Pumpkin Crunch Cake is the perfect Fall dessert! 

This cake has all of the flavors and texture of a traditional pumpkin pie in a super easy recipe.

Simple to make, this recipe starts with cake mix and a can of pumpkin and ends with an amazing fall dessert.

a slice of pumpkin crunch cake topped with ice cream

This cake reminds me of pumpkin pie and it’s SUPER easy to make.

  • It’s made in a 9×13 pan, so it’s perfect to feed a crowd.
  • Pumpkin crunch cake is best made ahead so it’s the perfect holiday dessert.
  • It’s super quick and easy to make with a box of yellow cake mix sprinkled over a pumpkin base!
cooked Pumpkin Crunch Cake in a baking dish

Ingredients in Pumpkin Crunch Cake

Pumpkin Mixture – This recipe uses the same ingredients you’d add to pumpkin pie.

  • Ensure you use canned pumpkin puree and not pumpkin pie filling.
  • Evaporated milk, eggs, and sugar are added to this recipe.
  • Pumpkin pie spice can be replaced with cinnamon and a pinch of nutmeg and ginger.

Cake Mix – You’ll need a box of yellow cake mix or you can use a box of spice cake mix.

Topping – Chopped pecans are sprinkled on top of the cake mix but other varieties of nuts can be used.

ingredients assembled to make Pumpkin Crunch Cake

How to Make Pumpkin Crunch Cake

Perfect as a make ahead dessert or for Thanksgiving, this recipe is so easy to make.

  1. Mix the pumpkin mixture (per recipe below) and pour into a 9×13 pan.
  2. Sprinkle yellow cake mix evenly over the top of the batter.
  3. Top with pecans & drizzle melted butter over the top and bake.

Let the cake cool completely and serve with ice cream or whipped cream.

How to Store

  • In the Fridge: Leftovers can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. Serve cold or reheat in the oven.
  • In the Freezer: Leftovers can be frozen for up to 4 weeks. Freeze cooled portions in zippered bags with the date labeled on the outside. Pop-out a portion and add it to a lunchbox or briefcase as a tasty mid-morning snack.
Pumpkin Crunch Cake on a plate

Perfect Pumpkin Desserts

Did your family love this Pumpkin Crunch Cake? Be sure to leave a rating and a comment below! 

piece of Pumpkin Crunch Cake on a plate with bite taken out
4.96 from 193 votes↑ Click stars to rate now!
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Pumpkin Crunch Cake

Pumpkin Crunch Cake is the perfect fall dessert. A rich layer of pumpkin cake is topped with pecans and a simple 2 ingredient streusel.
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 15 minutes
Servings 15 servings
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  • 15 ounces canned pumpkin
  • 12 ounces evaporated milk
  • 3 large eggs
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 package yellow cake mix
  • 1 cup pecans chopped
  • 1 cup unsalted butter melted


  • Preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease and flour a 9×13 baking dish and set aside.
  • In a large bowl, combine pumpkin, milk, eggs, sugar, pumpkin pie spice, & salt. Pour into the prepared pan.
  • Gently sprinkle the dry cake mix powder over the pumpkin batter and top with the pecans.
  • Drizzle melted butter over the cake mix.
  • Bake uncovered for 25 minutes uncovered. Cover with foil and bake for an additional 25 minutes.
  • Remove from oven and uncover (be careful, the steam will be hot) and cool completely.
  • Cut into squares and serve with a scoop of vanilla ice cream or whipped cream.



Any flavor cake mix can be used in this recipe (white cake/spice cake).
Leftovers can be stored for up to 4 days in an airtight container in the fridge.
4.96 from 193 votes

Nutrition Information

Calories: 372 | Carbohydrates: 44g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 21g | Saturated Fat: 10g | Cholesterol: 72mg | Sodium: 328mg | Potassium: 230mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 28g | Vitamin A: 2977IU | Vitamin C: 3mg | Calcium: 154mg | Iron: 1mg

Nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and brands of ingredients used.

Course Cake, Dessert
Cuisine American
Pumpkin crunch cake topped with ice cream with text
A slice of pumpkin crunch cake with text
A slice of pumpkin crunch cake topped with ice cream with text
top image - a slice of pumpkin crunch cake topped with ice cream. Bottom image - a plate with a slice of pumpkin crunch cake with text

slightly adapted from Duncan Hines


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About the author

Holly Nilsson is the creator of Spend With Pennies, where she creates easy, comforting recipes made for real life. With a passion for nostalgic flavors and simplified techniques, Holly helps busy home cooks create delicious meals that always work. She is also the author of “Everyday Comfort,” which promises to inspire even more hearty, home-cooked meals.
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    1. Hi Tara, you can bake this in an aluminum pan but it might bake at a faster rate, adjust the cook time accordingly! Let us know how it turns out for you :)

  1. I’m looking forward to making this as I love anything pumpkin! Instead of using nuts for the topping, can a streusel crumb topping be used instead? Love your recipes!

    1. Hi Claire, a crumb topping can definitely be used instead, the cake just won’t have that ‘crunch’. I think it would still be delicious, though! :)

    1. Hi Lynda, we haven’t tried this recipe with GF cake mix but I think it should work. Let us know how it turns out for you!

  2. Hi Holly,
    All boxed cake mixes are unhealthy because they contain many toxic ingredients. The Yuka app grades them as “bad”. I would like to make this, but with my own cake ingredients. Do you have any homemade cake recipes we can use for this recipe?