One-Bowl Pumpkin Sheet Cake with Brown Butter Frosting

Cakes, Desserts, Fall, Quick and Easy

I’m not sure if you’ve noticed but me and sheet cakes have a thing. It’s not an old relationship at all. In fact, this guy right here was kinda the first sheet cake I’d ever made. But once I made that one, I was like WHOAA. This is WAY better than a big, layered cake because it’s a million times less stress and time. I also think that anyone, AND I MEAN ANYONE, can decorate a sheet cake.

It just takes some swoops and swirls with a trusty off-set spatula and that’s it. I mean, even a butter knife could do the trick.

Here’s the trick—I found—to making those bomb-ass swirls: You gotta plop all the frosting right in the center and then push it out. It really works splendidly. It also takes under 5 minutes. If you mess with it too much then it starts to look too purposeful.


The decorating needs to look casual yet cute. Don’t put too much effort into it, you know.

This combo is A++++, too.

When I first started this recipe, I thought I was going to make a salted caramel frosting but then we did and we both HATED IT.

It was way too sweet and I honestly couldn’t take it. I wanted gigantic glass of water and a salad after I took a taste of it. But, then Billy got the bright idea to do a brown butter frosting and so we did and it was magical.

I always love adding savory elements to sweet things. I think it’s a welcomed tasting note vs. just sugar sugar sugar. It makes things way more interesting and delicious.

The brown butter frosting is delicious and nutty. The pumpkin sheet cake is fluffy with just the right amount of pumpkin spice and pumpkin. Add too much pumpkin and it’ll be heavy and meal-y. Add too little and it tastes just like a spiced cake.

This is my official love letter to fall. It’s starting early this year.

I hope you get around to making this because it is B-O-M-B.

Also, I’m currently in Italy (like I just landed) so be sure to follow me on the Insta Stories (if you want to!!).

xoxo,
Adrianna

P.S.

Here is the cake pan I love using.

Here is a link to the sprinkles I made!

One-Bowl Pumpkin Sheet Cake with Brown Butter Frosting

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 30 minutes

Total Time: 45 minutes

Yield: 1 (9x13-inch) cake

Ingredients

    One-Bowl Pumpkin Sheet Cake:
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 3/4 cups white granulated sugar
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice*
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3 large eggs
  • 3/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 (15-ounce) can of pure pumpkin puree
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract.
  • Brown Butter Frosting:
  • 1 1/2 cup unsalted butter, divided (2 sticks are just room temperature)
  • 4 cups powdered sugar, sifted
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon fine-grain sea salt
  • 2 tablespoons heavy cream

Directions

    To make the cake:
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 9x13-inch cake pan with cooking spray and set aside.
  2. In the a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, pumpkin pie spice, baking soda and salt.
  3. In the bowl of a stand-up mixer (or a large bowl using an electric mixer), whisk together the eggs, vegetable oil and pumpkin until smooth.
  4. Add the dry ingredients and mix until just combined. Pour the batter into the pan and smooth it out using an offset spatula or butter knife. Transfer to the oven to bake for 25 to 30 minutes, or until a skewer comes out clean. Allow to cool in the pan for about 10 minutes and then invert it onto a cooling rack. BE CAREFUL ITS A BIG CAKE.
  5. To make the frosting:
  6. If you’ll notice in the recipe it calls for the butter to be divided so! Two sticks (1 cup) is going to be room temperature. One stick (1/2 cup) of the butter we’re going to brown.
  7. Go ahead and start by adding the room temperature butter to the bowl of a stand-up mixer with the paddle attachment (OR a medium bowl using an electric mixer).
  8. Cube up 1/2 cup of the butter (1 stick). In a small saucepan, set over medium heat, add the cubed butter. Once it’s melted, it will begin to foam up and bubble a bit. Allow it to cook until you begin to see lightly browned specks beginning to form. Give it a stir and cook until it’s browned. You should also start to smell its nutty aroma. Remove it from the pan and continue to stir to cool it down.
  9. Transfer it to a small bowl (freezer-safe) and place it in the freezer to chill, for about 5 minutes. We want it to be around room temperature butter. After it gets to that room temperature butter-firmness (it can be a bit softer—that’s ok), transfer it to the bowl with the other room temperature butter.
  10. Sift in the powdered sugar and add the vanilla extract, salt and heavy cream. Beat the frosting for about 3 minutes. The fluffiness from the heavy cream really lightens up this frosting so be sure to beat it for the full 3 minutes.
  11. To Assemble the Cake:
  12. Pour all of the frosting on the cooled sheet cake and spread it around, creating cute swoops as you go. Top it with some sprinkles and cut it up and slice! Cake will stay moist for about 3 days when wrapped properly.

