Secret Family Recipe: Pumpkin Spice Cake


Pumpkin Spice Cake Every family has their own share of super special ‘Secret Family Recipes’ that are passed down from generation to generation. Rarely are those recipes shared outside the family. But I am going to share with you one of our family’s coveted holiday dessert recipes for the most delicious Pumpkin Spice Cake you have ever had.

In my family, my great Aunt Arlene used to make a tasty pumpkin spice cake every year. She passed the recipe to my mother, and my mother kept it hidden for years. She was the only one who had the ability to make “Aunt Arlene’s Pumpkin Spice Cake.” It was always a special treat when she made it.

A couple years ago a friend asked me to bring a pumpkin-themed dessert to a brunch, and I knew I would just blow everyone away with our secret family cake. Well, my mom was out of town and ‘couldn’t remember’ the recipe (likely story). I called my mother’s sister, the one person I would have assumed my mother would have shared the recipe with. “No,” my aunt told me, “she has never let me see that recipe!”

Well, since I had already committed to bringing the most delicious pumpkin spice cake you’ve ever had I had no choice but turn to my trusty friend, Google, for help. I sifted through recipes until I found one that had good reviews and wasn’t overly complicated.

The end result was good. No. It was DELICIOUS. And I have been asked to make this cake for my family and friends on an annual basis. When I told my mom about this super special recipe I had, she wanted to know what it was. We agreed that I would show her my recipe…IF she would share Aunt Arlene’s recipe with me.

Can you guess what happened? The recipes were THE SAME. Literally, step by step, ingredient by ingredient…the same. My mom had kept hers under lock and key for years and I found mine…wait for it…ON THE BOX of a Duncan Hines Spice Cake mix. As far as a topping goes, you can go with a plain dollop of Cool-Whip (my husband’s preference) or cream cheese frosting (my preference).

Pumpkin Spice Cake Recipe

Pumpkin Spice Cake

  • 30 ounces canned pumpkin pie mix
  • 1 box Spice Cake mix (dry)
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda

Preheat oven to 350°F. Lightly grease and flour a 9×12 baking pan.

In a large bowl, mix together the canned pumpkin pie mix, the spice cake mix, water, eggs and baking soda. Beat with an electric mixer until well blended – 1-2 minutes.

Pour this mixture into the prepared pan and bake at 350° for 50-55 minutes.

Cool cake.

Cream Cheese Frosting

  • 2 8oz packages of cream cheese, softened
  • ½ cup butter, softened
  • 2 ½ cups sifted confectioners sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

In a medium bowl, cream together the cream cheese and butter until creamy. Mix in the vanilla, then gradually stir in the confectioners’ sugar. Frost cooled cake. Store in the refrigerator after use.

Do you have any ‘Secret Family Recipes’ in your family?

If you have one that is too good NOT to share, we would love to see it in the comments below!


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here