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 188 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

Ingredients  

  • 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

Instructions 

  • 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.

Video

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.
4.96 from 188 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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Comments

  1. This recipe looks and sounds delicious. Due to nut and seed issues in our family I’m going to try broken up pretzels. Hope this works in giving the crunch factor. Your pumpkin pie recipe is the only recipe that I use. Our family loves it. Thank you for the great recipes.

  2. Made this recipe for our Bake Club last November 2022. Was a huge hit! Plan on baking again for church function tomorrow. It’s truly a taste of the season

  3. I’ve made this recipe several times. I’ve always wondered is it better to bake the night before or within hours of eating? For instance this is going to a gathering tomorrow at noon? Can I make it tonight or wait? Thank you.5 stars

  4. This was a hit. Even those who don’t like pumpkin, loved it. I didn’t have evaporated milk so I substituted equal amount of skim milk with a tbsp of corn startch. I topped it with walnuts instead of pecans because it’s what I had on hand. I will definitely be making this again.5 stars

  5. I HATE pecans and almost all nuts added to recipes. Any other suggestions ? Because I love pumpkin anything and would like to try this.

  6. We couldn’t find the pumpkin spice at the store, so we made our own from a recipe. Also, we used the spice cake mix, and we found some pumpkin spice butter to melt and drizzle over top the pecans. It looks delicious! I can’t wait for dessert now!5 stars

      1. We couldn’t find the pumpkin spice at the store, so we made our own. Also, I’m using spice cake mix and pumpkin spice butter 5 stars

  7. I just had for Thanksgiving. Has a good flavor, but no crunch. I would put some brown sugar on top. Or maybe you have a suggestion to make it more crunchy.3 stars

    1. Hi John, brown sugar sounds like a great addition. The crunch comes from the pecans in this recipe so you could add additional pecans after it is finished cooking for some extra crunch.

  8. I have a question about the margarine, the picture shows 1 stick but calls for 1 cup which would be 2 sticks right?

    Thank you so much…

  9. Hi
    Could I use canned unsweetened full fat coconut milk instead of evaporated milk? Or what could I use to make it dairy free?
    Thanks

    1. Sorry B, I have never tried to make this recipe dairy -ree so I am not sure if that would work in place of the evaporated milk. Maybe another reader has some suggestions!

      1. Thank you. I hope someone can help. I won’t be making it for Thanksgiving so I have time. Appreciate it.

      2. If you do attempt it, we would love to hear how it turns out! Happy Thanksgiving!

    2. Hi B! I know it’s been a year since you asked. I just made this by reducing some dairy free milk – I simmered 16 oz for about 30 minutes and it reduced down to 12 oz. I used Next milk and it came out great, but I think any kind will work. This recipe is delicious!5 stars

  10. In the recipe it says 15 1/2 ounces of pumpkin filling which doesn’t sound right
    I use a whole 15 oz can of pumpkin right

  11. This is one of my favorite pumpkin recipes! I have to make modifications due to a Nutmeg allergy, and use just cinnamon. I’ve tried it with Allspice, but just cinnamon is better, in out opinions. I also use a mix of pecans and walnuts on top. We also love it with warmed caramel drizzled over the top!
    As a matter of fact, I’m going to make it now!5 stars

    1. The texture is quite soft, like a pumpkin pie, so it wouldn’t be able to flip. This is served with the nuts on top.

  12. This is truly an amazing and delicious pumpkin dessert! I did add twice as many Pecans since we are a lover of them and I did have to cook it and additional 10 or 12 minutes.4 stars