Easy Pumpkin Cake: The Authentic Aunt JoAnn

I’m gonna go ahead and call this Easy Pumpkin Cake, although the original recipe says “pumpkin bread.”

It is as simple to make as any of the sweet, quick breads (banana, zucchini) but it’s light and fluffy instead of sink-like-a-stone dense.

This recipe is from the real Aunt JoAnn.  It was in a trusty cookbook that she gave me many years ago, sold by her church’s ladies guild.  Is it any coincidence that this recipe was submitted to the cookbook by Aunt JoAnn herself?  I don’t think so!

Is It Done Yet?

Since this blog is meant to help my children (and yours!) learn how to do stuff, here’s what the recipe means when it instructs: “Cake is done when toothpick inserted into middle comes out clean.”

You don’t want gooey batter on the toothpick.


The toothpick should be fairly clean when you pull it out. Crumbs are okay, liquid batter is not.


The cake top will start to crack when it’s done.

Easy Pumpkin Cake

A light and fluffy version of good ol' pumpkin bread, with a yummy cream cheese frosting.
Prep Time15 minutes
Cook Time55 minutes
Total Time1 hour 10 minutes
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: pumpkin
Servings: 8
Calories: 606kcal
Author: A. JoAnn



  • 1 ¾ c. flour
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • ¾ tsp. salt
  • 1 ½ c. sugar
  • 1 tsp. nutmeg
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1 15 oz. can pumpkin
  • 2 eggs
  • 3 tbsp. water
  • ½ c. canola oil, organic
  • ½ c. walnuts
  • ½ c. raisins

Cream cheese frosting

  • 8 oz. cream cheese
  • 3 tbsp. milk
  • c. powdered sugar

Garnish (Optional)

  • ½ c. walnuts, chopped
  • 1 tsp. nutmeg


  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Spray a 6 x 10 inch, 8 x 8 inch, or 9 inch round pan with cooking spray.
  • Mix dry cake ingredients together in a large bowl.
  • Beat together eggs, water, oil, and pumpkin in a small bowl.
  • Add egg mixture to dry ingredients and beat with an electric mixer until thoroughly combine.
  • stir nuts and raisins into batter.
  • Pour batter into prepared pan and bake 50-60 minutes, until edges are just browned and center begins to crack.
  • Cool cake before frosting.  
  • For frosting: mix all frosting ingredients together with an electric mixer. Garnish with chopped nuts and nutmeg, if desired.

I added the cream cheese frosting because, well,  it’s good!

I baked the cake in a 6 x 10 inch pan.  You can easily double the ingredients to make a 10 x 13 sheet cake, or two round pans for a layer cake.

The holidays are just around the corner…  Do you know someone who’d appreciate fine quality bakeware?

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Author: A. JoAnn

Here is where I share the beauty I find in everyday life; and the humor, too!

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