Pumpkin Pie Crunch Cake

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Pumpkin Crunch Cake is the easiest way to serve pumpkin pie to a crowd! A rich layer of pumpkin pie is topped with pecans and a simple yellow cake streusel for the perfect fall dessert!

Slice of pumpkin crunch cake on white plate

Pumpkin Pie Crunch Cake

Ahhh…. fall has arrived.  ‘Tis the season for sweaters and yellow leaves (at least in my neck of the woods) and …. ALL things pumpkin.  Of course, I’m one of those people that enjoys pumpkin things all year round, not just in the fall.  Once the when the leaves start turning, I literally can’t stop dreaming about pumpkin spice lattes and pumpkin desserts!

Pumpkin Pie Crunch cake is one of those recipes that have been around forever and once you try it, you’ll know why! It’s lusciously delicious and super easy to make. Everyone seems to have a slightly different version, but of all of the ones I’ve made, I love this one best with yellow cake and pecans!

Pumpkin dessert made with yellow cake mix called pumpkin crunch cake

Pumpkin Dessert with Cake Mix

The bottom layer of the pumpkin crunch cake is a deliciously rich layer of pumpkin pie (and I love me a good pumpkin pie inspired dessert) and the topping is totally irresistible.  A layer of pecans is topped with a crunchy streusel made from cake mix.

I have used spice cake, white cake and butter pecan cake in this pumpkin crunch cake and all three are delicious (yellow is my favorite though).  This recipe calls for unsalted butter, salted does work just fine, however, the salt is quite noticeable.  Should you use salted butter, you may like to skip the salt in the pumpkin portion of this recipe.

9x13 pan of pumpkin crunch cake, a dessert with pumpkin and yellow cake mix

Pumpkin Crunch Cake is Best for a Crowd

This really is the simplest way to serve pumpkin pie to a crowd as it fills a 9X13 pan. And, it’s definitely a perfect way to end a fall meal.  We sometimes serve this with a scoop of vanilla ice cream or a drizzle of homemade caramel sauce.

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Watch How to Make Pumpkin Pie Crunch Cake!

Pumpkin Pie Crunch

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 50 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Servings 15 servings
Author Holly N.
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Pumpkin Pie Crunch is the easiest way to serve pumpkin pie to a crowd! A rich layer of pumpkin pie is topped with pecans and a simple 2 ingredient streusel for the perfect fall dessert!


  • 15.5 ounces pumpkin (1 15.5 oz can)
  • 12 ounces evaporated milk (1 12 oz can)
  • 3 eggs large
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 Tablespoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 cup unsalted butter
  • 1 cup pecans chopped
  • 1 package yellow cake mix

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  • Preheat oven to 350° F. Grease and flour a 9x13 pan and set aside.
  • In a bowl, combine pumpkin, milk, eggs, sugar, salt and pumpkin pie spice. Pour into the prepared pan.
  • Gently sprinkle the cake mix powder over the pumpkin mixture top with pecans.
  • Drizzle melted butter over the cake mix & pecans layer.
  • Bake 25 minutes uncovered. Cover with foil and bake an additional 25 minutes.
  • Remove from oven and uncover (be careful, the steam will be hot). Cool completely.
  • Cut into squares and serve with ice cream.

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
Keyword Pumpkin Pie Crunch
slightly adapted from Duncan Hines

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Pumpkin Pie Crunch is the easiest way to serve pumpkin pie to a crowd! A rich layer of pumpkin pie is topped with pecans and a simple 2 ingredient streusel for the perfect fall dessert!

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Holly is a wine and cheese lover, recipe creator, shopping enthusiast and self appointed foodie. Her greatest passion is creating in the kitchen and making deliciously comforting recipes for the everyday home cook!

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  1. I am making the pumpkin crunch cake for thanksgiving; your recipe has become a family favorite over the past few years. Can I make ahead and freeze it? I’m needing to transport to another state and would like to make it this weekend. Have you tried freezing it? Thank you so much for such a great recipe!

    1. No. It doesn’t matter if it’s chicken dishes or whatever. Don’t take a chance. You can take them out of the refrigerator and let them sit out 15-20 minutes before heating, just to be safe!

  2. My grandmother gave me this recipe; I’ve been making it for 40 yrs. It’s the best! You’ll never go back to plain pie again

  3. Love this desert!!
    I make mine with sugar free cake mix no sugar added and no salt. It is a huge success. Thank you for sharing this wonderful recipe.5 stars

  4. I fix it for a social at work at it was a hit. My husband’s description was SCRUMPTIOUS! It was so easy to make everyone at work couldn’t believe it was that good and so easy to make.

  5. I made these to ship to a family member out of town. Not only do I find them to be too soft on the bottom (pumpkin mix), I am thinking it might need to be refrigerated. What do you think? Should I try to ship them?3 stars

  6. I just made this two weeks in a row. It is so simple to make. The second week I accidentally messed up my homemade pumpkin pie spice blend; it made it brown instead of orange. And I didn’t cover it while baking so that it would have more of a crust. My friends loved it!

