Pumpkin Sheet Cake

Pumpkin sheet cake is the perfect dessert to share this fall! It's packed with fall spices and pumpkin, so it's bound to be a hit. Embrace the fall season with this lovely pumpkin spice sheet cake.

Maple cream cheese frosting on a slice of pumpkin cake with a bite taken out of it.
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Pumpkin Sheet Cake Recipe

Whenever I need a fall dessert to feed a large crowd, I know that a pumpkin sheet cake is the answer. I thought of the idea for a pumpkin sheet cake a few years back when I was in charge of bringing dessert to Thanksgiving dinner.

I needed to be able to feed almost ten of us and knew this easy pumpkin sheet cake would last us! The whole family was a huge fan of the pumpkin cake and they especially loved the maple cream cheese frosting on top.

When the season turns to fall, I'm all about all the pumpkin things so this dessert is neither the first nor last pumpkin dessert you'll see in my house. These pumpkin snickerdoodle cookies have made an appearance a few times already and I doubt they'll be disappearing any time soon. And what's a fall baking season without a pumpkin pie?

I love the cream cheese icing for this pumpkin spice cake because it's less sweet than a traditional buttercream icing. With the addition of pure maple syrup you get a bit of sweetness but it also adds a depth and edge to the flavor of the icing that pair so well with pumpkin flavor of the cake.

Sheet cakes are perfect for get togethers because people can take a slice or two that is the perfect size for their appetite and there will still be plenty to go around! So grab a slice of this delicious pumpkin sheet cake, topped with delicious cream cheese frosting and enjoy the feelings and flavors of fall.

A slice of pumpkin cake with maple cream cheese frosting.

Why You'll Love this Recipe

This pumpkin cake recipe is gobbled up quickly because it's so good — it's the perfect balance of sweetness and pumpkin spice flavors. You're going to to love this fluffy pumpkin cake:

  • Making sheet cakes from scratch is more affordable than buying a cake from a bakery, yet it tastes just as delicious. While it may not have all the pomp of a tiered cake, most people just want delicious pumpkin desserts! They don't care if it's in sheet cake form.
  • It's so easy to make and share with friends! The maple cream cheese frosting makes this dessert almost irresistible.
  • This moist cake turns out perfect every time. No more dry and crumbly cakes from a box mix, this is just as easy and way more tasty.
A list of ingredients for a pumpkin pie sheet cake.

Ingredients

The pumpkin sheet cake is definitely the star of this dessert it just wouldn't be the same without this maple cream cheese frosting. Here is a list of the ingredients you need to make both:

Pumpkin Cake

  • pumpkin puree
  • sugar
  • brown sugar
  • vegetable oil
  • eggs
  • all purpose flour
  • baking soda
  • ground cinnamon
  • ground ginger
  • ground nutmeg
  • ground cloves
  • salt

Maple Cream Cheese Frosting

  • cream cheese
  • butter
  • powdered sugar
  • pure vanilla extract
  • maple syrup
  • ground cinnamon
A piece of pumpkin cake on a plate with a fork.

Substitutions and Variations

You can use coconut oil or olive oil in place of vegetable oil if you prefer. Avocado oil and melted butter would work as well.

Instead of using multiple different spices, you can use a little bit of pumpkin spice! It'll save a bit of time, but keep in mind the flavor may change a bit.

To reduce the amount of refined sugar in the recipe, swap out the brown sugar for coconut sugar.

You can use a gluten-free 1:1 flour substitute, such as King Arthur Measure for Measure Flour, to make this recipe without gluten.

Two slices of pumpkin cake with frosting on white plates with forks.

How to Make Pumpkin Sheet Cake

This pumpkin sheet cake is light, airy and full of flavor. Between the pumpkin and the fall spices, each bite will make you feel more and more cozy. Follow these simple steps to get the best results:

Make the Cake

Preheat your oven to 350°F (177°C) and then grease a 9x13 inch pan.

A glass mixing bowl with canned pumpkin next to eggs and hand-beater whisks.
Eggs added to the canned pumpkin.

