Pumpkin Sheet Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting


pumpkin sheet cake with cream cheese icing

I’ve heard that there’s a canned pumpkin shortage going on.  I hope not, because you are going to want to make this cake.  It’s perfectly pumpkin-y with a soft, cream cheese frosting that makes you want to lick your lips, your fork, your plate and the pan. 

The recipe makes a good-sized sheet cake so you can share it with a bunch of friends, or pop some in the freezer for another time.  You’ll still have plenty to eat for yourself.  I altered the recipe from the Amish Friends Cookbook.  My mother-in-law bought it for me for my birthday.  I love Amish cookbooks.  They’re 87.3% desserts with a few main dishes thrown in so as not to be too decadent.  They also have recipes for odd things like a drink called Hay-Time Switchel and Vinegar Punch. 

Here’s what you’ll need for the Pumpkin Sheet Cake:

pumpkin sheet cake ingr

  • 16 oz can pumpkin
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 4 eggs, beaten
  • 2 cups flour
  • 2 tsp. baking soda
  • 2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp. nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp. salt

In a mixing bowl, beat the pumpkin, sugar and oil.  Add eggs and mix well.  Combine the dry ingredients and add to the pumpkin mixture, beating until well blended.  Pour into a greased 10×15 inch baking pan.  Bake for 25-35 minutes at 350 degrees.

Cool the cake completely and then frost it with the cream cheese frosting.  Here’s what you’ll need for the frosting:

pumpkin sheet cake icing ingr

Please excuse the pan that could use a good scrubbing with a Brillo pad.  It’s a well used, well loved pan.

Cream Cheese Frosting:

  • 5 Tbs. butter, softened
  • 3 oz cream cheese, softened
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 1 3/4 cups powdered sugar
  • 3-4 tsp. milk
  • chopped nuts for the top, if desired

Beat the butter and cream cheese together.  Add the vanilla and blend till smooth.  Gradually add the powdered sugar and mix well.  Add the milk a bit at a time until you get it to a spreadable consistency.

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  1. That looks so yummy:) I love recipes with pumpkin. It just pulls the fall season togather for aome reason.

  2. This looks great. My kids cannot get enough pumpkin treats – pies, cookies, cakes, muffins, etc. Now I just need to find my sheet cake pan!

    re: canned pumpkin shortage – I’ve heard this several times throughout the blog over the last week or so but I think it might be based on location. I’m in Ontario, Canada and this week there were dozens of cans of pumpkin at my local grocery store. Considering Canadian Thanksgiving is only 2 weeks away, this was happy news indeed. I grabbed several cans just in case though 😉

  3. I love recepies with pumpkin too! I have just cooked lasagna with punpkin and besciamella… that looks so good!

  4. That looks so good. I cant wait make it . Thanks to that picture I have to make it. Great tempting picture Tiffany.

  5. Yum! Sounds kinda like the pumpkin roll my sister makes every year, without having to go to the trouble of rolling it up!

    • The sheet cake did remind me of that pumpkin roll. I love that stuff and could eat my weight in it. I’ve never made it though, because it seems like a pain to do the rolling thing.

  6. I LOVE pumpkin cake! This looks fabulous!

  7. I wonder if this could be made with fresh pumpkin and spices? I normally do a lot of freezing of fresh pumpkin every fall.

    • No reason why not i use fresh pumpkin all the time. Using it for this also!

    • You most certainly can!! I have many many times:) And this pumpkin cake recipe has been a family favorite of ours forever!!!! My kids grew up eating this several times a year…….we love pumpkin WAY too much to make it an exclusively fall tradition!! 🙂

    • Yes I make everything with fresh pumpkin. And now no-one willpower me cheat with can pumpkin.it has to be fresh or nothing lol

    • I did and it was great! I never use canned pumpkin. Always get some pie pumpkins in the fall and process the pumpkin. I put in freezer bags and use it for bread, pies, cakes, etc. Its awesome

    • I have used fresh pureed pumpkin from my garden., it is very good. I have a friend that had an abundance of squash she uses that instead of pumpkin also. Can’t tell the difference . If you research, cans of pumpkin have mostly squash in them.

  8. Thank you for this! I love all things pumpkin!!

  9. I am CRAZY about anything pumpkin so I can’t wait to try this recipe!!!


  10. I WILL be making this soon!!!! Thanks for the great recipe.

  11. I hope that canned pumpkin shortage is a myth. My husband distributes scads of pumpkin bread loves around town at Christmas. (It may have to become sweet potato bread!) I would love for you to post your Crock Pot recipe at Crock Pot Wednesday on Diningwithdebbie.blogspot.com. Mister Linky is already up for this week. Come check it out.

