Pumpkin Sheet Cake with Cinnamon Frosting

Prep 10 mins
Cook 20 mins
Total 30 mins

The best Pumpkin Sheet Cake made in a sheet pan and coated with a creamy Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting that melts into the cake as it cools. An easy and irresistibly tender pumpkin cake recipe that’s ready in 30 minutes and perfect for fall!

Pumpkin Sheet Cake: this easy homemade spiced pumpkin sheet cake is made in just 30 minutes and frosted with a creamy cinnamon cream cheese icing!

Fluffy Pumpkin Sheet Cake

This irresistibly moist yet fluffy Pumpkin Sheet Cake is quite literally takes the cake as my favorite pumpkin cake recipe! Just when I thought nothing could rival the marvellous flavor and texture of this Pumpkin Dream Cake, I fell head-over-apron for this quick and easy sheet cake recipe that’s packed full of pumpkin and spices, and absolutely delicious. Best of all, it’s ready in 30 minutes or less!

Inspired by classic Texas sheet cake, this homemade cake is made in a sheet pan and calls for savory pumpkin in place of chocolate cake and a rich, cinnamon cream cheese frosting in lieu of chocolate icing. The resulting cake is simply heavenly and perfect for fall gatherings – in flavor and in size!

Pumpkins and pumpkin seeds.

What You’ll Need

The great pumpkin and spice flavors of this cake come together with a list of common ingredients (many overlap between the cake and the frosting!). Here’s what you’ll need to make this Pumpkin Sheet Cake with Cinnamon Frosting:

  • Pumpkin Puree: Either canned or freshly pureed pumpkin. Along with pumpkin flavor, the puree gives the cake crumb a rich, moist texture.
  • Flour: All-purpose flour (as opposed to cake flour) works best with a thick and wet batter like this one.
  • Pumpkin Pie Spice: Use premixed Pumpkin Pie Spice from your local supermarket, or make your own using the instructions in the “Tips” section!
  • Butter: For the cake and for the frosting. Use unsalted, melted butter for the batter, and softened butter for the frosting.
  • Milk: Whole milk does the trick, or use a dairy-free alternative. Whichever milk you choose for the cake, you’ll need it for the frosting as well!
  • Sugar: Keep the batter simple with granulated sugar, or use brown sugar for some extra depth of flavor!
  • Eggs: You’ll need 2 large eggs for this recipe.
  • Vanilla: Pure vanilla extract almost always offers the best flavor when baking. You’ll also need vanilla for the sweet, flavorful cinnamon frosting!
  • Cream Cheese: For the cream cheese frosting. The perfect pairing for pumpkin spice!
  • Cinnamon: The star ingredient in the frosting, alongside cream cheese; use fresh or pre-ground cinnamon for a hit of warmth and spice. 
  • Powdered Sugar: Confectioners’ sugar gives the frosting an irresistible, melt-in-your-mouth texture.
Pumpkin sheet cake batter with beaters.

How to Make a Pumpkin Sheet Cake

The key to a sheet cake is the large, shallow pan. Like my White Texas Almond Sheet Cake and Chocolate and Peanut Butter Sheet Cake, one cake can serve a large number of friends and family, making these cakes the best for parties, potlucks, and sharing! Not to mention, this single-layer cake is incredibly easy to make — no assembly required! Here’s how you do it:

Prep the Sheet Pan: While your oven is preheating, grease a large sheet pan with a light coating of butter or cooking spray. I prefer to use a 13 x 18 inch jelly roll pan (also known as a baker’s half-sheet) for a thin, moist cake with the perfect frosting-to-cake ratio! You can use a 9 x 13 inch pan in a pinch, bearing in mind that the cake’s cooking time will increase to about 35 minutes.

Cream the Butter: In the microwave, melt the butter in short 10-15 second bursts. Whisk the melted butter together with the milk, pumpkin puree and sugar. In the same bowl, add in the eggs and vanilla extract and whisk until combined.

Combine the Dry Ingredients: Add the flour, baking soda, pumpkin pie spice and salt to the bowl with the batter. Combine these gradually and make sure everything is fully incorporated.

Bake: Spread the batter evenly into your prepared jelly roll pan. Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 20 minutes. This leaves plenty of time to whisk together the cream cheese frosting!

Make the Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting: Cream together the softened butter and cream cheese until it makes a smooth mixture. Slowly beat in the milk, vanilla extract and cinnamon until everything is combined. Finally, whisk in the powdered sugar. Turn the beater up to high and mix until the frosting is light and smooth! 

About this time is when the whole kitchen starts to fill with the warm smell of fall spices. Freshly baked pumpkin cake is one of my family’s favorite smells and just divine! 

