Pumpkin Crunch Cake

Pumpkin Crunch Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting – I hate pumpkin, but I LOVE this cake!! SO easy! Pumpkin, evaporated milk, eggs, sugar, pumpkin spice, cake mix, pecans, and butter. Frost with a mixture of cream cheese, powdered sugar, and cool whip. SO good. I took this to a potluck and everyone cleaned their plate. The pumpkin haters were shocked when I told them what it was!! YUM!

slice of pumpkin crunch cake

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Easy Pumpkin Dessert

This Pumpkin Crunch Cake is the recipe that made me realize that I liked pumpkin flavor. This delightful dessert boasts layers of flavors and textures that come together harmoniously. The pumpkin layer, infused with warm pumpkin spice and the sweetness of sugar, offers a creamy and comforting base. As you delve deeper, the golden cake mix adds a hint of sweetness and a satisfying crumbly texture, while the chopped pecans bring a nutty, slightly crunchy contrast. The pièce de résistance is the cream cheese and whipped topping layer on top, which offers a creamy, tangy balance to the sweetness below. This cake is the perfect indulgence for those who seek the quintessential autumn dessert experience, whether served at Thanksgiving or any other gathering.

How to Make Pumpkin Crunch Cake

This dessert is super easy to make with only a few simple ingredients. Spray a 9×13-inch cake pan with cooking spray and set aside. In a large bowl, combine pumpkin puree, milk, sugar, pumpkin spice, and eggs. Pour pumpkin mixture into the prepared pan. Sprinkle cake mix evenly over the pumpkin custard. Add a layer of chopped pecans on top of the cake mix. Lay butter slices on top of the pecans and bake. Let the cake cool.

In a bowl, beat together cream cheese, powdered sugar, and cool whip with an electric mixer. Spread whipped cream cheese frosting over the cooled cake and enjoy.

Helpful Tips & Frequently Asked Questions

  • Make sure to use a can of pureed pumpkin. Do not use pumpkin pie filling.
  • I don’t have pumpkin pie spice. What can I use instead? Pumpkin spice is a combination of cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, allspice, and cloves.
    • Here is what I use for my homemade pumpkin spice mix: 2 tsp cinnamon, 1 tsp ginger ½ tsp nutmeg, ½ tsp allspice, and ¼ tsp cloves. Feel free to mix up the amounts according to your personal preference.
  • Do NOT make the cake. You are only using the dry mix.
  • You can use any flavor of cake mix you prefer. I used a box of yellow cake mix. Butter pecan or spice cake mix would also be delicious.
  • Can swap walnuts for pecans.
    • If you don’t like nuts, feel free to leave them out. You could swap them for toffee bits.
  • If there are some dry cake mix spots, drizzle melted butter oven them, and bake for an additional minute or two.
  • Can use zero-sugar or fat-free cool whip for reduced calories.
  • Store the baked cake in the refrigerator until serving.
  • The cake will keep 3 to 4 days in an airtight container or wrapped in plastic wrap.
  • If you don’t want to make the frosting, you can sprinkle the cake with powdered sugar instead.
slice of pumpkin crunch cake

Pumpkin Dump Cake Recipe

Pumpkin crunch cake is a dessert that shines brightest during the festive holiday season. The warm and comforting notes of pumpkin spice and the rich, creamy layers make it an ideal dessert to enjoy after a hearty Thanksgiving feast. Add a drizzle of caramel sauce and a scoop of vanilla ice cream for an extra indulgent treat! Additionally, this delectable cake is a star at holiday potlucks, where it’s welcomed with open arms by friends and family. Whether it’s Thanksgiving dinner with loved ones or a festive potluck gathering, serving pumpkin crunch cake is a wonderful way to bring a touch of seasonal joy to the table. It’s a dessert that captures the essence of autumn, making it a heartwarming treat to savor and share during these special occasions.

Want more pumpkin recipes? Here are a few of our favorite pumpkin recipes from the blog:

Pumpkin Pecan Pie

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slice of pumpkin crunch cake

Pumpkin Crunch

Yield: 12 people
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 10 minutes
Pumpkin Crunch with Cream Cheese Frosting – I hate pumpkin, but I LOVE this cake!! SO easy! Pumpkin, evaporated milk, eggs, sugar, pumpkin spice, cake mix, pecans, and butter. Frost with a mixture of cream cheese, powdered sugar, and cool whip. SO good. I took this to a potluck and everyone cleaned their plate. The pumpkin haters were shocked when I told them what it was!! YUM!

Ingredients:

  • 1 (15-oz) can pumpkin
  • 1 (12-oz) can evaporated milk
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp pumpkin spice
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 box yellow cake mix
  • 1 cup chopped pecans
  • ¾ cup butter cut in pieces
  • 1 (12-oz) container cool-whip
  • 1 (8-oz) package cream cheese, softened
  • ½ cup powdered sugar

Instructions:

  • Preheat oven to 350ºF.
  • Mix pumpkin, milk, sugar, pumpkin spice and eggs and pour into 9×13 baking dish.
  • Sprinkle cake mix on top. Sprinkle pecans on top of cake mix. Cover nuts with pieces of butter.
  • Bake for 1 hour. Let cool completely.
  • Beat cool-whip, cream cheese and confectioners sugar together and spread on top.

Notes:

  • Make sure to use a can of pureed pumpkin. Do not use pumpkin pie filling.
  • Can use any flavor of cake mix you prefer. I used a box of yellow cake mix. Butter pecan or spice cake mix would also be delicious.
  • Can swap walnuts for the pecans.
  • If you don’t like nuts, feel free to leave them out. You could swap them for toffee bits.
  • Store the baked cake in the refrigerator until serving.
  • The cake will keep 3 to 4 days in an air-tight container.
  • If you don’t want to make the frosting, you can sprinkle the cake with powdered sugar instead. 

Steph

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Comments

  1. Just made this the other day….divided the batter between two 8×8 pans to make two cakes….baked it for a little less time than the hour called for…everyone loved it! Hubby said it’s definitely a keeper! Just an FYI…. Tried leaving a positive comment on Pinterest but for some reason it wouldn’t let me. 😟

  2. Hi there! You say in the ingredients list a box of cake mix and then your directions say to sprinkle the cake mix. Is it the whole box or just some? That isn’t quite clear. Also, you did not specify salted or unsalted butter.

    I made it with an entire package of cake mix since that is what the ingredients say. It’s quite moist, juicy and runny with juices. Which leads me to believe that perhaps your writing box of cake mix in the ingredients should actually say not to use the whole box, use 1/2, so many grams or cups, etc.

    Would appreciate some clarity on this. I’ve been looking forward to making this and am hoping I didn’t ruin the batch by using the box mentioned.

    Thanks!
    A fellow recipe fanatic

    1. I used the whole box of cake mix as indicated in the ingredients. Use only the dry mix. Do not make the cake batter.

      1. Thank you! That’s exactly what I did. Is yours typically runny/juicy?

        Also, unsalted or salted butter to top?

        Thank you again, very much!

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