Pumpkin Sheet Cake has a tender moist crumb pumpkin cake and is topped with silky smooth cream cheese frosting. It’s the perfect dessert for feeding a crowd this fall.
Fall is my favorite season. It’s not just because the temperature is perfect and the leaves are gorgeous but also because of yummy desserts like this Pumpkin Sheet Cake. I could eat a pumpkin dessert everyday! Good thing it’s layering season. Ha!
How to Make Pumpkin Sheet Cake:
You’ll start out by making the cake batter. Use a whisk to mix all the dry ingredients together. This ensures that all the spices and leavening agents are evenly distributed.
Next, you’ll mix the sugar and liquid ingredients together. This cake uses both brown and white sugars. The brown sugar adds depth of flavor and moistness. I like using oil in pumpkin goods because it too helps keep the crumb super tender and moist. The pumpkin puree of course also adds moistness.
You only need 1 1/4 cups of pumpkin puree for this cake. That doesn’t seem like much, but it goes a long way and it is the perfect amount for keeping the cake nice and fluffy instead of dense like pie.
After mixing all the liquid ingredients together you’ll add it to the dry ingredients and mix until everything is combined. Spread the batter into a half-sheet pan (13×18) and bake it for just 18 to 22 minutes until a toothpick comes out clean. Be sure to let the cake cook completely before frosting.
How to Make Cream Cheese Frosting:
To make silky smooth cream cheese frosting you’ll need to have slightly softened butter and cream cheese. I set mine out for just 20 minutes before mixing. You’ll beat the two together in an electric stand mixer for about 2 minutes on medium until smooth and then add in the powdered sugar and vanilla until fully combined. If you notice there are a lot of air bubbles, set the mixer to stir for about 2 minutes. This slow beating helps get the bubbles out that were whipped in.
If your frosting seems too thin, pop the bowl in the freezer for about 15 minutes and then mix for another minute. Spread the frosting evenly over the top of the cooled sheet cake and top with the pecans, if desired. My kids don’t appreciate nuts like I do so I only add nuts to half of my cake but feel free to leave them off entirely if someone is allergic. Cover and store in the fridge until ready to serve.
Looking for more pumpkin dessert recipes? Try these:
- Mini Caramel Pecan Pumpkin Cheesecake Trifles
- White Chocolate Pumpkin Cheesecake
- Pumpkin Cream Cheese Muffins
- Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Spice Bars
- Pumpkin Loaf Cake
Pumpkin Sheet Cake
For the Cake:
- 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
- 1 1/2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 3/4 cup granulated white sugar
- 3/4 cup packed brown sugar
- 3/4 cup canola oil
- 3 large eggs
- 1 1/4 cups unsweetened pumpkin puree
- 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
For the Frosting:
- 12 ounces cream cheese softened
- 3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) salted butter softened
- 4 cups powdered sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
- 1/2 cup pecans finely chopped (optional)
Prepare the cake:
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F., and spray a 13x18 inch (half sheet) baking pan. Set aside.
- In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour, cinnamon, pumpkin spice, baking powder, salt, and soda. Set aside.
- In a medium mixing bowl, mix the sugars together with a whisk. Add the oil and mix until smooth. Mix in the eggs, pumpkin puree, and vanilla and mix well. Add the liquid ingredients to the dry and mix until combined.
- Spread the batter evenly into the prepared baking pan. Bake for 18 to 22 minutes, until toothpick comes out clean. Place the pan on a cooling rack and let the cake cool completely before frosting.
Prepare the frosting:
- In a large bowl, use a hand mixer or stand mixer to combine the softened butter and cream cheese. Beat for 2 minutes on medium speed. Add the powdered sugar and vanilla and mix until smooth. If you have a lot of air bubbles, mix for 2 minutes on stir to knock them out. If you'd like the frosting thicker, pop the bowl into the freezer for about 20 minutes and then stir again.
- Spread the frosting evenly over the cake. Sprinkle chopped pecans on top if desired. Slice and serve. Store covered in fridge.