Remove the sheet cake from the oven and spread the cinnamon frosting over the top while the cake is still warm. The frosting will melt into the cake as it cools – giving the cake the most finger-licking, crumbly soft taste and texture!

Homemade spiced pumpkin sheet cake on plate.

Tips for Success

Keep Refrigerated: Refrigerate the cake until you’re ready to serve. Before slicing, allow the cake to warm up on the counter for 10 minutes or so. 

Make Your Own Pumpkin Pie Spice: You can buy a premixed spice, or easily make your own! Combine 1 part each of the ground spices that make up the store bought version: cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, cloves, and allspice.

Pumpkin Sheet Cake: this easy homemade spiced pumpkin sheet cake is made in just 30 minutes and frosted with a creamy cinnamon cream cheese icing! #pumpkin #cake #fallrecipes #pumpkindessert

How to Store a Frosted Cake

Sheet cake travels wonderfully, which is just one more reason why this is the ideal cake for gatherings. You can leave the cake in the sheet pan for transporting and serving!

If you have cake leftover, these slices can be stored in an air-tight container for 2-3 days. I recommend keeping the cake in the fridge for the freshest, longest-lasting results.

More Pumpkin Desserts to Try

Can’t get enough pumpkin this season? Here are more pumpkin recipes that you and your family are sure to love!

Yield: serves 12 to 15

Pumpkin Sheet Cake with Cinnamon Frosting

Pumpkin Sheet Cake: this easy homemade spiced pumpkin sheet cake is made in just 30 minutes and frosted with a creamy cinnamon cream cheese icing! #pumpkin #cake #fallrecipes #pumpkindessert

This irresistible homemade Pumpkin Sheet Cake topped with tangy Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting is bursting with flavor and easy to make for fall!

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes

Ingredients

Pumpkin Sheet Cake:

  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup pureed plain pumpkin (canned plain pumpkin)
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting:

  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
  • 8 oz cream cheese, softened
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 5 1/2 cups powdered sugar

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease a 13 x 18 jelly roll pan with butter or spray with Baker's Joy.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together melted butter, milk, pumpkin and sugar. Whisk in eggs and vanilla extract. Then whisk in flour, baking soda, pumpkin pie spice and salt.
  3. Pour batter into prepared jelly roll pan and bake for 20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
  4. Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting: in a large bowl cream butter and cream cheese until smooth. Beat in milk, vanilla extract and cinnamon on low speed until combined.
  5. Then whisk in powered sugar - beating on high until frosting is smooth. Spread frosting on top of cake.
  6. Refrigerate cake until ready to serve, and let cake rest on counter for 10 minutes before serving to let it warm up just a little.

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Nutrition Information:

Yield:

15 servings

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 409Total Fat: 8gSaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 3gCholesterol: 45mgSodium: 233mgCarbohydrates: 82gFiber: 1gSugar: 67gProtein: 4g

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Pumpkin Sheet Cake: this easy homemade spiced pumpkin sheet cake is made in just 30 minutes and frosted with a creamy cinnamon cream cheese icing! #pumpkin #cake #fallrecipes #pumpkindessert

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Comments

134 Responses
  1. Meghan

    Just finished making this cake for a church dinner tonight. It was easy to make and the frosting is delicious. I can’t wait to try it tonight. 

  2. Lenzi

    I absolutely love this recipe. I’m wondering, could this be made using mini bundt pans? I’m looking at making 3″ cakes.

  3. Delia B.

    I entered this cake at my grandsons parish picnic dessert contest and won $50!! We heard the judges say this was the best cake EVER!! It is truly a crowd pleaser!! Can’t go wrong making this cake!!

    1. Jessica

      That’s a personal choice! If you are going to serve the cake fresh, I will spread the cream cheese frosting on while the cake is still warm. However if you are making the cake to serve later, I would allow the cake to cool before frosting. Hope this helps!

  4. stella sanok

    In the video, it looked like you put in two teaspoons of vanilla, the recipe said one teaspoon of vanilla. Confused.

  5. Lenzi

    Hi there! LOVE this recipe. I get so many compliments on it! I don’t know if my friends have noticed, but I can’t ever seem to get all of the cream cheese to blend. I can always see tiny little clumps. Do you recommend letting it soften at room temp, or mixing while cold? Any other ideas on why this is happening?