  12. canned pumpkin shortage??? what? this is the first that Ive heard of it, but Im scared. Im gonna go to the store TODAY to pick up a few cans, just in case.

  13. I made this earlier in the week and we ate it for dessert for days! It was perfect…. like what autumn or fall would taste like. On spot and divine!

    Now, my husband wants me to convert it to a loaf… without the icing of course. I am going to try it.

    Thanks for all your great recipes!

    Crystal and Co.

  14. These were fantastic! My crew ate a whole pan in 24hrs. They said the best one I have ever made! Thank You!

  15. I am late in commenting to this. It looks delicious!!! I love pumpkin anything! I am so making this for Thanksgiving.

    A question about freezing – I assume you freeze in the pan and just leave it in there that way. How do you seal it up well enough to prevent freezer burn?

    • Amanda, you can freeze this cake right in the pan. Just cover it tightly with foil (you might want to use heavy duty foil if it’s going to be frozen for a while) and be sure not to sit anything on top of it in the freezer 🙂

  16. Yes, I do read the related posts and the pumpkin caught my eye : ) I love anything pumpkin so this one was a sure bet!!

  17. Oh my gosh! I just made this and it is SO good! We never got it frosted as we took “small” tastes while it was cooling, and polished it all off before we got around to the frosting!

    It is VERY moist! A new favorite around here for sure, even the picky toddler gobbled it up!

  18. We made it for dessert tonight and it is super, super yummy. All the kids loved it and we had to limit the number of pieces they could have. I’m sure it will be gone tomorrow.

  19. I know this is a really old post, so I hope you see this comment Tiffany. I don’t have a 10×15 pan, only an 9×13 or a bar pan (sometimes called jelly roll pan). If I use the 9×13 do I need to increase the bake time?

    • Amanda, I used a jelly roll pan to bake mine. I do think you could use a 9×13 though and increase the bake time.

  20. I’m trying this one this week.

  21. Thanks so much for the cream cheese frosting recipe. I made it tonight to put on a Red Velvet cake – and I was so proud of myself for being able to do it! The cake was made from a box, but I just didn’t want the frosting from a can at the store, so decided to search your site. 🙂 Thanks for the great, simple recipe.

  22. I love this. Being English I found it hard to find a recipe anywhere. My friend gave me the Can of Libbys pumpkin and I had no idea what to do with it. Thanks so so much. My little English family love it!!

  23. I’m stealing your recipe to try! I love pumpkin… I’ll link back to you when I post about it on my blog. I’ve never made a sheet cake before, so this could get interesting. 🙂 Looks delicious though!

  24. I made 2 of them today! One for us and one to donate to the school bake sale. I had left-over pumpkin, so I added it to the frosting instead of using the milk and added a couple dashes of pumpkin pie spice. The cake was moist and very yummy! We have several pumpkin fans here and its been hard holding everyone off till after dinner! Thanks for another recipe that’s going in to my recipe holder.

  25. I made this for dessert the other night and it was a big hit! Thank you : )

  26. Don’t apologize for the pan. That’s the way it should be. Unused pans are clean.

  27. Virginia says:

    Thank you for your inspiring website full of simply delicious meal ideas. I’ve made so many of them I’ve lost count.

    This one looks soo good, I’m going to be making it this evening.

    Now, rather than a brillo pad, use oven cleaner on the pans that don’t have the teflon coating. It takes the pan back to new looking.

  28. This is a wonderful recipe. I can’t wait to try it and have a bite.
    custom bonds

  29. Christina says:

    This looks soooo delicious. My sons’s 4th birthday party is coming up and I want to make a homemade cake for him. I’m not a baker, however. Can I still frost this and maybe cut in into the batman symbol like a regular sheet cake, or is the consistency too soft/crumbly? Thanks!!

  30. This looks just wonderful….I will be making it very soon! Pumpkin in the pantry. This will be the recipe to get my fall baking started 🙂

  31. I made this today and turned it into cake pops… such a yummy cake and adorable as little pumpkins. Thank you!

  32. Made this yesterday for a family dinner….YUM! Rave reviews from family. Love the fact that it made plenty to share with neighbors, and still a few pieces left over for tonight. Thanks Tiffany!

  33. I just put this into the oven, but had to taste the batter (organic cage free brown eggs). And the batter was amazing! I didnt want to bake it!

    The pumpkin granola didn’t go over very well. I also made your Mac and cheese with broccoli ( but mine had frozen mixed veggies) and only 1 of my boys would even try it, he liked it! Tomorrow I plan on making your hamburger barley soup , (my 10 yo really likes that on) but I’m going to try it with ground turkey. I’m doing most of one of your low cost menus this week. :). For some reason they didn’t like your potato soup ( but they did the last time I made it) nor did they like the graham muffins, probably to sweet enough! I’m going to try you cheddar muffins with the soup tomorrow. Now I need to search your site again for a good lunch as the one I chose ( burrito tacos) uses the crock pot which will be making the soup!

