This Cinnamon Sugar Swirl Pumpkin Layer Cake is a moist pumpkin cake swirled with cinnamon and sugar in every layer! It’s covered in a cinnamon cream cheese frosting and decorated with a cinnamon icing drizzle! It’s such a delicious cake for Fall and perfect for Thanksgiving!
This post is sponsored by Domino® Sugar, but all opinions are my own.
Cinnamon Sugar Swirl Pumpkin Layer Cake
I have totally fallen in love with this cake. Not only is the cake so moist, it’s full of pumpkin and spice. When you factor in the cinnamon sugar swirl, it’s pretty much my new favorite way to eat pumpkin. I think I need to add a cinnamon sugar swirl to all the things!
Plus, the method of making the cake couldn’t be easier. You combine your wet ingredients and dry ingredients separately, then mix them all together. Easy, peasy, which is exactly what we all need this time of year!
And what pumpkin cake would be complete without a cream cheese frosting? This one is full of cinnamon, which adds to the wonderful spiced flavor of this cake. A heavenly combination that you definitely need to try at least once before pumpkin season is over.
How to make Cinnamon Sugar Swirl Pumpkin Layer Cake
This cake has several components, but it’s really quite simple to make.
Between the cake and frosting, there are a number of ingredients, but nothing too out of the ordinary.
- All Purpose Flour
- Vegetable Oil – Helps keep the cake nice and moist.
- Vanilla Extract
- Domino® Golden Sugar – This is a new sugar from Domino and it’s so great to bake with! It’s a less-processed sugar that works cup-for-cup just like white sugar. It also has a little hint of molasses flavor, which makes it perfect for this cake and all your Fall and holiday baking.
- Domino® Light Brown Sugar – I used Domino Light Brown Sugar and love it as well. It adds additional flavor in this cake.
- Baking Powder and Baking Soda – The combination of the two helps the cake rise and achieves the perfect final cake texture.
- Spices and Salt – I love my spices in a pumpkin dessert and in this one we’ve got plenty of cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger and cloves.
- Pumpkin Puree – This is regular canned pumpkin, not pumpkin pie filling.
- Cream Cheese – Make sure that it’s at room temperature so that it will blend well into the frosting.
- Butter – This should also be at room temperature for the frosting.
- Domino® Confectioners Sugar – I used the Domino brand here as well.
To make the cake
As I mentioned before, the cake batter is so simple to put together. For the cinnamon sugar swirl, you’ll combine Domino Golden Sugar, light brown sugar and some ground cinnamon. The Domino® Golden Sugar really works well here with that lovely hint of molasses flavor.
For the cake batter, combine the wet ingredients, then dry ingredients and then mix them all together.
To achieve the cinnamon sugar swirl, you’ll add about one cup of cake batter to each cake pan to start. Then divide the cinnamon sugar mixture evenly between the 3 pans, sprinkling it in a single layer over the cake batter. Use a spatula or knife to gently swirl the batter and cinnamon sugar together. Then finally divide the remaining cake batter between the pans, about one cup per pan. So that you don’t mess up your swirl, it can be helpful to drop spoonfuls of the batter over the cinnamon-sugar layer and then spread it into an even layer.
Bake your cake layers, then set them aside to cool.
Cream Cheese Frosting and Final Touches
When you’re ready to put your cake together, it’s time to make your frosting. This cream cheese frosting is based on my standard recipe, which is great because it’s thick enough that it’ll stay in place on your cake and it’s pipe-able. I’ve added some cinnamon to it to add to the great flavor in this cake.
Frost your cake and then it’s time to make the cinnamon drizzle, if you’d like to use it. It’s basically an icing that can be used for drizzling.
To make the icing, combine all the ingredients except the powdered sugar in a small pan on the stove, then heat to let the sugar melt. Bring it to a boil for about 1 minute, then remove from the heat and add the Domino® Confectioners Sugar. Allow it to cool slightly, then it should be ready to go. You want it to be cool enough that the warmth won’t affect the frosting on your cake, but not so cool that it won’t drizzle well. If you aren’t sure, you can always test it by drizzling some on an upside-down cup.
