This Pumpkin Sheet Cake is the most flavorful and moist cake you’ll ever eat, and it’s simply loaded with all the flavors of fall. It takes only fifteen minutes to prep and when it bakes your kitchen will smell like fall. Top it with a melt-in-your-mouth cream cheese frosting and watch it disappear! It’s a great take-along dessert, but you might want to make two.
- 2 cups all-purpose flour, spooned and leveled
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 1/4 teaspoons cinnamon
- 1 1/2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice***
- 4 large eggs, room temperature
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 2/3 cup light or dark brown sugar, lightly packed
- 1 cup canola oil
- 1 15-ounce can pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie filling)*
- 1 8-ounce package cream cheese, room temperature
- 1 stick real unsalted butter, room temperature
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- Pinch of salt
- 2 cups powdered sugar
- 1 to 2 teaspoons of milk, only if needed
- Cinnamon for dusting the frosting, optional
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9 x 13 baking pan.**
- In a medium bowl, whisk or sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and pumpkin pie spice. Set aside.
- Add the eggs, sugars, and pumpkin puree to a large mixing bowl and mix on medium speed with an electric mixer until well combined. Add the dry ingredients and mix on medium-low speed just until the dry ingredients are incorporated into the wet. Do not over mix. Over mixing produces a tough cake.
- Pour the filling into the greased pan and gently shake it to level out the batter and remove air bubbles. Bake for approximately 30 minutes or until the cake springs bake when touched with your finger. If the indent from your finger remains in the cake, that means it isn’t quite done and needs an additional minute or two. Recheck the cake after 1 minute. You can also use a toothpick to test the cake for doneness. If the toothpick comes out clean, the cake is done.
- Allow the cake to cool in the pan until it is room temperature before frosting. To speed the process, I place it in the freezer for about 10 minutes.
- Add the cream cheese to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, or use a hand mixer. Mix the cream cheese on medium-high speed until it is very light and creamy. Add the butter, vanilla, and salt and mix for about 30 seconds to incorporate. Add the powdered sugar and mix on low speed until the powdered sugar is incorporated, then turn the mixer to medium-high speed and mix until the frosting is thick and creamy. If the frosting appears to be too thick for spreading or piping, add a tiny bit of milk, 1 teaspoon at a time until you get a perfect consistency.
- You have two options for frosting the cake. You can spread the frosting over the entire cake, (I like to use an offset spatula, but you don’t have to), or you can place the frosting in a piping bag or use a Ziploc plastic bag with the corner snipped off. Go ahead and cut the cake into 15 servings, then pipe dollops of the frosting onto each piece. This is my favorite way. I also sift a tiny bit of cinnamon over the dollops of frosting. This is optional of course.
- Cover and refrigerate the cake until about 30 minutes before serving for the best flavor and freshness of the frosting. This cake will be fine if you want to leave it out of the refrigerator for a few hours, but if you’re not serving it until the following day, I highly recommend keeping it in the fridge. The frosting is also rich and most all of my friends like eating it cold.
*There’s a difference between pumpkin puree and pumpkin pie filling. Pumpkin puree is pure pumpkin pulp with no added sugar or spices. Pumpkin pie filling has sugar and pie spices added to it, and it’s made ready to pour into a pie shell. For this recipe we want to add our own spices, so we’re using pure pumpkin puree.
** You can also use a 10 x 15-inch jelly roll pan for this recipe. It will result in a cake that isn’t as thick but will taste the same.
*** If you don’t have pumpkin pie spice don’t worry. You can make your own. Use equal amounts of nutmeg, cloves, ginger, and allspice. Mix together then measure out how much you need for your recipe.
Keywords: pumpkin cake, pumpkin, cake, cream cheese frosting,