Pumpkin Sheet Cake with Brown Butter Cream Cheese Frosting is the perfect dessert for fall. The cake is easy to make, feeds a crowd, and always gets rave reviews. Everyone loves this easy sheet cake recipe!
Pumpkin lovers get excited about today’s recipe because this Pumpkin Sheet Cake with Brown Butter Cream Cheese Frosting is pumpkin perfection. I make this easy sheet cake every fall and everyone loves it. It’s always the talk of every party and every fall get together. The cake is amazing, but the brown butter cream cheese frosting is really the icing on the cake:)
I always keep several cans of pumpkin in our pantry during the fall because I tend to go pumpkin crazy. You saw our 25 favorite pumpkin recipes, right? Yeah, I try to make them all every year. I am also obsessed with my new Chocolate Pumpkin Bread. And of course, I have to make room for this Pumpkin Sheet Cake. If I don’t make this cake, our friends and family will send me kind reminders that they haven’t had it yet:) It’s a fall staple.
So why is this pumpkin cake recipe everyone’s favorite fall dessert?
- it’s pumpkin
- it’s super moist
- it’s made with brown butter
- it’s covered with brown butter cream cheese frosting
What’s not to love? The brown butter for the cake and the frosting takes a little extra time, but I promise it is SO worth it. The brown butter flavor is what makes this pumpkin sheet cake so special.
Plus, the cake can be made in advance and kept in the fridge. I actually like to eat it cold. I’ve been known to sneak in the fridge and eat a piece right from the pan. I am classy like that:) If you are going to serve the cake to guests, just take it out of the fridge and let it come to room temperature. It is the perfect cake to serve at fall parties and Thanksgiving. It feeds a crowd and everyone will be begging for a second piece and the recipe.
This sheet cake is the perfect recipe for today because it is Caleb’s birthday! How do we have a six year old? It feels like I was just blogging about his birth story. I miss that little baby, but I am so proud of the fun, sweet, caring, smart, and amazing big brother that Caleb is today.
Caleb LOVES birthdays and insisted that we celebrate his birthday this Pumpkin Sheet Cake. I told you his is smart:) Celebrate with us and enjoy a piece of pumpkin sheet cake today! It’s the perfect dessert for any fall celebration!
If you like this Pumpkin Sheet Cake recipe, you might also like:
- Pumpkin Bundt Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting
- Pumpkin Bread
- Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies
- Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Streusel Cake
- Pumpkin Cheesecake with Brown Butter Gingersnap Crust
- Pumpkin Truffle Bundt Cake with Chocolate Ganache
Pumpkin Sheet Cake with Brown Butter Cream Cheese Frosting
For the pumpkin cake:
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter cut into tablespoon pieces
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
- 2 cups granulated sugar
- 4 large eggs
- 1 15 oz can pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie filling)
- 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
For the Brown Butter Cream Cheese Frosting:
- 1 cup unsalted butter divided
- 8 ounces cream cheese at room temperature
- 4 cups powdered sugar
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- Pinch of salt
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 18" X 13" jelly roll pan with nonstick cooking spray or butter and set aside.
- Place the butter in a medium skillet. Melt the butter over medium heat, swirling it in the pan occasionally. The butter will foam and pop, so be careful. Continue to swirl the pan often. Remove pan from heat once the butter starts to brown and smells nutty. There will be small brown bits on the bottom. The butter should be an amber color. Pour butter into a small bowl and cool to room temperature. You can put it in the fridge to speed up the process.
- While the butter is cooling, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and pumpkin pie spice. Set aside.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, mix the brown butter and sugar together with the beater blade on medium speed. Mix until smooth. Add in the eggs, one at a time, and mix until combined. Beat in the pumpkin and vanilla extract. Mix until combined.
- Turn the mixer to low and add in the dry ingredients. Mix until just combined, don't over mix. Stir the batter with a spatula to make sure all of the ingredients are combined.
- Pour the batter into the prepared pan and use a spatula to make sure it is evenly spread out. Bake the cake for 18-24 minutes or until the cake springs back lightly when touched, is golden brown around the edges, and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Allow the cake to cool completely.
