Pumpkin Texas Sheet Cake with Buttermilk Frosting
Say hello to your new favorite pumpkin dessert!
This ultra moist Pumpkin Texas Sheet Cake with Buttermilk Frosting is simple to make, feeds a crowd, and offers the dazzling combination of pumpkin, cinnamon, nutmeg, and buttermilk.
What’s not to love?
Every year as Thanksgiving approaches we receive requests from reader (you guys!) for alternative desserts to classic pumpkin pie.
How can this be?
- Some of you don’t love the texture of pumpkin pie.
- Some of you get bored with pumpkin pie.
- And still, some of you just don’t like making pie crusts.
I get it.
For those of you in shock over this response to classic pumpkin pie, this is the recipe I personally love. You should try it this year.
For the rest of you… Let’s make pumpkin spice cake instead.
Today’s recipe for Pumpkin Texas Sheet Cake with Buttermilk Frosting is perfectly spiced, fluffy, tender, and covered with a loose tangy-sweet buttermilk frosting.
The twang of the buttermilk offers perky balance to the sweetness of the cake with its deep autumn flavors.
Our Pumpkin Texas Sheet Cake with Buttermilk Frosting is made in an extra large pan to provide 32 good-sized pieces, or 64 mini pieces. So it’s just the thing to bring to big holiday gatherings or work parties.
However, if you don’t have this size of pan, and don’t want to buy one, you can reduce the ingredients by 1/3 and if will fit in a 9 X 13 inch baking dish.
Try using the Serving Slider in the recipe form below to automatically adjust the recipe to 22 pieces.
Pumpkin Texas Sheet Cake with Buttermilk Frosting Recipe Ingredients
- All purpose flour – When in doubt, go with “All Purpose.” For a gluten free version, try this recipe with 1-to-1 gluten free baking mix!
- Pumpkin pie spice – This allows you to skip the buying and measuring of multiple spices. However, if you would rather use the spices you already have at home, mix 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon, 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg, 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger, 1/2 teaspoon clove or allspice.
- Granulated and light brown sugar – Using two different sugars sweetens and flavors the cake perfectly.
- Unsalted butter – Always buy unsalted butter for baking. It’s more likely to be fresh and guarantees quality control in the salt department.
- Room temperature eggs – Warm egg mix better into batters. No weird eggy clumps.
- Pumpkin puree – Make sure not to buy pumpkin pie filling. Look for 100% pure pumpkin in a can!
- Whole buttermilk – Whole fat buttermilk creates the best possible texture.
- Baking powder, baking soda, salt, vanilla extract – Necessary items for perfect cake baking.
- Powdered sugar – For sweet fluffy frosting.
How To Make Pumpkin Texas Sheet Cake with Buttermilk Frosting
- Prep your baking pan – Butter and flour a 15.5 X 10.5 inch deep-sided jelly roll pan. This is often called a XL baking pan or roasting pan. Rub the butter thoroughly all over the bottom and sides of the pan, making sure to get it in the corners. Then shake flour in the pan to coat the butter.
- Measure your ingredients – Flour should always be sifted for baking. The “cheater” version of sifting is to stir the flour well, inside the bag, to lift and lighten it. Then scoop and level each measuring cup. Finally, mix the flour with the pumpkin pie spice, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
- Cream the butter and sugar – Creaming is a baking step in which you beat the butter (or other fat) with the sugar, until the sugar crystals break down and the mixture lightens in color and texture. This is the absolute key to a light fluffy cake texture. However it takes time, so amateur bakers often skip this step to their own demise. If you’ve ever wondered why your cake didn’t turn out like the cake in the photo, most likely you did not cream your butter and sugar long enough.
- Alternate wet and dry ingredients – Once the butter and sugars are properly creamed, you need to incorporate the ingredients into the batter in a way that optimizes a smooth texture. Alternating the flour mixture with the pumpkin, adding a little at a time, is the best option. You should also do this in other cake recipes, when adding milk or cream.
