This Vegan Pumpkin Sheet Cake is a delicious seasonal dessert bursting with cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, and cloves. This cake is full of all the best pumpkin spice flavors and includes a classic cream cheese frosting.
Do you celebrate your birthday week? How about your birthday month? What about half birthdays?
Our household rule is that any and every excuse for cake is acceptable. We have an extra special excuse this week though because Alex’s birthday is on Sunday!
Birthdays may look a little different this year since we’re still social distancing and quarantining in the middle of a global pandemic, but one thing remains the same. Cake.
Sheet Cake Birthday Cake
Since I do bake often for the blog and for family events, it can be a little daunting to try and one up myself for an extra special occasion. I strive to make every recipe my best, so it can be difficult to find something that is next level for a significant event. I can’t think of any event more special than the birthday of my very favorite human.
When I think of a traditional birthday cake, I think of the sheet cakes that you could get from your neighborhood bakery. You know the ones I’m talking about. Sheet cakes are flat, large, and rectangular. They typically would come in vanilla or chocolate and they were covered in white buttercream and your favorite cartoon character or some other small decorations like spider rings or little stick balloons. There were almost always sprinkles involved too.
I decided I would make Alex a classic birthday sheet cake, but I still had to make it next level. What’s more next level than pumpkin spice flavors the first week of fall?! So I made pumpkin sheet cake!
Why do so many of us go wild over pumpkin spice season? I have a few theories, but they mostly come down to nostalgia and seasonality.
Most of us have at least a few fond memories involving Autumn. Mine involve jumping in piles of leaves with my brothers and carving pumpkins in the driveway with my family. When we think of pumpkin spice or other flavors associated with fall, it can bring us back to these sentimental memories.
The seasonality and availability of pumpkin spice only for a short few months also adds to its allure. You won’t find pumpkin spice lattes on the menu at Starbucks in April, nor will you easily find ready-made pumpkin pie in February. Part of the draw is knowing that it will only be around for a short time, so you better take advantage while you can.
Commercialism has also hyped the heck out of “pumpkin spice season”. I was doing some online shopping for Alex’s birthday present the other day and ended up in the fall foods section of Target’s app. The next thing I knew, I had pumpkin spice hot chocolate and pumpkin cookie mix (both accidentally vegan, as far as I can tell) added to my order. Sorry, not sorry.
I guess I don’t really care why pumpkin spice is so hyped up. All I know is that I like it and my husband likes it, so we’ll be having pumpkin spice sheet cake this weekend. If that makes us basic, so be it.
Looking for More Fall Desserts?
Here are some more fall-flavored desserts for humans
And here’s my favorite special fall treat for dogs
Pumpkin Sheet Cake
- 2 tbsp flax meal
- 6 tbsp water
- 16 oz pumpkin puree
- 1/2 cup vegetable oil
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 cups sugar
- 2 cups all purpose flour
- 1 tbsp pumpkin spice mix
- 2 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 recipe cream cheese icing
- In a small bowl, combine flax meal and water and set aside for 5 minutes to make your flax "egg" binder.
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a 10 x 15 sheet pan with parchment paper and spray with nonstick spray or grease with butter to prevent sticking.
- After 5 minutes for the binder has elapsed, combine the wet ingredients (flax "egg", pumpkin puree, vegetable oil, and vanilla extract) and sugar in a large mixing bowl or stand mixer. Whisk or stir until well combined.
- Whisk in the flour, pumpkin spice, baking soda, and salt.
- Pour batter into prepared sheet pan and bake at 350°F for 25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
- While the cake bakes, prepare a half recipe of the cream cheese frosting.
- Once the cake has baked and cooled, spread the frosting on top of the cake.
- Serve warm OR put in the refrigerator and serve slightly chilled*.