    1. Jessica

      Hi Lenzi! Yes, I can’t believe no one mentioned that before. I updated the recipe to say to let the butter and cream cheese soften. That will make it much smoother when you beat it and you won’t have those tiny lumps. 😉 

  6. Christine

    I am so let down. I followed recipe exactly and cake never rose. My baking soda was new. Don’t know what I did wrong. On a plus side the frosting came out beautifully just nothing to put it on now lol…

  7. Sky

    Heads up let the cake cool before applying the frosting. I didn’t because it wasn’t included in the directions and I ruined my cake 🙁 otherwise everything is delicious!

  8. Alice

    Made in a 13×9 pan and it didnt work out. Baked for a longer time and the outside ended up brown and hard as a rock while inside stayed soft with batter. Check it at 20. 25. And 30 minutes

  9. Maureen A Evans-Kelly

    hello

    in your recipe you called for a half can of pumkin, but i didnt see where you mentioned the size of the pumpkin can. Is it the large can or the 15oz. I have made this a few years ago and loved it but can’t remember which size can I bought. Thank you.

    1. Dee

      I used half a can instead of half a cup because I got it mixed up with another recipe. Im waiting to see how it turns out. Im making 2 today for a couple different parties.

  10. Mirobg

    Hello,
    I really want to try your recipe but can you give the measurements in metric units or at least oz because in cups it sounds a bit too much for some ingredients!?

    Thank you! :)))

  11. Gina

    This cake is amazing! Bought a sheet pan specifically to make it, and was not disappointed! I’m thinking cutting it to make a 4 layer cake for Thanksgiving.

    1. Kj

      That sounds like a great idea creating a layered cake. You can add chopped walnuts or any other nut probably as well. Good luck : ) …

  12. Monika Makarewicz

    i made this today. i will make it next time in a smaller pan so its a little thicker but will definitely reduce the frosting recipe…way too much. I put in frig to firm up and I actually scraped off as much as I could…too sweet and way too much especially for a thin cake. flavor is good but i ALWAYS put in extra when it comes to spices and i reduce the amount of sugar in sweet now a days. In general its good …I do prefer the pumpkin roll which this cake i think would allow you to do.

  13. Mea

    For anyone who says it doesn’t taste like pumpkin, just add a tsp or 2 of pumpkin pie spice. That did the trick for me!

    1. Jessica

      Buttermilk is best – you need the thicker texture. If you can’t get buttermilk, you can use milk, but add a teaspoon of white vinegar and whisk with the milk. Let the milk/vinegar mixture rest for 5 minutes before adding it to the batter.

  14. Dorcas

    All sheet cakes that I’ve done, have always had the frosting put onto the warm cake. Is this the same way or not? It doesn’t say to let the cake cool completely as other cake recipes say to do… thanks! 

  15. CHARLOTTE MURRAY

    I saw a famous chef make pumpkin puree from scratch. When she was done, she moved the finished bowl to the side and sat down a can of pumpkin puree. She said you can use canned puree because it’s exactly the same thing!

  16. Terresa

    I made this cake for my bible study. It was a big hit. Going to make it for my Christmas luncheon. Great cake. Thanks

  17. Valerie

    So so so good! I made this for a company potluck and it was a huge hit!

    I ended up making it in a 11×13 sheet pan because that was the largest I had and it came out just fine. I had quite a bit of icing left over though, which is fine I can find another use for it. I think is the cinnamon in the icing that puts this recipe over the top. So good!

  18. Sumer

    I made this a few weeks ago and brought it to work for my Halloween Birthday. It was fantastic! I added a little more milk to the frosting, just so it was not so thick. Everyone loved it and wanted the recipe. I don’t really care for pumpkin anything, but it was very subtle and the cinnamon was nice. I had about 1/4 of it left over and my husband ate it all in 2 days! I will be making this again for sure!

  19. claire

    How long does this last in the fridge? I want to take to thanksgiving but have to make it in advance. Can’t wait to try!

  20. Yoluanda

    Most delicious cake ever. Followed recipe as it turned out perfect and I don’t particularly like pumpkin. Its moist and subtle in pumpkin flavor and the icing is the best part. My family ate it all within a few hours. Making 2 for thanksgiving.

    1. Jessica

      Hi Corinne! Yes, that is the correct measurements. Feel free to cut it back if you like a less sweet frosting. 

    1. Jessica

      Yes, it should be ok. But depending on the brand of salted butter, it might be just a tiny bit saltier than I would like, but probably not noticeable to normal non-nurtotic bakers. 🙂

  21. Rebecca Wilson

    Omg!! Absolutely the most amazing cake EVER!!! I’m probably going to gain 10 lbs from eating this whole cake lol! 

  22. Kerri

    I made this cake for work tomorrow. I had to make a second one because the batter is so yummy! Second cake is just to have at home 🙂 I knew I would need a second piece and my husband wanted some of it too. Great recipe, thanks for sharing.

