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Welcome fall with this deliciously moist Pumpkin Sheet Cake! The cream cheese frosting complements pumpkin cake perfectly. It’s also perfect for freezing!
It’s September, the sky is overcast, and I’m fighting off the desire to fill my house with red, orange and yellow hues. 🙂 In just a couple days, it will be 99 degrees again, and I just can’t let myself dream about fall quite yet. BUT, I can share this delicious Pumpkin Sheet Cake recipe!
Sheet cakes are made in a large pan (18×13) with short sides. They are similar to what you’d use for a jelly roll-or a Classic Pumpkin Roll, which you should totally make later. They cook quickly and are perfect for bringing to potlucks or parties.
What if you don’t have a party or potluck to attend? No problem! Make this delicious pumpkin cake for yourself and then freeze the slices for a special treat any time you get the craving.
The cream cheese frosting stands up perfectly to freezing and the slices don’t take long to thaw out at room temperature because they aren’t too thick. You can read more details about freezing pumpkin sheet cake below.
What you’ll need:
- flour (cake flour is best, but all purpose will work as well)
- baking powder
- brown sugar
- pumpkin puree (NOT pie filling) (I make my own pumpkin puree in my Crockpot Express and it’s so easy!)
- cinnamon, nutmeg and ginger OR pumpkin spice mixture
- cream cheese
- half sheet baking pan (18x13x1)
Start by whisking the dry ingredients together in a mixing bowl. If you are using AP flour instead of cake flour, be sure to sift it so it’s nice and smooth.
In another bowl, cream the butter and sugars until light and fluffy. Then add the other wet ingredients and blend together. Add the dry ingredients a little at a time until completely mixed.
Evenly spread the cake batter in a half sheet baking pan that’s been greased and floured. Bake 28-30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
While the cake is cooling, make the cream cheese frosting. Beat together the cream cheese, butter, vanilla extract and salt until smooth. Add powdered sugar, 1/2 cup at a time, until combined and completely smooth. Add a little milk if needed to thin out the frosting.
Spread the cream cheese frosting over the cooled pumpkin sheet cake. Garnish with cinnamon sticks or sprinkle with additional pumpkin spice. Slice and serve!
Can I freeze Pumpkin Sheet Cake?
Yes! Sheet cakes are perfect for freezing because they thaw so quickly at room temperature. You can freeze cake slices of any kind, but the frosting that’s made with cream cheese and/or butter stands up particularly well. Frosting made with eggs and cream will not, however.
To freeze this particular pumpkin cake, simply allow the cake to cool completely and frost as usual. Then, cut your slices but leave them on the baking sheet (or put them on another sheet pan that will fit in your freezer.)
Allow the slices to freeze completely first, and then take them out and wrap them tightly in plastic wrap. This will keep the frosting neat. When you are ready to eat one of your frozen slices, take it out and plate it while still frozen.
Remove the plastic wrap and allow to thaw at room temperature. Because the slices are quite thin, it will only take 10-15 minutes to thaw. Yum!
Pumpkin Sheet Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting
For the cake:
- 2 cups cake flour all purpose is OK- see notes
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1 cup butter (two sticks) softened
- 1 cup white granulated sugar
- ¾ cup brown sugar packed
- 2 eggs
- 1 15 oz can pumpkin puree NOT pumpkin pie filling!
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- ½ teaspoon ground ginger
For the Frosting:
- 1 8 oz block of cream cheese softened
- ½ cup butter (one stick) softened
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 3-4 cups powdered sugar sifted
- 1 tablespoon milk optional
For the cake:
- Preheat your oven to 350° F. Grease and flour a half baking sheet (18x13) and set aside.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt, then set aside.
- In another large bowl, cream together the butter and white and brown sugars until smooth and creamy.
- Working one at a time, beat in the eggs. Add the vanilla extract, cinnamon, nutmeg, and ginger and mix until combined.
- Beat in the flour mixture a little at a time until thoroughly combined.
- Pour the batter onto your prepared baking sheet and use a spatula to spread evenly.
- Bake for 28-30 minutes or until a cake tester, knife, or toothpick comes out clean when inserted into the middle.
- Set the cake aside and allow to cool completely.
For the frosting:
- Beat together the cream cheese, butter, vanilla extract, and salt.
- Add in the powdered sugar a ½ cup at a time, until completely combined and smooth.
- Add milk if needed, to smooth out frosting.
- Spread the frosting evenly over the cooled pumpkin sheet cake.
- Garnish with additional ground cinnamon, if desired, then slice and serve.
- If using all-purpose flour, be sure to sift beforehand so your cake texture comes out light and smooth.
- In place of the spices, you can use 1 tablespoon of pumpkin pie spice if desired.
- The batter will be thick - that’s normal. If you feel that it’s too thick and not moist enough, you can add a tablespoon of milk to thin it out.