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This Easy Pumpkin Sheet Cake With A Cake Mix starts with a yellow cake mix and is ‘doctored up’ with a few additional ingredients that give it a homemade straight from the bakery taste. A homemade cream cheese frosting takes this pumpkin sheet cake to the next level.
Pumpkin Sheet Cake With A Yellow Cake Mix – Easy Pumpkin Dessert Recipe!
I love the simplicity that cake mixes bring to dessert recipes. I especially love it when the cake mix is ‘doctored-up’ with a few ingredients to make it taste like grandma’s homemade recipe.
Pure pumpkin, buttermilk, and oil add tons of moisture while pumpkin pie spice and cinnamon bring all those warm fall flavors that everyone loves about pumpkin desserts.
This easy pumpkin sheet cake is made inside a sheet pan (aka – rimmed jelly roll pan) so it feeds a crowd, it’s incredibly moist, and loaded with all the Fall flavors.
Cake Mix Pumpkin Sheet Cake
- Pure Pumpkin : This is the canned pumpkin without anything added to it. Don’t confuse this with the ‘pumpkin pie filling’ which has the added liquid and seasonings and using that will definitely ruin this recipe. Use 100% pure pumpkin.
- Buttermilk : If you don’t have buttermilk on hand then measure out 1/2 cup whole milk + 1/2 teaspoon white vinegar. Let that sit for a minute to sour.
- Vegetable Oil
- Large Eggs
- Vanilla Extract : For the best taste I recommend only using pure vanilla extract when baking.
- Yellow Cake Mix
- Light Brown Sugar
- Pumpkin Pie Spice
- Salt : Use kosher salt, sea salt, or iodized table salt.
Cream Cheese Frosting
- Cream Cheese : Use the bar cream cheese that comes wrapped in the foil and not the tub of cream cheese. The whipped or spreadable cream cheese (the tub cream cheese) has added liquid to it which does not do well when making this frosting recipe.
- Butter : Use salted butter or unsalted butter. Some people prefer to use unsalted butter in frosting recipes and then add their own amount of salt if needed, while others prefer the salted butter (me!) in frosting recipes.
- Powdered Sugar
- Vanilla Extract
How To Make a Cake Mix Pumpkin Sheet Cake With Cream Cheese Frosting
Learn how to make this easy pumpkin recipe with these easy-to-follow directions. Be sure and read to the bottom of the page where there is a printable recipe card with all my tips and detailed instructions. You can also pin the recipe to save it for later.
- Prep : Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour a 10×15 jelly roll pan (make sure it is rimmed with sides on it). Set aside. You can spread the pan with shortening, butter, or spray it with cooking spray and then dust it with flour.
- Dry Ingredients : In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the dry cake mix, brown sugar, pumpkin pie spice, and salt until well combined and no big lumps remain.
- Wet Ingredients : In a separate smaller mixing bowl, whisk together the pure pumpkin, buttermilk, oil, eggs, and vanilla extract until well combined. You can use the same whisk as before.
- Cake Batter : Add the wet ingredients into the bowl of dry ingredients and mix just until combined. You can mix it with a rubber spatula or use a handheld electric mixer to beat it on LOW speed just until combined.
- Bake : Pour the cake batter into the prepared pan and bake for 18-23 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean.
- Cool : Allow the cake to cool completely before frosting it.
- Make The Cream Cheese Frosting : Beat the cream cheese and butter in a large mixing bowl using an electric hand mixer until it’s smooth and well combined. Add the powdered sugar, vanilla, and salt. Mix on LOW speed and increase speed as needed. Beat for about 2 minutes to ensure a smooth and whipped frosting.
- Frost & Serve : Frost the cooled pumpkin cake, cut into slices, and enjoy!
Can I Make Pumpkin Sheet Cake Ahead of Time?
Yes you can! I love making the pumpkin sheet cake the day before and letting it sit at room temperature (covered) or chill it in the fridge. It’s usually easier to frost a cold cake which is why I like to refrigerate the cake before frosting it.
