Nov 22 08
by cara
at 10:53 AM
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Pumpkin Crunch Cake

This is one of my favorite pumpkin recipes!  I subscribe to several recipe sharing groups, and this recipe popped up in my email inbox a few years ago.  I have no ideas about the origin of the recipe, but I’ve seen it around the internet in similar forms.  Anyone out there know where this recipe comes from?

“Cake” is a bit of a misnomer, because it is really quite custard-y.  I suppose it could be called cake since a boxed cake mix is used, but it is not a cake in the traditional sense.  Each time I make this recipe, I add more and more pecans because I like the extra crunchiness and flavor they add.  I’ve reflected my changes below.

Pumpkin Crunch Cake


  • 1 box yellow cake mix
  • 1 can (15 oz) pumpkin puree
  • 1 can (12 oz) evaporated milk
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped pecans (the original recipe called for 1/2 cup)
  • 1 cup butter, melted

Heat oven to 350 degrees F.  Grease bottom of 9 x 13″ pan.  Mix pumpkin, milk, eggs, sugar, cinnamon, and salt.  Pour mixture into greased pan.  Sprinkle dry cake mix over pumpkin mixture and top with pecans.  Drizzle melted butter over pecans.  Bake 50-55 minutes.

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  • Heather

    I found it at walmart.

  • lake havasu

    made this twice already since start of fall. having problem w/ the bottom pumpkin part: it holds up but feels mushy, almost like a pudding. 2nd time i made it, i added 1 egg, still turned out mushy. so next time i make it, will add maybe half cup of flour into the pumpkin puree. maybe it’ll hold it’s shape then.

  • Kkcarderandgirls

    Made this for Halloween Block Party without nuts and did the Heath Brickle bits. So good and everyone wanted recipe.

  • Patty

    Can I use canned pumpkin instead of pumpkin puree???

  • Lunchladyellen

    I made this today and plan on eating it tmw. I will say that the cake mix on top never set up. I baked it 15 minutes over, but it still wouldn’t set up in the middle. After taking it out, the middle sunk down a bit. I hope it tastes better than it looks.

  • Gayle Morris

    I am baking this right now in the oven and I also used butter pecan cake mix which I purchased at Walmart and I used pumpkin pie spice and 3/4c butter and topped with pecans….dying to try it…gonna flip it and top with cool whip

  • jacenda

    Made this tonight for Thanksgiving dinner. Because I usually don’t like yellow cake mix in these types of recipes and after reading other comments, I went with spice cake mix. It also seemed like a lot of white sugar so I used about 3/4 c. of brown sugar instead. And, because I love pecans and I am lazy- I didn’t measure, just threw a couple of big handfuls into the food processor and pulsed a few times for a rough chop. It turned out so good! Delicious! I ate a piece at dinner and am eating another as I type. Everyone else loved it too. Thanks for the recipe – it’s a keeper!

  • Jaquetta Adams

    So I’m making this now, I liked the idea of this, after reading the comments I added, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, and ginger to the cake mix to make it a spice cake mix. We’ll see how it turns out.

  • bethg

    can i substitute the evaporated milk for regular milk?

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  • amy

    Thanks – mine is in the oven now and I was looking for the answer to this question as well 🙂

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  • Brian

    I have been making this cake for a few years now and the way I do it is a little different, I mix the pecans and the butter together in a small pot over low heat for about 5min and then spinkle the mix over the top of the cake.

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  • Sarah

    is the middle of the cake supposed to be cooked?

  • Andiedawn

    i made this and it was a hit! i did take advice of other commenters and used spice cake mix, which I think was a great improvement. It adds that extra taste we associate with fall type desserts!

  • compactkid14

    I wonder if anyone has tried making this in a bundt pan or a pie plate?

  • Becky Yost Liddick

    I thought about using the spice cake too:)

  • Kari Ann

    Making it now with sweet potatoes instead of pumpkin. It smells so good!

  • jenny

    Does anyone know if this freezes well?

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  • Lawrence C Spies

    Making a spice cake version now…I have tried the yellow cake version many times, but the spice cake mix seemed to be a better fit with pumpkin than yellow cake mix. Another great version I made is using PINEAPPLE cake mix and adding a small/med. can of crushed pineapple(with syrup or juice) on top of the cake mix after drizzling with butter, then top with pecans. .

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  • Rae-Jean Welsh

    This dessert is absolutely AMAZING. I can’t imagine ever making Pumpkin Pie again. Thank you for the awesome pin 🙂

  • Carol Smith

    I haven’t made this yet, but wondering if I could use a large can of pumpkin pie mix instead of the puree and eggs , milk , and sugar,, I am thinking would be the same thing

  • Peggy Esposito

    I’m just about to make this but see it calls for two sticks of butter – is that correct? It just seems like alot!

  • Lana

    This recipe turned out better than expected. I used Duncan Hines butter pecan cake and added a tablespoon of vanilla to the pumpkin mixture. Made it for Thanksgiving 2016 & the family loved it.

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