Top 100 Cake Blog

Top 100 Cake Blog

Friday, November 20, 2015

Pumpkin Sheet Cake

The pumpkin craze that began last month shows no signs of abating (and quite frankly has gone into overkill, what with pumpkin flavored Oreos, pumpkin burritos from Chipotle, and other similar "delights").

But pumpkin is good, if not bastardized, and this light, moist and delicious pumpkin cake from a vintage recipe showcases this seasonal fruit in the best possible way. It's very easy to prepare, keeps fresh for days (on account of the oil) and perfect for your Thanksgiving company. I made this Sunday for my friends Karin and Jim -- and Karin (who is a very discerning eater and big fan of pumpkin pastry) declared it among the best pumpkin cakes she's ever had.

Start by combining the wet ingredients in a stand mixer (or use a hand-held mixer). Meantime, combine the dry ingredients in a separate bowl.

Blend together and pour into a greased and floured 9 x 12 inch pan. The batter is thick, so using the back of a spoon, spread it to the edges.

Bake and cool. You can turn the cake out from the pan (or not). I was serving this to company, so went the extra step.

Frost and serve.

You'll not that the original recipe is rather incomplete -- no baking temperature, pan size, and amount of ingredients for the frosting, so I wrote the recipe (with the missing information) below. The original recipe calls for a 16-ounce can of pumpkin, but these days only 15-ounce cans are available, but it doesn't make a difference. It is also titled Pumpkin Bars, but trust me, this is a cake.

Pumpkin Sheet Cake with Cream Frosting

Preheat oven to 350F
Grease and flour a 9 x 12 inch pan

4 eggs
1 2/3 c. sugar
1 c. vegetable oil
1 15-oz. can pumpkin
2 c. flour
2 t. baking powder
2 t. cinnamon
1 t. salt
1 t. baking soda

In large bowl, beat eggs, sugar, oil and pumpkin until well blended.
In a small bowl, stir together flour, baking powder, cinnamon, salt and baking soda.
Add dry ingredients to the large bowl and mix until combined.
Pour into prepared pan, spread to the edges and bake for about 30 minutes or until a tester comes out clean.


1 stick unsalted butter (room temperature)
1 8-oz. package of cream cheese (room temperature)
1 lb. confectioner's sugar
1 t. vanilla

In a stand mixer (or using a hand mixer) combine butter and cream cheese.
Add confectioner's sugar in batches, combining well between each.
Add vanilla and beat until smooth.


  1. I love how so many old recipes are absent some critical instructions, because everyone just seemed to know!

    1. Late reply, but yes. How much knowledge we've lost...

  2. i have a pumpkin cake recipe that is similar to this one but it has nutmeg, cloves, and ginger and is baked in a bundt pan. I got the recipe from a colleague over 20 years ago and have been making it ever since. I think I'll make it tomorrow for a friend's birthday, in fact.

    1. Love the spice additions to yours, witloof. And the bundt pan idea is great.

  3. Made this cake to be part of the dessert selection at Thanksgiving dinner later today. Lined my pan with non-stick foil -will serve directly from pan (family -style). Only made 1/2 of the frosting, as I just wanted a thin layer of frosting. Thank you - Happy Thanksgiving !

    1. Late reply, but thanks for writing! Glad it was a success.

  4. I made this cake exactly as instructed in the recipe and it was fantastic! I love anything pumpkin but this cake was tender, moist, and full of pumpkin flavor. This recipe is a keeper! (I took the cake to a church supper and it was a big hit!)
    Thank you, Susan!

    1. So glad it was a success! Thanks for letting me know.