  7. The top was very jiggly and runny so I baked it a little longer. Hopefully the pumpkin part isn’t too overdone. .

  8. If using sweet potato instead of pumpkin,would you still use the pumpkin pie spice or would you sub something else in its place?

  9. We love this recipe Holly, thanks so much, have seen a couple of people asking about freezing this dessert, again asking if anyone has done that? Know you haven’t Holly, but wondering if anyone has, I am going to try it.5 stars

  10. Do you think walnuts could be substituted?  I like that your recipe does not have as much sugar as others.


  11. Amazing recipe! Great alternative for people who aren’t the biggest fans of traditional pumpkin pie and a good change for everyone else!5 stars

  12. I make this cake every Thanksgiving,we all love it.I have a grandson in the army and when he is home on Christmas or Thanksgiving I better have one made,He absolutely loves it.My intire family loves this cake.5 stars

  13. Is this something that should be served warm? Could I make it the night before and then add the toppings before baking the next day?

  14. I’ve made this several times but my servings do not come out in “pretty,” squares, not solid enough. I’ve tried baking it less and alsdo longer. What am I doing wrong? It is so good!

  15. HI there, can this be made in cupcake cups (sturdy foil ones), to make individual servings, similar to mini-cheesecakes? If so I’m guessing the baking time would need to be adjusted to be shorter? Would love to hear if this has ever been tried?

    I made it following the recipe a few weeks ago, and it was FABULOUS!!
    (PS I can’t see the different ratings to choose from… so if I picked the lowest instead of the highest, I apologize!!)5 stars

    1. I haven’t tried this in foil cupcake wrappers so I can’t say for sure. Please let us know how it works out for you if you do try it.

  16. I saw the recipe on Facebook and have it in the oven now. It sounds yummy!! I didn’t have any evaporated milk. I looked for a substitute on Pinterest and wah lah! So easy!! Just simmer 2 cups of milk for 20-30 minutes and you have evaporated milk! Also only had a hand full of chopped pecans but I found some Ghiradelli dark chocolate chips. Put the pecans and chocolate chips on top. Hoping it turns our great!!

  17. I would love to know if anyone has froze this recipe. Would like to take it thanksgiving camp trip and refrigeration is limited

  18. I cannot say enough about how good this recipe is! So easy and beautiful to look at. The first time I made it I couldn’t stop eating it. I have 2 in the oven now for 2 sick friends. It taste like a pumpkin pie with a topping. So moist and delicious.5 stars

  19. I made the Pumpkin Pie  Crunch the afternoon and took it to my Rockford Celiac Sprue Association meetingtonight. I did with my favorite Pillsbury Gluten Free Yellow Cake mix. Pillsbury Gluten Free Cake mixes are for 9×13  cake pan. Everyone at the meeting told me it was delicious! Them meant like better than sex cake description. 5 stars

  20. This is SO good! I took to a potluck and was asked for the recipe several times. I’d rather have this than traditional pumpkin pie.5 stars

  21. I made this and it was great! It gets better as the flavors meld together, it was very flavorful the day after when it wasn’t hot from the oven.5 stars

  22. i just made it and omg its fantastic but out of curiousity i wonder if putting it on a cookie bottom first would make it a little bit easier to get out of pan and add a bit more of a crunch hmmmmmm maybe ill try lol5 stars

    1. Did you try putting the cake mixture on the bottom first? I’m thinking that as long as it was patted down a bit, it might work? Maybe even prebake a bit before pouring pumpkin mixture on top. If you did, please respond as to how it turned out. Thank you.

  23. Made this around our Canadian Thanksgiving, It was so well liked and requested I ended up making it 3 times in a short period. Easy and Delicious . Thank you for sharing it is a keeper ,

  24. I made this tonight and it’s still cooling in the glas pan. I plan on refrigerating it overnight. However, I was thinking of cutting it into squares and stacking in a serving platter for tomorrow- will that work? Or do you usually serve out of the glass pan?

  25. This turned out amazing! Next time I might reduce the butter to 3/4 cup, but other than that this was the best pumpkin dessert!

    1. I see you answered my question in an earlier post, is in the oven now and house smells awesome ! Will let you know what the family thinks tomorrow. Happy Thanksgiving !!

  26. I make this recipe, but mix the cake mix with 1/2 cup chopped pecans and 1/2 mini chocolate chips. I line the baking pan with parchment paper, and spray it with cooking spray. And, after I sprinkle cake mix mixture on the pumpkin, I cut the butter into pats and place it on the top. When it’s baked, I let it cool, and then refrigerate it over night.

    Then I flip it upside down on a cookie sheet and cut into bars. It makes an amazing pumpkin bar!

  27. I’m planning to make this for my work potluck but I just noticed the recipe doesn’t call for a crust. Would you recommend using a pie crust with this recipe?

  28. Made the pumpkin pie crunch cake. It was soooo easy and everyone loved it. I have already bought the ingredients to make two more.

      1. I just made this tonight. Can I leave it unrefeigerated until after thanksgiving dinner tomorrow or should it be refrigerated now.

  29. Made it per the recipe- everyone at work loved this. Made again and used spice cake instead of yellow cake mix and it was even more of that fall warm flavor! Fast and easy!