In a large bowl, beat together pumpkin puree, white sugar, brown sugar, and oil until combined. Then add eggs to the pumpkin mixture and beat until combined.

Eggs and canned pumpkin mixed together.

Use a separate bowl to mix together all purpose flour, spices, baking soda, and salt. Once combined, slowly add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients until thoroughly incorporated.

A bowl of flour, eggs, and pumpkin cake spices.
A bowl of flour, eggs and other ingredients on a white table.
The flour, egg, and pumpkin cake spice mixture added to the eggs and canned pumpkin.
Entire pumpkin cake batter mixed together.

Pour the cake batter into the previously prepared pan and give it a little tap on the countertop to help settle an air bubbles.

A white baking dish filled with pumpkin cake batter.

Bake this delicious pumpkin sheet cake for 25-35 minutes, or until a toothpick can be inserted into the center of the cake and come out clean.

Allow the cake to cool completely before frosting.

Make the Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting

Using a hand mixer or stand mixer, beat together the softened cream cheese and softened butter.

A glass bowl with butter, cream cheese and vanilla.
A glass bowl with butter, cream cheese and vanilla whisked together.
Powdered sugar and cinnamon added to the whisked butter, cream cheese and vanilla with.
Powdered sugar, cinnamon, butter, cream cheese and vanilla whisked together.

Once creamy, add ½ cup of confectioner's sugar, along with cinnamon, at a time until the frosting reaches the desired consistency.

Maple syrup added to the powdered sugar and cinnamon added to the whisked butter, cream cheese and vanilla with.
A bowl of maple cream cheese frosting and a whisk next to a cake.

Then add maple syrup to the cream cheese icing and combine.

Pumpkin cake in a white baking dish.

Use the frosting immediately on the cooled cake, or place it into the refrigerator until you are ready to frost the pumpkin cake. When the cake is room temperature you can frost it.

Slice the cake and serve!

A person using a fork to eat a piece of pumpkin cake.

How to Store Leftover Pumpkin Sheet Cake

Store leftover cake in an airtight container, or tightly wrap the cake pan in plastic wrap or foil. Then store in the fridge for about 4 days.

You can also store unfrosted cake in the freezer! Transfer to an airtight container or wrap tightly and then freeze for 3 months. When you are ready to eat the cake, allow it to thaw completely and then frost.

Toppings for Sheet Cake

While this maple cream cheese frosting is the perfect topping for pumpkin sheet cake, you can add tons of other toppings too! A few ideas are:

  • chopped pecans
  • cinnamon sugar
  • ground cinnamon
  • chocolate chips
  • sprinkles
  • caramel drizzle

The list could go on forever, so don't be afraid to try something that is extra adventurous! Make this cake your own. You could even use it as a birthday cake and add candles! There are no limits to what you can do with a sheet cake.

Pumpkin cake in a white dish with a couple of slices missing.

Tips for Success

While this pumpkin cake recipe is really easy, there are a few pointers I can give you so you are guaranteed to succeed:

  • Make sure you use the correct size pan. If the cake batter is in a thin layer, it will bake too quickly and won't turn out right!
  • When using an electric mixer to mix up the frosting, make sure you are using the whisk attachment.
  • Don't overbeat cream cheese frosting or it will lose all of its structure and become a runny mess.

FAQ

Can I add chocolate chips to pumpkin sheet cake?

You can absolutely add chocolate chips to this cake! Mix in about a ½ cup of chips and make as normal.

Can I use store-bought frosting instead of homemade frosting?

If you need to save some time, store-bought frosting is a great idea. The flavor of maple cream cheese frosting goes super well with the pumpkin spice cake, but you can use a can of vanilla frosting or something similar. If you want to thicken up store-bought frosting, just whip it with some powdered sugar until it reaches the consistency you want!

A slice of pumpkin cake on a plate with a fork.

More Cake Recipes

Did you make this recipe?

