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Pumpkin Spice Sprinkle Cake

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Hello from the land of boxes and unpacking mayhem!

My name is Tessa and I’d like to welcome you to my official new blog – I’m so happy that you’re here! This is the place where I’ll be posting recipes, tips and tricks, as well as a handful of videos and I can’t wait to be able to share my love of sugar with you!

I guess I should catch you up on what’s been going on with me and if this is the first time we are “meeting”, you can read a little more over here. If you aren’t already familiar, I used to have a bakery in Vancouver, B.C. called Sweet Bake Shop. Since closing it this past summer, I’ve been busy recipe testing, traveling to teach private baking classes and writing a book, which I’m beyond excited about!

I’ve just moved to Toronto, Ontario, which is a big change, but I’m excited to be here! I’m still living in a flurry of boxes and packing paper but I couldn’t wait to break out my mixer and make this cake for you, because it is one of my favourites! I call it the Pumpkin Spice Sprinkle Cake, simply because it’s a lightly-spiced and super moist pumpkin cake, layered with cinnamon cream cheese filling and finished with a larger and more sprinkly version of my Whipped Vanilla Bean Frosting.

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You can watch my tutorial video on making the frosting here, where I talk about my love of butter-based frostings (sadly, frostings made with shortening make me cringe). For the filling of the cake, I made a delightfully spiced cinnamon cream cheese frosting and made sure to whip it until it was fluffy. Some people prefer a less-thick cream cheese frosting, and usually I do too, but I find that the extra icing sugar in this recipe helps keep the frosting stable, so that it doesn’t run out of your cake – but what you decide is completely up to you!

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Pumpkin Spice Sprinkle Cake

Makes one four layer, 6-inch cake. Serves 8-10.


  • 2 1/4 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 cup canola oil
  • 3 eggs, at room temperature
  • 1/4 cup sour cream
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 1/4 cups all purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 2 cups pure, canned pumpkin



Preheat the oven to 350° F. Brush four 6-inch cake pans with butter, coat with flour and tap out the excess. Cut four 6-inch circles out of parchment paper and line the bottom of each baking pan. Set aside.

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the sugar, canola oil, eggs, sour cream and vanilla on medium speed until well blended, about 30 seconds. In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt and spices and dump it into the bowl with the wet ingredients. Mix on low speed until all of the ingredients are combined. Lastly, add the pumpkin, turn the mixer up to medium speed and beat for 30 seconds to blend. Stop the mixer and scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl and then mix on medium speed again for about 15 seconds, or until completely combined.

Divide the batter evenly among the prepared cake pans and smooth out using the back of a spoon. Bake until cake layers spring back when lightly pressed in the center or until a cake tested inserted into the middle of each layer comes out clean, about 26 – 29 minutes. Allow cake layers to cool in their pans for about 15 minutes before turning them out onto a wire rack to cool completely.


For the Cinnamon Cream Cheese Filling:


  • 1 cup (250 g) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 cup (250 g) full-fat cream cheese, cut into cubes and softened for about 20 seconds in the microwave
  • 9 cups (1035 g) icing/powdered sugar (less, if you prefer a softer, less-sweet frosting)
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter and the cream cheese together at medium speed until creamy, about 30 seconds. Stop the mixer and scrape down the sides of the bowl. With the mixer running on low speed, add the powdered sugar, a few cups at a time. Once all of the sugar has been incorporated, add in the vanilla extract and cinnamon and turn the mixer speed up to medium. Beat until the frosting is fluffy, about 1 minute. Stop the mixer and scrape down the sides of the bowl and then turn the mixer back up to medium speed for about 15 seconds.


For the Whipped Vanilla Bean Frosting:


  • 2 1/2  cups  unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 6 cups icing sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste
  • 1/4 – 1/2 cup rainbow sprinkles, depending on how sprinkly you want your frosting to be
  • pink food colouring (I use AmeriColor gel-paste colour in Soft Pink

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat butter on medium speed until smooth and creamy, about 30 seconds. Stop the mixer and add all of the icing sugar at once and mix on low speed until well-blended. Add the vanilla extract and the vanilla bean paste and beat on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Stop the mixer and scrape down the sides of the bowl with a spatula, then beat on medium speed again for about 30 seconds.


