Pumpkin Sheet Cake with Browned Butter Pecan Frosting

Sometimes you need a little dessert and sometimes you need a whole lotta dessert. This week I needed to feed 30 dessert-loving ladies, so I needed to pull out the big guns.

Or maybe the big pan.

Frankly, sheet cake is one of my favorite things to eat because the cake-to-frosting ratio is so perfect. There’s not a big, thick slice of cake with an itty-bitty smear of frosting. It’s like two inches of cake per half-inch of frosting. Now that’s a perfect piece of cake.

This pumpkin sheet cake will definitely feed a crowd. The cake is tender, moist and perfectly-spiced but the real star is the frosting. Browned butter, cream cheese and vanilla join forces to make the ordinary cream cheese frosting extraordinary.

It’s a good thing I took a picture before I served the cake. Who knew how quickly 30 dessert-loving ladies could inhale a cake?

Pumpkin Sheet Cake with Browned Butter Pecan Frosting

Pumpkin Sheet Cake with Browned Butter Pecan Frosting



4 eggs

2 cups white sugar

1 cup vegetable oil

1 (15 ounce) can pumpkin

2 cups all-purpose flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon ground ginger

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon ground cloves


1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons butter

4 cups confectioners sugar

8 ounces 1/3-less-fat cream cheese, softened

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1/2 cup toasted pecans, chopped


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease and flour the bottom and sides of a 10x15 inch jelly roll pan

In a large bowl, combine eggs, sugar, oil and pumpkin; beat until smooth. Stir in the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, salt and cloves. Spread batter into prepared pan. Bake for 25 minutes in the preheated oven, or the center of cake does not jiggle when you shake the pan. Allow to cool completely.

To prepare frosting, melt butter in a frypan over medium heat; cook 4-5 minutes or until lightly browned and aromatic, swirling frequently. Cool slightly. Combine browned butter, confectioners sugar, cream cheese, and vanilla in a medium bowl; beat with a mixer until smooth. Spread frosting over cooled bars. Sprinkle with toasted pecans.


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