This Pumpkin Sheet Cake is a tender and fluffy, melt in your mouth kind of cake. When covered in a tangy blanket of velvety cinnamon cream cheese frosting this cake is irresistible.
Perfectly balanced in sweetness and warmth this cake is packed with fall flavors like cinnamon, ground cloves, vanilla and pumpkin.
Our favorite sheet cake hands down. We especially love to make this easy dessert during the fall. But my kids loooovvvee it so much that they ask for it all year long.
Topped with whipped cinnamon cream cheese frosting this Pumpkin Sheet cake is the best blend of spices and fall flavors.
In fact we love it so much we will even have it for breakfast the morning after we make it. Obviously not the healthiest but pumpkin is a vegetable right? Or is it technically a fruit?
Sheet cakes make such great desserts for potlucks, holidays and dinner parties! Quick and simple to make they feed a large crowd easily.
Sheet cakes come in all shapes, flavors and sizes. So if you aren't feeling the pumpkin vibe, another of our favorites is this chocolate Texas Sheet Cake.
Sticking with the fall flavors though, we can't recommend these Pumpkin Spice Chocolate Chip Cookies enough! Truly they are another treat perfect for getting in that fall baking mood.
And if you are on the hunt for other seasonal recipes our Sweet and Spicy Chili, Honey Lime Chicken Enchiladas, instant pot BBQ Pulled Pork, and Black Bean Sweet Potato Burritos are all dishes we couldn't live without.
When it comes to this dessert we can break this recipe into two parts. Let's start with our Pumpkin Sheet Cake. All it takes to make this light, moist cake is a handful of pantry ingredients like,
- Canola Oil
- Pumpkin Puree
- Ground Cloves
- Baking Powder
- Baking Soda
Then the next part of our recipe we need to tackle is the Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting. Simple ingredients makes this frosting easy to pull together! All you need is,
- Powdered Sugar
- Salted Butter
- Cream Cheese
- Heavy Cream or Milk
🍳 Step-by-Step Instructions
Firstly, in a bowl add all of your wet ingredients for Pumpkin Spice Cake. This will include your sugar, eggs, vanilla, oil, pumpkin puree, cinnamon and cloves. Using a hand mixer, mix till combined.
Second, in an additional bowl add all your dry ingredients, flour, baking powder and baking soda. Then using a spoon, stir to combine them.
Gently pour your bowl of wet ingredients into the bowl of dry ingredients. Using the hand mixer, mix everything together on a low speed until just combined.
Mixing too much will cause the baking powder to deactivate and result in a flat, dense Pumpkin Sheet Cake. So be careful not to over mix!
Now, that the batter is ready, set it aside and pre-heat your oven to 250 degrees. Once done, grease a 13x18 inch baking sheet with room temperature butter. Then pour and spread batter evenly into the baking sheet.
Finally place pan in the oven and allow to bake for one hour. When time is up check the doneness of your cake by inserting a toothpick into the center. If entirely baked the toothpick should come out clean.
Cool and Frost
Set your cake aside and allow to cool completely. At the same time remove your butter and cream cheese from the fridge and place on counter to allow to come to room temperature.
After the Pumpkin Sheet Cake is done cooling it is time to prepare the frosting. To do this add your powdered sugar, butter, cream cheese, heavy cream and cinnamon to a bowl.
Using a hand mixer or stand mixer whip together your frosting until there is no more lumps. The longer you allow your frosting to whip the smoother and velvetier it will be.
When done lay a thick blanket of your cinnamon cream cheese frosting across your pumpkin sheet cake. Sprinkle cake with extra ground cinnamon for aesthetic and enjoy!
👩🏻🍳 Make it Your Own
When it comes to sheet cake desserts there really are so many options when it comes to making it your own. Check out some of these other delicious ways to enjoy this moist fall treat and let us know your favorites!
- Spice it Up - If looking for even more bold fall flavors try adding extra cinnamon or a teaspoon of all spice or nutmeg to the cake batter.
- Chocolate Decadence - Nothing goes better with the flavor of pumpkin than chocolate! Add 2 cups of your favorite chocolate chips to the cake batter for an added level of melty sweetness.
- Add a Hint of Coconut - You can also substitute the canola oil for coconut oil for an extra layer of flavor. Just be sure to melt your coconut oil before adding.
- Play with the Flavors - If wanting to try a different flavor substitute pumpkin for applesauce and you've got an Apple Spice Sheet Cake to die for! Also try swapping pumpkin for sweet potato!
- Extra Crunch - Try garnishing your cake with your favorite nuts. Pecans and walnuts would both add a nice crunch to the cake's soft and tender texture.