    Hopefully you will see this even though it’s and older post. Ok, now my 5 yo is hungry, he wasn’t interested in the pizza bowties I served for lunch… Ugh, picky eaters this week!

    • Lady Lep, the pumpkin granola sounds great. Too bad they didn’t like it. Was that a recipe linked up on INgredient Spotlight? Good luck with the picky eaters this week 🙂

      • I mistyped. I meant pumpkin oatmeal in the slow cooker. I still want to try the pumpkin granola. I make pumpkin bread every year to give as gifts. And they love my pumpkin bread, so they do like pumpkin. And your cake seems similar, I use cloves in mine. Can’t wait to try it! But my older boys came home with cupcakes from playdates. So I guess this wasn’t the day to make a cake…

  34. christina says:

    Just made it and it is delicious!!! I have been looking for recipes for my sons first birthday and my search is over. This cake is the winner. Can this stay out of the fridge over night or should it be refrigerated the same day? Thanks for this awesome recipe.

  35. Self rising or all purpose flour???? I want to make to tomorrow… Thanks

  36. Has anyone tried making this in a 9×13 pan ?


  38. This looks like an easy recipe for Thanksgiving. I am going to try making it with almond/coconut flour. Wish me luck.

  39. delicious. but instead of using nutmeg i used pumpkin pie spice it tasted amazing

  40. Use crushed Ginger snap cookies to sprinkle on top. Simply amazing.

  41. can you make this pumpkin sheet cake with stevia??

    • Stevia doesn’t do well in cooking. Truvia, a combination of stevia and erythritol is also not a great idea (erythritol, an alcohol of sugar, can cause digestive upsets).
      If you’re looking for a natural sweetener, try maple syrup or coconut sugar (which is low-glycemic). I’d avoid agave since it’s a high-fructose product and is no better for you than high-fructose corn syrup (HFCS). HFCS causes obesity and liver disease, among other things.
      If you really want a low-calorie sugar substitute for baking, try xylitol. It’s not cheap though!

      • You can bake with stevia (about 1 teaspoon of liquid to 1 cup of sugar, or 1/3 to 1/2 teaspoon of powder per cup) but stevia leaves a weird aftertaste, in my opinion. Also, sugar has properties having to do with moisture and bulk) in baked goods that stevia doesn’t so you might have to tinker with other things (applesauce, eggs, yogurt) to get a tender cake instead of a crumbly one.
        You might be better off going to a website that can give you a full recipe using stevia.

  42. Do I have to use regular flour for this recipe or can I use self rising and leave out the baking soda?? I really wanna make this cake!!

  43. Try subbing applesauce instead of eggs and vegetable oil. You will find the taste absolutley amazing. 1 1/2 cups of unsweetened applesauce will replace the 4 eggs and oil.

    • I would like to substitute the oil or at least part of the oil. Does anyone know if using half oil and part applesauce works ok? And how much applesauce replaces the oil? Also can you replace 2 eggs with something else so there are no so many eggs? Just looking to make the receipe healthier.

      • Joanne, I think you would use the same amount of applesauce as oil. As for the eggs, other than an egg substitute I’m not sure how it would work to reduce the eggs.

      • Anonymous says:

        When I made this, I didn’t have enough oil in my pantry, so I used half oil and half applesauce. It turned out great! The only problem was that I couldn’t stop eating it!

  44. I want to ask a question ,years ago my Mother told me that in any recipe that called for baking soda and salt that I could omit it if I was using self-rising flour as it is in it,is this true in recipes can you leave out something’s if you use the self rising flour?

  45. Sally Doran says:

    This looks wonderful! Since the frosting has cream cheese, does this need to be refrigerated?

  46. Can’t I use a boxed cake mix instead of doin this by scratch? Scratch scares me!

    • There are recipes for pumpkin cake using a box mix, but let me encourage you! This one is really, really easy. Just as easy as using a cake mix. Give it a try 🙂

      • Anonymous says:

        I made this today in our RV. Tiffany, you are right. SUPER EASY!!! I have past this along and received through FB. Great recipe!

  47. Not a fan of oil……makes cakes and breads ‘greasy’. Butter all the way. I am assuming butter works just fine?

    • I haven’t tried it with butter, but I’m guessing it would work.

    • Not all oils are the same. Some are greasier than others. I only use coconut oil in everything and for everything that needs oil. Butter is flavorful, but too much is not good for you. Coconut oil IS good for you. Give it a try. When you’re done putting the oil in your cake, wipe some on your hands and work into your cuticles. Then wipe any excess off in your hair. It’s good for your body both internally and externally. Hope my advice helped.