Notes

If you don't have pumpkin spice, you can make your own by adding this to the dry ingredients:

1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger Pinch of ground cloves

http://www.acozykitchen.com/pumpkin-sheet-cake-brown-butter/

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58 Comments

  • Reply Gemma September 20, 2017 at 1:22 am

    This has ‘trans seasonal excuse to stuff my face’ written all over it! This looks so incredibly delicious and I can almost smell its rich and spicy scent! Can’t wait to give this a go!

    Gemma
    http://www.fadewindmills.com

  • Reply Lori September 20, 2017 at 4:12 am

    This really looks amazing, and I’m not even the biggest pumpkin fan!

    • Adrianna Adarme
      Reply Adrianna Adarme September 20, 2017 at 8:17 am

      it definitely tastes like pumpkin but it’s so surprisingly light and fluffy!

  • Reply Katie September 20, 2017 at 4:56 am

    I’ve been checking your blog daily for this recipe since your first instagram post about it. I can’t wait to celebrate the first fall-feeling day with this!

    • Adrianna Adarme
      Reply Adrianna Adarme September 20, 2017 at 8:17 am

      haha! yay! i was waiting until we creeped closer to fall. 🙂

  • Reply Ricki Jill Treleaven September 20, 2017 at 5:15 am

    You had me at brown butter frosting. I’m making this for my daughter’s October birthday. Pinning it!

  • Reply Kelsey September 20, 2017 at 6:57 am

    Swwooooooning over this! I saw it on your instastory a little while ago, and I’ve been looking forward to the recipe ever since! Now I just need Austin to cool down below 95 degrees so I can pretend it’s fall…

    • Adrianna Adarme
      Reply Adrianna Adarme September 20, 2017 at 8:18 am

      LA is like this too in September. there are days when it’s like 65 and you think fall is coming and then BAM 100 degree weather and everyone wants to die. hoping fall comes your way soon!

  • Reply Glenda September 20, 2017 at 7:17 am

    Looks divine! Would you store the leftovers (if any) in the fridge or at room temp?

    • Adrianna Adarme
      Reply Adrianna Adarme September 20, 2017 at 8:18 am

      i would probably just lightly cover the cake with plastic wrap at room temperature!

  • Reply Missy Raho September 20, 2017 at 7:28 am

    Oh heck yes!!!! Pumpkin automatically grabs my attention but, brown butter frosting…you’ve got me swooning here. Adding this to my Fall to-make list now!!! You’ll see my love for pumpkin and harvest veggies in my own recipes over at http://www.behindtheplates.com . I can’t help myself 😉

  • Reply Rita September 20, 2017 at 7:47 am

    I’ve been so eager to make this since I saw the picture on Instagram! 🙂 One question before diving in, though: Where’s the note for the asterisked pumpkin spice? (Fingers crossed that I have all the necessary spices in my pantry!)

    • Adrianna Adarme
      Reply Adrianna Adarme September 20, 2017 at 8:23 am

      Ahh yes I added it to the “notes” if you don’t have pumpkin pie spice, you can simply add a combo of those to the dry ingredients.

  • Reply Callie September 20, 2017 at 8:40 am

    This looks positively amazing and gorgeous! What a perfect recipe for the fall-season. I cannot wait to try this out. I know my brother will be my best friend if I put this together. Looks far too good to be true. Thank you for sharing it!

  • Reply Cindy September 20, 2017 at 10:49 am

    Lovely cake! Sure wish that you included a photo of the item on your “Printable” page. 🙁

  • Reply Greta September 20, 2017 at 12:12 pm

    Any advice to make it dairy free?

    • Adrianna Adarme
      Reply Adrianna Adarme September 21, 2017 at 2:13 am

      The cake is dairy free but unfortunately I don’t have an option for the frosting since it depends on browned butter.

      You could find another dairy free frosting and match it with the cake!

  • Reply Jenny Trowbridge September 20, 2017 at 2:14 pm

    This looks amazing! Big pumpkin baker here. Wondering if you know how much pumpkin in cups though, cause I usually use bake pumpkins and puree myself.

  • Reply pooja September 20, 2017 at 3:39 pm

    This looks freakin’ amazing. That’s all – can’t wait to try it!

  • Reply Celia Becker @ www.AfterOrangeCounty.com September 20, 2017 at 9:28 pm

    I am so ready for pumpkin and think I’ll start my fall baking with this sensational looking recipe. Sheet cakes are also a favorite of mine, makes snacking on something sweet a little less naughty.

  • Reply Kelly Mahan September 21, 2017 at 5:56 am

    I’ve never tried making a sheet cake before, so I must say I’m super curious to try. Thank you for sharing the recipe!