💭 Top Tips
Shopping Trip - Be sure that when you are at the store getting all the ingredients for your Pumpkin Sheet Cake you are careful to buy pumpkin puree and not pumpkin pie filling.
They are often mistaken for one another as they are in similar cans. But they are VERY different products and not good substitutes for one another.
Softer the Better - You also want to make sure the cream cheese and butter are both room temperature before making your frosting. This is so important for making sure that the frosting is silky and smooth and doesn’t come out with any lumps.
Prepare Ahead of Time - This Pumpkin Sheet Cake is great for preparing ahead of time and storing in the fridge till ready to serve. Sheet cakes can be served at room temperature or cold. A plus to serving the cake cold is that it’s much easier to frost a cold cake than a room temperature one.
In addition to serving large crowds, sheet cake makes delicious leftovers. Any leftover cake should be stored in an airtight container or tightly covered in the fridge for 4 to 5 days.
Leftover Pumpkin Sheet Cake can also be kept in the freezer for up to 2 months. Then when ready to eat just pull from freezer and let thaw to room temperature.
What is a sheet cake?
Sheet cakes are large single layer cakes baked in a shallow one-inch deep 13x18 inch pan. Then once cooled these cakes are typically covered in a blanket of frosting before serving.
The sheer size of these cakes makes them incredibly ideal desserts for feeding large groups of people.
What size pan is best for sheet cakes?
Traditional sheet cakes are baked in 13x18 inch half size baking sheets. We like a thinner pumpkin sheet cake so sometimes will use a 14"x20" pan instead because it means a more 50/50 ratio of cake to frosting.
If you choose to use a different sized sheet pan you can just keep in mind that it will affect the thickness of the cake and the amount of time needed for it to cook, so watch it closely.
What happens when you bake cake at a lower temperature?
Traditionally cakes are baked at 350 degrees. You can however, bake at a lower temperature for a longer period of time if desired. There are several advantages to taking a gentler approach when baking.
For example, when a cake or sponge is able to cook slower it results in a fluffier, softer cake. It helps also create a flat top for frosting versus a doomed top that happens when the rising agent lifts too quickly. Baking at a lower temperature also prevents the cake from developing a crispier golden crust that other cakes cooked at higher temperatures can get.
How many servings are in a sheet cake?
Sheet cakes are the perfect dessert for feeding a crowd. Depending on how large the slices are cut you can usually get 48 slices out of a cake.
Pumpkin Sheet Cake
- 1⅔ cups sugar
- 4 eggs
- 2 teaspoons vanilla
- 1 cup canola oil
- 1 tablespoon cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon ground cloves
- 15 ounce can pumpkin puree
- 2 cups flour
- 2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting
- 4 cups powdered sugar
- ½ cup salted butter, room temp
- 8 ounces cream cheese, room temp
- 2 tablespoons milk or heavy cream
- ¼ teaspoon cinnamon
- In a large bowl add all your wet ingredients - sugar, eggs, vanilla, oil, pumpkin puree, cinnamon and cloves. Using a hand mixer, mix ingredients till combined.
- In a second bowl add your dry ingredients - flour, baking powder and baking soda. Using a spoon, stir to combine.
- Gently pour the bowl of wet ingredients into the bowl of dry ingredients. Using a hand mixer, mix everything together on a low speed until just combined. Be careful not to over mix the batter.
- Pre-heat oven to 250° F and grease a 13x18 inch baking sheet with butter.
- Pour and spread batter evenly into the baking sheet. Place pan in the oven and allow to bake for one hour. When time is up check the doneness of the cake by inserting a toothpick into the center, toothpick should come out clean.
- Set your cake aside and allow to cool completely. At the same time place butter and cream cheese on counter to come to room temperature.
- When done cooling prepare the frosting by adding powdered sugar, butter, cream cheese, heavy cream and cinnamon to a bowl. Using a hand mixer or stand mixer whip together your frosting until there is no more lumps.
- Spread a thick layer of cinnamon cream cheese frosting across the sheet cake, sprinkle with cinnamon and enjoy!
- Be careful when purchasing pumpkin puree that you don't grab a can of pumpkin pie filling by accident. Both look similar but do not substitute well for one another.
- You can substitute canola oil for coconut oil for an extra layer of flavor. Just be sure to melt your coconut oil before adding to the batter.
- Make sure the cream cheese and butter are both room temperature before making your frosting. This is super important for getting a silky smooth frosting with no lumps.
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Nutrition Information:Yield: 24 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 335Total Fat: 18gSaturated Fat: 6gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 11gCholesterol: 52mgSodium: 168mgCarbohydrates: 43gFiber: 1gSugar: 33gProtein: 3g