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Sourdough Pumpkin Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

Sweet pumpkin spice mixed with tangy sourdough starter combine to form this moist, easy to make sourdough pumpkin cake.

This cake gives you the most delicious combination of flavors with the sweet pumpkin spice and the tang from the sourdough. Topped with the perfect cream cheese frosting, this recipe is so easy to make and is a perfect dessert to whip up for the fall season.

slices of cake on white plate

❤️ Why you’ll love this recipe

  • Feel like fall. We are rolling into cooler weather, changing leaves, and fall decor, or you might know it as pumpkin spice season, and there is nothing more satisfying than a good pumpkin recipe. And if you’re a sourdough lover, then this one is a keeper!
  • Super easy. All you need is a hand mixer and a few minutes of work. (And… you know… all the ingredients.)
  • Perfect for holidays. This would be fantastic for your special fall occasions, Thanksgiving, or simply just because. Whip it up to curb that pumpkin spice craving and don’t be ashamed when you keep on going back for more.

Sourdough Pumpkin Cake

canned pumpkin, vegetable oil, flour, sugar, and sourdough starter on counter

This is an overview of the ingredients. You’ll find the full measurements and instructions in the printable recipe at the bottom of the page.

You’ll need the following for this easy fall dessert:

  • sugar
  • oil: simple vegetable oil is all you need
  • pureed pumpkin: just the canned stuff
  • eggs: the eggs act as a binding agent and create a very moist cake
  • flour: regular all-purpose flour is great
  •  baking soda
  • baking powder
  • salt:
  • spices : we will be using our fall and pumpkin spice spices here such as cinnamon, cloves, and allspice
  • sourdough starter discard: don’t worry about feeding it, unfed started is fine. If you are new to sourdough starter, be sure to use my Homemade Sourdough Starter recipe.
  • melted butter: this is for the frosting
  • cream cheese
  • powdered sugar
  • vanilla
  • Rimmed sheet pan
  • Hand mixer
  • Large mixing bowl

🍴Instructions

Step One: Mix dry and wet ingredients separately

wet ingredients and dry ingredients in bowl

Preheat oven and prepare pan. Preheat oven to 350 with the rack in the center. Spray 10 x 15 jelly roll pan with nonstick cooking spray.

Combine wet ingredients (except the starter.) In a large mixing bowl beat the canned pumpkin, sugar, and oil until well combined, using an electric hand mixer on medium speed.  Add eggs, 1 at a time and beat until blended, scraping down bowl as necessary. Mix dry ingredients sepearately and add them 1 cup at a time,  blending on low after each addition

Step Two: Add starter to batter

batter with sourdough starter

Stir in the sourdough starter. Add the sourdough starter to the cake batter and stir by hand, scraping down the sides and bottom of the bowl to make sure everything is incorporated.

Step three: Bake and cool

fully baked cake

Bake and cool. Pour batter into prepared pan, gently spreading to smooth it out. Bake in preheated oven at 350 for 25-30 minutes.  Cool in pan on wire rack. Cover the cake with a clean tea towel after it has cooled for 15 minutes.

Step FouR: Frost and serve

cream cheese frosting

After cake is cooled, make icing:  blend butter, melted cream cheese, and vanilla with mixer until fluffy.  Slowly add powdered sugar and beat until smooth. Do not frost the cake until it is fully cooled.

🥫 Storage instructions

Refrigerate any leftovers. The cake will keep quite well in the fridge for up to 4 days.

🔍 FAQs

Can I make this recipe ahead of time?

Yes, it’s actually better the next day!

What’s the best size pan?

I use a 10 x 15 rimmed jelly roll pan, but a 9 x 13 will work too!

👩🏻‍🍳 Expert tips

  • If your cake looks a bit uneven when it comes out of the oven, don’t worry. It will even out as it cools.
  • Make sure the cake is totally cool before you frost it.
  • The cake and frosting can be made ahead and fully assembled. Just pop it in the fridge until you’re ready to serve. It keeps great for a day or so.
  • Your sourdough starter does not need to be recently fed. But if it is, mix it up to flatten out the bubbles before you measure it out.
sheet pan with slices of pumpkin cake cut out

📘 Related Recipes

🍽 Serve it with

Having a casual fall party? Try these recipes too:

🍅 make it along with me

Follow along step by step. The slides will turn every 7 seconds, or you can click ahead.

plate with 3 pieces of sourdough pumpkin cake with cream cheese icing on top

📖 Here’s the recipe

square of pumpkin cake on wooden surface
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Sourdough Pumpkin Sheet Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

Print Recipe
Sweet pumpkin spice mixed with tangy sourdough starter combine to form this moist, easy to make sourdough pumpkin cake.
Prep Time:20 mins
Cook Time:30 mins
cooling:1 hr
Total Time:1 hr 50 mins
Click here to grab a free seasonal e-cookbook!

Equipment

  • Rimmed sheet pan
  • Hand mixer
  • Large mixing bowl

Ingredients

Cake

  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 cups pureed pumpkin 1 (15 ounce) can
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 ¾ cups all purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon cloves
  • ¼ teaspoon allspice
  • 1/2 cup sourdough starter discard (unfed is fine)

Frosting

  • 10 tablespoons melted butter
  • 8 ounces cream cheese
  • 4 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 dash vanilla

Instructions

  • Preheat oven and prepare pan. Preheat oven to 350 with the rack in the center. Spray 10 x 15 jelly roll pan with nonstick cooking spray.
  • Combine wet ingredients (except the starter.) In a large mixing bowl beat the canned pumpkin, sugar, and oil until well combined, using an electric hand mixer on medium speed.  Add eggs, 1 at a time and beat until blended, scraping down bowl as necessary.
    mixing bowl with caned pumpkin and sugar
  • Mix dry ingredients in a separate bowl and add to the wet ingredients. Combine the flour, spices, baking soda, baking powder, and salt in a seperate mixing bowl. Add the dry ingredients to the pumpkin-sugar mixture, mixing on low until just combined.
    flour, spices in mixing bowl
  • Stir in the sourdough starter. Add the sourdough starter to the cake batter and stir by hand, scraping down the sides and bottom of the bowl to make sure everything is incorporated.
    sourdouugh starter being mixed into pumpkin cake
  • Bake and cool. Pour batter into prepared pan, gently spreading to smooth it out. Bake in preheated oven at 350 for 25-30 minutes.  Cool in pan on wire rack. Cover the cake with a clean tea towel after it has cooled for 15 minutes.
  • Make the frosting. After cake is cooled, make icing:  blend butter, melted cream cheese, and vanilla with mixer until fluffy.  Slowly add powdered sugar and beat until smooth. Do not frost the cake until it is fully cooled.
    cream cheese frosting in bowl
  • Serve. Spread icing on cake and serve directly out of the pan. Refrigerate any leftovers.

Notes

You can bake this cake in a rimmed sheet pan or a 13 x 9 baking dish.  
If your icing seems too thick, add a splash of milk.
🌻 Click here for more fall sourdough recipes here! 🌻

Nutrition

Calories: 421kcal | Carbohydrates: 56g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 21g | Saturated Fat: 13g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 5g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 45mg | Sodium: 327mg | Potassium: 95mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 45g | Vitamin A: 4264IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 52mg | Iron: 1mg
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: fall dessert, pumpkin cake, sourdough cake recipe, sourdough discard recipe, sourdough pumpkin cake
Servings: 20 slices
Calories: 421kcal
Author: Katie Shaw
Did you make this recipe?Tag me @heartscontentfarmhouse so I can see!

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