Make sure that if you frost the cake the day before that you store it in the fridge. The frosting has cream cheese in it so it needs to be stored in the fridge.
The cake can be served at room temperature (immediately after frosting) or it can be served chilled from the fridge. Whichever you prefer.
How To Store Leftovers of Pumpkin Sheet Cake With Cream Cheese Frosting
Once frosted, leftovers of this pumpkin cake need to be stored inside the fridge. You can leave leftover inside the jelly roll pan and cover it with a lid or plastic wrap for storing. If the cake is unfrosted, it can be stored at room temperature.
Leftovers will stay good for up to 5 days.
Recipe Tips For Success
- Don’t Overmix : When you combine the wet ingredients + dry ingredients, it’s important to stir it gently and just mix it until no flour pockets or streaks remain in the batter.
- Pan Size : The recipe calls for a 10×15 rimmed jelly roll pan. Another option would be a rimmed cookie sheet pan (12×17) – which will produce a thinner cake but works well if that’s what you have. I don’t recommend trying to fit it all inside a 9×13 baking pan – as there will be too much batter for that size pan.
- Buttermilk Substitute : Measure out 1/2 cup whole milk (or 2% works as well) + 1/2 teaspoon white vinegar. Let it sit for about 3-5 minutes to sour and then add it in with the other ingredients in place of the buttermilk.
- Let Cool Completely : Make sure the cake is cooled completely before frosting it. The cake can easily be made the day before that way it has plenty of time to cool. The unfrosted cake can be stored in the fridge (to chill it) or out at room temperature. Make sure to cover the cake with a lid or plastic wrap when storing it.
More Desserts That Start With a Cake Mix
- Easy Lemon Blueberry Cobbler (Lemon Cake Mix)
- Chocolate Chunk Cake Mix Muffins
- Beach Cookies (Made With a Cake Mix)
- Cake Mix Sugar Cookies
- Honey Bun Cake
Easy Pumpkin Sheet Cake With A Cake Mix
Cake Mix Pumpkin Sheet Cake
- 1 box (15.25 oz) yellow cake mix
- 2/3 cup light brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1 can (15 oz) pure pumpkin
- 1/2 cup buttermilk
- 1/2 cup vegetable oil
- 4 large eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Cream Cheese Frosting
- 1 bar (8 oz) cream cheese room temperature
- 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter
- 3½ cups powdered sugar
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- Preheat the oven to 350℉. Grease and flour a rimmed 10×15 jelly roll pan with softened butter, shortening, or spray it with cooking spray and then sprinkle on flour to dust the pan. Set aside.
- In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the dry yellow cake mix, brown sugar, pumpkin pie spice, and salt until well combined.1 box (15.25 oz) yellow cake mix, 2/3 cup light brown sugar, 1 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice, ¼ teaspoon salt
- In a separate smaller mixing bowl, whisk together the pure pumpkin, buttermilk, oil, eggs and vanilla extract until well combined.* You can use the same whisk as before.1 can (15 oz) pure pumpkin, 1/2 cup buttermilk, 1/2 cup vegetable oil, 4 large eggs, 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Add the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and stir it gently with a rubber spatula just until combined and no flour pockets or streaks remain in the batter.
- Pour the cake batter into the prepared pan and bake for 18-23 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean.
- Allow the cake to cool completely before frosting it.
Make The Cream Cheese Frosting
- In a mixing bowl using an electric hand mixer, or use the bowl of a stand mixer, to beat the cream cheese and butter until completely smooth and combined. About 1-2 minutes.
- Add in the powdered sugar and vanilla extract. Beat on LOW speed, increasing speed as needed, for 2 minutes until it's smooth and fluffy.
- Frost the cooled cake and cut into squares. Enjoy!* If wanted, add some chopped pecans or walnuts as a garnish for the cake on top of the frosting.