Putting the Cake Together:

Once your cake layers have completely cooled, it’s time to begin trimming them! If you aren’t sure how to trim, crumb coat, fill and ice a cake, you can pop over to my tutorial video on how to do that over in the videos section, right here. I sometimes find that it’s helpful to see things being done, instead of just reading about them.

Slice the tops off of each of your cooled cake layers with a serrated knife. Spread a little cream cheese frosting on a cake board (I used an 8-inch cake board), set it on top of a cake turn-table and place one of the prepared cake layers on it. Using an offset-spatula, spread a generous layer of the cream cheese filling on the cake layer, and then place another cake layer on top. Repeat with all of the cake layers, placing the final layer upside-down on top of the last layer of cream cheese frosting. Cream cheese frosting tends to be a little on the softer side, so I usually pop the cake in the fridge for about 15-20 minutes to allow the layers to set. That way, your cake isn’t sliding around while you crumb coat it.

Remove the cake from the fridge and use the offset spatula to apply a thin and even layer of the whipped vanilla frosting to the outside of the cake. Once the cake is lightly coated, pop it back in the fridge to set again, 15-20 minutes.

It’s time to tint the frosting for the fluffy border of your cake! Remove about 1 cup of the whipped vanilla frosting from it’s bowl and place it in a separate, smaller bowl. Squeeze 2 drops of pink food colouring into the smaller bowl of frostings and stir to combine. Add the sprinkles to the larger bowl of vwhipped vanilla frosting and stir to combine.

Once the cake has chilled, use your offset spatula and a scraper to apply the sprinkly frosting to the top and sides of the cake to create a smooth and even finished layer (this is where watching the video can come in handy). Once you’re happy with your icing job, fit a pastry bag with your piping tip of choice (I used a 1E tip), fill with the pink vanilla frosting and pip a fluffy border around the bottom and top of the cake.

The cake is best eaten the same day, but will keep for 48 hours in the refrigerator. Be sure to allow the cake time to come to room temperature again before serving.

xo Tessa

  • Amy rose
    Posted at 22:57h, 24 November Reply

    I can’t wait to try this recipe! Thank you!! Beautiful cake! xx

  • Lea
    Posted at 15:10h, 01 March Reply

    Hey Tessa
    I love your cake. It looks really amazing.
    But I have a question. Is there a way to replace the pumpkin in your recipe or is there any other kind of cake which I can use for it? Because the rest of the recipe sounds really tasty but I don’t like pumpkin.
    Warm greetings from Germany
    Lea 🙂

  • Janelle
    Posted at 00:11h, 12 July Reply

    I follow you on Instagram and I just love your lovely feed. Can you tell me if this recipe will yield 3 layer 9″” pans?

    • Tessa
      Posted at 00:28h, 12 July Reply

      Thank you! I’ve never made this recipe in 9 inch pans, but because of the size of the recipe, I’d probably divide the batter into two 9 inch pans at the most. Otherwise the layers may be very thin and could dry out while baking. Of course, it’s up to you though! Happy baking!

  • Martina S.
    Posted at 10:54h, 26 July Reply

    I love the look of the sprinkles MIXED into the frosting. Do you think it would look good piped into cupcakes with the sprinkles mixed in?

    • Tessa
      Posted at 23:16h, 26 July Reply

      Absolutely! 🙂

  • Cheryl Snook
    Posted at 14:09h, 26 July Reply

    I saw your Pumpkin Spice Sprinkle Cake on Pinterest and it sounds and looks delicious. What I am writing about though is the silver reindeer that you used to decorate with as a candle holder. Could you please e-mail me back and tell me if there’s a place I can get one from? I live in Toronto, but the internet is a wonderful thing! Thanks for your consideration. Your website is lovely!!

  • Wayne
    Posted at 23:03h, 26 July Reply

    Great cake! And can you tell me where you got the moose candle holder? Thanks!!

  • Deirdre Morse
    Posted at 18:30h, 17 October Reply

    After going through your cookbook numerous times I have finally decided to make your Dreamy Vanilla Cake. I have heaps of just egg whites but after looking online about how much of the whites to use either gram/ounce or cups I am at a loss as I get very different answers. Do you weigh or measure your whites? if so approximately what would it work out to.
    Thanks. P.s…love the book!

    • Tessa
      Posted at 22:36h, 08 November Reply

      I weigh my egg whites (30 g = 1 egg white), but you don’t have to!

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