Vegan Pumpkin Sheet Cake

By Jessica Hylton -

This Vegan Pumpkin Sheet Cake is going to be your new FAVOURITE seasonal cake! It’s the perfect mix of moist, fluffy and spiced! It’s so easy to make & read on for all the tips to make your best sheet cake pan ever!

photo of a fork being stuck into a pumpkin cake on a plate with a bite missing in front of a blue container filled with slices of cake

Incoming BOLD but TRUE statement: This Vegan Pumpkin Sheet Cake is one of the BEST cakes I’ve ever made! Oh my gosh. It’s moist, fluffy, the texture is on point and it is filled with a delicious spiced flavour! If you want to make a cake but you’re intimidated by layered cakes or other kinds, THIS is the cake for you. It’s SO easy to make, comes together beautifully, and is topped with the perfect companion: a vegan cream cheese frosting! The cake is delicious by itself but with the frosting? Some responses I got:
 
“Can I get two more slices please?” – my husband
 
“Wow this is FABULOUS! 😍” – my mom
 
“Is this really vegan???” – one of my girlfriends
 
Needless to say, this cake and frosting have my loved ones talking, and it’ll have yours too. 

side by side shots of a plain sheet cake and the other photo of frosting being spread onto the sheet cake

What pan size should I use?

So even though this is a “sheet cake” the pan I used is technically a quarter sheet pan. Why? Because it’s a pan most of us already have (9 x 13), and it has the same ease of making a whole cake in one pan, and it’s fluffy, makes a great size and produces a height that would be much higher than if all of this were spread over an entire sheet cake. 

Moisture + fluffiness

One thing I tested for a lot while making this vegan sheet cake was getting a balance between height, fluffiness and moisture. Usually, sheet cakes are made with a lot of eggs, which of course this being vegan, isn’t the case. I didn’t want an airy cake with zero flavour, a moist cake that was oily in any way, or a cake that wasn’t fluffy.
 
I was able to find a great balance by using half oil half vegan milk for moisture and fluffiness, and baking powder for a nice amount of height that didn’t affect flavour. Needless to say – it was absolutely delicious!! 

side by side photos one of a frosted cake the other the inside of a cut sheet cake

Expert Tips & FAQ for the best Pumpkin Sheet Cake

  • Don’t change the pan size. Sometimes I see readers have difficulties with recipes and find out they’ve changed the pan size. Baking times and quantities are done based on specific pans and changing that will affect how long a recipe will take to cook. This could result in a cake that doesn’t cook through, or that cooks too quickly and dries out. If you don’t have this size pan, you can adjust but at your own risk. If you use a wider pan, use less time; and for a smaller pan, it’ll take a similar or longer time.  
  •  
  • Don’t change the ingredients. More oil might make this marshy and less will definitely negatively affect the texture. I suggest not making substitutions. If you’re looking for a cake that’s maybe smaller or can handle substitutions I would suggest my pumpkin mug cake. You can of course make this gluten-free!
  • Let the cake cool fully if you plan to add frosting! It’s so tempting I know, to add it to it warm (which you CAN if you want!) but it’ll melt your frosting, no matter the kind, almost immediately. This tastes INCREDIBLE with my vegan cream cheese frosting!

side by side photos one of a slice of cake on a plate with a fork, the other a fork going through the cake

Related Recipes

Pumpkin Mug Cake

Vegan Cream Cheese Frosting

Vegan Chocolate Cake Recipe

Enjoy friends! If you make this Vegan Pumpkin Sheet Cake, please snap a photo and tag #jessicainthekitchen on Instagram! We’d also love if you would leave a comment below, and give the recipe a rating! Thanks so much!

photo of a fork being stuck into a pumpkin cake on a plate with a bite missing in front of a blue container filled with slices of cake

Vegan Pumpkin Sheet Cake

This Vegan Pumpkin Sheet Cake is going to be your new FAVOURITE seasonal cake! It's the perfect mix of moist, fluffy and spiced! It's so easy to make & read on for all the tips to make your best sheet cake pan ever!
by: Jessica in the Kitchen
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Servings 18 servings
Course Dessert, Desserts
Cuisine American, Universal
Ingredients
  • 2 cups all purpose flour (240g) or gluten free flour mix
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 can of pumpkin puree 15 oz. (425g)
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar (300g) I use cane sugar, you can use brown sugar or coconut sugar or other kind of granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup oil (100g) any neutral oil
  • 1/2 cup milk (120mL) any vegan milk works
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Instructions

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350°F/180°C. Prepare a 9x13 sheet pan (with sides) by greasing & flouring or lining with parchment paper.
  • In a bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, sea salt, cinnamon and pumpkin pie spice. Set aside.
  • In the bowl of a stand mixer or with a hand mixer in a larger bowl, add the pumpkin puree, sugar, oil and milk. Mix together for at least 3 minutes on medium speed until all the ingredients are fully incorporated and mixed together.
  • Add half the dry ingredients in, mixed for about 30 seconds on medium, then add the other half, mixing for another 30 seconds, scraping down the sides as needed. Mix for about no more than 2 more minutes on medium speed until everything is fully incorporated.
  • Pour the batter into your sheet pan. Using your spatula, smooth out the top, and tap the tap twice on a counter to remove any air bubbles.
  • Bake for 25 to 30 minutes until the centre is fully cooked through.
  • Remove from oven and allow to cool fully in the pan on a wire rack before adding the frosting.
  • Spread as much or as little vegan cream cheese frosting as you'd like on the full sheet cake. Place in your fridge for the frosting to fully thicken up. Slice, and enjoy!
NOTES
Calories are for the cake! The frosting calories are on the frosting recipe.