If you make and love this recipe, please leave a ★★★★★ review below! It means so much to me when you try my recipes, and I'd love to know how it goes. Please leave a comment below if you have any questions.

Two slices of pumpkin cake with frosting on white plates with forks.

Pumpkin Sheet Cake

Pumpkin sheet cake is the perfect dessert to share this fall! It's packed with fall spices and pumpkin, so it's bound to be a hit! It's so easy to make and share with friends! The maple cream cheese frosting makes this dessert almost irresistible.
5 from 6 votes
Print Pin Rate
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes
Servings: 20 slices
Author: Madison | A Joyfully Mad Kitchen

Ingredients

For the cake

  • 1 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1 ½ cups sugar
  • ½ cup brown sugar packed
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 4 eggs beaten
  • 2 cups flour
  • 2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon ground ginger
  • ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cloves
  • ½ tsp. salt

For the frosting

  • 4 oz cream cheese softened
  • ¼ cup butter softened
  • 1 - 1 ½ cups powdered sugar
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease 9x13 cake pan.
  • Beat pumpkin, sugars, and oil.
  • Add eggs and combine.
  • In a separate bowl, combine dry ingredients.
  • Then slowly add dry ingredients to pumpkin mixture, until well blended.
  • Pour into cake pan and bake for 25-35 minutes until toothpick comes out clean.
  • Allow cake to cool completely before frosting.

For icing

  • Using a hand mixer, beat cream cheese and butter together.
  • Add ½ cup of confectioner's sugar at a time until you reach desired consistency and sweetness.
  • Add maple syrup to frosting. Taste for sweetness and maple flavor. If you want more maple flavor, add more syrup combine with mixer.
  • Frost cake immediately or place frosting in fridge until ready to frost.

Nutrition

Serving: 1g | Calories: 312kcal | Carbohydrates: 40g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 16g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 11g | Cholesterol: 49mg | Sodium: 237mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 29g

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20 Comments

  1. My favorite thing about this pumpkin sheet cake is the maple cream cheese frosting. Such a genius touch and everyone asked for seconds!

  2. Made this cake for a family get-together and it was gone in minutes! The cake was moist and flavorful, and the frosting was rich and creamy. Everyone really loved it so I'll be making this again for Thanksgiving.

  3. I made this recipe for my girlfriends, and they loved it. They said it was the best pumpkin cake they ever had! Good thing I decided to just bake one than buy a cake from the market. Now they are impressed with my baking skills! ha ha Thank you for this recipe!

  4. I love how the recips is packed with spices, it's so cozy and delicious. It was a hit with the family. Cant wait to make it again on the holidays.

  5. Pingback: 45 Thanksgiving Desserts That Are Not Pie • A Joyfully Mad Kitchen
  6. This looks so amazing--I'd love some with coffee, please!! 😉 I love that you guys get together with your grandparents every weekend!!

  7. This looks delicious! I've been collecting pumpkin recipes lately, I'll have to add this one to my list! - Jenny

  8. When I saw this on your Instagram, I may have drooled a little bit 😉 looks so good! I'm going to make this ASAP!

  9. All the yum! I have a similar recipe I tried last year and might need to break it out again this year 🙂

  10. I've been holding off on the fall baking since we haven't had anyone over to share it with, but I think it's time for some pumpkin desserts to make an appearance this weekend. This cake looks yummy! Also, fun fact: most canned pumpkin isn't actually pumpkin. It's a form of butternut squash! Each brand has their own squash variety (s) so the taste varies from brand to brand. The food regulations for what is a "pumpkin" allow for some variation, much like "apples." That's why the taste and color are a bit different than your own puree. 🙂

  11. I keep seeing pumpkin and cream cheese desserts and now I'm craving it so bad! The maple in this sounds so good! I definitely need to make this sometime this Fall.

    1. Those three ingredients together are just heavenly! You definitely should make something, I'm sure it'll be delicious 🙂

  12. Looks so amazing! I'm actually eating pumpkin bread for breakfast while reading this. Love when you share your recipes.