- Bake in peace – It’s tempting to open the oven again and again to check your cake. Yet experienced bakers know this is a sure way to cause your cake to collapse while baking. If your cake collapses during the baking process is will not be as light and airy as it should be. Therefore, do not check the cake until it has baked at least 45 minutes.
- It’s cool to cool – Frosting slathered on a warm cake creates a big fat mess. Be patient and allow you cake to cool completely before frosting.
- Whip it good – Buttermilk frosting is more moist than traditional butter or cream cheese frosting. Using a whip attachment and allowing it to whip long and well, will create the best overall texture.
- Slather on the frosting – Once the cake is room temperature, spread the frosting over the top of the cooled pumpkin spice cake. You can then decorate the pumpkin cake with candies, pipe the top with colored frosting, or simply sprinkle a little extra cinnamon over the top for color!
Get The Full Pumpkin Texas Sheet Cake with Buttermilk Frosting Recipe Below!
Possible Pumpkin Texas Sheet Cake with Buttermilk Frosting Add-Ins or Adjustments
- Chocolate chips
- Cinnamon chips
- Crystalized ginger chunks
- Substitute the pumpkin pie spice for Indian Garam Marsala
- Skip the frosting and spread Nutella chocolate hazelnut spread over the top!
More Amazing Pumpkin Desserts
- Pumpkin Skillet Blondies
- Pumpkin Cupcakes with Peanut Butter Frosting
- Turtle Pumpkin Ice Cream Cake
- Pumpkin Cream Pie
- Layered Pumpkin Cheesecake Bars
- Pumpkin Pound Cake
- Check out all our Thanksgiving Recipes!
- Learn How To Make Buttermilk Here!
Pumpkin Texas Sheet Cake with Buttermilk Frosting
For the Pumpkin Texas Sheet Cake:
- 3 cups all-purpose flour + extra for pan
- 1 1/2 tablespoons pumpkin pie spice
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
- 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
- 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
- 1 1/2 cups light brown sugar
- 1 1/2 cups softened unsalted butter
- 6 eggs, room temperature
- 28 ounces canned pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie filling)
For the Pumpkin Texas Sheet Cake:
- Set out all butter to softened. Crack the eggs into a bowl so they can warm to room temperature. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter a large 15 1/2x10 1/2-inch deep-sided jelly roll pan. (This is sometimes called a XL baking pan or roasting pan.) Then sprinkle the pan with flour to coat the bottom and sides. Shake the pan, then dump out the excess flour.
- Stir the bag of flour well before measuring. In a medium bowl, mix the flour, pumpkin pie spice, baking powder, baking soda, and salt together.
- Place the butter and both sugars in the bowl of an electric stand mixer. Cream the butter until light and fluffy. Start on low speed, then move up to high and allow the butter mixture to beat for 4-5 minutes until the sugar crystals are breaking down into the butter. (This is KEY to a light fluffy cake texture.)
- Scrape the bowl with a spatula. Then beat in the eggs one at a time. Scrape the bowl again. Then turn the mixer on low and alternate adding the flour mixture and the pumpkin puree until both are combine. Once the batter is smooth, turn off the mixer.
- Scoop the batter into the prepared pan and smooth it out evenly. Bake for 45-50 minutes, until the center is puffy and a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean. Do not open the oven until the timer goes off.
- Cool the cake completely before you continue. You can place it in the refrigerator to speed up cooling time.
For the Buttermilk Frosting:
- Place the softened butter in the bowl of a stand mixer, with a whip attachment. (Make sure to clean the bowl.) Whip on high until very fluffy and soft. Then turn the mixer on medium-low and mix in the buttermilk, vanilla, and salt.
- Slowly add the powdered sugar, one cup at a time, until five cups are incorporated. Turn the mixer on high to whip out all the clumps. Once the frosting is light and smooth, check the consistency. If needed, add another 1/2 to 1 cup powdered sugar. Scrape the bowl and whip again until smooth.
- Spread the frosting over the top of the cooled pumpkin spice cake. Sprinkle with extra pumpkin pie spice or cinnamon. Cut into 32 pieces. Cover until ready to serve.