Pumpkin Crunch Cake

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Let’s talk about something that’s real important, k?

Pumpkin season.

Lately, it seems super cool to be all anti-pumpkin. I mean, it also seems super cool to be obsessed with pumpkin, which is why the anti-pumpkin people are coming out in full force to say “no, we will not stand for pumpkin spice macaroni and pumpkin spice shoelaces.” But, guys. I’m getting nervous.

I feel like we’re about to have a full on Grease-style feud between two rival gangs and it’s stressing me out.

Can’t we all just get along? Can’t we all just eat or not eat our pumpkin in peace, like respectable adults?

This pumpkin crunch cake has a cake topping with a bottom made of pumpkin pie filling! I couldn't stop sneaking bites of this cake!

Now, you miiiiiiiight have noticed that I’m on Team Pumpkin Everything. I mean, it’s pumpkin. Why anyone would say no to that is beyond me, but whatever. You do you.

So, I’m here, in early September with my second pumpkin recipe of the year. The first one, in case you’ve forgotten, was shared last month. It was pumpkin donut holes and I think you should go make these right away. I’ll wait.

Anyway, I’ve shared this Pumpkin Crunch Cake recipe in the past, but I made it again last week and took new pictures. It just confirmed my belief that this pumpkin cake is somehow, magically, even better than traditional pumpkin pie. No, I won’t be serving it in place of pie at Thanksgiving, but on a regular day when I’m craving pumpkin? This will do the trick even better than pumpkin pie and *bonus points* it’s a heck of a lot easier to make.

This pumpkin crunch cake has a cake topping with a bottom made of pumpkin pie filling! I couldn't stop sneaking bites of this cake!

I only use half of a box of cake mix in this recipe. I know that’s kind of annoying to have a half packet of cake mix laying around, but you can use it next week to make this again. Trust me, you’ll want to.

You could also use the entire bag of mix. It makes this much more cake-like. I like it with a half bag of mix, because the custard-y pumpkin bottom shines through a lot more.

This pumpkin crunch cake has a cake topping with a bottom made of pumpkin pie filling! I couldn't stop sneaking bites of this cake!

Whatever way you make this, I can guarantee that you’re going to love it. I actually finished off this entire pan, piece by piece, for breakfast one week. And dessert. And snacks. I was both happy and sad when it was gone – happy to have a chance to maybe button my pants again, sad because my one true love was gone from this Earth.

I store this in the fridge and it sets up nice and thick. In the video above and in these pictures, it was still warm, which is why it fell apart when I scooped it out. It holds it shape perfectly when cold!

Be sure to also head over to check out my pumpkin coffee cake. It’s packing two full cans of pumpkin and is intensely rich and fudgy. I’m addicted to the stuff.

This pumpkin crunch cake has a cake topping with a bottom made of pumpkin pie filling! I couldn't stop sneaking bites of this cake!

FAQ ABOUT THIS RECIPE:

  1. The video lists pumpkin pie spice, but the recipe shows cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, and cloves. I make my own pumpkin pie spice by using that mix of spices. You can swap in 1 1/2 teaspoons of pumpkin pie spice if you’d prefer.
  2. Can I substitute a spice cake mix instead of yellow? Absolutely! I prefer yellow, but many people make this with spice cake.
  3. What is the sauce on top in your pictures? I topped this with ice cream and caramel sauce. It’s also good with whipped cream or served plain.
  4. I don’t like nuts, what can I substitute? You can skip the nuts entirely or substitute them with graham cracker or Biscoff pieces. Skor bits are also good, from what I hear.
  5. Can I use the canned pumpkin pie filling instead of puree to make this even easier? I haven’t tried it myself, but I imagine it works.
  6. Can I reduce/omit the sugar in this recipe? I’ve never tried it, so I really can’t make recommendations on this.

Pumpkin Crunch Cake

Ingredients:

  • 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 (if you'd like a more cake-like consistensy, use more - up to the full box. If you'd like it to be more like a pie texture, use around 1/2 the box)
  • 1 cup chopped pecans
  • 1 cup butter, melted

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 9x13 baking dish with non-stick spray.
  2. In a large bowl, beat together the pumpkin, milk, eggs, sugar, and spices until well combined. Pour into the prepared baking dish.
  3. 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.
  4. Sprinkle with the chopped pecans.
  5. Pour the melted butter evenly over the top of the cake.
  6. Bake for 60-70 minutes or until the top is lightly browned and the custard is set.
  7. Serve warm or cold. Store in the refrigerator.

More pumpkin recipes below!

Baked pumpkin donut holes! These are dense like a pumpkin pie, but coated in butter, cinnamon, and sugar so they taste like a fried donut!

Pumpkin Donut Holes

Oatmeal Pumpkin Bars - made with a simple oatmeal crust and filled with maple spiked pumpkin!

Pumpkin Oatmeal Bars

Cinnamon Swirled Pumpkin Coffee Cake - dense and creamy like a pumpkin pie!

Pumpkin Coffee Cake

Pumpkin Pecan Oatmeal Bars recipe - perfect fall recipe

Pumpkin Pecan Bars