Pumpkin Sheet Cake with Brown Butter Frosting

Cakes, Desserts, Fall, Quick and Easy, Thanksgiving

This pumpkin sheet cake with brown butter frosting is moist, fluffy and smothered with brown butter frosting. The frosting is nutty, buttery and a perfect balance of salty and sweet.Pumpkin Sheet Cake with Brown Butter Frosting

‘Tis the season to make a pumpkin sheet cake with brown butter frosting! Don’t you think?

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.

Pumpkin Sheet Cake with Brown Butter Frosting

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.

Pumpkin Sheet Cake Pre-Bake

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.

Brown Butter Frosting Is Delicious!

When I first started this recipe, I was set out to make a salted caramel frosting. But then we made the salted caramel frosting and both HATED IT.

It was way too sweet! 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. At that point we set off to make it and never looked back. It was magical.

Homemade Cozy Sprinkles

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 Pumpkin Sheet Cake with Brown Butter Frosting is my official love letter to fall. It’s starting early this year. Let me know if you make it on Instagram! 

xoxo,
Adrianna

P.S.

Here is the cake pan I love using.

Here is a link to the sprinkles I made!

Pumpkin Sheet Cake with Brown Butter Frosting

Pumpkin Sheet Cake with Brown Butter Frosting

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5 from 29 votes
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Decorating 10 minutes
Total Time: 55 minutes
Serving Size: 1 (9x13-inch) cake
Calories: 365kcal
Pumpkin Sheet Cake with Brown Butter Frosting is a fluffy pumpkin cake for a crowd. The brown butter frosting is to die for! It's buttery and nutty and indulgent.

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 kosher salt
  • 3 large eggs
  • 3/4 cup neutral oil, (such as avocado, vegetable or safflower oil)
  • 1 (15-ounce) can 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:

  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 9x13-inch cake pan with cooking spray and line with a sheet of parchment (this makes it easier to remove it from the pan) and set aside. Alternatively you can make cupcakes and cake pans
  • In the a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, pumpkin pie spice, baking soda and salt.
  • In the bowl of a stand-up mixer (or a large bowl using an electric mixer), whisk together the eggs, neutral oil, pumpkin puree and vanilla extract until smooth.
  • 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 IT'S A BIG CAKE.

To Make the Brown Butter Frosting:

  • If you’ll notice in the recipe it calls for the butter to be divided so! Two sticks (1 cup) are going to be room temperature. One stick (1/2 cup) of the butter is what we’re going to brown.
  • 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).
  • 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.
  • Transfer it to a small bowl (freezer-safe) and place it in the freezer to chill, for about 10 to 15 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.
  • 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.

To Assemble the Cake:

  • 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
This recipe can be made into cupcakes! 
This recipe will make 24 cupcakes. Fill each cupcake liner about 3/4 of the way. Bake for 20 to 24 minutes, until a skewer comes out clean. 
This recipe can be made into a layer cake! 
Divide the batter into two 8-inch or 9-inch cake pans. Bake for about 30 to 35 minutes, until a skewer comes out clean. 
Let's talk about different oils! 
In the cake pictured, I used vegetable oil. But avocado oil (a very neutral healthy oil) will work great. As will coconut oil, though it will give off a bit of a coconut flavor so beware. 
CourseDessert
CuisineAmerican
Keywordbrown butter frosting, carrot sheet cake, fall recipes, one-bowl cake, pumpkin, pumpkin cake, pumpkin cake recipe, pumpkin dump cake, pumpkin spice cake
Calories: 365kcal
Did you make this Recipe? Tag me Today!Tag @acozykitchen on Instagram and hashtag it #acozykitchen

Slice of Pumpkin Sheet Cake with Brown Butter Frosting

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117 Comments

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Recipe Rating




  • Reply Sophia April 24, 2020 at 9:53 pm

    Hey!
    I’m just wondering what the serving amount is? It doesn’t say.
    Thank you so much!

  • Reply LISA April 18, 2020 at 11:01 pm

    5 stars
    Made this today. It was amazing. That frosting is what dreams are made of!!

  • Reply Krizia December 15, 2019 at 8:06 pm

    5 stars
    This cake recipe is delicious! The brown butter frosting is a delicious pairing with the pumpkin! I made it for a friend’s birthday and she loved it! Thank you Adrianna!

  • Reply K November 27, 2019 at 3:45 pm

    5 stars
    Loved it!

  • Reply Danielle November 4, 2019 at 7:05 am

    5 stars
    I made this last night for a Friendsgiving and got rave reviews! One friend even gave me a Hollywood handshake, haha. Plus, it was so easy to make!

  • Reply Andrea October 24, 2019 at 11:44 am

    Dying to try! I live in Denver – 5,280 ft elevation. Anything different I need to do when making this?

    • Reply Adrianna Adarme October 24, 2019 at 5:46 pm

      Sorry I have no idea! Never even been to Denver 🙂 I would do some googling to figure out the adjustments you need to make for high altitude baking!

  • Reply Elizabeth October 15, 2019 at 10:14 pm

    This looks absolutely devine! Would I need to change anything if I wanted to make it into a layer cake using 8inch round pan? TIA!

    • Reply Adrianna Adarme October 16, 2019 at 10:17 am

      Instructions for this are in the Notes! right below the recipe. 🙂

  • Reply Natalie September 29, 2019 at 12:01 pm

    5 stars
    I made this today! The pumpkin cake is delicious and the brown butter frosting is Ahh-mazing!! My first adventure with brown butter but I must have done it right because the taste is so good. Thanks!

  • Reply Leah September 26, 2019 at 3:32 am

    5 stars
    This Cake Is Amazing
    I followed the recipe exactly and it came out wonderful. Brought it into work and everyone LOVED it. Comments included “best cake I’ve ever had,” “ohmygod,” and just satisfied grunting the frosting is fluffy, soft, nutty, and just so good. Everyone go make this!

  • Reply Quinn February 25, 2019 at 12:24 pm

    Where did you find those beautiful forks??

  • Reply Kiani October 25, 2018 at 12:26 pm

    5 stars
    I made this last weekend to take to a dinner party, and it came out great! Everyone loved it. For anyone else considering making this – my batter came out much more runny then the pictures showed, but I attribute this to differences in canned pumpkin among the different options out there. The cake also needed to bake quite a bit longer which, again, I believe had to do with the water content of the pumpkin. I’m not an expert but just trying to let others know that if this happens to them, don’t be discouraged, it will turn out beautifully in the end. Also.. I almost skipped the browning of the butter to save time but I am here to say DO NOT SKIP BROWNING THE BUTTER it really makes this cake so so special!

    • Reply Adrianna Adarme October 25, 2018 at 3:24 pm

      oh interesting! what brand did you use?

      • Reply Kiani October 28, 2018 at 9:39 pm

        I’m pretty sure it was Trader Joes.

  • Reply Norma Tentori October 15, 2018 at 1:44 pm

    amazing! any tips for halfing the recipe for a smaller cake pan – particularly the egg?

  • Reply Bakernberner October 11, 2018 at 8:54 pm

    I’m so excited to make this! I know it’s crazy, but could I make this into a theee layer, 8 in layer cake? Would I need to double frosting? Thanks so much!

    • Reply Adrianna Adarme October 18, 2018 at 10:12 am

      umm you should have enough frosting! this makes a thick layer of frosting so you should be ok.

  • Reply Karen Hilliard October 9, 2018 at 5:34 pm

    5 stars
    I wonder what if I tried putting some batter in a donut pan? I might try that and some cupcakes!
    Truly the best homemade cake I’ve ever eaten!

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