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Pumpkin Ricotta Bundt Cake. Pour a sweet ricotta custard over the batter before baking. It will magically bake into a lovely swirl in this delicious cake.

Pumpkin Ricotta Bundt Cake

In this cake, a delicious ricotta custard is poured over pumpkin cake batter and bakes into a delicious cheese layer within the cake. How much your custard layer "sinks" into the cake will depend upon the consistency of your pumpkin puree. Check recipe notes before beginning for best results.

Servings 12 -16 slices


For the cake:

  • 2 1/4 cups all purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground all spice
  • 1/8 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1 1/4 cups sugar
  • 1 cup 2 sticks or 1/2 pound unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 3 large eggs room temperature
  • 1 1/4 cups pureed pumpkin not pumpkin pie filling, see recipe notes on consistency
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 3/4 cup buttermilk

For the filling:

  • 1 pound ricotta cheese I used part skim from Belgioiso
  • 2 large eggs
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 2 Tablespoons flour
  • confectioner's sugar for topping


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour a bundt pan, tapping out excess flour or see notes for a super easy way to do this. Adjust oven rack down to the bottom third of the oven. For me, this is just one level down from the center.
  2. Make the cake. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, all spice and nutmeg. Set aside.

  3. In a medium bowl, whisk together pumpkin, vanilla and buttermilk until fully combined. I like to do this in a large liquid measuring cup for easy pouring. Set aside.
  4. In a large mixing bowl, beat butter and sugar with an electric mixer until pale and fluffy, about 3-5 minutes. Add eggs one at a time mixing until incorporated after each addition.
  5. Alternate adding flour and pumpkin mixture to the butter mixture (1/3 flour, 1/2 pumpkin , 1/3 flour, 1/2 pumpkin, 1/3 flour) mixing until just combined after each addition. Scrape the sides of the bowl as necessary.
  6. Pour batter into prepared bundt pan.
  7. Make the filling. In a medium bowl or large liquid measuring cup, combine ricotta, eggs, sugar, vanilla and 2 Tablespoons of flour. Whisk until thoroughly combined. Carefully pour all over the top of the cake batter in the bundt pan. Jiggle the pan a bit to even out the cheese mixture, if necessary.
  8. Bake for 55-60 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Remove from oven and allow to cool for 15 minutes in the pan.
  9. Place a cooling rack on top of the cake and flip cake over and out onto rack. Allow to cool, then dust with powdered sugar before serving.

Recipe Notes

*For an easy way to grease/flour your bundt pan, melt 1 Tablespoon of butter and mix with 1 Tablespoon of flour until combined into a paste. Use a pastry brush to apply paste to all the ridges, nooks and crannies of your pan making sure to coat all of the sides as well as the center tube.

*Cake should be stored in refrigerator. My family prefered it cold, but it gets too dense for me when it's cold. If it has been stored in the refrigerator, I would allow it to come to room temperature before serving, although my favorite way to eat it is heating up a slice for just a few seconds in the microwave. It becomes really soft and kind of fluffy when it's warm. Love it!

*If you want to add more spice, I would increase cinnamon to 2 teaspoons and add 1/2 teaspoon of ground ginger and 1/8 teaspoon cloves. Love ginger? Don't increase cinnamon and add a full teaspoon of ginger instead. Or skip all of the spices and replace with 3 teaspoons of pumpkin pie spice. I also think adding the zest of 1/2 an orange would taste amazing. My advice is to try it first as the recipe is written, so that you have an idea of how much you'd like to adjust. It's really wonderful as is, though.

*My bundt pan is about 10" across and about 3 3/4" tall. I've made the original recipe in a 13 x 9" pan, but I haven't tried this pumpkin version in that sized pan so I'm not sure if it works well or not. Sometimes recipes translate to other sized pans, sometimes they don't.

*If you want to try the original recipe, just prepare a boxed yellow cake mix as directed. Spread the batter in a bundt or 13 X 9 pan (well greased and floured) and pour custard mixture over the batter. Bake at 350 for 50-55 minutes. In this version, the custard will sink completely to the bottom instead of forming that "filling" effect that you see with the pumpkin version.

*UPDATE 9/23/18-Some readers have had issues with their cheese filling not properly sinking to the bottom of the cake while baking. I think this is due to different moisture levels in pumpkin puree which subsequently affects how thick the cake batter ends up. My puree had more water content and was more on the loose side, like very thick baby food, instead of very thick. If your puree is very thick, I would remove a Tablespoon of the puree and replace it with a Tablespoon of buttermilk to loosen it up just a little. Then check it for consistency. You can sub out another Tablespoon if you need to before you mix it into the batter. Results will vary on how much your cheese filling sinks, but regardless of what position it ends up in, the cake will still taste delicious.

Base cake recipe adapted from Two Peas and Their Pod via Epicurious

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