Light Pumpkin Cake w/ Cream Cheese Frosting


My good friend gave me a subscription to “Cooking Light” magazine this year, and I have enjoyed combing through all of the light recipes inside each edition.

In the November issue, I spotted this recipe from a woman in Eagle, Idaho (A  quick SHOUT OUT to my Idaho friends!)  for a Frosted Pumpkin Cake.

Autumn brings with it a craving for all things pumpkin and spice.  Throw in a light cream cheese frosting and I’m all over it.

Still, if I’m being honest, I worried about a low  fat cake.  At least it wasn’t non-fat, and the recipe looked like it had all the necessities needed to meet my yum factor.

So, it is my pleasure to share with you, the lower in fat,  Pumpkin Cake.

I rate this cake a 4 out of 4 stars.  I’m rating it as a “light” cake.  I can’t really say this is a 4 out of 4 star cake in the same way I would rate a Hummingbird Cake, because lets face it, it’s not a Hummingbird Cake.   Hummingbird Cake rates a 10 out of 4 out of 4 stars 🙂

Seriously, I think this is a fabulous cake.  It has the flavor of autumn, it’s dense and moist–all the more reasons to bake her up!


Frosted Pumpkin Cake

Adapted from November’s Cooking Light Magazine


  • 10.1 oz all purpose flour (2.25 cups)
  • 2 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon ( I used more)
  • 1/8 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup butter, softened
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs
  • 15 oz can pumpkin puree (Pure–check ingredients)
  • Cooking spray


  • 2 tbsp butter, softened
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 8 oz package 1/3 less fat cream cheese
  • 2 cups sifted powdered sugar

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. To prepare cake, weigh or lightly spoon flour into dry measuirng cups; level with a knife. Combine flour, baking powder, cinnamon, other spices,and salt in a small bowl, stirring with a whisk.
  3. Combine brown sugar, 1/4 cup butter, and 1 tsp vanilla in a large bowl; beat with a mixer at medium speed until well combined. Add eggs, 1 at a time, to sugar mixture, beat well after each addition. Add pumpkin puree; mix well. Fold in flour mixture. Spread batter into a 13×9 inch baking ban coated with cooking spray. Bake at 350 degrees for 20- 25 minutes or until wooden pick inserted into the center comes out clean. Cool completely in pan on a wire rack.
  4. To prepare frosting, combine 2 tbsp butter, 1/2 tsp vanilla, and cream cheese in a medium bowl; beat with a mixer at medium speed until combined. Gradually add the powdered sugar, beating until well combined. Spread frosting evenly over top of cake. 

Yields 24 servings; serving size: 1 piece

Calories  178, Fat 5.5, Protein  3 g, Carb  30 g, Fiber  .09, Chol 32 mg, Iron 1.2mg, Sodium 135 mg, Calc 62 mg


13 thoughts on “Light Pumpkin Cake w/ Cream Cheese Frosting

      • Hi Nina! Thanks you so much for commenting on my blog. I’m glad you did because yours seems wonderful! I used to get a subscription to Cooking Light, they have some great dishes. This looks great and you’re right, it doesn’t really seem like it’s missing anything. The good thing is I have everything to make this right now. I have full fat cream cheese though but I think I’ll use it anyway. Great post!

      • LOVED IT! It was fabulous! So, I am going to post this on my blog in a day or so and I’m going to provide a link back to you. Just want to make sure is your name Nina or is it Angelnina or by that do you mean Angel Nina? Want to make sure I have it right for my post. Email me if you can.

        Thanks for the great recipe!

  1. Hi Nina, I recently got a subscription to CL too. I’m going to try this lighter version of pumpkin cake. Heaven knows I shouldn’t be eating the full fat one! Hope all is well, enjoyed your trip to that great bakery and the beautiful scenery while I was here.

    • Thank you! It’s tough for me to get used to some “light” eating, but as long as I know I can still indulge in the good stuff, I feel more satisfied.

      You can go on a trip with me anytime! 😉

  2. I am about to make this as a birthday cake for my friend!! I’m going to do one apple cake and one pumpkin cake and layer it with the cream cheese frosting. My friend loves pumpkin and apple 😀 can’t wait to see how it turns out!!

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