Pumpkin Sheet Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting is a quick and easy holiday dessert for a crowd! Moist homemade pumpkin cake, made in an hour.
EASY PUMPKIN CAKE
Change things up this holiday season with this tasty, easy Pumpkin Cake. One bite of this light and fluffy pumpkin-y sheet cake and your guests won’t even miss pumpkin pie. It’s so moist and full of pumpkin flavor and warm spices they love, and you’ll love how little work it takes.
All you need for this crowd sized holiday dessert is a can of pumpkin puree, regular baking ingredients, mixing bowls, a spatula, and a sheet pan. No stand mixer or beaters needed, this Pumpkin Sheet Cake is made by hand. You can even carefully add all the dry ingredients to a sifter and whisk as you sift. Two steps in one and one less bowl, win-win!
This Pumpkin Cake recipe uses all the spices found in pumpkin pie like ground cinnamon and ground nutmeg. Swap in 2 tablespoons Pumpkin Pie Spice blend if you already have it on hand. You can even use the pie spices in the frosting for more flavor.
If you have time, or made some already, you can use homemade Pumpkin Puree in this cake recipe instead of the canned. This is a go-to puree recipe because it’s easy, fast, and keeps up to a year in the freezer so you can enjoy Pumpkin Cake completely from scratch all year long.
Pumpkin Sheet Cake is an easy holiday dessert, perfect for large holiday gatherings! The Cream Cheese Frosting is simple and quick to make, plus we’ve included four different ways you can make it even better! You could also skip the frosting and drizzle the cake with Chocolate Ganache or serve warm from the oven with Vanilla Ice Cream.
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FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Cream together 8 ounces cream cheese, ¼ cup sugar, and 1 teaspoon vanilla to make a cream cheese swirl. Spoon dollops of cream cheese mixture over cake batter and run a knife through to marble.
Fold in a ½ cup chocolate chips, white chocolate chips, cinnamon chips, candied ginger pieces, chopped nuts, or raisins to your pumpkin cake batter.
Sprinkle your frosted cake with chopped pecans or walnuts, crushed gingersnaps, or pumpkin seeds. Mellocreme pumpkins (candy corn pumpkins) would make a cute Halloween or Thanksgiving decoration.
Substitute flour, sugar, and baking soda with Spice Cake mix and leave out the spices, or use a Yellow Cake mix with the spices.
For a Healthy Pumpkin Cake, replace sugar with 2/3 cup brown sugar and ¼ cup honey, half the oil with ½ cup greek yogurt, and half the all-purpose flour with whole wheat flour. Bake as usual.
Different Ways to Make Cream Cheese Frosting for Pumpkin Cake
- Pumpkin Spice: Mix in 1-2 tablespoons Pumpkin Pie Spice, or use the same amounts of the spices in the recipe to make Pumpkin Pie Cream Cheese Frosting.
- Cinnamon: Add 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon to make Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting. Such a simple way to completely elevate your dessert!
- Brown Butter: Brown half of the butter called for to make Brown Butter Frosting. Melt butter in a skillet until foaming, keep cooking until golden brown and gets a nutty aroma.
- Greek Yogurt: Make a lighter frosting by swapping low fat (not non-fat) cream cheese and ¼ cup greek yogurt for the cream cheese.
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HOW TO STORE PUMPKIN SHEET CAKE
- Serve: Unfrosted Pumpkin Cake can be at room temperature for up to 3 days but with cream cheese frosting, you want to refrigerate it after 2 hours.
- Store: Cover cake pan with foil or plastic wrap and refrigerate up to 1 week. Bring cake to room temperature, about 15-20 minutes, before serving for best taste!
- Freeze: Cool cake completely and cover Pumpkin Cake with plastic wrap and then aluminum foil, or transfer cake to sealed container. Freeze for up to 3 months and thaw in the refrigerator before serving.
- 15 ounces canned pumpkin puree
- 2 cups sugar
- 1 cup canola oil
- 4 large eggs
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 2 cups flour
- 2 teaspoons baking soda
- 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 3 cups Cream Cheese Frosting
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 10×15 baking pan with baking spray.
- In a large bowl whisk together pumpkin, oil, sugar, eggs and vanilla extract until smooth.
- Sift together flour, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, cloves, allspice and salt.
- Whisk the dry ingredients into the pumpkin mixture until just combined.
- Pour into baking pan and bake for 30-35 minutes until a toothpick comes out clean.
- Wait for cake to cool before frosting.
Photos used in a previous version of this post.