Pumpkin Crunch Cake

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Pumpkin Crunch Cake is a delicious dessert even easier than pie! Instead of a pastry crust, a nutty, crumbly cake topping is layered over sweet and spicy pumpkin pie filling. 

The best part is that this cake is effortless to put together!

Pumpkin dessert made with yellow cake mix called pumpkin crunch cake

Like a traditional pumpkin pie, this dessert delivers all the warm and cozy flavors of the traditional Thanksgiving dessert, and then some. To complete the perfect fall dessert top with whipped cream or ice cream!

Easier than Pie!

‘Tis the season for sweaters and yellow leaves and …. ALL things pumpkin from pumpkin spice lattes to pumpkin desserts!

This fabulous treat is a simple twist on the Thanksgiving classic. A layer of pumpkin pie filling is spread into a pan and it is topped with cake mix, drizzled with butter, studded with pecans, and baked.

Serve pumpkin pie crunch with a scoop of ice-cream or a drizzle of homemade caramel sauce!

Slice of pumpkin crunch cake on white plate

How to Make Pumpkin Crunch Cake

This is the best recipe if you love pumpkin pie but don’t like fussing with pastry dough. Here’s all there is to it:

  1. Mix the pumpkin layer ingredients.
  2. Place in a baking dish and sprinkle with yellow cake mix.
  3. Drizzle with butter and pecans.

Bake, cool, and enjoy!


  • Instead of pecans, you could substitute chopped walnuts.
  • Swap out yellow cake mix for white cake or even spice cake.
  • You can also bump up the spice with a sprinkle of cinnamon or nutmeg over the top.
  • You can easily make homemade pumpkin pie spice.

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

How Long Will Pumpkin Pie Crunch Last?

Whether you are keeping pumpkin pie crunch on the countertop, in the refrigerator or freezer, they key to making it last is storing it in a tightly covered container.

  • In the Fridge: Leftovers can be stored for up to four days. The topping will get soggy over time but will remain just as tasty as when fresh.
  • In the Freezer: Leftover can be frozen for up to four months. When thawed the toppings will get soggy but it will still be delicious!

For best results and texture, plan to serve it oven fresh.

Pumpkin Desserts Galore

Removing a piece of Pumpkin Pie Crunch from a clear glass baking dish
4.97 from 51 votes
Review Recipe

Pumpkin Pie Crunch Cake

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 50 minutes
Cooling time 45 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 45 minutes
Servings 15 servings
Author Holly N.
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 ½ ounces canned pumpkin
  • 12 ounces evaporated milk
  • 3 eggs large
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 package yellow cake mix
  • 1 cup pecans chopped
  • 1 cup unsalted butter melted

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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 and 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.

Recipe Notes

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.

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.)

Keyword how to make pumpkin pie crunch, pumpkin crunch, pumpkin crunch cake, Pumpkin Pie Crunch, pumpkin pie crunch recipe
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Pumpkin Pie Crunch slice on a plate with writing
Pumpkin Pie Crunch in a casserole dish with a title
Pumpkin Pie Crunch on a plate with a title
Pumpkin Pie Crunch in a casserole dish and plated with a title

slightly adapted from Duncan Hines

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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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Recipe Rating


  1. Very good. We used a yellow cake mix & added 1/4 cup of pecans on top. Next time we’ll plan ahead & have ice cream on hand.
    Thank you.

  2. Love this. I substitute Sweet potatoes for canned pumpkin. It tastes the same and works great with a hubby whose colon does not tolerate pumpkin. Lol. Shared this in many potlucks.5 stars

    1. Love this. I substitute Sweet potatoes for canned pumpkin. It tastes the same and works great with a hubby whose colon does not tolerate pumpkin. Lol. Shared this in many potlucks.5 stars

    1. I haven’t tried it but I do think it would work. If you are using fresh and they are boiled, ensure you drain them very well as they can be a bit watery.

    1. That should work as long as it is cooked and very well drained. Fresh pumpkin puree tends to have more water. If yours is watery, I would suggest placing it in a colander lined with cheese cloth (or paper towels) for a little while. Let us know how it goes!

  3. I made this on a Friday night fir a Saturday dinner to take to my mother-in-law’s house. My pumpkin layer seemed VERY watery. I baked as directed, for the full time. I did not cover it when I stored it, as it was still slightly warm & I didn’t want any condensation to form. I simply placed in the microwave with paper towels over it…
    The next morning I covered & took to MIL’s. My husband and she LOVED it. I took a few squares home with us & tried a small bite at home (not usually liking ANY pumpkin flavored things). This was uh-mazing. I’m making another to take to work later this week.
    Delicious recipe. Super easy.5 stars

  4. This is delicious and very easy to make. After the second 25 minutes and I removed the foil it wasn’t done yet. I baked an additional 10 minutes uncovered. I served with whipped topping.

  5. I tried a different recipe that called for 2 cans of pumpkin, 4 eggs, more sugar and more milk. 1 hour of baking. I ended up baking it for 1 hour and 10 minutes but still do not think it was done. Will try this one next time.

  6. I followed the recipe exact- and my bottom layer was a very thin, souplike consistency. What could I have done wrong? I’ve triple checked the recipe! The flavor is delicious, I’m throwing it back in for a few to test that out.

    1. I’m not sure what happened, Lauren, this recipe is usually a success for our readers. Was it any better once you put it in the oven for a bit longer?

  7. 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. Hi Andrea, sorry we haven’t frozen this recipe before. Maybe another reader has and can offer some tips!

    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!

      1. If using spice cake it would be optional as the cake is spiced. I personally love the warm spices so I would add it.

  8. 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

  9. 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