    1. Kerri

      Update: this is the most delicious cake I have had in a long time! The flavors are perfect between the cake and the icing. My new favorite 🙂

  23. Margaret

    Please tell me – Why do so many of you leave comments BEFORE you have made up the recipe? We are not interested in whether or not you think it looks lovely, and are dying to try it!!! We want to know what you thought of it AFTER you have made it.

    1. Terry sullivan

      The frosting was too much for my cake…too thick on the cake. No worries. I am going to make another cake recipe in cupcake tins. I am about to have lots of friends.

    2. Mimi

      Thanks, Margaret, I was thinking the very same thing!!  I had to read several reviews to find someone who had actually TRIED IT..  

    1. Jessica

      Hi Linda! I find mine at the grocery store in the baking aisle near the other canned pie fruits! You want pure pumpkin, not the can labeled pumpkin pie filling. Hope this helps! 

  24. Tracey

    I can’t find the correct pan size to bake this in. However, found a 12×18. I have plenty of 13×9 that aren’t deep. Will they work. Really want to try this reminds recipe. Looks delicious.

  25. Phyllis Rice

    Do you have any quick & easy cakes that I could use a cake mix? When you live alone I don’t have a lot of the extra ingredients. But yo u r cakes sound so great!

    1. Jean

      I have to be gluten free. I haven’t made this recipe yet, but want to try it. In the past, I’ve been able to use gluten free flour mix in the recipe instead of regular flour, same amount. The secret is to sift the gluten free flour & then measure the amount needed. That is because most gluten free flour blends are heavier than the regular flour most people use. The second tip is to use 1 & 1/2 times the leavening agent (baking powder) called for in the recipe. In this case, you would use 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder. Also make sure your baking powder isn’t old & at least 6 months away from the expiration date. My 2 favorites are Namaste gluten free flour blend (purchase at Costco) or King Arthur Cup for Cup gluten free flour blend (WalMart). These 2 tips have helped me to convert some of my recipes to gluten free. This is a recipe I think it would work well with. Hope this helps. Happy baking!

    2. Terry Sullivan

      Hi Jo. I am Terry  Johnson -Sullivan. I made this sheet cake today gluten free. It is delicious. First let me tell you that you can go to Amazon.com or to Bobs Red Mill.com and get a gluten free flour that is one to one ratio. If your recipe calls for 2 cups of flour then use this type the same way…2 cups. It says baking flour on the package and also 1 to 1. I also used lactaid milk and a new product called “Whey Low” sugar for diabetics. It is 70% lower glycemic level than regular sugar in it’s molecular structure and 5 cal./tsp. it tastes and bakes just like real sugar but pricier. So now I have a lovely cake that my husband who is gluten allergic and lactose intolerant, and my diabetic mom can eat. Check out Bob’s web site for all kinds of gluten free flours and recipes and also in larger sizes for bakers.

  26. Kristin

    Just a suggestion from an old school person that likes to print recipes – to use and save. Check out Sally’s Baking Addiction. Hers come out as shown on the computer screen. I loved the LOOK of your recipe when it said “Print” but then this lengthy three pager came out….NOT what it looked like on line. The recipe looks delish and I will try it, but for me as a printed recipe person – how it comes out would deter me from using your site.

    1. Christina

      You just need to highlight the recipe from the website, then use ‘print selection’ when you go to print. This should solve your problem with most sites where you would want to print recipes.

    2. Margaret

      I quite agree with you Kristin. The print-out instructions leave a lot to be desired. The only way to do it, is copy the recipe only, paste it to Work, and print it out from there. Ridiculous how when you click on Print, you get pages of stuff you don’t want – like 3, 4, or 5 photos!!! There are a fewe other recipe sites I have come across which are like this. Awful.

  27. Karen

    Any other kind of frosting to use that doesn’t include cream cheese? Can’t eat anything with cream cheese due to lactose intolerance. Would love to try. 

  28. Jessie

    Im sad, i followed this recipe exactly and it didnt fluff up like a cake. It tasted like pumpkin french toast and had a fudgy consistency. I even used a large enough pan. 🙁

    1. Jessica

      Hi Jessie! That’s really strange, I think you should double check your baking soda. It absolutely is a true cake consistency and nothing like fudge or french toast. 

  29. Peg

    FANTASTIC!  I followed the recipe exactly, and brought it to the hostess for a recent housewarming: it was absolutely delicious…everyone LOVED it!!  I’m making it for my company to have after Thanksgiving dinner!  I’ll bring it to my sister’s for my food contribution for Christmas!!  Thanks for posting this recipe!!

