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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  1. Kim permalink

    This was so unbelievably good!! My family LOVED it! I did use the praline pecans and it gave it that extra sweetness on top! Thank you for this recipe 🙂

  2. Lisa permalink

    May I just say…….I too, make something very similar but with blueberry and pineapple and it is yummy!! I am just about to make this now but I have read some of the posts and you pour a stick of melted butter over the cake mix! There is no cutting or grating necessary,just pour your melted butter right on top and stick it in the oven!!!!

  3. lisa permalink

    sorry,,,it is 1 cup of butter…not one stick

  4. Vicki permalink

    it is cream cheese and cool whip mixed together so yummy and you can add a tsp of lemon juice to it for some reason it gives it and even better taste

  5. Kimberly permalink

    This is my mother in law’s favorite dessert. She talks about it all year. This year (just for kicks) I put a tiny sprinkle of white choc chip morsels on top before baking. It was soooooo gooooodddddd! Thanks for the recipe, I really appreciate it. xoxo

  6. Tammy Gardner permalink

    My daughter made this for Thanksgiving and it was so delious! She used the Spice Cake Mix. Yummy!

  7. AndiSam permalink

    Made this for Thanksgiving…OMG, fantastic and people ended up eating this and not the pumpkin pie we had. Will be making for Christmas for sure! And i used low fat evaporated milk as my store was out of regular and it was fine!

  8. Joan permalink

    Has anyone lightened it up with ff milk, Splenda & egg beaters?

  9. I attempted to make these today. After I put on the cake mix and pecans, out of the corner of my eye, I saw the eggs I forgot to add. So, I poured everything in to a bowl, and stirred in the eggs. My crunch cake became just a cake. I will let you all know how it tasted. I was so looking forward to this. Darn

  10. Judy permalink

    Omg…I made it on thanksgiving with the spice cake mix and cream cheese frosting and it was fantastic….great reviews. This recipe is a keeper. Ps…as a short cut they now sell cream cheese topping in the freezer section next to the cool whip

  11. Mine did the same thing – I wonder what i did wrong..

  12. My recipe calls for Sweetened Condensed Milk…I made it for the first time in October. It was delicious!

  13. arpaiofordohschief permalink

    Wonder if you could use a couple of shots Bailey’s Irish Cream in with the evap. milk?

  14. Liza Kiesling permalink

    I printed this recipe last year and never got around to making it. I sent it to my best friends this year and made it myself. It is so great! thanks for posting it.

  15. luckysponge permalink

    Super yum! We love pumpkin in our house. I’ve made this twice now and took these suggestions for a perfect desert: 1) use only 1/3 cup sugar, 2) add some clove and nutmeg to pumpkin mixture, 3) use 1/2 cup butter (1 stick)

    Came out great and didn’t miss the butter or sugar I cut out. I also bake for about an hour. Mine doesn’t look as luscious as the photo, but it’s still the bomb. Next time will try spice cake mix and grating solid butter instead of using melted. Thanks for the recipe!

  16. smiles permalink

    My grandma made this when i was a small child, its been made by me for many years now. My children perfer it over the traditional pumpkin pie. She called it pumpkin cobbler though! You can add to the recipe to make your own version that’s whats so great about this recipe.

  17. Sibyl permalink

    My husband makes this exact recipe!

  18. crochetlola permalink

    I love this recipe I add cream cheese to the pumpkin mix, and heat bar pieces with the pecans, work, friends, and family loved it so much I have to make even after the holidays!

  19. Terry in Atlanta permalink

    Delicious right out of the oven,

  20. Jeanene Delaney permalink

    Okay – so I’m a pumpkin fanatic — my mouth is already watering just thinking about making this recipe — thank you so much — Blessings

  21. Jeanene Delaney permalink

    An after thought for you “experimenting” ladies. I can’t eat nuts, so, how about rice Chex instead?
    AND, add 4 oz cream cheese & 2 Tbl of sugar to milk/egg mixture — who’s daring enough?

  22. Quiltlady23 permalink

    I added 1 cup old fashioned oatmeal to this cake, it is very good.

  23. Kate permalink

    That’s how we’ve always done it. I used to think this was the best dessert ever — we called it Cherry Quick Cake (cherry pie filling mixed with pineapple, topped with yellow cake mix and grated, frozen butter), but anymore, it’s just TOOOOO sweet. 1/2 cake mix is perfect.

  24. Katie permalink

    mine too? DId I not cook it long enough?

  25. Sandy permalink

    Could a yellow Gluten Free cake mix be used instead of the standard cake mix? Sounds so yummy

  26. Cara permalink

    Gluten Free Cake Mix should work just fine!

  27. Lexmix12 permalink

    Just made this tonight for my sorority fundraising event … And they love it … The only thing that seemed airless off was that the pumpkin layer was softer than what I intended it to be. Other than that it very good

  28. Donna permalink

    I just made this and it is fabulous. My young grandson is terribly allergic to tree nuts, so I substituted bran buds for the pecans. It worked. Also I only used one stick of butter. Sorry, but that also worked.

  29. Irish Elsie permalink

    I made this with a gluten free cake mix, and it was wonderful! Thank you for posting this yummy recipe!

  30. Ty's NaNa permalink

    My Momma makes this every Thanksgiving & Christmas….we call it “pumpkin dump”… is a favorite around our house!

  31. Laura permalink

    I am so happy to have this recipe. I used to get this at the hospital where I worked 35 yrs ago. I have never seen the recipe before. Thank you!

  32. Shanna permalink

    My “cake” is in the oven and the timer has just gone off! I’m so excited and can’t wait to try this.

  33. Nancy M. permalink

    I just finished baking this using the spice cake mix….this is my first time making this …..the house smells like Thanksgiving Day…lol

  34. Natalie permalink

    How do you make the cream cheese cool whip icing?

  35. AmyS permalink

    I made this last night with a few modifications. I used sugar free yellow cake mix; honestly you can not tell the difference! I also mixed softened cream cheese with 2 TBS of powdered sugar. Prepare the pumpkin portion as directed in the recipe. Sprinkle 1/2 of the cake mix onto the mixture, then dollop the cream cheese onto that; finish off with rest of cake mix, then nuts and butter. YUM!

  36. Marianne permalink

    I made this the other day, although delicious, the mix didn’t “gel” on the bottom. Hence, I cannot cut it up as it oozes (for lack of a better term!), all over the place. I used a glass pan and greased it. Any suggestions for next time I make this? Thanks!!

  37. sk8mom permalink

    how do you know when the cake is done? thanks!

  38. sk8mom permalink

    You could probably cut the sugar and use the same amount of milk!

  39. Lyndsey permalink

    Do you prefer to eat this cold or warm/room temp.?

  40. Little_Monster permalink

    That’s what the original dump cake IS 😉 This is just a pumpkin variation.

  41. Heather permalink

    Can you freeze this?

  42. Kate Willoughby permalink

    I got this recipe from a Betty Crocker box. It’s THE BEST PUMPKIN DESSERT EVAH!

  43. GRUMUM permalink

    made this yesterday! didn’t have yellow cake mix and used carrot cake mix, I used chopped pecans and made a bit of cream cheese icing for the top!!! YUMMY

  44. thompsonforlife permalink

    I made this with homemade condensed coconut milk, pecans that I made into pralines (also easy and cheaper than store bough pralines) , becel vegan margarine and Betty Crocker Gluten Free cake mix. Was a big hit.

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