Don’t be concerned if the texture of the icing drizzle is a little stringy seeming. It’s ok and will drizzle fine. I like to use a squeeze bottle for ease and for consistent drizzles, but a spoon would work as well.
Finally, add some swirls of the remaining cream cheese frosting around the top edge of the cake and add a sprinkle of cinnamon and you’re done!
Perfect Fall Dessert
This Cinnamon Sugar Swirl Pumpkin Layer Cake is what dreams are made of and is perfect for anyone that loves pumpkin and cinnamon! It’s moist, full of flavor and easier to make than it looks. It’ll be sure to be a hit this Fall and would be a great way to swap out pumpkin pie for something different on Thanksgiving. I hope you love it!
Cinnamon Sugar Swirl Pumpkin Layer Cake
- Prep Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
- Cook Time: 30 minutes
- Total Time: 2 hours
- Yield: 12-14 slices
- Category: Dessert
- Method: Oven
- Cuisine: American
This Cinnamon Sugar Swirl Pumpkin Layer Cake is a moist pumpkin cake swirled with cinnamon and sugar in every layer! It’s covered in a cinnamon cream cheese frosting and decorated with a cinnamon icing drizzle!
Cinnamon Sugar Swirl
- 1/4 cup (52g) Domino Golden Sugar
- 5 tbsp (70g) packed light brown sugar
- 4 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1 1/2 cups (310g) Domino Golden Sugar
- 1 cup (240ml) vegetable oil
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 4 eggs
- 2 1/2 cups (325g) all-purpose flour
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp nutmeg
- 1/2 tsp ginger
- 1/2 tsp cloves
- 1 tsp salt
- 2 cups (466g) canned pumpkin puree
Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting
- 16 oz (452g) cream cheese, room temperature
- 3/4 cup (172g) butter, room temperature
- 10 cups (1150g) powdered sugar
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 5 tsp ground cinnamon
Cinnamon Drizzle, optional
- 1 tbsp (28g) salted butter
- 2 tbsp (26g) Domino Golden Sugar
- 1/4 cup (60ml) heavy whipping cream
- 1/4 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/2 cup (58g) powdered sugar
1. Preheat oven to 350°F (176°C) and prepare three 8-inch cake pans with non-stick baking spray and parchment paper in the bottom.
2. Combine the ingredients for the cinnamon sugar swirl in a small bowl and set aside.
3. To make the cake layers, add the oil, Domino Golden Sugar, vanilla extract and eggs to a mixer bowl and mix until smooth.
4. In a separate medium-sized bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, cloves and salt.
5. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix until well combined and smooth.
6. Add the pumpkin puree and mix until well combined.
7. Add about 1 cup (250g) of cake batter to each of the three prepared pans and spread evenly.
8. Sprinkle the cinnamon sugar swirl mixture over the cake batter, adding about a third of the mixture to each pan (about 5 tablespoons). Leave a little space around the outer edge of the cake so that the swirl doesn’t quite go all the way to the edge.
9. Use a small knife/toothpick/offset spatula to gently swirl the batter with the cinnamon sugar mixture.
10. Divide the remaining cake batter between the three pans, about 1 cup (260g) per pan. It’s easiest to drop spoonfuls of the batter over the cinnamon sugar mixture, then spread evenly.
11. Bake the cake layers for 25-30 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean.
12. Remove cakes from oven and allow to cool for 2-3 minutes, then remove to a cooling rack to finish cooling.
13. To make the frosting, combine the cream cheese and butter and mix until smooth.
14. Add about half of the powdered sugar and mix until smooth.
15. Add the vanilla extract and cinnamon and mix until smooth.
16. Add the remaining powdered sugar and mix until smooth. Set aside.
17. To layer the cake, first use a large serrated knife to remove the domes from the tops of the cakes so they are flat.
18. Place the first cake layer on a serving plate or on a cardboard cake circle.
19. Spread about 1 cup of frosting on top of the cake layer.
20. Add the second layer of cake and another cup of frosting.
21. Top the cake with the third layer and frost the top and outside of the cake with the remaining cream cheese frosting. Set the cake in the fridge and make the cinnamon drizzle, if using.