  30. Linda Bollinger

    This cake really doesn’t taste much like pumpkin. It only has 1/2 cup so I can’t identify a good pumpkin flavor if that’s what you’re wanting. The cake was a bit dry and the icing is waaay too thick for as thin as the cake is. I love anything pumpkin but I cannot recommend this recipe. 

    1. Leah

      Your soda may have been old. Won’t rise enough. I found out the hard way. I always store my soda in a seal tight jar or tin now. It lasts longer

  31. Cheyenne

    I tried this recipe out and WOW!! I’m in love. This cake is dangerous. I could eat it for breakfast, lunch, and dinner :p

    My mom, who can’t stand pumpkin pie, absolutely loved this. The whole family is demanding I make it for Thanksgiving and Christmas. Fine by me. Any excuse to make this cake lol! It definitely tastes best straight out of the fridge in my opinion.

    I microwaved the butter and cream cheese like the directions said.. Followed the directions to the T and it came out perfect for me. Firms up just fine if you let it rest for a while. I will be using the frosting recipe for cinnamon rolls too. 

    1. Deanna

      I have made this cake once before I did not use microwave for butter and cream cheese!? I just creamed it with a mixer blended them together then added other ingredients! Turned out great!!!

  32. Ann

    Beware this recipe is terrible! Had to throw it away. The frosting is listed incorrectly! So pissed…what a waste!

    1. Christina

      Any time that happens with frosting, you can just wait for it to solidify again, or put it in the fridge for a little while. That’s the nice thing about butter frostings, they will change consistency with heat/cold. Yours probably ended up looking more like a glaze than a buttercream frosting. Sorry about the waste 🙁

  33. Debbie

    In the video for the frosting the butter and cream cheese is creamed together and not melted in the microwave as the recipe reads!! Big difference in consistency…..which is right? Thanks

    1. Karen

      You melt the butter for the cake batter. You DO NOT melt the butter and/or cream cheese for the frosting. The recipe doesn’t say anything about melting the butter or the cream cheese for the frosting. The cake and the frosting are two separate recipes. 

    1. Jessica

      Hi Jeanette! You can definitely use a 13×9 cake pan/casserole dish. It will take a little longer to bake and it will be a thicker cake instead of a true sheet cake, but will still be delicious!

  34. Lunda

    1/2 can of pumpkin ?  It doesn’t say what size can or solid pumpkin or purée.  1/2 can pumpkin equals 1  cup or how much.  Thank you 

    1. Jessica

      Hi Lunda! Sorry, I was trying to make it clearer. I originally had it listed as 1/2 cup pumpkin in the ingredients and people were asking if they should use grated pumpkin! You need to use 1/2 cup pureed plain pumpkin. I will change the recipe to say that, hopefully it is clearer. 🙂

  35. Valerie solis

    This may be a weird question, but I was wondering if you had any ideas on how to transport and present this after it’s been cut. I want to try a piece before I bring it to my friend’s house tomorrow lol. 

    1. Jessica

      Hi Valerie! That’s the only issue with a sheet cake haha! The only way I have found to display it if I try to cut it first is to arrange it on a large platter. But I do find it so much easier to transport to a party when I leave it in the pan.

      1. Marion

        I was thinking the same thing and I may cut the squares to fit small flattened cupcake circles and arrange in something to transport. I am going to make it this weekend and try the cupcake round before Thanksgiving. 

    1. Jessica

      Hi Shanika, this recipe uses canned pumpkin puree. You can also make your own pure pumpkin puree. You do not want to use uncooked grated pumpkin.

  36. Cheyenne

    This looks soo good! The link you have to the pan is for a half sheet. I was wondering if I got the quarter sheet pan, would that work to halve the recipe? My family isn’t full of pumpkin lovers so I don’t want to make such a large amount.

    1. Jessica

      Hi Cheyenne! The quarter sheet pan isn’t a true half size, but it is a good deal smaller than the quarter sheet pan. So yes, the batter should definitely fit in the pan, however it might cook a little quicker. So just keep an eye on it in the oven!

  37. Stephanie | Worth Whisking

    Oh, this cake is right up my husband’s alley! I’ll definitely have to make it for him. . .and then promptly take it to work so he doesn’t eat the whole thing! 🙂 The cinnamon cream cheese frosting sounds divine!

    1. Rhoda Dickess

      Just a thought  have you tried  to turn it out on a powdered sugar towel put icing on then roll like a pumpkin roll it would be easy to transport .

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Jessica
I'm a trial & error, self taught, sugar addict who thankfully learned how to survive in the kitchen! I am also a wife, mama of 3.
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