      • I’m allergic to coconut, can’t touch it! I wish I could try it though.
        Instead, I sparingly use really butter. It’s amazing how it works and feels on your hands and cuticles too. Oh, and avacado!

      • Marylou Smith says:

        I too use nothing but coconut oil. I love it!

  48. The recipe looks great but if nutritional values are not shown I pass the recipe up as it is important to my health to know these things.

    • Anonymous says:

      You could keep tabs of everything you put in, and enter as a whole in a calorie counter app, then when you eat some, just select your portion size.

  49. Anonymous says:

    I wanted to know how many carbs there is in the pumkin recipe.I have to watch the carb intake.

  50. My cousin sent me this link and I’m so glad she did! I love making enough to store for winter, especially pumpkin-flavored goodies. The recipe sounds great. I can hardly wait to try it. And don’t worry about the pan; I have a lot of well-loved, well-used ones, too.

  51. saraintexas says:

    Hi everyone. Has anyone done this in a Bundt pan? If so how long for baking and what temperature?

  52. Is that quantity of frosting sufficient to cover the entire cake? Just wondering because I thought I would bake this cake and take up to my husband’s office.

    • Jill, I made this last weekend and it was enough frosting. I think I did have to add a little more powdered sugar to get the icing to the right consistency, but there’s was enough to cover the cake.

  53. Love your sheet cake pan. Tells me you will have great recipe’s!

  54. Sheila Hood says:

    I made it this time per the recipe. Next time I am going to try it with egg substitute and splenda and maybe applesauce or coconut oil instead of vegetable oil. Can’t wait till it comes out of the oven. I did however use a 9×13 pan. Expecting it to take a bit longer to bake.

  55. I’m going to try this recipe today using fresh pumpkin, I can’t wait! One question I have though, I wonder how it would turn out as cupcakes??? Would they be too dense maybe? TIA!!!

    • I think they may turn out pretty dense.

    • I took a chance and made this into both cupcakes and a loaf in a 9×5 loaf pan. I cooked the cupcakes for 20 minutes and the loaf for 50 minutes. Neither are “too dense.” Three loaf reminds me of Zucchini bread and the cupcakes are like muffins. Both are completely delicious!

  56. My family devoured this! I added my homemade vanilla and doubled the frosting. It didn’t last 2 days in my house with my 6 kids!

  57. Thanks for the recipe. I’m not a baker but, I’m going to to try this one. Thanks, I love pumpkin…

  58. Just bought 3 cans of pumpkin……they all say 15 oz rather than 16 oz…..going to make this today……At the store I was not sure how much pumpkin I needed which is why I bought 3….I am going to use just one can…but wonder if they have downsized the cans a bit and if anyone else has made it with a 15 oz can. I imagine it will work fine

  59. The use of the term “scratch” is incorrect here…Scratch means using cooked pumpkin and not canned. Cooking small pie pumpkins is so simple too…like baking a potato.
    Cut the pumpkin in half and bake upside down on a sheet pan lined with foil or parchment. 45 min. – 400 degrees. Let cool, scoop out the pumpkin and either freeze in batches or use in recipes.
    One small pumpkin will make two to three pies. And it’s not a brownm over seasoned sludge that comes out o a can!

    • I’m not using pie filling, but canned pumpkin with no seasoning. Still, you’re correct that cooking the pumpkin from fresh would be from scratch.

  60. Hello!
    I was wondering for the frosting, can I substitute the powder sugar with honey?
    I have a gaps pumpkin cake recipe I make but need a good frosting 🙂
    Thanks in advance!

  61. Great recipe!!! Love #Pumpkin!
    And…btw…your pans are good. Mine are used often as well; anyone who cooks/bakes a lot will be the same. We do not, like Ina, use a new pan (new everything) for every recipe /dish of food photos; nor professional photographers doing a bunch of style staging for our photos 😀
    That’s called #authentic. I’ll take yours any day ♡

  62. I wonder if you could do these as cupcakes? Anyone know if this recipe converts well?

  63. I add a tsp. of orange flavoring or 2 tbs. of orange juice to the frosting.

  64. Do you know if this recipe could be made into two 9″ round cake pans to stack on top of each other?

  65. Bernice Whiteman says:

    This cake is “super”. Can’t quit eating it – just wonderful. A buttercream icing is also good on this cake.

  66. Loved it. Almost couldn’t believe how easy it was. I used a glass 9 x 13. Cooked it a bit longer. Definitely will try to roll it next ?

  67. I had rave reviews on this cake. For the frosting, I added pecans to it. I’ve even made it in to a two layer sheet cake. Love this recipe.

  68. Just sampling now with pm coffee break. Delicious!! So easy. Used a 11 x 15 pan which is a perfect thickness.


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