Hey guys! Today I’m sharing a recipe to throw us right into fall- this Pumpkin Swirl Cake is so yummy, really beautiful, and it’s got everything you want in a fall dessert.

High Altitude Pumpkin Swirl Cake

I love a good bundt cake, and this is the perfect one to start the season with. It’s a swirl of a simple vanilla pound cake, and a pumpkin version that comes together super quick and easy. let’s get to it!

Quick little side note to say that my upcoming book is available for pre-order now, and it’s gonna be great! I just got to see my first copy and I’m so exciting for you all to see it! Order your copy today!

How to Make Pumpkin Swirl Cake

We’re starting this cake with a simple pound cake batter. I love this recipe because unlike so many cake recipes where over-mixing can be easily done, this cake actually benefits from a decent mix time. It’s super simple, and the batter turns out silky-smooth.

Pumpkin Swirl Cake Batter

Once you’ve got the pound cake batter ready, we’re using about 2 cups of the batter and stirring it into a mixture of pumpkin puree and spices for allll the fall feels. This gives us the perfect pumpkin swirl!

Easy Pumpkin Swirl Cake
Pumpkin Swirl Cake Batter

Then, start layering and swirling the two batters into your prepared cake pan. There’s going to be slightly more of the plain pound cake batter, so start with that. I like to spread in a layer of plain batter, and top it with some generous dollops of the pumpkin batter. Then use a knife to give it all a gentle swirl, and repeat the process until all the cake batter has been used. This ensures that you get a pretty swirl all throughout the cake!

Pumpkin Swirl Cake

After that it’s off to the oven! Bundt cakes take a while to bake in the oven, but it’s worth it. Once you finish baking the cake, let it cool in the pan for about 15-20 minutes. Then turn it out of the pan while it’s still warm- this helps the cake release from the pan more easily. You can then let it finish cooling out on a plate.

Pumpkin Swirl Cake Recipe

The icing on this cake is optional, but I love a good cream cheese icing drizzle on top of anything pumpkin! It’s super easy, and you basically just whisk everything together, adding more powdered sugar or milk as needed until you end up with a thick but drizzle-able consistency. Top the cooled cake and you’re ready to serve!

Perfect Pumpkin Swirl Cake

Tips & Tricks for the Perfect High-Altitude Cake

This is a super easy cake, and it’s great for fall! Here are my tips for your perfect Pumpkin Swirl Cake!

  • Be sure to grease your pan well! As with all bundt cake recipes, sticking is always possible, so be sure you grease your pan really well. I like to use a baking spray with flour in it, or brushed on cake-goop. Whichever you prefer, be sure to grease it right before you pour in the batter so that it doesn’t slip down the sides of the pan before you pour in the batter!
  • Give the batter enough time to mix. This batter takes well to a decent length of mixing time, so make sure everything is well combined and smooth when you’re doing that final mix.
  • You can swap pumpkin pie spice mix if you prefer it instead of the individual spices. For this amount of batter, I would use 2 1/2 tsp. pumpkin pie spice mix.
  • Don’t under-bake your cake. Bundt cakes have pretty long bake times, and you really want to make sure you’re getting a clean cake tester with just a couple of crumbs before you remove it from the oven. If the cake is getting too brown, you can place a piece of foil over the top while it finishes baking.
  • Turn the cake out while it’s still warm. This helps the cake release better from the pan!
  • Let the cake cool completely before icing. If you pour the icing while the cake is still warm, it will melt, and slide off of the cake entirely. Be sure to let the cake cool completely first!
  • I’m at about 5,000 ft. above sea level and I find that most people who live between about 3,000-7,000 ft above sea level do not need to make any adjustments to my recipes!


Best Pumpkin Swirl Cake
5 from 1 vote

Pumpkin Swirl Cake

Servings 12 slices


For the cake:

  • 3 cups flour
  • 1/2 cup cornstarch
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 cup softened butter
  • 3 tbs. canola oil
  • 2 cup sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup buttermilk

For the pumpkin swirl:

  • 2 cups prepared cake batter
  • 2/3 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1 tsp. ginger
  • 1/2 tsp. allspice
  • 1/4 tsp. nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp. cloves

For the icing:

  • 4 oz. softened cream cheese
  • 2 tbs. milk
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1 1/2-2 cups powdered sugar


For the cake:

  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees and pull out a 10-12 cup bundt pan. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, cornstarch, baking powder, and salt, and set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, beat together the softened butter, canola oil, and sugar until well combined and fluffy. Beat in the eggs one at a time, mixing well between each addition, and add the vanilla extract. Then, add in the dry ingredients and the buttermilk in alternating additions, starting and ending with the flour mixture. Once everything has been added, beat the batter for 1-2 full minutes on medium speed, or until very smooth and well combined.
  3. In a medium bowl, pour about 2 cups of the prepared cake batter. By hand, stir in the pumpkin puree, cinnamon, ginger, allspice, nutmeg, and cloves until well combined. Generously grease your cake pan with a flour-based baking spray or a butter/flour dusting. Starting with the plain cake batter, pour and swirl your batters together into your cake pan. I like to add scoops of each flavor all around the pan and then use a butter knife to swirl everything together. Bake in your preheated oven for 65-70 minutes, or until a cake tester comes out clean. Cool for 15 minutes in the pan, and then turn the cake out onto a plate to cool completely before icing.

For the icing:

  1. In a small bowl, whisk together the cream cheese, milk, cinnamon, and 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar. Add more powdered sugar as needed to reach your desired consistency- I like a thick but drizzle-able consistency!


  1. AngelaS

    September 18, 2021 at 11:51 am

    I've read a book and lots of your recipes. Brushed on I can figure out. What is cake goop?

    • Dough-Eyed

      September 20, 2021 at 10:43 am

      Hi there! You can definitely use a baking flour-based spray or the butter/flour method here as well! Cake goop is not my own invention so I don't talk about it too often haha. It's a mixture of equal parts shortening, neutral oil, and flour. You can beat the mixture together until smooth, and store in the fridge for months. Then you can brush the mixture generously all over any cake pans you're using, and it's a great option!

  2. Sam

    November 28, 2021 at 1:40 pm

    5 stars
    Hi! This cake came out lovely, but I didn't realize it was intended for high altitudes! I live in South Florida. What kind of changes would I make for this recipe? (if that's not too much to ask). Thank you ­čÖé

    • Dough-Eyed

      November 28, 2021 at 3:27 pm

      Hi there- I can't test recipes at sea level, so I can't say for sure that this will work perfectly for you, but I would suggest that to adapt this recipe for sea level you would decrease the flour by 1/4 cup, decrease the cornstarch by 1 tbs., increase the baking powder to 1 1/2 tsp. total. You also may find that the bake time slightly varies, so I would begin checking the cake for doneness about 10-15 minutes earlier. I hope that helps!


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