Easy Pumpkin Sheet Cake with Toasted Meringue

274

This Pumpkin Sheet Cake with Toasted Meringue couldn’t be more autumnal (cinnamon scent, pumpkin, oven on…) and it’s delicious without being complicated. The batter just requires a bowl and a spatula or whisk and the meringue makes it fancy but I do promise it’s really doable. The pumpkin adds a lot of moisture without changing the flavour, like carrot in carrot cakes, but the texture is even finer! As for the meringue topping, it’s silky smooth and goes reaaally well with the pumpkin and the spices. The best part? Toasting the meringue with a kitchen torch and of course getting to eat it. It’s really a showstopper!

This Pumpkin Sheet Cake with Toasted Meringue is the perfect autumn treat. It's moist, warm with the cinnamon scent and the toasted meringue topping makes it a real showstopper. If you prefer, you can leave the topping out and make only the sponge, this would make a great breakfast with a cup of coffee or a mid-afternoon snack. It's really delicious either way and I promise it's easy! | Paula's Apron Recipe

I love to add pumpkin purée in baked goodies. It adds moisture, which makes a sponge last much longer while still feeling as fresh as day one, and it does NOT alter the flavour (don’t worry, you won’t taste the veggie in there). As mentioned earlier, it’s like carrot in carrot cakes. I am sure that when you try it, you’ll love it!

And well… what can I say about the meringue? Besides being delicious, it’s soooo much fun to turn the torch on and toast it. The torch was a gift from my partner ages ago, so any excuse to use it is good, right?

This Pumpkin Sheet Cake with Toasted Meringue is the perfect autumn treat. It's moist, warm with the cinnamon scent and the toasted meringue topping makes it a real showstopper. If you prefer, you can leave the topping out and make only the sponge, this would make a great breakfast with a cup of coffee or a mid-afternoon snack. It's really delicious either way and I promise it's easy! | Paula's Apron Recipe

Pumpkin Sheet Cake Ingredients

Some details about the ingredients this Pumpkin Sheet Cake recipe calls for:

  • Eggs: they provide structure (they bind it all together) and lift.
  • Sunflower Oil: oil provides more moisture than butter, which makes the cake last longer. Sunflower oil has a very mild flavour which works great in this recipe so as not to overpower the cinnamon. You can also use a light olive oil.
  • Sugar: this recipe calls for soft light brown sugar. It allows to get a more moist result and the caramelly flavour pairs very well with the pumpkin. Muscovado sugar would also work great
  • Pumpkin Purée: this has to be 100% pumpkin (or butternut squash). It’s the key of this cake, providing mainly an incredible texture. It makes the sponge moist and also acts as a binder. You can use canned pumpkin purée or make your own (more details below).
  • Flour: the recipe calls for white plain flour. Using wholeweat flour would call for adjusting the liquids of the recipe otherwise the result will be drier.
  • Baking powder: for rising.
  • Bicarbonate of soda: brown sugar has a bit of acidity. The bicarbonate of soda reacts with it and provides a better rising.
  • Cinnamon: for flavour and warmth.
  • Salt: to enhance the flavours.
This Pumpkin Sheet Cake with Toasted Meringue is the perfect autumn treat. It's moist, warm with the cinnamon scent and the toasted meringue topping makes it a real showstopper. If you prefer, you can leave the topping out and make only the sponge, this would make a great breakfast with a cup of coffee or a mid-afternoon snack. It's really delicious either way and I promise it's easy! | Paula's Apron Recipe

How to Make Homemade Pumpkin Purée

You can make your own pumpkin purée by either roasting or steam-cooking the pumpkin (butternut squash works great too).

  • Roasting: preheat the oven to 200ºC and cut the pumpkin (or butternut squash) into 2 cm cubes. Place them on a baking tray and rosat for 20-30 minutes until soft. Blend it or mash it with a fork (my favourite way is pulsing it in a food processor).
  • Steaming: place the pumpkin (or butternut squash) in a steamer pot and cook for 20 – 30 min until soft. Blend it or mash it and leave it on a fine sieve or colander for 30min-1h so it drains any excess liquid off (steaming the butternut squash makes it abosrb a bit of water. This doesn’t happen when roasting it).
Ingredients mixed in a bowl to make a Pumpkin sheet cake. | Paula's Apron Recipe

Tips and Tricks for a Successful Meringue

This Pumpkin Sheet Cake recipe calls for Swiss Meringue. This type of meringue is more stable than French Meringue. It involves cooking the egg whites over bain-marie but it’s not more complicated than this.

