This pumpkin sheet cake with homemade cream cheese frosting is a perfect choice for any fall event. The cake is fast and easy to mix up, ready in less than an hour, and a homemade frosting adds a richness that pairs wonderfully with the pumpkin flavor. A sheet cake makes it easy to share and provides you with plenty of servings to feed a crowd whether it be at Thanksgiving dinner or a holiday gathering.
- Pumpkin Sheet Cake
- Can I Use Fresh Pumpkin Instead of Canned?
- What Mix-In's Can I Add to Pumpkin Sheet Cake?
- Can I Use a Different Frosting Instead of Cream Cheese?
- Why is My Cake Undercooked in the Middle But Not on the Sides?
- How Do You Make Cake Moist?
- Ingredients for Pumpkin Cake
- Ingredients for Cream Cheese Frosting
- Handy Kitchen Tools
- How to Make a Pumpkin Sheet Cake
- How to Make Cream Cheese Frosting
- Does Pumpkin Cake Have to be Refrigerated?
- How Long is Pumpkin Cake Good For?
- More Cake Recipes
- 📖 Recipe
Pumpkin Sheet Cake
If you like cake, then you can't go wrong with this recipe. Pumpkin spice is always a hit as soon as the first cool breeze hits in the fall. This recipe combines that with your favorite moist cake, and a hint of richness in the cream cheese frosting spread on top. If you've never made a cake before, this is a great beginner recipe that is practically foolproof!
If you want another easy sheet cake idea, check out my favorite coconut cake recipe with coconut cream cheese icing. It's so rich and easy to make! Of course, you can't go wrong with cream cheese frosting!
Can I Use Fresh Pumpkin Instead of Canned?
While you could use an equal amount of fresh pumpkin puree instead of canned, you would find the flavor is not what you expect. What is currently used for pumpkin puree is actually a specific type of squash made just for this product. It has a little bit different texture and flavor, so wouldn't be identical.
Fresh pumpkin puree is good and can be used, but the extra effort just isn't necessary for a simple cake like this one. Instead, use that for other dishes when you want to put extra time and effort into the meal. If you happen to have extra pumpkin puree after making this cake, you can always use it in this creamy pumpkin risotto recipe. It's a delicious savory dish that is surprisingly easy to prepare.
What Mix-In's Can I Add to Pumpkin Sheet Cake?
If you want to add a little kick of something extra to this recipe, you can add a few different items to the batter, or just on top of the cream cheese frosting once baked. Below are a few things I think would work well with the pumpkin spice flavor. If adding to the batter, do so once it is ready to pour into the pan to bake and add only ½ cup total of additions.
- Chopped walnuts, pecans, or macadamia nuts.
- Golden raisins, coconut shreds, dried apricot chunks, or dried pineapple chunks.
- Mini chocolate chips, white chocolate chips, butterscotch chips, cinnamon chips, or pumpkin spice chips.
Can I Use a Different Frosting Instead of Cream Cheese?
Yes! If you aren't a fan of cream cheese, you can definitely use a different flavor of frosting. Basic vanilla buttercream is a perfect choice, but you could also whip up a batch of cinnamon or pumpkin spice frosting if you prefer.
Of course, while it is better with frosting, you do not have to have that for this to be delicious. You can serve alone, with a drizzle of caramel syrup, or even a dollop of whipped cream or ice cream instead of frosting if you wish.
Why is My Cake Undercooked in the Middle But Not on the Sides?
One reason this happens is when you have a pan that is almost as large as the oven itself. In that case, the sides of the oven tend to get hotter than the middle, so the edges of the cake will cook faster.
Another reason this happens is that you are baking the cake on too high heat and not long enough. This recipe is designed to be baked in a 9"x13" pan, but if you used a bundt pan, cake pans, or different shaped pans, you may need to change the amount of time the cake is baked so it doesn't cook too fast and not finish in the middle.
How Do You Make Cake Moist?
The best way to bake a moist cake is to make sure you are adding enough fat to dry the ingredients. In this recipe, there is a significant amount of oil and eggs to go along with the dry ingredients to provide fat. You will often see things like oil, eggs, and butter or shortening in recipes for this reason.
Another way to make sure your cake stays moist is to store it properly. Since this cake should be refrigerated after frosting, just make sure you are covering it well with a tightly fitting lid or plastic wrap around the entire cake so it isn't exposed to air to dry out the cake.
