallow cream in the middle was the best.  At the time, that fake strawberry jelly was like heaven.  I am so glad those days are over, and that I can make my own snack cakes with good fresh ingredients – instead of eating cakes that can sit on a shelf for years and still be moist when you open them.

I saw this recipe in Cooking Light, and the cream cheese frosting was calling me.  The cake was moist and flavorful, and not too sweet.  The frosting was a perfect match.  Do me a favor, make this for your child and pack it in their lunch.  Have them be the one that other people are jealous of.



  • 10.1  ounces  all-purpose flour (about 2 1/4 cups)
  • 2 1/2  teaspoons  baking powder
  • 2  teaspoons  ground cinnamon
  • 1/4  teaspoon  salt
  • 1  cup  packed brown sugar
  • 1/4  cup  butter, softened
  • 1  teaspoon  vanilla extract
  • 2  large eggs
  • 1  (15-ounce) can pumpkin puree
  • Cooking spray


  • 2  tablespoons  butter, softened
  • 1/2  teaspoon  vanilla extract
  • 1  (8-ounce) package 1/3-less-fat cream cheese
  • 2  cups  sifted powdered sugar


Preheat oven to 350°.

To prepare cake, weigh or lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine flour, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt in a small bowl, stirring with a whisk.

Combine brown sugar, 1/4 cup butter, and 1 teaspoon vanilla in a large bowl; beat with a mixer at medium speed until well combined. Add eggs, 1 at a time, to sugar mixture; beat well after each addition. Add pumpkin; mix well. Fold in flour mixture. Spread batter into a 13 x 9-inch baking pan coated with cooking spray. Bake at 350° for 25 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted into the center comes out clean. Cool completely in pan on a wire rack.

To prepare the frosting, combine 2 tablespoons butter, 1/2 teaspoon vanilla, and cream cheese in a medium bowl; beat with a mixer at medium speed until combined. Gradually add the powdered sugar, beating until well combined. Spread frosting evenly over top of cake.

For a printer-friendly version of this recipe, click here:  Pumpkin Snack Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

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6 thoughts on “Pumpkin Snack Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

  1. Oh, divine! I feel the same way about cream cheese frosting! I love the personal stories you add to your recipes…classic. I totally relate to longing for others’ snacks (mine were never good enough!).
    Happy Thanksgiving! (from Utah…) :) See you soon…

  2. I’m loving this post! I, too, am devoted to cream cheese frosting, and there’s nothing like a good pumpkin, carrot, or spice cake foundation to fool me into thinking it’s actually good for me.

    Hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

  3. I realize I’m coming to this post WAY after the fact, but I made it last night. I don’t know what I did wrong, but mine was nowhere near as fluffy as yours. It was super dense and thick. Maybe I didn’t fold the flour in correctly?

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