There are some important things to bear in mind though to get the perfect meringue:

  • Use fresh eggs (you can also use frozen egg whites, thawed).
  • Do NOT get any yolk into the whites, so be very careful when you break them.
  • Whip the egg whites in a very clean bowl, you must ensure there’s no fat at all. The fat prevents the egg whites from clinging to the walls of the bowl and thus they do not rise. Plastic bowls can sometimes retain a film of fat when hand-washed (even if we wash it very well).
  • When whipping egg whites, always start on low or medium-low speed and, once foamy, increase it progressively. This will give a better structure to the egg whites and the meringue will be more stable.
  • A small amount of cream of tartar or vinegar can be added to the mixture at the beginning of whipping to help stabilize it. My grandma always added a pinch of salt and that’s what I do :P, it also helps with stabilisation.
Toasted Meringue as topping of the Pumpkin Sheet Cake with Toasted Meringue autumn treat. It's moist, warm with the cinnamon scent and the toasted meringue topping makes it a real showstopper. If you prefer, you can leave the topping out and make only the sponge, this would make a great breakfast with a cup of coffee or a mid-afternoon snack. It's really delicious either way and I promise it's easy! | Paula's Apron Recipe

Other Topping Options for this Pumpkin Sheet Cake

You can leave this pumpkin sheet cake naked if you prefer, the sponge is to die for already). Or if you want an even simpler topping, use whipped cream. Other options are cream cheese buttercream and cream cheese frosting. I like the meringue one because it’s also an excuse to use the kitchen torch as mentioned earlier :P.

Besides, if you want, instead of Swiss meringue, you can make Italian meringue (even more stable than Swiss meringue) or French Meringue (the most basic one but the less stable one too, so you should make this one right before serving).

How to Store this Pumpkin Sheet Cake with Toasted Meringue

Store it in an airtight container in the fridge. Why in the fridge? Because of the meringue topping (it has egg whites) and also since it’s such a moist cake it can get mouldy quickly at room temperature (not on the first day, but maybe on the forth or fifth if you haven’t finished it yet XD). Just remember to remove it from the fridge about 30 minutes before serving so it gets to room temperature.

This Pumpkin Sheet Cake with Toasted Meringue is the perfect autumn treat. It's moist, warm with the cinnamon scent and the toasted meringue topping makes it a real showstopper. If you prefer, you can leave the topping out and make only the sponge, this would make a great breakfast with a cup of coffee or a mid-afternoon snack. It's really delicious either way and I promise it's easy! | Paula's Apron Recipe

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I make it ahead?

You can make the sponge 1 to 2 days ahead. Optionally, you can make it, wrap it well in cling film and freeze it, then the day before serving it thaw in the fridge overnight. I would make the meringue max 4 hours in advance so it keeps its structure when serving it, although if you’ve got a good Swiss meringue it will look good for quite a long time.

Is pumpkin purée the same as pumpkin pie mix?

No! Pumpkin purée is just pumpkin, there are no other added ingredients (100% pumpkin). Pumpkin pie mix has sugar and spices. You can buy any pumpkin purée for this pumpkin sheet cake recipe as long as the only ingredient is pumpkin.

This Pumpkin Sheet Cake with Toasted Meringue is the perfect autumn treat. It's moist, warm with the cinnamon scent and the toasted meringue topping makes it a real showstopper. If you prefer, you can leave the topping out and make only the sponge, this would make a great breakfast with a cup of coffee or a mid-afternoon snack. It's really delicious either way and I promise it's easy! | Paula's Apron Recipe

More Easy Showstopper Desserts

If you make this Pumpkin Sheet Cake with Toasted Meringue recipe, be sure to leave a comment and rate it. Hearing from you is everything! Oh, and don’t forget to tag me on Instagram, I absolutely love seeing your creations. Happy cooking! 

