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

Slice of Pumpkin Sheet Cake with Brown Butter Frosting

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Recipe Rating

  • 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!

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

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

  • 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 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 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.

    • 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 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 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 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 Teresa September 24, 2017 at 8:08 am

    5 stars
    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 2pots2cook2 September 24, 2017 at 7:33 am

    Pinned the beauty! Thank you so much !

  • 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!

    • 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 Carolyn September 22, 2017 at 8:33 am

    That looks incredible! And your photography is beautiful!

  • 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.

    • 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 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?

    • 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 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?

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