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Ready for pumpkin pie but don’t want to wait for the holidays? Fall desserts don’t get any easier than our recipe for pumpkin Dump Cake with a creamy pumpkin pie bottom and simple cake mix topping. Make it extra special and add some whipped cream and candied pecans.
I have been making this dump cake for the last 15 years or so. I like making it instead of a pumpkin pie because I can actually serve 12 people instead of about 6.
Have you ever had your pumpkin pie filling separated from the crust after baking and sitting for a day? This pumpkin dessert won’t do that!
Try this easy pumpkin dump cake recipe for yourself and see if it doesn’t become a holiday favorite in your house too! Hint – this isn’t just for holidays ether! Makes a great after school snack, tailgate dessert, and packs nicely into lunchboxes.
HOW TO MAKE A PUMPKIN DUMP CAKE
This recipe is one of the easiest recipes in my Thanksgiving Dinner arsenal. While it isn’t exactly “dump and go”, it’s still super simple. Pumpkin pie filling is added to a cake pan, then covered with a cake mix and sliced butter then baked. Because it’s made in a 9 X 13 pan, it will serve twice as many people as a pumpkin pie.
Pumpkin Pie Layer
Follow the directions on the back of the pumpkin can for making a pie. You can use whatever spices they tell you to use or you can be like me and use 2 teaspoons of pumpkin pie spice.
I use canned pumpkin rather than pumpkin pie mix, but either one will work. The most important part if to follow the directions of the back of the can. I use Libby’s pumpkin and the back of their can calls for 15 ounces of canned pumpkin, 12 ounces evaporated milk, 2 whole eggs, 3/4 cup of granulated sugar, and some spices.
All you’re really doing here is making a pumpkin pie baked in a 9 X 12 pan with a dump cake topping.
Soooo, if you have a pumpkin pie filling you love and it works in a 9-inch pie pan, it will work in this recipe too!
Prepare a 9 X 13 cake pan by spraying with a baking spray.
Dump the prepared pumpkin pie filling into the pan and spread it out fairly evenly. The filling is going going to be pretty thin, so it should just fill out the pan without spreading.
Pumpkin Crunch Cake Topping
This is where the crunch comes from!
All you need for this layer is a box of cake mix. White and yellow are the most common cake flavors used. Spice cake mix is also pretty good, but my absolute favorite is a butter pecan cake.
If you plan on adding some pecans to the top, now would be the time to do it. I don’t use pecans before baking. I think that they get a little too toasted when they bake in butter for almost an hour. Instead, I make some candied pecans and use them to garnish at the end.
Lots of people use pecan halves and chopped pecans this way, so if you like them just put them on the cake mix before topping with the butter slices.
No matter which flavor you choose, you need to make sure it is spread out evenly before covering with butter. Honestly, I just grab it by the handful and start sprinkling it lightly over the cake. I know it’s called a dump cake, but you really don’t want to just “dump” it onto the filling. It will crater into the middle and bake into a dry mess.
After sprinkling the cake mix over the pumpkin pie layer, gently pat it down so that there aren’t little mountains of cake mix.
I don’t have great luck getting my cake mix super smooth and it leaves some ruts and valleys. Melted butter seems to pool into these craters so I use a different method.
Take about 1 1/2 sticks of butter, or about 3/4 of a cup and slice it into pretty thin slices. Place the slices as close together as you can on top of the cake mix.
HOW LONG TO BAKE A PUMPKIN DUMP CAKE
This cake take s a bit of time to cook. You are waiting on that filling to set up more than anything. The filling is set when I knife inserted into the middle of cake pan comes back clean. If there are crumbs from the cake topping, that’s fine, there is going to be a few dry crumbs in the topping.
Once the filling is set, it is just a matter of how brown you want your topping. I have found that the longer you allow it to bake, the crunchier the topping gets.
55 to 65 minutes is usually enough time for the filling to set and the crunchy topping to be perfect.
HOW TO SERVE PUMPKIN CRUNCH CAKE
We serve our pumpkin crunch cake with a dollop of homemade whipped cream for the holidays, but when are eating it in a more casual setting you’ll likely find a canned of creamy whipped topping nearby!
I like to add a couple of candied pecans too!
HOW TO STORE PUMPKIN DUMP CAKE
This easy dessert can be stored at room temperature for up to 2 days before the topping starts to lose its crunch and turn soft. It can be stored in the refrigerator for the same amount of time, the top may get a bit softer, but honestly, I like it better cold.
MORE EASY THANKSGIVING RECIPES
Pumpkin Dump Cake Recipe
- 15 ounces canned pumpkin
- 3/4 cup granulates sugar
- 12 ounces evaporated milk
- 2 whole eggs slightly beaten
- 2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
- 1 box cake mix butter pecan, spice, white, or yellow
- 3/4 cup salted butter cold
- Preheat an oven to 350⁰F.
- Prepare a 9 X 13 cake by spraying with a cooking spray.
- Make the pumpkin pie filling by combining the pumpkin, evaporated milk, sugar, eggs, and pumpkin pie spice.
- Sprinkle the cake mix evenly over the pumpkin pie filling.
- Thinly slice the cold butter and distribute evenly over the cake mix.
- Place into the preheated 350 ⁰F oven and bake until golden brown on the top and the pumpkin pie filling has set. About 55 to 65 minutes.
- Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely before serving.
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