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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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. I really want to make this but the video says pie and to cover and bake 50 min. and the recepie says cake and to bake uncovered 25 min and then cover for the other 25; which one works best?

    1. Hi Michele, for best results we bake 25 minutes uncovered, then cover and bake an additional 25 minutes. You can bake covered for the full 50 minutes, but we find it works best as written in the recipe.

  2. 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.

  3. 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!

  4. 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

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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?

  8. 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.

  9. 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