Pumpkin Crunch Cake

You know what my favorite Fall breakfast is? Pumpkin Pie.

Yeah, really. It is such a great way to wake up. Thick, cold, and creamy straight from the fridge. It’s easy and it’s fabulous.

Alright, so it’s a pretty good dessert, too.

Rather than make pumpkin pie, I livened things up a bit around here and made a Pumpkin Crunch Cake. This dessert is crazytown, you guys. It’s all pumpkiny, crunchy, and cakey. I never would have guessed it would taste that way from the name! Such a surprise.

This is a pretty classic and simple dessert, but I made a few changes from the original recipe that is floating around pretty much everywhere. I felt like the yellow cake really overpowered everthing, so I reduced the amount to half of a box mix. You can use the full box mix if you want. I also increased the amount of pecans, because nuts are fabulous. Don’t tell my husband I said that. He’d never believe you, anyway.

Oh, and if you think I apple-d the crap out of you the last few weeks, just wait. It’s pumpkin time, baby.

No, I don’t know why I called you baby either. It just felt right. I also said “crap.” Huh.

Don’t worry. It’ll never happen again.

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Pumpkin Crunch Cake


1 can (15 ounces) pumpkin puree
1 can (12 ounces) evaporated milk
4 eggs
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
pinch of cloves
1 teaspoon salt
1/2-ish box yellow cake mix
1 cup chopped pecans
1 cup butter, melted


Line a 9x13 pan with parchment paper. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
In a large bowl, beat together the pumpkin, milk, eggs, sugar, and spices until well combined.
Pour into the prepared baking dish.
Sprinkle the top with yellow cake mix. I prefer a half of a box, but use more if you want it to be very cakey.
Sprinkle with the chopped pecans.
Pour the melted butter evenly over the top of the cake.
Bake for 60-70 minutes or until the top is lightly browned and the custard is set.
Serve warm or cold. Store in the refrigerator.


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28 Responses to “Pumpkin Crunch Cake”

  1. DessertForTwo October 19, 2011 @ 9:08 am (#

    I’m so ready for you to pumpkin the crap outta me! 😉


  2. Joanna October 19, 2011 @ 9:30 am (#

    I LOVE all things pumpkin. To the degree that I really want to eat it everysingleday. So ready for tons of pumpkin recipes, and this one in particular looks amazing. Wonder what it would taste like with spice cake mix…


  3. Tresh October 19, 2011 @ 10:15 am (#

    can’t wait to try this. i love anything pumpkin. but tonight i’m still on the apple craze with you. making cast iron skillet apple pie


  4. natalie (the sweets life) October 19, 2011 @ 11:08 am (#

    This is one of my favorite pumpkin recipes. I agree the cake part can be a bit too much–next time I’ll definitely use only half. People always go crazy for this!!

    Can’t wait to see what else pumpkin is headed our way :)


  5. Joanne October 19, 2011 @ 12:06 pm (#

    You can call me baby whenever you want so long as you hand over a piece of that cake!

    I’m so excited for pumpkin week. Can hardly bear it.


  6. Caroline October 19, 2011 @ 2:35 pm (#

    Hey Karly! I discovered your blog through Pinterest and I drool over EVERYTHING that you do! Just wanted to give you a shout out and some blogging love!


  7. S. Isaac October 19, 2011 @ 6:52 pm (#

    I have tried this with a butter pecan cake mix and it was much better than the yellow, which I agree, too overpowering!! I’m glad to know there are others out there who have pumpkin pie for breakfast!


  8. Lauren October 19, 2011 @ 7:22 pm (#

    I am liking everything about this recipe. Love my pumpkin!


  9. Tracy October 20, 2011 @ 8:38 am (#

    Bring on the pumpkin! This cake looks fabulous!


  10. Erin October 20, 2011 @ 12:59 pm (#

    Yum! My mom has a similar recipe and we were going to make it a couple of weeks ago. But when we went to the store…lo and behold there was no pumpkin to be found! Good thing we are stocked up now! :)


  11. Roxana GreenGirl October 20, 2011 @ 6:21 pm (#

    Now that I think about it, i can easily start the day with a pumpkin dessert and yours looks pretty darn tempting!


  12. Melissa from the Blue House October 21, 2011 @ 1:41 pm (#

    Just stumbled upon your blog this week and I LOVE it! Hope you don’t mind; I stole one of your pictures and posted it along with a link to your blog, here –> http://fordsbigbluehouse.blogspot.com/2011/10/follow-friday-four-great-blogs.html

    Love, your newest follower :)


  13. Maggie October 22, 2011 @ 9:43 am (#

    My friends and I made this last night in our dorm. We each had at least three pieces! It was delicious!


  14. Diana October 23, 2011 @ 1:46 am (#

    Would you believe I made this tonight before I saw your post! When I saw your picture I thought CRAP, I forgot the pecans! Oh well, I’m sure it will still be good. I make it in a smaller pan so that the pumpkin layer is taller and I don’t use all of the cake mix either. Love your blog!


  15. grace October 24, 2011 @ 12:15 pm (#

    marvelous. i’m not a pumpkin-pie-for-breakfast kind of girl; i prefer apple pie. regardless, this is a great treat!


  16. cherylK October 25, 2011 @ 7:59 am (#

    I’ve got a yellow cake mix in my freezer and just yesterday I was thinking I should figure out something to do with it. I’m not kidding! So this will be it. Thanks!


  17. Ruthann October 25, 2011 @ 7:43 pm (#

    So my sister knows I love all things pumpkin. She sends me this email subject line . . . sister, sister, pumpkin eater – and attached was the link to your AMAZING recipe. Oh. My. Goodness. My house smelled soooooo incredible tonight as this yumminess was baking, I started calling people to come eat it before it was out of the oven. And you did not disappoint. It was FABULOUS. What a fun Tuesday night for-no-good-reason pumpkin party we had. Everyone LOVED, LOVED LOVED this. Thanks for sharing. And you were right, 1/2 the cake mix was perfect!


  18. Kaoru October 30, 2011 @ 12:57 pm (#

    I tried this recipe yesterday for a Halloween party, and it was so good! I also put crushed oreos on the bottom… I don’t know what possessed me to do that, but that actually worked out. I must say, I had never seen a method to “sprinkle cake mix and pour melted butter over it”, and was apprehensive and excited to see how it would turn out. Whoa, it’s amazing how that became crunchy cake! Thank you for this recipe. Please keep it coming with more pumpkin recipes. I am gonna run out to get more butter!


  19. Christine December 16, 2011 @ 4:54 pm (#

    Hey Karly, your Crunch Cake is a Recipe Guessing Game on Knapkins. Think your friends can win? http://www.knapkins.com/guess_games/1064?source=blog


  20. Dani @ See Hubby Cook September 4, 2013 @ 7:56 am (#

    Karly, this looks sooooo darn delicious! Amen for pumpkin season being back! Thank you for posting this in your sidebar. Now I have been blessed with knowing its existence and must make it. MUST. MAKE. IT.


    • Karly replied: — September 4th, 2013 @ 9:52 am

      Hope you love it as much as we do!


  21. Janice September 24, 2013 @ 7:07 pm (#

    Great recipe!!! Thanks for sharing!!!


  22. Liz September 15, 2014 @ 3:10 pm (#

    So many beautiful recipes, Karly. Thank you!



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