Vegan Pumpkin Sheet Cake

By Jessica Hylton - - Updated

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!

A 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!

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 vanilla extract 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




65 comments

  1. Mercedes Edney says:

    5 stars
    This was sooo good and easy to make. It was moist and every one in my family tore it up! Cannot wait to make it again!

  2. Mabel says:

    5 stars
    This cake was so easy to make and it made my kitchen smell like pumpkin spice. So yummy and fluffy! I made the cream cheese frosting the night before, but unfortunately I only had 2 cups of powdered sugar, so my frosting was not as fluffy and thick. The frosting stayed firm for a bit, but then got soft and runny, but it still tasted good! Now I know for the future to get an extra bag of powdered sugar lol! Will definitely be making this again!

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