22. To make the cinnamon drizzle, combine all ingredients except for the powdered sugar in a small sauce pan.
23. Heat on low until sugar is melted, then turn heat to medium to bring to a boil.
24. Boil for 1 minute, stirring, then remove from heat and immediately pour into a heat-proof glass bowl.
25. Whisk in the powdered sugar and allow to cool just slightly and thicken. If your icing is too thin, add additional powdered sugar until it’s the right consistency to drizzle it. If you find your icing to be a little thick, just add a touch more water to thin it back out. It will be a little sticky/stringy, so it’s easier to work with in a squeeze bottle, but a spoon will work for dripping as well. If you’d like to test it before adding it to the cake, turn a glass cup upside down and drizzle some on bottom/side of the cup. If it drips how you’d like it to, it’s ready. Keep in mind that the more it cools, the firmer it will get. You want it to be warm, but not too hot.
26. Drizzle the cinnamon mixture around the outside of the cake. You can also fill in the center, if you like.
27. Pipe swirls of the remaining cream cheese frosting around the outer top edge of the cake and dust with ground cinnamon.
28. Refrigerate cake until ready to serve. Cake is best served cool and closer to room temperature, but not cold. Best if eaten within 3-4 days.
For help with frosting your cake, check out my tutorial for frosting a smooth cake with buttercream.
- Serving Size: 1 slice
- Calories: 941
- Sugar: 120.7 g
- Sodium: 387.1 mg
- Fat: 39.9 g
- Carbohydrates: 144.4 g
- Protein: 6.8 g
- Cholesterol: 116.6 mg
Keywords: cinnamon sugar pumpkin layer cake
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I made this cake for Thanksgiving and instead of pumpkin I used sweet potatoes that I pureed and added crushed pralines on top of the frosting (I added rye whiskey to the frosting to cut the sweetness). It was a hit, there was none left. Thank you, Lindsay.
Awesome! Glad it was a hit!
Could you please tell me what size tip you used for piping the swirls of frosting? Thank you!!
Can I use fresh pumpkin instead of the canned stuff?
You can try it, but often homemade pumpkin purée has more moisture than canned pumpkin purée, which can affect the results depending on just how much extra moisture.
I tried the cake. I could just eat the batter, if it were safe to eat uncooked flour🙂 delicious. But i didn’t get enough batter for 3 8inch pans. Got very thin layers. Wanted some height to the cake, which didn’t happen. Delicious though.
Thank you for getting back to me. The cake was delicious. My husband loved it. Next time I will try the other icing. It sounds perfect. Love your website. I can’t stop looking at all the wonderful recipes and love that you include videos.
Tried this recipe today. It is very good but extremely sweet. I would like it even more if the icing were not so sweet.
Glad you enjoyed it! Traditional buttercreams do tend to be more sweet. Usually cream cheese frosting isn’t so sweet for people, but if you’d like something less sweet next time, maybe try a cream cheese whipped cream like the one on this cake. https://www.lifeloveandsugar.com/pumpkin-layer-cake-whipped-cream-cheese-frosting/
Is this recipe good for a Bundt cake?
I’m not sure, since I haven’t tried it.
Pumpkin cake Looks delush! Step 21 says chocolate frosting???? Did i mix up the recipes?
Lol, nope. Thanks for letting me know about the typo. It’s been fixed.
Hi Lindsay, I’m unable to get golden sugar, and was planning on making the cake this weekend. Would demara sugar be a good substitute? Or should I just use brown sugar?
You can actually replace it with white granulated sugar.
I just happened to visit your site, when a beautiful cake popped up on the screen. This is surely a
cake for the holidays! Your recipes never disappoint, Lindsay. I have had great success baking many wonderful treats and sharing with family and friends. Thank you for your inspiring recipes! Waiting for the happy baby arrival! God Bless!
Thank you so much Suzy-q! I hope you get a chance to try this one!