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

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

Sourdough Pumpkin Cake

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!

Don’t worry, you aren’t making sourdough bread, but it does require some sourdough starter. Which is much simpler. If you want to know more about how to get your sourdough started, be sure to check out my Sourdough Starter Recipe, another really simple method to follow.

This cake is so easy to make and 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.

What You’ll Need

canned pumpkin, vegetable oil, flour, sugar, and sourdough starter on counter
  • sugar: granulated sugar gives this cake the perfect sweetness
  • 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 soda helps withe leavening a little bit mostly acts to nuetralize the acids in the recipe
  • baking powder: this will help with the majority of the leavening
  • salt: becuase all things sweet need a little salt
  • spices : we will be using our fall and pumpkin spice spices here such as cinnamon, clovs, 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 and will help add a richness to the icing.
  • cream cheese: becuase we are making cream cheese frosting.
  • powdered sugar: adds the perfect sweetness to your frosting
  • vanilla: vanilla adds a density and takes this frosting to the next level

More Delicious Fall Treats You’ll Love

Sheet Cake Tips

sheet pan with slices of pumpkin cake cut out

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.

More sourdough discard dessert recipes:


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
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  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 cups pureed pumpkin 1 (15 ounce) can
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 3/4 cups all purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon allspice
  • 1/2 cup sourdough starter discard (unfed is fine)


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


  • 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.
    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.


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! 🌻


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!

Enjoy this cake!

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By on August 10th, 2021

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