- While the cake is cooling, make the brown butter cream cheese frosting. First, brown ½ cup of the butter. Only brown half of the butter for the frosting. Cut ½ cup of the butter into tablespoons and place it in a medium skillet. Melt the butter over medium heat, swirling it in the pan occasionally. The butter will foam and pop, so be careful. Continue to swirl the pan often. Remove pan from heat once the butter starts to brown and smells nutty. There will be small brown bits on the bottom. The butter should be an amber color. Pour butter into a small bowl and place in the freezer for about 20 minutes. You want it to solidify a little.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat together the cooled brown butter, regular butter, and cream cheese. Beat until smooth, about 3 minutes. Add the vanilla extract and pinch of salt and beat again.
- Add powdered sugar one cup at a time, mixing well between each addition. Scrape down the sides of the bowl.
- Frost the cooled pumpkin cake with the brown butter cream cheese frosting. Serve!
- Note-cake will keep covered in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Let it come to room temperature before serving. Although, I do like to eat it cold from the fridge:)
Have you tried this recipe?
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Aw, happy birthday Caleb!! Gotta love sheet cakes because they are so easy, perfect for a crowd, and this one looks DELISH! I need to run to the store to grab some more pumpkin…
That frosting sounds divine!
Never can go wrong with pumpkin and cream cheese!!
You had me at BROWN BUTTER CREAM CHEESE FROSTING
It’s life changing!
Such a brilliant idea to make this on a sheet-tray! Such a perfect fall dessert!
Everything about this looks so good Maria- I can only imagine that frosting!!!
Brown butter cream cheese icing? I’ll just take the icing, please. 😉 Seriously, though, this looks good!
This is so ridiculously good that I am fighting myself not to have another piece before bed! How did you cover it in the fridge so that foil doesn’t stick to the top??
Ha! I can never just have one piece. I covered it with plastic wrap.
I only made the frosting as I already had a pumpkin cake in the freezer. It was INSANELY good!!!! Tasted like a decadent caramel frosting. Yum!!!!
Hi, I’m making this today for a potluck tomorrow! Should I use parchment paper? Is a dark coated jelly pan ok to use?
I grease the pan without parchment and it comes out fine, but if you are worried, you can for sure grease and use parchment paper. If you use a dark pan, it will brown sooner so make sure you watch it. Enjoy!
I’ve never browned butter before so this was a first for me and the brown flakes that appeared at the bottom of the pan were then still in my frosting. It didn’t come out white and pretty like yours did! What did I do wrong??
You want the butter to be browned, the cream cheese should make the frosting white still. Mine did have little brown flecks but maybe you can’t tell in the photos. It wasn’t brown though. I hope that helps!
Hi Maria! I made this last fall two or three times In a tow for various fall gatherings..what a hit! Can they be turned into cupcakes for a fall themed bridal shower do you think? Or would that be similar to your pumpkin cupcakes w salted caramel? Thanks!
If I wanted to halve the recipe what size pan should I use?
Do you have to refrigerate it or is that your preference?
You don’t have to, you can store it on the counter.
This recipe is FANTASTIC! I made it as a cake and LOVED it! I also used the same recipe for mini cupcakes and just baked for 15 mins. They turned out perfectly. I’m adding this recipe to my Fall must-bake list!
I absolutely love this cake! I have made this recipe 4 times so far. I get numerous requests for the recipe when I take it to functions. I did make 2 slight changes. I increased the pumpkin pie spice in the cake to 3 teaspoons and added 1/4 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice to the frosting.
Glad you love the cake! Thanks for letting us know!
For the cake, could I substitute brown sugar? Or half granulated half brown? I love the flavor of brown sugar with pumpkin!
Yes! You can do half brown sugar and half granulated sugar.
The recipe calls for a jelly roll pan but it is called a sheet cake.
Aren’t those two different things?
I think of a sheet cake like a pan you would make cookies on.
Absolutely delicious!! The cake is so moist and the icing is so light… not too sweet! The perfect Thanksgiving dessert! ❤️
This is an outstanding recipe. I’ve made pumpkin bars (like sheet cake) with cream cheese frosting before and it was good, but the brown butter and method of making the frosting takes this to a whole new level of outstanding and excellent. I followed the recipe to the letter. We loved it and can’t wait to share with our guests.
Sounds delicious! What size pan would I use if I wanted to make half of the recipe?
How many people will this cake feed?
delicious and a big hit, as all your recipes are. Thank you! I did notice the tsp of salt in the ingredient list is not listed in the instructions. I added with the dry ingredients 🙂