Pumpkin Cream Cheese Bundt Cake

This Pumpkin Cream Cheese Bundt Cake is the best of both worlds - a moist and delicious pumpkin cake with a cheesecake filling! The sweet brown sugar glaze puts this cake over the top. It's really easy to make - check out the tip to keep the cream cheese filling in the center of the cake. You will wow your guests with this dessert, whether it's for Thanksgiving or just for the Fall.

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This pumpkin cream cheese Bundt cake can be our little secret – for more than one reason. First of all, I don’t like pumpkin. BUT… I love this cake. Please don’t tell anyone – you’ll ruin my “I don’t like pumpkin” reputation. Secondly, this cake is not only gorgeous because of the Bundt pan in which it bakes, but also because of the tunnel of cream cheese that runs through the center of every piece. It’s a decadent surprise for every guest, but no-one needs to know how easy it is to put together. You don’t need a special filling pan – just a Bundt pan (a pan with a hole in the center that makes every cake bake in a doughnut shape). The trick to getting the cream cheese center is in creating a tunnel for it to sit in and then simply covering it with more batter. Both the batter and the cream cheese filling are firm enough for you to be able to do this very easily using a spoon. See the photos below for a visual step-by-step.  

Cake batter in a bundt pan, half full, making a tunnel with the back of a spoon for cream cheese filling.

The first step is to fill the pan half full with pumpkin batter. Then, create a trench in the batter using the back of a spoon all the way around the cake.

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Cream cheese filling in a cavity in the middle of a bundt cake.

Then fill the trench with the cream cheese filling. If it starts to spill over a little, don’t worry about it. Just push it back towards the center and make sure to push some batter from above down the side of the pan in the next step.

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Batter going on top of cream cheese filling in a Bundt pan.

Pour the remaining pumpkin batter on top of the cream cheese, making sure the bottom batter and the top batter touch both at the center of the pan and around the edge of the pan.

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Pumpkin bundt cake ready to go into the oven.

Then, it is ready to bake.

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Pumpkin bundt cake unfolded and sitting on a rack over a sheet pan, ready to be glazed.

Once you’re ready to glaze the cake, do put it on a cooling rack over a sheet pan. The sheet pan will catch all the drips and extra glaze. Once the glaze sets a little, you’ll be able to scrape up any unused glaze and glaze it a second time.

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Pumpkin cream cheese bundt cake on a white platter with mini pumpkins in the background and a piece of bundt cake on a small plate in the foreground.

This pumpkin cream cheese Bundt cake also freezes well – just wrap it carefully a couple of times in plastic wrap before freezing. Try to remember to defrost it a good 8 hours or so before you’d like to enjoy it again. It’s also a good idea to slice the cake before you freeze it – just in case you’d like to defrost just a couple of pieces at a time. This decadent dessert won’t let you down. 

Pumpkin Cream Cheese Bundt Cake

  • Prep Time: 35 m
  • Cook Time: 1 h
  • Total Time: 1 h 35 m
  • Servings:
    12

Ingredients

Bundt Cake:
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ¾ teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup unsalted butter softened
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • ½ cup white sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • ½ cup vegetable oil
  • 15 ounces pureed pumpkin
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
Cream Cheese Filling
  • 12 ounces cream cheese room temperature
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • teaspoons pure vanilla extract
Brown Sugar Glaze
  • ¼ cup unsalted butter softened
  • ¾ cup brown sugar
  • pinch of nutmeg
  • 3 tablespoons milk
  • ¾ cup powdered sugar

Instructions

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 350ºGrease the inside of a 12-cup Bundt cake with butter and then coat the pan with granulated sugar, shaking out any excess.
  2. Make the cream cheese filling, Using an electric mixer or a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, whip the cream cheese and sugar together until smooth. Add the egg and vanilla extract and continue to whip until combined. Refrigerate until ready to use.
  3. Combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, pumpkin pie spice, cinnamon and salt in a large bowl
  4. In a second large bowl, beat the butter and brown and white sugars until fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time and continue to beat. Add the oil, pumpkin purée and vanilla extract. Beat until well-combined. Gradually add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix until the dry ingredients are just incorporated into the wet. Do not over mix the batter
  5. Pour a little less than half of the cake batter into to the prepared Bundt pan. With the back of a spoon, create a tunnel in the center of the batter. Spoon the cream cheese filling into the tunnel as much as possible (a little of the filling may overflow). Gently pour the rest of the cake batter over the cream cheese layer and spread it out evenly.
  6. Bake at 350ºF for 55 to 65 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out almost clean. Transfer the cake pan to a wire cooling rack and cool for 20 minutes. Invert the cake over the rack and unmold, leaving the cake to cool completely.
  7. Make the brown sugar glaze. Melt the butter in a saucepan and whisk in the brown sugar, pinch of nutmeg and milk. Simmer for a few minutes until the sugar has dissolved and the mixture thickens. Add the powdered sugar and whisk until smooth. Allow the glaze to cool a little, but while it is still warm, pour the glaze over the cooled cake allowing some to drip down the sides. If the glaze drips to fast, allow it to cool a little more.

  8. Serve with a dollop of whipped cream, a scoop of ice cream or just a cup of coffee.
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Comments (9)Post a Reply

  1. I will try to make this. I want to tell you how much I make so many receipes you send thew email And from your books. Thanks so much.

  2. 5 stars
    I have not made this cake but I will because I know I’ll like it. I make my Mom’s pumpkin cream cheese pie every Thanksgiving.

    Thanks for the recipe.

  3. 5 stars
    Made it LOVED IT!! Instead of a bundt I did a layer cake (don’t have a bundt pan) layered the cream cheese frosting in between three layers of cake. Did a cinnamon and orange zest whipped cream topping but left the sides a la natural. It was very pretty and soooooo good. Got great reviews. Kudos Meredith. You did it again.

  4. 4 stars
    I love the taste of this cake but recipe didn’t mention vanilla amount in glaze also after baking cream cheese center has big gaps in it and seems dry, do you need to keep it refrigerated?

    1. Hi Carol. There’s no vanilla in the glaze (unless you’d like to put some in, in which case, I would suggest ¼ teaspoon). When you put the batter on top of the cream cheese filling, make sure it has made good contact with the cream cheese. You can even give the pan a good bang on the counter to make sure all the air pockets are out. As for refrigerating afterwards, I tend not to refrigerate cakes after they are baked, especially if they will be eaten the next day. If you plan to store the cake for several days, I would pop it in the fridge, well-wrapped, and then make sure you give it lots of time to come to room temperature before serving.

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