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!!).
Here is the cake pan I love using.
Here is a link to the sprinkles I made!
- 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
- 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
- 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.
- 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, vegetable oil, pumpkin 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 ITS A BIG CAKE.
- 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.
- 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.
*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