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Close up of pumpkin cake squares with pecans

Pumpkin Pecan sheet cake

  • Author: Paula Montenegro
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 40 minutes
  • Total Time: 60 minutes
  • Yield: 12 squares 1x
  • Category: Cakes
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: American


Gorgeous Pumpkin Sheet Cake, with a crunchy pecan topping and cheese swirl! Flavorful and easy to make, this is your next favorite fall cake recipe.



  • 1 cup (225g) butter, room tº
  • 2 cups (400g) light brown sugar
  • 2 eggs (room tº)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups (260g) all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 cups pumpkin or butternut squash puree (at room tº), unsalted
  • 1 cup (105g) pecans, coarsely chopped
  • 1/2 cup (115g) sour cream or cream cheese, room tº
  • 4 Tbs. (60g) white or light brown sugar
  • 1 Tbs. cream


  1. Preheat the oven to 350ºF / 180ºC.
  2. Line a 9x13 inch pan with parchment or aluminum paper (bottom and two sides only, it will be easier to unmold), and spray or butter the unlined sides.
  3. In a large bowl beat butter adding sugar gradually until very creamy, 2 to 3 minutes.
  4. Add eggs, one at a time, and beat well. Add vanilla and mix well.
  5. In two parts, add sifted flour with baking powder, spices and salt (I sift it directly over the butter). Mix only until starting to blend.
  6. Add pumpkin or butternut squash puree and mix well.
  7. Pour into the prepared pan, spreading evenly.
  8. In a small bowl mix sour cream (or cream cheese) with sugar and cream.
  9. Drizzle on top of the pumpkin batter.
  10. Sprinkle chopped nuts on top and bake for about 30-40 minutes,  until a tester comes out clean.
  11. Let cool on wire rack. Unmold carefully. Serve at room tº.
  12. It keeps buat room tº for 2 days and a week in the fridge wrapped in film.


Tips & tricks for making this recipe:

  • Pumpkin: as I mentioned above, I use homemade butternut squash puree (mostly, sometimes pumpkin) but use the unsweetened canned variety. I would but I can't find it here. Otherwise, I would because it's so much easier!
  • Spice mix: I make my own pumpkin spice mix but you can use one you like already. If you have never used them before together, take this recipe as a guide and then adjust individual spices to your liking.
  • Nuts: pecans are the traditional pair with pumpkin, but walnuts work very well too. Use hazelnuts if you want to innovate. No nuts is an option too.
  • Cheese: cream cheese makes for a thicker swirl, but sour cream can be used too if that's all you have.
  • Keeping: this cake keeps at room t° for a couple of days. You can freeze it for a few weeks, well wrapped. Defrost at room t°.
  • For making homemade pumpkin or squash puree see detailed instructions in post.

Keywords: pumpkin cake, pumpkin sheet cake