Bumpy Pumpkin Spice Cake
A Note from Feedfeed

Life will always have little bumps in the road, but wait until you see the bumps in our cake! Inspired by classic snack cakes and Midwestern desserts, our Bumpy Pumpkin Spice Cake is the perfect dessert for fall gatherings. Spiced pumpkin cake, rich cream cheese frosting, and a fudge topping make for a special experience layered with sweetness and spice. Each element of the cake has a little bit of Heilala Vanilla Paste to add even more flavor. We recommend pairing with coffee and a Meg Ryan movie.


Prep time 3hrs 30mins
Cook time 55mins


For the cake

  • nonstick cooking spray
  • 1 cup flour all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/ 2 teaspoon baking soda baking soda
  • 1 1/ 2 teaspoon pumpkin spice
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon cinnamon
  • 2 eggs
  • 3/ 4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/ 2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/ 3 cup buttermilk
  • 1 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla paste

For the Spiced Cream Cheese Frosting

  • 1/ 4 cup butter, room temperature
  • 1/ 4 cup cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla paste
  • 1 teaspoon pumpkin spice
  • 2 1/ 2 cups powdered sugar
  • pinch of salt

For the Pourable Fudge Frosting

  • 1/ 2 cup buttermilk
  • 2 1/ 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla paste
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/ 3 cup dark cocoa powder
  • 1/ 3 cup dark corn syrup
  • 2 sticks butter, cut into 16 tablespoon sized pieces
  • 1/ 4 teaspoon salt


  • Step 1

    Preheat the oven to 350º F and spray a 9 by 13 inch nonstick baking pan with nonstick cooking spray. Sift flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, pumpkin spice, and cinnamon into a bowl. Whisk them together until combined. In a separate bowl, whisk together eggs, brown sugar, vegetable oil, buttermilk, pumpkin puree, and vanilla paste until completely smooth.

  • Step 2

    Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix until thoroughly combined. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and smooth into an even layer. The base cake layer will be fairly thin. Bake the cake for 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

  • Step 3

    Once the cake is completely cool, make the Spiced Cream Cheese Frosting. Using a hand mixer or a stand mixer, whip the cream cheese, butter, pumpkin spice, vanilla, and salt together. Mix in the powdered sugar ½ a cup at a time until the frosting is smooth with no lumps.

  • Step 4

    The frosting will be really thick, but that is going to help it stand up when we pour the pourable frosting on top. Scoop into a piping bag fitted with a ½ inch round tip and pipe in evenly spaced rows across the narrow length of the cooled cake, creating about 9 rows of cream cheese frosting. (We found piping a line every 1-2 inches works great and ensures that every slice of cake will have one or two “bumps” of cream cheese frosting.)

  • Step 5

    Once you have finished piping the frosting, cover the cake and stick it in the freezer until fully frozen, about 1 hour. For the pourable frosting, start by whisking together the buttermilk, vanilla, and powdered sugar in a bowl and set aside. Add the sugar, corn syrup, cocoa powder and half of the butter to a medium saucepan and whisk over medium heat. Use a candy or instant read thermometer and whisk the mixture until it reaches 240º F.

  • Step 6

    Working quickly and carefully, whisk the hot chocolate mixture into the buttermilk mixture, stirring constantly until combined. Add the salt and the rest of the butter one tablespoon at a time and once everything is thoroughly combined, pour the mixture over the frozen cake. Tilt the pan so that the frosting completely covers the cake and return the cake to the freezer for about an hour or until the frosting is set.

This bumpy cake is a fall twist on the irresistible Detroit dessert and a great way to use up any leftover pumpkin from your fall baking projects. It takes a little while to prepare but the reward at the end is so sweet!