Expert Tips & FAQ for the best Pumpkin Sheet Cake

  • Don’t change the pan size. Sometimes I see readers have difficulties with recipes and find out they’ve changed the pan size. Baking times and quantities are done based on specific pans and changing that will affect how long a recipe will take to cook. This could result in a cake that doesn’t cook through, or that cooks too quickly and dries out. If you don’t have this size pan, you can adjust but at your own risk. If you use a wider pan, use less time; and for a smaller pan, it’ll take a similar or longer time.  
  • Don’t change the ingredients. More oil might make this marshy and less will definitely negatively affect the texture. I suggest not making substitutions. If you’re looking for a cake that’s maybe smaller or can handle substitutions I would suggest my pumpkin mug cake. You can of course make this gluten-free!
  • Let the cake cool fully if you plan to add frosting! It’s so tempting I know, to add it to it warm (which you CAN if you want!) but it’ll melt your frosting, no matter the kind, almost immediately. This tastes INCREDIBLE with my vegan cream cheese frosting!

Nutrition

Calories: 175kcal | Carbohydrates: 30g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 7g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 203mg | Potassium: 72mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 18g | Vitamin A: 3688IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 60mg | Iron: 1mg
by Jessica

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Recipe Rating




39 comments

  1. Rupal says:

    5 stars
    Incredibly divine. Jessica – you make being vegan gf the easiest. Recipe needs no change. Weighing ingredients make a big difference. Stop thinking and just make it ! 💕💕

    • Gavin | Jessica in the Kitchen says:

      Thank you so much, Rupal! We’re so happy that you enjoyed it! Thanks again for your sweet review.

  2. CeCe says:

    5 stars
    I can honesty say this is the best cake i’ve ever had…vegan and non-vegan. No joke!! And it was so easy to make!! I will be making this every holiday season for my family! Jessica is the BEST!!!

    • Gavin | Jessica in the Kitchen says:

      We’re so happy that you enjoyed this recipe CeCe! Thank you so much for reading and leaving such a nice comment!

  3. Kelsey says:

    5 stars
    These were amazing!! My family loved them and I will definitely be making again soon. Thanks so much for creating this dessert- so perfect for a family with dairy and gluten intolerances.

    • Gavin | Jessica in the Kitchen says:

      We’re so happy that you and your wonderful family enjoyed this recipe, Kelsey! Thank you so much for reading and leaving such a nice comment!

  4. Kay says:

    Hi,

    This looks great.

    I don’t have a hand mixer or a stand mixer. Can I use a whisk or a wooden spoon to mix?

    Thank you.

    • Kay says:

      Same question for making the frosting.

      Thanks again.

    • Gavin | Jessica in the Kitchen says:

      Hi Kay thanks so much for reading. It will be a lot of mixing but it is possible.

  5. Kim says:

    5 stars
    I made this cake today. I was a little short on oil (only had about 1/3 cup), but it still came out great! Subbed in a little extra almond milk. My oven needed to bake a little longer, and I found I didn’t need all the frosting. Next time I’ll cut it by about 25% to avoid waste. All that said, this cake was moist and perfectly spiced for the Fall season. It will definitely be included with my favourite Thanksgiving recipes for years to come.

    • Gavin | Jessica in the Kitchen says:

      Awesome Kim! So happy to hear that you liked it! Thank you for your comment!

  6. Hi Jessica. Hello from Nashville TN. Can I use almond flour instead of all purpose in this recipe. My daughter is on a low carb diet and loves anything pumpkin Thank you.

    • Gavin | Jessica in the Kitchen says:

      Thank you so much for reading Eustalyn! We haven’t actually tried that substitution before so I’m not able to recommend it.

  7. Kirsten says:

    5 stars
    This was a very moist cake and I honestly enjoyed it with and without the icing.I would actually recommend making the icing first since it’s recommended to be in the fridge for 4 hours because once you smell the cake in the oven you are going to want to eat it once it cools down. I also had family members who are not vegan try and they said it was good as well. I didn’t see in the directions mentioning when to add the vanilla extract in so I just added it in when mixing in the wet ingredients and it still came out perfect.

    • Gavin | Jessica in the Kitchen says:

      We’re so happy that you and your wonderful family enjoyed this recipe Kristen! Thank you so much for reading and leaving such a nice comment!

  8. Natalia says:

    5 stars
    The recipe tastes delicious. Is easy to get a great result even for those who are not used to cook so often, just following the steps. Jessica it would be very uselful to include ml or gr measurement in all your recipes, we don’t use cups in my country. I also appreciate your ingredients recommendations, is wasn’t easy, but I found everything.

    • Gavin | Jessica in the Kitchen says:

      We’re so happy that you enjoyed this recipe Natalia! Thank you so much for reading and leaving such a nice comment! We’re definitely working on including these.

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