This delicious and easy Pumpkin Sheet Cake is the perfect Thanksgiving dessert. It has wonderful pumpkin flavor and it pairs great with homemade cream cheese frosting. There’s no way you’ll be able to only eat one piece!
The Best Pumpkin Cake Recipe
When you think of Thanksgiving, you likely think of pie as the signature dessert. We are most definitely pie lovers in my house, but we all have a sweet spot for a good cake. Instead of making a pumpkin pie this year, I highly recommend that you try this moist pumpkin cake recipe. It is soft and full of pumpkin and cinnamon flavors. It’s the best I have ever had. If you want to take it up another level, try our pumpkin layered cake.
To take it completely over the top, you have to make the cream cheese frosting that goes on top. It has just the right amount of cream cheese and it is sweet without being overly sweet. It’s smooth, creamy, and so decadent and tasty. Whenever I make it, I always have a spoon ready to taste test.
Ingredients You’ll Need
If you love to bake, you likely have many of these ingredients in your kitchen already. It is not an expensive dessert to make!
For the Cake:
- Flour: All-purpose flour works perfectly for this pumpkin sheet cake.
- Baking Powder
- Baking Soda
- Pumpkin Pie Spice
- Canned Pumpkin: Any brand of plain pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie filling) will work or make our easy homemade pumpkin puree recipe.
- Vegetable Oil: You can also use canola oil.
For the Frosting:
- Butter: Make sure the butter is at room temperature before making the frosting.
- Powdered Sugar
- Cream Cheese: Allow the cream cheese to soften so the frosting is creamy.
- Vanilla Extract: I use pure vanilla. It pairs perfectly with the tanginess of the cream cheese.
- Fondant Pumpkins: An optional decoration.
How to Make This Recipe for Pumpkin Cake
Here are the step-by-step instructions to ensure you get the best pumpkin sheet cake. There are also directions for a rich cream cheese frosting which takes this recipe to the next level.
- Step 1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F and prepare a 9×13 baking dish with parchment paper or non-stick cooking spray. Set it aside.
- Step 2. In a large mixing bowl, whisk flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and pumpkin pie spice until just combined.
- Step 3. In a separate medium bowl, mix canned pumpkin, oil, eggs, and sugar. You can use a whisk for this as well.
- Step 4. Pour the wet ingredients into the bowl with the dry ingredients and stir until just combined. Be sure not to overmix.
- Step 5. Pour the batter into the baking dish and spread evenly.
- Step 6. Bake for 35-40 minutes. Insert a toothpick into the center and if it comes out clean, it is fully baked.
- Step 7. Allow the cake to cool in the pan for 15 minutes and then transfer it to a wire rack to cool completely.
- Step 8. While the cake is cooling, add butter and powdered sugar to a bowl of a stand mixer. Beat on medium speed until light and fluffy.
- Step 9. Add cream cheese and vanilla and beat until smooth.
- Step 10. Spoon the cream cheese frosting onto the cooled cake and spread with an offset spatula.
- Step 11. Slice the pumpkin cake into squares and place a fondant pumpkin onto each slice if desired. Serve and enjoy!
How to Store Leftovers
Leftover pumpkin sheet cake should be stored in an airtight container in the fridge. Be sure to enjoy it within 4 days. The cake can be eaten chilled or left at room temperature for an hour before eating if you prefer.
Tips and Tricks
- To save time, you can make the cream cheese frosting a day in advance. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator until you are ready to use it.
- Sprinkle chopped pecans or walnuts on top of the cake for some crunch.
- You can use candy pumpkins for decoration instead of fondant pumpkins if desired.
More Sheet Cake Recipes
- Butter Pecan Sheet Cake
- Caramel Apple Texas Sheet Cake
- Lemonade Sheet Cake
- Cherry Garcia Sheet Cake
- Italian Cream Sheet Cake
Pumpkin Sheet Cake
- Preheat the oven to 350F and grease and line a 9×13” baking pan with parchment paper.
- Whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and pumpkin pie spice in a large mixing bowl.
- In a separate bowl whisk together the canned pumpkin, oil, eggs and sugar until combined.
- Pour the wet ingredients into the bowl with the dry ingredients and whisk again until just combined.
- Pour the mixture into your prepared baking pan and bake for 35-40 minutes or until a skewer poked into the center of the cake comes out clean.
- Leave the cake in the pan for about 15 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.
Cream Cheese Frosting
- Add the butter and powdered sugar to the bowl of an electric stand mixer. Beat on a medium speed until super smooth and fluffy. This should take about 5 minutes. You can also use an electric hand whisk for this.
- Add the cream cheese and vanilla extract and beat until smooth and thickened – about another 2 minutes.
- Spoon the cream cheese frosting on top of the cooled cake and spread out with an offset spatula.
- Slice the cake into squares to serve. Place a fondant pumpkin on top of each square for decoration if desired.