Pumpkin Dump Cake is the perfect fall dessert when you’re ready for pumpkin pie but don’t want to wait for Thanksgiving! With a creamy pumpkin pie bottom and simple cake mix topping. Make it extra special and add some whipped cream and candied pecans.
Dump cakes may have unappealing names, but they’re super simple to make. This Pumpkin Dump Cake is the best fall dessert for anyone who loves cake but also really loves a pumpkin pie.
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 serve double the people with the same flavors.
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 either! Makes a great after-school snack, tailgate dessert, and packs nicely into lunchboxes.
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!
How to Make Pumpkin Dump Cake
This cake is all about the layers. It’s basically a crustless pumpkin pie on the bottom with a fluffy, buttery cake layer on top for the best of both worlds.
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 will work. The most important part is to follow the directions of the back of the can. I use Libby’s pumpkin and the back of their can calls for a 15-ounce can of pumpkin, 12 ounces evaporated milk, 2 eggs, 3/4 cup of sugar, and some spices.
If you have a family pumpkin pie recipe you love and it works in a 9-inch pie pan, it will work in this recipe too!
Start by greasing a 9×13 baking dish by spraying with a baking spray.
Then, dump the prepared pumpkin pie filling into the pan and spread it out evenly. The filling is going going to be pretty thin, so it should just fill the pan, like a pumpkin pie crust!
PUMPKIN CRUNCH CAKE TOPPING
This is where the crunch comes from!
All you need for this layer is a box of cake mix. You’ll use the mix itself, so ignore any additional directions on the box.
White and yellow are the most common cake flavors. Spice cake mix is also good, but my absolute favorite is a butter pecan cake.
No matter which flavor you choose, you need to spread the mix 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!
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.
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, sliced into super thin slices. Place the slices as close together as you can on top of the cake mix.
HOW TO BAKE
This cake takes a bit of time to cook.
You are mostly waiting on that filling to set up more than anything. The filling is set when a knife inserted into the middle of the cake pan comes out 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’s 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.
I tend to bake this dump cake for about 55 to 65 minutes at 350 degrees F. That seems to be the ideal timing for the filling to set and the crunchy topping to be perfect!
HOW TO SERVE
I serve my Pumpkin Dump Cake with a dollop of homemade whipped cream and candied pecans for the holidays.
When I’m eating it in a more casual setting. you’ll likely find a canned of creamy whipped topping nearby! Just like pumpkin pie, I think it needs a little cream on top.
HOW TO STORE LEFTOVERS
This easy dessert can be stored at room temperature for up to 2 days before the topping starts to lose its crunchiness 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!
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Pumpkin Dump Cake
- 9×13 baking dish
- 1 15-ounce can pumpkin
- ¾ cup granulated sugar
- 12 ounces evaporated milk
- 2 eggs slightly beaten
- 2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
- 1 box cake mix butter pecan, spice, white, or yellow
- ¾ cup salted butter cold
- Preheat an oven to 350 degreesF.
- Grease a 9×13 baking dish with cooking spray.
- Make the pumpkin pie filling: Combine 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.
- 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.