Cinnamon Roll Pumpkin Sheet Cake

Pumpkin, pumpkin, pumpkin… I love pumpkin. And I love that you can totally get away with pumpkin over-kill in the kitchen this time of year. You can make pumpkin all winter long without strange looks coming your way, but November and December are truly the months where it is acceptable to go all out.

Let me present to you the Cinnamon Roll Pumpkin Sheet Cake- genius, no? Why… yes, yes it is. Instead of an ordinary pumpkin cake, this recipe spreads the batter along a sheet pan (sheet pan=more fun, if you didn’t already know that) then gets turned into something extraordinary with brown sugar-cinnamon swirl and a vanilla sugar glaze. A perfect cross between pumpkin cake and cinnamon rolls- thus we have Cinnamon Roll Pumpkin Sheet Cake. Jen over at Picky Palate really does come up with some of the coolest ideas and flavor combinations.

There are a few words of wisdom I have to share about this cake though. Number one- it is not very cake-like. Between the density of the pumpkin and all the sour cream and what have you, the texture ends up very moist and pudding-like almost. Not that this was necessarily a bad thing. It just doesn’t have that cake-like crumb you might expect. I wanted to mention that mostly as a heads’ up so you wouldn’t be surprised. You can kind of tell from the photos what I am talking about. If you are looking for a more cake-like texture and actually what ends up being a healthier option, follow this recipe and bake the same as this sheet cake. Or for a less healthy option, this one here.

I also have a few really great ideas for flavor variations. Instead of a vanilla pudding mix, use a butterscotch one. Rather than making a vanilla glaze, make a cream cheese one. AND if you want more spice to this cake, flavor the cake and/or the brown sugar mixture with some pumpkin pie spice. The brown sugar mixture uses 1/2 tsp cinnamon. You could very easy substitute 1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice for this. OR leave the cinnamon as is and add a 1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice to the cake batter (or 1 tsp if you really want to taste the flavor!)

Whether you decide to make this recipe as written or to take some creative license with it, you are definitely going to have a dessert to impress! You’ve gotta give this one a try this winter season!


Cinnamon Roll Pumpkin Sheet Cake

Serves: 16 to 20


  • 1 box yellow cake mix
  • 4 eggs
  • ½ cup canola or vegetable oil
  • ½ cup milk or buttermilk
  • 3.4-ounce box Vanilla Instant Pudding Mix (or Butterscotch)
  • ½ cup sour cream
  • 15 ounce can pumpkin
  • 1 stick (8 tablespoons) unsalted butter
  • ¾ cup packed light brown sugar
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ¾ cups powdered sugar
  • ¼-1/2 cup heavy cream (start w ¼ cup and add a little more cream if needed)


Preheat oven to 350°F and spray a jelly roll pan with nonstick cooking spray.

Place cake mix, eggs, oil, milk, pudding, sour cream, and pumpkin into a stand or electric mixer, beating until well combined, about 1½ minutes. Pour into prepared pan, spreading evenly.

Place butter into a microwave-safe bowl and melt for about 30-40 seconds. Add brown sugar and cinnamon to bowl, mixing until combined. Drizzle mixture evenly over cake then take a knife and run it through to swirl.

Bake cake for 30-35 minutes, until cooked through and remove. Place powdered sugar and cream into a large bowl and mix until creamy and smooth. Drizzle over warm cake then let cool for 20 minutes before cutting into squares. Refrigerate if not serving same day.


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