Ingredients for Pumpkin Cake
- All-purpose flour
- Baking powder
- Baking soda
- Pumpkin pie spice
- Ground cinnamon
- Pumpkin puree
- Vegetable oil
- Brown sugar
- Granulated sugar
- Vanilla extract
Ingredients for Cream Cheese Frosting
- Cream cheese
- Unsalted butter
- Powdered sugar
- Vanilla extract
Handy Kitchen Tools
How to Make a Pumpkin Sheet Cake
Preheat the oven to 350°F and spray a 9"x13" baking dish with non-stick cooking spray and set it aside.
In a large bowl, add the flour, baking powder, baking soda, pumpkin spice, cinnamon, and salt, then whisk together. Set aside.
In a separate bowl, add the pumpkin puree, vegetable oil, brown sugar, granulated sugar, eggs, and vanilla. Beat until well-combined.
Add the wet mixture into the dry mixture, and mix until combined.
Pour into the prepared baking pan and spread evenly.
Bake for 35 to 40 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean.
Remove from the oven and place the baked cake on a wire rack to finish cooling completely.
How to Make Cream Cheese Frosting
In a large bowl, add the cream cheese and the butter and beat until smooth.
Add in the powdered sugar and vanilla extract, and beat until combined and thickened.
Spread the prepared cream cheese frosting over the baked and cooled cake before serving.
Does Pumpkin Cake Have to be Refrigerated?
The pumpkin cake by itself does not have to be refrigerated, however, the cream cheese frosting should be refrigerated. So, as long as you frost the cake, you will need to cover and place it into the refrigerator until ready to serve. Cover tightly with plastic wrap to keep the cake moist.
How Long is Pumpkin Cake Good For?
This recipe should be eaten within 5 days of baking. The cream cheese frosting by itself is good for up to two weeks so can be made ahead of time and stored in the refrigerator until ready to frost the cake for serving.
More Cake Recipes
Nothing makes for a better dessert than a slice of cake. Whether you want something rich and decadent, light and simple, or a layered creation, the cake is always a favorite dessert on the menu. Below are some more of my favorite cake recipes that are going to become your favorites too! Make sure you pin, print, or bookmark these recipes to add to your menu plan soon!
- The Easiest Old Fashioned Pound Cake Recipe
- Refreshing Lemon Cake Recipe with Lemon Glaze
- Decadent Texas Turtle Sheet Cake Recipe
- Classic Pink Lemonade Cake with Whipped Icing
- Boozy Bailey's Irish Cream Chocolate Cake Recipe
- The Easiest 7-Up Cake Recipe
For Pumpkin Cake
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 (15 oz) can pumpkin puree
- 1 cup vegetable oil
- 1 cup packed brown sugar
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- 4 large eggs
- 1 ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
For Cream Cheese Frosting
- 8 oz. cream cheese, softened
- ½ cup unsalted butter, softened
- 2 cups powdered sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
How to Make a Pumpkin Sheet Cake
- Preheat the oven to 350°F and spray a 9"x13" baking dish with non-stick cooking spray and set it aside.
- In a large bowl, add the flour, baking powder, baking soda, pumpkin spice, cinnamon, and salt, then whisk together. Set aside.
- In a separate bowl, add the pumpkin puree, vegetable oil, brown sugar, granulated sugar, eggs, and vanilla. Beat until well-combined.
- Add the wet mixture into the dry mixture, and mix until combined.
- Pour into the prepared baking pan and spread evenly. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean.
- Remove from the oven and place the baked cake on a wire rack to finish cooling completely.
How to Make Cream Cheese Frosting
- In a large bowl, add the cream cheese and the butter and beat until smooth.
- Add in the powdered sugar and vanilla extract, and beat until combined and thickened.
- Spread the prepared cream cheese frosting over the baked and cooled cake before serving.
Add up to ½ cup pecans, walnuts, raisins, coconut, or chocolate chips to the batter for added flavor and texture.
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Amount Per Serving: Calories: 567Total Fat: 34gSaturated Fat: 11gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 21gCholesterol: 101mgSodium: 470mgCarbohydrates: 61gFiber: 1gSugar: 43gProtein: 6g