closeup of a slice of pumpkin cake on a plate

Pumpkin Cake with Mascarpone Frosting

  • Author: Julianne Dell
  • Prep Time: 45 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour 5 minutes
  • Yield: 12 slices


This Pumpkin Layer Cake with Cinnamon Honey Mascarpone Frosting is layers of a light and fluffy homemade pumpkin cake that is full of spiced pumpkin flavor. It’s finished off with a cinnamon honey mascarpone frosting which is a delicate balance of sweetness and spice.


For the Cake

  • 1 ½ cups light brown sugar
  • ½ cup vegetable oil
  • 3 large eggs
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 cup pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie filling)
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
  • ¾ teaspoon baking soda
  • ¾ teaspoon salt
  • ¾ cup milk (I use nonfat)

For the Frosting

  • 16 ounces mascarpone cheese, cold
  • 3 tablespoons honey
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 ½ teaspoons cinnamon
  • 2 ¼ cups heavy whipping cream
  • ½ cup powdered sugar


For the Cake: 

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Prepare three 8-inch round baking pans, line the bottom with parchment paper, and grease the sides. Prepare your bake even stripes if desired.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, combine the sugar, vegetable oil, eggs, maple syrup and vanilla extract. Beat on medium speed until the eggs and oil are well incorporated and the batter is lighter in color, about 2 minutes. Scrape down the bowl as needed. Next mix in the pumpkin and beat until well combined.
  3. Combine the remaining dry ingredients. Add half the dry ingredients followed by half of the milk to the batter, then mix just until the flour starts to incorporate. Add the remaining dry ingredients and milk. Beat until well combined. Use a spatula to scrape down the sides of the bowl to ensure it’s well-mixed. 
  4. Divide the batter evenly between the three pans, about 1 2/3 cups of batter per pan. Bake at 350°F for 20-24 minutes. Test the cake for doneness by inserting a toothpick into the center of the cake. If the toothpick comes out clean, your cake is done. Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely.

For the Frosting: 

  1. Beat the mascarpone cheese until it’s free of lumps, scraping down the bowl occasionally. Add the brown sugar, honey, vanilla extract and cinnamon. Beat until all ingredients are well combined.
  2. While beating at medium speed, slowly add the heavy whipping cream until the mascarpone cheese resembles a liquid consistency. Scraping the bowl as needed. Continue adding the remaining heavy whipping cream and beat until soft peaks form. Next, add the powdered sugar and continue whipping until stiff peaks form.

To Assemble the Cake:

  1. Use a cake leveler to cut the domes off the top of the cake as needed. Place a dollop of frosting on your cake board and place the bottom layer of cake on top of that.
  2. Place half of the whipped cream in a large piping bag fitted with a large open round tip, or simply cut off the end of the piping bag. Pipe a layer of frosting and spread evenly. Add the next two layers of cake and repeat the above steps.
  3. Use your piping bag to fill in any gaps between your layers and to create a rustic crumb coat. Using an offset spatula or icing smoother, to add the remaining frosting then wipe away any excess.
  4. Use remaining frosting to pipe the florets on the top of the cake using an Ateco 809 tip (large open round) and dust with cinnamon. 


  • Storing: This cake must be refrigerated once the frosting has been added. If you have an airtight container, that’s best. 
  • Freezing: The cake layers can be frozen for for up to 3 months. A frosted cake can be frozen for up to 1 month. 
  • Cake layers can be prepared up to 2 days in advance and stored at room temperature in an airtight container.
Nutrition Information:
39.3 g
292.4 mg
44 g
58.7 g
1.6 g
8.5 g
145.2 mg
  • Category: Cake
  • Method: Baked
  • Cuisine: American

Keywords: Pumpkin Cake, Pumpkin Layer Cake, Pumpkin Dessert