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Easy Pumpkin Crunch Cake

Try this easy Pumpkin Crunch Cake recipe! It’s like a dump cake meets a pumpkin pie and the result is a layered pumpkin dessert that is perfect for fall!
2 pieces of pumpkin crunch cake.

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Need a new fresh easy recipe for fall?? Try this easy Pumpkin Crunch Cake recipe! It’s like a dump cake meets a pumpkin pie and the result is a layered pumpkin dessert that is perfect for fall!

This cake recipe starts with a can of pumpkin puree, and evaporated milk, add a few pantry ingredients and top it with a dry cake mix and melted butter for an easy layered dessert that surprises everyone with its sweet pumpkin flavor. 

2 pieces of pumpkin crunch cake.

What do you need for this Pumpkin Crunch Cake?

  • Pumpkin puree, NOT pumpkin pie filling in a can
  • evaporated milk
  • Sugar
  • Pumpkin pie spice or you can always just use cinnamon
  • Eggs
  • Yellow cake mix-any yellow cake mix will work (except probably lemon)
  • Butter
Ingredients for pumpkin layer in the pumpkin crunch cake.

Pumpkin Dump Cake?

Like our favorite Cherry Dump Cake, Strawberry Dump Cake, and Rhubarb Dump Cake this recipe relies on a cake mix not being stirred up to finish this cake. 

Baked Pumpkin crunch cake before cutting it.

And just like those dump cake recipes, this doesn’t actually bake up like a true cake. It’s more like a dessert or maybe even a pudding, the British meaning of pudding.  

But it is like a traditional pumpkin pie recipe in that it has a layer of actual pumpkin pie on the bottom. Then the top layer is just poured on in layers and baked.

Final layer of a pumpkin dump cake.

This pumpkin dump cake may just become one of your favorite pumpkin desserts. Such an easy alternative to pie!

The crispy topping layers are cake mix, chopped pecan, and melted butter. And these form a crispy flavorful topping on top of the pumpkin mixture that creates a nutty toasted topping that perfectly sets off the sweet bottom layer.

Pumpkin dump cake with 2 pieces take out of it.

Chopped Pecans

I know there is always a question, or maybe at least for me there is, about chopped nuts in a recipe. Are they chopped before or after measuring. For this recipe, we’re measuring AFTER CHOPPING. So chop, then measure.

I recommend that you actually chop on a cutting board and not use a nut grinder or hand-held chopper. That’s a little TOO fine for this recipe. We don’t want pecan powder, we want chunky crunchy pecans. These and the cake mix and butter bake up together to be the best part of the whole dessert, the crispy topping!

A piece of pumpkin cake on a plate with whipped cream on top.

Pumpkin Pie Spice

If you don’t have pumpkin pie spice you can just use cinnamon in place of the pie spice. Or use this easy Pumpkin Pie Spice Recipe from Upstate Ramblings. It’s so easy to mix up and keep on hand, you’ll never be without it when a recipe calls for it. 

A single perfect bite of pumpkin dump cake and a bit of whipped cream.

Can I put whipped cream on it?

Yes, you can! Once baked and cooled you can top it with anything you like. Canned whipped cream, homemade whipped cream, or non-dairy topping, or go for the gold with a scoop of vanilla ice cream! You could if you have any leftovers from another project that is, pipe on a tiny dollop of cream cheese frosting!

How to store leftovers

Because this recipe doesn’t make a cake but rather a pumpkin pie layered dessert I like to keep it at room temperature for the first day to allow it to cool and set. Then to store leftovers I cover the entire pan lightly with plastic wrap or foil and store it in the fridge until we serve it.

An airtight container will cause the moisture in the bottom layer to make the top layer soggy. I feel like this is one dessert best left lightly covered for just that reason. No soggy pumpkin desserts, please!

2 pieces of pumpkin crunch cake.

Pumpkin Crunch Cake

5 from 37 votes
Try this easy Pumpkin Crunch Cake recipe! It’s like a dump cake meets a pumpkin pie and the result is a layered pumpkin dessert that is perfect for fall!
Course: Dessert Recipes
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Additional Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 2 hours 15 minutes
Servings: 16 pieces
Calories: 417kcal
Author: Laura
Print Recipe


  • 15 1/2- ounce can of pumpkin puree
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 tsp salt 1/2 tsp is the butter is salted
  • 12- ounce can of evaporated milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 box standard yellow cake mix
  • 1 1/4 cups chopped pecans
  • 1 cup butter melted


  • preheat the oven to 350°
  • butter or grease a 9×13 baking pan, set aside
  • mix the pumpkin, sugar, cinnamon, vanilla, and milk together
  • add the eggs and whisk gently to incorporate them, knock the bowl on the counter to pop and air bubbles
  • pour into the baking dish
  • sprinkle the cake mix on top of the pumpkin layer, gently press down with your hand to pat it in
  • sprinkle with chopped pecans
  • drizzle with the melted butter trying to cover as much as the cake mix as possible
  • do not stir it place it directly in the oven
  • bake at 350° 60 minutes or until the pumpkin layer is no longer soupy and jiggly and the pecans are lightly browned
  • cool completely and serve with ice cream, whipped cream, or cool whip


Serving: 1g | Calories: 417kcal | Carbohydrates: 52g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 22g | Saturated Fat: 10g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 10g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 84mg | Sodium: 520mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 37g
A bite of pumpkin crunch cake on a fork with a piece next to it with a dollop of whipping cream.
laura sampson

About Laura

Laura is on a mission to teach modern family oriented women how to make old-fashioned foods new again. A wife and mom of 3 boys, Laura understands the struggles of trying to serve a home-cooked meal each night. She provides recipes and cooking hacks for busy moms to create dishes they may think take more time or skill than they have to make. Read more...

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