This Pumpkin Sheet Cake with Toasted Meringue is the perfect autumn treat. It's moist, warm with the cinnamon scent and the toasted meringue topping makes it a real showstopper. If you prefer, you can leave the topping out and make only the sponge, this would make a great breakfast with a cup of coffee or a mid-afternoon snack. It's really delicious either way and I promise it's easy! | Paula's Apron Recipe

Pumpkin Sheet Cake with Toasted Meringue

This Pumpkin Sheet Cake with Toasted Meringue is the perfect autumn treat. It's moist, warm with the cinnamon scent and the toasted meringue topping makes it a real showstopper. If you prefer, you can leave the topping out and make only the sponge, this would make a great breakfast with a cup of coffee or a mid-afternoon snack. It's really delicious either way and I promise it's easy!
Print Recipe Pin Recipe Rate
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time40 mins
Cool Time30 mins
Total Time1 hr 20 mins
Servings: 12 people
Author: Paula

Equipment

  • 23×33 cm rectangular baking tin

Ingredients

Sponge

  • 4 L eggs
  • 250 ml sunflower oil - or light olive oil
  • 350 g soft light brown sugar - or muscovado sugar
  • 425 g pumpkin purée - homemade or canned (see notes)
  • 340 g plain flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 1.5 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp salt

Swiss Meringue Topping

  • 2 egg whites from large eggs - about 90g
  • 145 g white sugar
  • A pinch of salt
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract - optional

Instructions

Sponge

  • Preheat the oven to 170ºC (no fan. 160ºC if fan assisted) and grease or line a 23×32 cm rectangular baking tin.
  • In a bowl, mix the eggs, oil, sugar and pumpkin purée.
  • Sift the flour with the baking powder, cinnamon and bicarbonate of soda and stir it into the liquids with the salt. Mix just enough until combined.
  • Pour the batter into the baking tin and bake for about 40 minutes. The sponge should spring back when lightly touched and an inserted toothpick should come out clean.
  • Remove from the oven, let it cool in the tin for 15 minutes, remove from the tin and let it cool completely on a wire rack. While it cools, make the meringue topping (or make it later when closer to serving it).

Swiss Meringue

  • Bring some water to a simmer in a pot. Place a bowl (metallic o glass) over it, the bottom shouldn't touch the water, and place the egg whites and sugar in the bowl
  • Over low heat, whisk the egg whites continuously (not too vigorously) until the sugar has completely disolved (it may take maximum 10 minutes, the exact time depends on the heat source and size of the bowl). Take a pinch with your fingers and rub it, you should not feel any granules (no worries, you won't get burnt, it's not too hot, just warm). If you want to be more precise, this mixture should rach 74ºC.
  • Pour the egg whites into a bowl of a stand mixer (you can also use a handheld electric whisk), add a pinch of salt, the vanilla if using and whisk until you get stiff peaks. Start at a low speed and once it's foamy increase it progressively. It should be glossy and hold the peak when ready. It may take from 5 to 10 minutes.

To Serve

  • Top the sponge with the meringue and toast it with a kitchen torch. Cut it into 12 portions and enjoy!

Notes

  • Homemade Pumpkin Purée: you can make your own pumpkin purée by either roasting or steam-cooking the pumpkin (butternut squash works great too).
      • Roasting: preheat the oven to 200ºC and cut the pumpkin (or butternut squash) into 2 cm cubes. Place them on a baking tray and rosat for 20-30 minutes until soft. Blend it or mash it with a fork (my favourite way is pulsing it in a food processor).
      • Steaming: place the pumpkin (or butternut squash) in a steamer pot and cook for 20 – 30 min until soft. Blend it or mash it and leave it on a fine sieve or colander for 30min-1h so it drains any excess liquid off (steaming the butternut squash makes it abosrb a bit of water. This doesn’t happen when roasting it).
  • Topping options: you can leave it naked or instead of Swiss meringue, you can make Italian meringue, or use cream cheese frosting (just cream cheese and icing sugar), a cream cheese buttercream or even whipped cream.

Did you make this recipe?

Please let me know how it turned out for you! Leave a comment below and tag @paulasapron on Instagram and hashtag it #paulasapron.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating




Like
Close
Have Fun & Cook with Paula's Apron
© Paula's Apron 2022. All rights reserved.
Close