Pumpkin Sheet Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting
Thanks to everyone for voting this week on which recipe you wanted to see posted next. As you can see from the comments, this pumpkin cake won hands down. I’m totally not surprised because it’s fall and everyone has pumpkin and cake on their minds. It really wasn’t a fair competition, was it? I mean salad vs cake? I knew who the winner was before I finished the post, but I just wanted to double-check and make sure that’s what you all wanted. So thanks 🙂
My friend Amanda, or as we like to call her, Baker mama, sent me this recipe. Amanda and I love food, all types of food, from healthy to not so healthy (like dessert). We both love to cook and try new recipes, so we’re always texting each other photos of recipes we’re making and enjoying, and even recipes we’re not enjoying so much. So one night Amanda texted me a picture of this cake and raved about how her kids “LOVED IT.” I texted her back asking where our piece was. Well, the next thing I knew there was knock at the door and a plate full of cake slices (Amanda lives a few blocks away). How cool is that? Mind you we already had dessert, but we just couldn’t resist tearing into the 4 pieces she brought over. The kids said that I had to make this cake (like now) and blog the recipe because it was amazing. Eli even wants me to make it up for his actual birthday party and I’m totally going to because it feeds a crowd. I can feed 15 boys and then some with this cake.
This cake is so super easy to whip up, (you just need a bowl and a whisk) it’s fluffy and moist (I’m not a fan of that word, but the cake is really moist) and it feeds a crowd. Yippee! I made a few tweaks to the original recipe, as I didn’t want to use a whole cup of oil, so I used a mixture of coconut oil and applesauce, and I added a bit more spice. I also slathered my favorite cream cheese frosting on the top, just to add an extra touch of yumminess!
If you have a class party coming up for your child, then make this cake. If you have a work function, birthday party or Halloween celebration, then make this cake. Kid’s and adults dig this cake, and it’s the perfect fall party cake!
Pumpkin sheet cake with cream cheese frosting:
- 4 large eggs, at room temperature
- 1 2/3 cups sugar
- 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
- 1/2 cup virgin coconut oil in liquid form (I show you how to melt the coconut oil below)
- 1 (15-ounce) can of pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie mix) – I love Farmers Market Organic Pumpkin and the cans are BPA free.
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
- 1/4 teaspoon allspice
- 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
for the cream cheese frosting:
- approximately 2 cups unsifted confectioners sugar – this is to taste – You will then sift the confectioners sugar so there are no lumps in the frosting.
- 1 stick (1/2 cup) of butter, at room temperature
- 1 8-ounce package of cream cheese, at room temperature
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Measure out a heaping 1/2 cup of coconut oil using a dry measuring cup. Add the solid coconut oil to a small pan and turn the heat to simmer. Simmer the oil, using a spatula to stir it occasionally, until it melts. Pour the melted oil into a liquid measuring cup to make sure that you have 1/2 cup. Set it aside to cool a bit. It won’t have to cool too much as it won’t be that hot.
In a large bowl whisk together the 4 eggs, 1 2/3 cups sugar, 1/2 cup applesauce, 1/2 cup coconut oil and the pumpkin puree until well combined. You can use a hand mixer, standing mixer or just a plain old whisk. I used a whisk and some arm strength and it was easy!
In a smaller bowl mix together the 2 cups flour, 2 teaspoons baking powder, 1 teaspoon baking soda, 2 teaspoons cinnamon, 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice, 1/4 teaspoon allspice and 1 teaspoon salt.
Add the flour mixture to the pumpkin mixture and whisk or stir well to combine. The batter will be thick.
Pour the batter into an ungreased USA Pans 10 x 15 x 1 Inch Aluminized Steel Jellyroll Pan with Americoat10×15 inch jelly roll pan (I know it sounds strange, but you don’t need to grease the pan). You can get these jelly pans at Amazon, Bed Bath and Beyond or your local kitchen store. The jelly roll pan looks like a rimmed baking sheet, except that it has this ribbed bottom. I know it seems weird to bake a cake in something so shallow, but believe me it works great, and the cake rises up without spilling over and the cake is moist, not dense and tough.
Spread out the batter evenly using a spatula, and then pound the pan a few times onto the counter to even it out and get out any air bubbles. You can also use a 9×13 pan for the cake, but you will have to bake the cake a bit longer.
Bake the cake for 25-30 minutes, or until a cake tester or toothpick comes out clean. My cake took exactly 27 minutes to bake in my oven. If you’re using a 9×13 pan then the cake will take a bit longer to bake, about 30-35 minutes.
Baking tip: It’s hard to give an exact cooking time when it comes to baking because every oven, pan and even geographic locations, can command a slightly different cooking time. A great way to know when a cake is done, is to do the finger test as well as the standard toothpick test. To do the finger test, press your finger down gently in the middle of the cake, if it’s done, it should puff back up automatically on it own. If it stays dented, then the cake is not ready to come out yet. Also, a cake tester or toothpick inserted in the center should come out clean as well.
Let the cake cool in the pan, do not take it out of the pan.
Once the cake has cooled, it’s time to make the frosting.
Pour 2 cups unsifted confectioners sugar into a sifter or fine mesh sieve, and sift the sugar into a large bowl, set aside. Sifting the sugar helps to ensure you don’t have lumpy frosting.
Put your softened butter, cream cheese and vanilla into a bowl and get your handy dandy mixer out.
I prefer to use my hand-held mixer with small frosting batches such as this because it’s just easier to manipulate, but you can use your standing mixer with the whisk attachment.
Beat the butter, cream cheese and vanilla together on medium speed until well blended.
Slowly add the sifted confectioners sugar to taste. At first, pour in 1/2 of the sifted amount, mix it and give it taste, and keep adding small amounts till you get it to the taste you like. You want it to be sweet but not too sweet.
NOTE: If you add too much confectioner’s sugar, the frosting will be really sweet and you won’t really get that cream cheese flavor. Just keep adding the sugar and tasting the frosting until it reaches a flavor you like. How do I know when it’s right? You want taste a bit of the cream cheese, but you also want it to be sweet at the same time, almost like a perfect balance of the two.
Honestly my frosting comes out best when the kids are around because they are the BEST testers and always get it right! Below is what your finished product will look like. It should be smooth and creamy looking. The color will vary from white to creamy white.
Spread the frosting over the cake.
Cut the cake into squares and serve it up!