  • Reply Julie September 21, 2017 at 6:30 am

    Definitely making this soon.
    Can you tell me where you got those adorable sprinkles…they look un-artificial 🙂
    Someplace online?
    Thanks

  • Reply Lauryn Pollard September 21, 2017 at 3:17 pm

    Hi! is that parchment paper that you line the pan with? how do you get it to lay so flat?

    • Adrianna Adarme
      Reply Adrianna Adarme September 24, 2017 at 8:27 am

      I didn’t line it with parchment because my pan is nonstick and I greased it. I cut out the parchment just for decoration in between the cake and the upside down baking sheet 🙂

  • Reply Emily September 21, 2017 at 5:22 pm

    Hi, this looks amazing and I really want to try it, but what are your thoughts on using this recipe to make cupcakes instead of a sheet cake? I just don’t have a cooling rack so I’m not sure where to cool this big beauty, was thinking cupcakes might be easier with the hardware I’ve got.

    • Adrianna Adarme
      Reply Adrianna Adarme September 24, 2017 at 8:26 am

      Yes this should work with cupcakes. I’d bake them for like 17 to 20 minutes each and I imagine it’d make somewhere around 24 cupcakes. 🙂

  • Reply Carolyn September 22, 2017 at 8:33 am

    That looks incredible! And your photography is beautiful!

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  • Reply Ali September 24, 2017 at 7:19 am

    It was my first time browning butter and your instructions made it feel like you were in my kitchen coaching me! I brought it to a dinner party and they couldn’t get enough of it – everyone had seconds!

    • Adrianna Adarme
      Reply Adrianna Adarme September 24, 2017 at 8:25 am

      That’s so wonderful to hear yay! Once you know what you’re looking for with brown butter, it’s so simple. But yeah, it’s a little strange on the first try! So wonderful to hear this cake worked out for you! 🙂

  • Reply 2pots2cook2 September 24, 2017 at 7:33 am

    Pinned the beauty! Thank you so much !

  • Reply Teresa September 24, 2017 at 8:08 am

    Another fabulous recipe girl! Thank you! The brown butter frosting is ahmazing!!!!! At first I thought it overpowered the cake, which is also delicious, but after my 4th piece ….it just wonderful!! I made it for my coworkers to welcome in fall and not one crumb came home with me. It’s so wonderful, I’m making another one today for our little dinner party with friends. It’s super easy and quick. The hardest part is trying not to eat all the frosting before the cake cools.

  • Reply Cassie Autumn Tran September 25, 2017 at 8:54 am

    What a beautiful cake! You always take the most stunning photos of your food, and this cake is no exception!

  • Reply Kari September 26, 2017 at 11:22 am

    Looks amazing! I dont have a cake pan, could I use a 9×13 glass backing dish instead, or would that not work?
    Looking forward to making this yummy cake!!

  • Reply Awesome in September September 28, 2017 at 4:02 pm

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  • Reply Mary October 1, 2017 at 9:49 pm

    Hi Adrianna
    Thank you for posting your Pumpkin Sheet Cake recipe. Sounds great – can’t wait to try it. (Really turned off by sweet icings so glad you came up with an alternative)
    Mary P.

  • Reply Megan October 2, 2017 at 10:28 am

    Making this tomorrow! Question: will it be OK to make the frosting tonight and leave it in the fridge until tomorrow night?
    Many thanks.

    • Adrianna Adarme
      Reply Adrianna Adarme October 2, 2017 at 11:42 am

      Oh yes, it’ll be great. I would just obviously cover it with some plastic wrap. And bring it room temp, right before you use it. And then you might have to give it a good mix right before you frost the cake.

  • Reply Hayley October 5, 2017 at 12:45 pm

    Hey there! I’m SO excited to make this (and the sprinkles too)! I have to ask you, where are those gorgeous plates from?

  • Reply kelly smith October 10, 2017 at 5:06 am

    It looks amazing and taste of this awesome. I taste it last night. it awesome

  • Reply Linda Bermudez October 10, 2017 at 4:04 pm

    I just made this! The icing is delicious! Have to wait until this evening to taste the cake. I’ll tag you on instagram!

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  • Reply Stephanie October 12, 2017 at 12:01 pm

    This cake is amazing! I made if for a family apple butter weekend and everyone asked for the recipe. Best Fall Cake EVER!!!!! Yum-O!

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  • Reply Ashley October 15, 2017 at 8:45 am

    I made this last night for some friends’ birthdays and it was delicious! Thank you!

  • Reply Jennifer October 16, 2017 at 3:43 pm

    I just made this, and while I haven’t tried the finished product, the frosting is sooo dreamy. I couldn’t stop taking little tastes of it. 🙂

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