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! 



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

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.


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


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.


*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. 
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

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Recipe Rating

  • 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 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 pooja September 20, 2017 at 3:39 pm

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

  • 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 Greta September 20, 2017 at 12:12 pm

    Any advice to make it dairy free?

    • 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 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 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 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!)

    • 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 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 Glenda September 20, 2017 at 7:17 am

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

    • 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 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…

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

      so sweet, let me know how it goes!

    • Reply Emily W. November 26, 2017 at 5:05 pm

      5 stars
      I just made this, and the brown butter frosting is UH-MAZINGGGGG. Seriously. You have to make this NOW if you’re a fan of brown butter.

  • 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!

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

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

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

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

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

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

  • 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!


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