If you are one pumpkin spice latte away from a total squash overdose—if even the prospect of the fluffiest, most moist pumpkin spice cake you’ve ever tasted cannot tempt you—I have a compelling reason why you should bake this Pumpkin Sheet Cake anyway.
Cream cheese frosting.
One of my less-polite habits is wiping all but the thinnest layer of frosting from my slice of cake, because I find most frosting recipes to be overly sweet or even greasy.
I’ve even gone so far as to demonstrate this behavior at weddings, which is usually the point in the evening when, if he didn’t already at the sight of my attempted line dance to “Cotton Eyed Joe,” Ben pretends he doesn’t know me.
But this cream cheese frosting recipe?
I could eat it on a slice of cardboard. IT’S THAT GOOD.
Seeing as we have an extra fluffy, super moist pumpkin sheet cake available as our frosting vehicle, however, let’s enjoy it that way instead, shall we?
- As with my Healthy Pumpkin Bread, this pumpkin sheet cake is taking us back to the pumpkin fundamentals. It’s soft and springy, packed with warm spices, and only takes one bowl to make.
- While many pumpkin spice cakes are on the heavier side (a product of the density of the pumpkin puree itself), this pumpkin cake is refreshingly light and delightfully tender.
5 Star Review
“So delicious and easy to make! It’s the perfect fall weather treat! I love how subtle the pumpkin is in this recipe, and the frosting tied it all together.”— Amelia —
How to Make Pumpkin Sheet Cake
I chose to do this pumpkin spice cake as a sheet versus layer cake for maximum ease and portability.
In addition to being faster and easier to make than their fussier layer cake cousins, sheet cakes travel well and are especially simple to slice and serve at parties and potlucks.
Forget pumpkin sheet cake with cake mix. This recipe is easy and worth making from scratch!
- Flour. I replaced half of the regular flour with white whole wheat flour. Its mild taste is completely undetectable, and you can go in for that extra slice with confidence, knowing you’re squeezing in a little extra fiber.
- Pumpkin Puree. If you’re worried that this recipe will taste like a pumpkin pie sheet cake, don’t fret. While the pumpkin flavor is present, it’s in a cozy, subtle way that doesn’t overpower the cake. Plus, adding the pumpkin gives the cake a boost of vitamins and antioxidants.
- Greek Yogurt. A healthier swap for oil.
- Brown Sugar. A little brown sugar is a must-have for sweetness and moisture.
- Honey. Instead of using only refined sugar, I opted to use some honey as a natural sweetener. It tastes fabulous with the pumpkin and spices too.
- Eggs. Helps the cake rise to fluffy perfection.
- Pumpkin Pie Spice. The special ingredient that gives pumpkin-flavored treats like this cake warmth and pizzazz.
- Greek Yogurt Cream Cheese Frosting. The ulimate topping for our healthy pumpkin sheet cake! To keep things light, I swapped Greek yogurt for part of the butter and cream cheese. I love the extra bit of tang the yogurt adds to the frosting, and it makes it extra creamy and smooth too.
- Beat the wet ingredients together.
- Mix in the baking soda, baking powder, salt, and pumpkin pie spice. Stir in the flours.
- Pour the batter into a parchment-lined baking pan. Bake pumpkin sheet cake at 350 degrees F for 30 to 35 minutes. Let cool.
- Make the Greek yogurt frosting. Spread the frosting over the cooled cake. DIG IN!
- To Store. Cover and refrigerate cake for up to 4 days.
- To Freeze. Freeze cake in an airtight freezer-safe storage container for up to 3 months. Let thaw overnight in the refrigerator before serving.
Recommended Tools to Make this Recipe
- Baking Pan. I love the carry-everywhere lid!
- Stand Mixer. This hand mixer is excellent for making healthy pumpkin sheet cake too.
- Parchment Paper. Makes cleanup a breeze!
Frequently Asked Questions
You can certainly experiment!, I recommend swapping the flours in this recipe for a 1:1 gluten free baking flour like this one. Be sure to check out my gluten free Paleo Pumpkin Bread and Almond Flour Pumpkin Muffins too.
While I love this as a pumpkin sheet cake with cream cheese frosting, I think it would be delicious with other frosting flavors.
Try the frosting from this Fresh Apple Cake for a pumpkin sheet cake with caramel frosting. For a pumpkin sheet with brown butter frosting, use the frosting from these Banana Bread Brownies.
Absolutely! For those who want a pumpkin chocolate sheet cake, you can add chocolate chips to the cake batter. You’ll love this Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Bread too.
Pumpkin Sheet Cake
For the Pumpkin Sheet Cake:
- 1/2 cup canola oil or melted cooled coconut oil
- 1/2 cup nonfat plain Greek yogurt
- 2/3 cup brown sugar light or dark
- 1/4 cup honey plus 2 tablespoons
- 4 large eggs at room temperature
- 1 cup pumpkin puree NOT pumpkin pie filling
- 1 1/8 teaspoons baking soda
- 1 teaspoon baking powder I recommend aluminum free
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice or substitute 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon, 1 teaspoon ground ginger, 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg, and 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1 cup white whole wheat flour
- 1 cup all purpose flour
For the Greek Yogurt Cream Cheese Frosting:
- 6 ounces 1/3 reduced-fat cream cheese also called Neufchatel; do not use fat free
- 3 tablespoons nonfat plain Greek yogurt
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter softened to room temperature
- 1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- 1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
- 3 cups powdered sugar
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line a 9×13-inch baking pan with parchment paper, then lightly coat with baking spray.
- In the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with the paddle attachment or a large mixing bowl, beat together the oil, Greek yogurt, brown sugar, and honey until well blended and smooth. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, incorporating between each. Beat in the pumpkin puree.
- Sprinkle the baking soda, baking powder, salt, and pumpkin pie spice over the top. Mix to combine. Then, sprinkle in the whole wheat flour and all-purpose flour. By hand with a wooden spatula or spoon, stir the batter, just until the flour disappears.
- Pour the batter into the prepared pan, then with an offset spatula or spoon, smooth the top. Bake for 30-35 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Place the cake on a wire pan to cool completely.
- To make the frosting: In a medium bowl, beat together the cream cheese, Greek yogurt, butter, vanilla extract, and salt at medium speed for 2 minutes, until fluffy and well combined. Reduce the mixer speed to low and gradually add the powdered sugar, increasing the speed to medium as you go. Beat for 1-2 minutes until well combined. Spread frosting evenly over top of cooled cake. Let the frosting set for 10 minutes (you can pop the cake into the refrigerator if you are in a hurry), then slice and serve.
- TO STORE: Cover and refrigerate cake for up to 4 days.
- TO FREEZE: Freeze cake in an airtight freezer-safe storage container for up to 3 months. Let thaw overnight in the refrigerator before serving.
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