  30. What size yellow cake mix is used in this recipe. Is it the Jiffy box size or the Pillsbury/Duncan Hines/Betty Crocker box size?

  31. Had this Pumpkin Pecan Crunch for Thanksgiiving Dinner, and it was soooooo good,
    thank you for the chance to enjoy this wonderful desert.

  32. Think I’ll try 1/2 cake mix with butter and part of the pecans on the bottom and bake a few min,then add the pumpkin followed with dry cake and drizzle butter and pecans on top.

  33. Is the bottom of Pumpkin Pie Crunch moist? I am looking for a recipe for a bake sale that can be bagged. Not sure this would bag well. your thoughts? Definitely looks like a good Thanksgiving recipe thought!

  34. I make this every year for last 15 years, with homemade whipped cream, it is required by my family for thanksgiving. :) it is yummy!

  35. i can not wait to make this i also love evrything pumpkin, it looks really good , thanks for the recipe , thanks for sharing it .

  36. Looks good, I would add a small can of drained crushed pineapple to the pumpkin and brown sugar instead of white. What do you think?

    1. YEs to the brown sugar. I rarely use white sugar ever. I think brown gives a much deeper flavor. I also added some pure maple syrup! I am a fan of all things pineapple but cannot imagine adding to this. Sounds awful lol Did you try it?

  37. The video says to cover and bake for 50 minutes, but the recipe says bake to 25, then cover and bake for 25 more. Which is the correct way?

    1. I think it would probably work but I have only made this recipe as written. Please let us know how it works out for you if you try it.

  38. that pumpkin pie crunch cake looks and sounds yummy. but can’t use evaporated milk because of the sugar content. could I use just plain milk. okay just found substitute for that. I plan on using 1-1/4 cup water and 1 cup dry milk and will equal the correct amount of evaporated milk

    1. Evaporated milk doesn’t have any added sugar. Are you thinking of sweetened condensed milk? (Like Eagle Brand?)

  39. I’d like to try the pumpkin pie crunch recipe, but I am allergic to most nuts. Can you recommend some other alternative to replace the nuts in the struesel topping?

    1. I’ve heard of using Grape Nuts, but I’ve never tried it! I would add them right before baking so they don’t get soggy.

  40. I’d like to try the pumpkin pie crunch recipe, but I am allergic to most nuts. Can you recommend some other alternative to replace the nuts?

    1. I have been making this recipe for over 30 yrs….when * I * got it, it was called ” Linda’s Pumpkin Crunch” and used only cinnamon, not pumpkin pie spice. I too have used it with spice cake, and have also crushed the pecans and added to cake mix prior to pouring, but the favorite version is with Yellow Butter flavored cake mix. and whole pecans.
      I’m going to try it with the PP spice. May make for a nice twist.

    1. I have NOT (yet) made this, but what I’ve done with other recipes is to make substitutions. Splenda instead of sugar. Use skim evaporated milk. I’d probably cut the butter to 3/4 cup. Sugar-free cake mix. Walnuts instead of pecans. It won’t taste quite as rich, but will still be very good. And cut myself a smaller serving. :) Good luck to you & have fun experimenting. :)

  41. I make a very similar ‘Peter’s Pumpkin Delight’ recipe, but instead of a yellow cake mix, I use a SPICE CAKE MIX. It UPs the PUMPKIN SPICE flavor to perfection!

  42. I love pumpkin pie and i am looking forward to trying this new recipe. Can i use fresh pumpkin. I keep fresh frozen in my freezer.

  43. I don’t really like pumpkin,but this looks really good with the pecans and dry cake mix..we’re having a pie contest at church,I’m thinking I’ll make this..

    1. I haven’t tried this with Eagle Brand so I’m not sure how it would work. If you do try it, I would reccomend leaving out the sugar.

    1. Sweetened condensed milk is different than evaporated milk as it has sugar and a different consistency. I’m not sure how that would work in this recipe.

    1. I have for other dump cakes and it comes out great. Just make sure the volume is equal because most gluten free cake mixes are smaller in quantity.

    1. When I was a kid, we had spice cake every Thanksgiving and Xmas. I have looked for it in stores but cannot find any nor a recipe for it. Would you please share your recipe. It was my favorite cake for the hollidays.

      Thanks so very much,

  44. I make this recipe every Thanksgiving. To get a better crush, pour the crushed nuts, melt the butter and mix with cake mix. pack it at the bottom of the pan then pour the rest of the pumpkin mix over it. Sometimes I bake the butter and cake mix for 5 min then pour the pumpkin mix. You can flip it over on a platter if you want the crunchy part on top.

  45. Your Pumpkin Pie Crunch is awesome! Hope you are having a great week and thanks so much for sharing your great post with Full Plate Thursday.
    Come Back Soon!
    Miz Helen

  46. This looks really good… I think it may be what I had at the church potluck on Sunday and it tasted GREAT! Thank you for sharing this. :)

    1. If using fresh I would suggest to cook & puree the pumpkin (drain it over coffee filters if it’s watery) and then measure out 15.5 oz. Enjoy, this is delicious!