Pumpkin Crunch Cake

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Pumpkin Crunch Cake is a delicious combination of a pumpkin pie layer on the bottom and a tasty spiced pecan crunch on top.

Overhead view of a pan of pumpkin cake with a plate of pumpkin crunch cake drizzled with caramel and two forks.

While I am usually a stickler for making homemade desserts I do believe that semi-homemade desserts have a place.   They are especially handy during the holidays when there is so much else to do and you just need a quick and easy dessert.

Lately I’ve been making dump cakes.  They are simple recipes that include a boxed cake mix and a handful of ingredients dumped into a pan and baked.   They are easy because they only take 5 minutes to make and get into the oven.

I saw a recipe for Pumpkin Crunch Cake and it sounded really good.  I’ve been wanting to make it for several months but there was never an occasion to do it and I didn’t want to have to end up eating the entire thing myself.


  • pumpkin puree
  • evaporated milk
  • eggs
  • sugar
  • cinnamon
  • salt
  • yellow boxed cake mix
  • pumpkin pie spice
  • pecans
  • butter

To Make the Cake:  Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Spray a 9 x 13 pan with baking spray.  Mix together the milk, pumpkin puree, eggs, sugar, cinnamon, and salt.  Pour into the pan.  Sprinkle the cake mix on top of the pumpkin mixture.  Put the pumpkin pie spice on top of the cake mix.   Then add chopped pecans.  Melt the butter and pour over top of the cake mix.  Bake for 50 minutes.

A pan of all the ingredients mixed together for the pumpkin crunch cake.

I was surprised by just how easy this cake was.  In fact, after putting it together I was highly skeptical of it turning out.  All of the liquid was on the bottom and the top was as dry as a desert.  Still, I baked it according to the directions and it smelled like pumpkin pie.

I took it out of the oven and tried to let it cool.  I really did.  But after 10 minutes of it cooling neither my husband nor I could take it anymore and we quickly cut ourselves a piece. 

Can I use a different flavor of cake mix?

You can use whatever flavor cake mix you’d like.   Just keep in mind you are pairing it with pumpkin so it should work with that.   I think a white cake mix or a spiced cake mix would work well here.

Why is it called a Dump Cake?

It’s called a dump cake because you just dump the ingredients into the pan. You don’t even have to use a bowl so it’s easy to make and easy clean up!

How so I store this cake?

Because the bottom of the cake is essentially pumpkin pie which is a custard base, this cake needs to be refrigerated.  I usually leave it in the pan I baked it in and cover with foil.  It will last for up to 3 days.

Can I make the cake ahead of time?

You really can’t and there is no need as the hands on time for making the cake is 5 minutes.   If you make it the day before you want it you can put it in the refrigerator and pull it out the next day to enjoy.

Pumpkin Crunch Cake in a pan with pecans on top.

This cake was fall and pumpkin heaven!  The bottom part of the cake tastes like a pumpkin pie and the top layer is a spiced pecan pumpkin cake. It was amazing.

I really liked how the top and bottom layers were two different textures and flavors.  They complimented one another and worked together to make a yummy dessert.

More Pumpkin Recipes:

I ended up taking the cake in to work the next day for fear of the two of us eating the entire 9 x 13 pan.  I cut the remaining cake into 16 pieces and it was gone before 10 o’clock. 

I knew I had a winning dish when  several co-workers asked for the recipe.  This is a great dessert to take to a party because it’s simple to make but a total show stopper.

Pin Image:  A plate with a slice of pumpkin cake with a caramel drizzle and two forks, text title, ingredients for the cake.

If you’ve tried my Pumpkin Crunch Cake or any other recipe on Hezzi-D’s Books and Cooks please take a minute to rate the recipe and leave a comment letting me know how you liked it. I love hearing from you! You can FOLLOW ME on:



A plate with a slice of pumpkin cake with a caramel drizzle and two forks.

Pumpkin Crunch Cake

Yield: serves 16
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 50 minutes
Total Time: 55 minutes

A delicious combination of a pumpkin pie layer on the bottom and a tasty spiced pecan crunch on top.


  • 1 can (15 oz) pumpkin puree
  • 1 can (12 oz) evaporated milk
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 c. sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 box yellow cake mix
  • 2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 c. chopped pecans
  • ¾ c. butter, melted


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 9 x 13 pan with baking spray.
  2. In a large bowl combine the pumpkin puree, milk, eggs, sugar, cinnamon, and salt.  Pour the mixture into the prepared pan.
  3. In a medium bowl combine the white cake mix and pumpkin pie spice. 
    Sprinkle it over top of the pumpkin mixture, covering completely.  I
    used about ¾ of the cake mixture.
  4. Sprinkle the pecans on top of the cake and then pour the melted butter over top.
  5. Bake for 45-50 minutes.  Remove from the oven and cool on a wire rack.


Recipe adapted from The Picky Apple

A plate with a slice of pumpkin cake with a caramel drizzle and two forks.


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