Recipes » Dessert Recipes » Fast and Easy Pumpkin Crunch Cake

Fast and Easy Pumpkin Crunch Cake

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This Pumpkin Crunch Cake is jam-packed with all the best fall season flavors. You'll mix up this delicious dessert in 10 minutes using cake mix for a shortcut!
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 50 minutes
A slice of pumpkin crunch cake on a white serving plate.

My fast and easy Pumpkin Crunch Cake is jam-packed with all the best fall season flavors. You’ll mix up this delicious dessert in 10 minutes using cake mix for a shortcut!

Y’all know how much I adore my vintage recipes. And you also know that I’m not opposed to taking a shortcut in the kitchen now and then, either. So what could be better than a vintage shortcut recipe!?

A slice of pumpkin crunch cake on a white serving plate.

Some of the best vintage cake recipes are the “dump” cakes. You know – dump a can of this and a can of that and combine it with a cake mix?

Some of those recipes are so good. Well, this Pumpkin Crunch Cake is similar except that it’s not dumped, it’s layered.

You mix up a wet layer that goes on the bottom, then sprinkle it with dry cake mix, top it with pecans and butter, and pop it in the oven. An hour later – cake!

If it takes you more than 10 minutes to put this together, you’re doing it wrong ;-)

How to Make Pumpkin Crunch Cake

Let’s Go Step-by-Step

I always like to show you the photos and step-by-step instructions for my recipes to help you picture how to make them in your own kitchen. If you just want to print out a copy, you can skip to the bottom of the post where you’ll find the recipe card.

Do the Prep Work

  • Preheat the oven to 350.
  • Grease and flour a 9×13 baking dish or pan. Set the pan aside.
  • Melt the butter and set it aside also.

COOK’S TIP 
How to Grease and Flour a Pan: So often a recipe says “grease and flour a pan” but hardly ever explains how to do that. I’m here to help.

When I need to grease and flour a pan for baking, I start with about a tablespoon of soft butter and, using my fingers, spread it all over the bottom and up the sides of the pan. Depending on the size of the pan you may need a little more or less butter.

Then lightly sprinkle a tablespoon or two of flour in the bottom of the pan. Now pick up the pan and tilt it back and forth and turn it around until the flour has stuck all over the butter and coated the inside of the pan.

Last, I always turn my pan upside down over the trash can and gently tap on the bottom to loosen any excess flour. Simple!

Mix the Wet Ingredients

Photo collage showing wet ingredients in a mixing bowl.

Place the pumpkin, milk, eggs, sugar, and cinnamon in a medium mixing bowl. Use a spatula or whisk to combine them well.

Wet ingredients poured into prepared baking pan.

Pour the pumpkin mixture into the prepared baking dish.

Add the Cake Mix and Pecans

Baking pan with cake mix added to the top of the wet ingredients.

Sprinkle the dry cake mix evenly over the wet ingredients layer.

Chopped pecans sprinkled over dry cake mix in a baking pan.

Sprinkle the pecans evenly over the dry cake mix layer.

Pour on the Butter

Melted butter being poured over mixture in a baking pan.

Pour the melted butter evenly over the pecan layer.

COOK’S TIP 
How to Melt Butter: The easiest way to melt butter is in the microwave. Cut the butter into chunks about 1-tablespoon each and place them in a microwave-safe bowl. Cover the bowl with a plate or plastic wrap.

Microwave the butter at 50% power until melted (it’ll take between 30 and 60 seconds for a stick or 1/2 cup of butter). Watch carefully and stop the microwave as soon as the butter has melted. Use oven mitts to remove the bowl.

Alternatively, you can always melt the butter in a small saucepan over very low heat on the stovetop.

Baked Pumpkin Pecan Crunch Cake cooling in pan on a cooling rack.

Bake for 50-60 minutes or until the cake is set in the center. Allow to cool completely in the pan.

COOK’S TIP 
How to Test Whether the Cake is Done: Quickly insert and remove a toothpick, wooden skewer, or sharp paring knife into the center of the cake. If the tester comes out clean, the cake is done. If it comes out wet, gummy, or with wet crumbs clinging to it, the cake needs to cook some more.

Serve with Whipped Cream

When ready to serve, whip the cream on high speed with an electric mixer until soft peaks form. Add the sugar and beat 1 more minute. Top individual servings with whipped cream. Or substitute purchased whipped cream or topping.

FAQs

Can I make this in advance?

Absolutely! The cake is actually best made at least a day before you plan to serve it. I like to serve it at room temperature, but you can also rewarm individual servings in the microwave if you like.

Does it need to be refrigerated?

After the cake is completely cool, you should store it in the refrigerator until you’re ready to serve.

I don’t have pecans (or they’re really expensive where I live!). What can I substitute?

You can always just leave out the nuts, but walnuts can be substituted for the pecans. You can also use roughly crumbled cookies such as graham crackers or Biscoff as a substitute for the nuts.

Have you tried this recipe? I’d really appreciate you giving it a star ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ rating in the recipe card or in the comments section.
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A slice of pumpkin crunch cake on a white serving plate.

Pumpkin Crunch Cake

This Pumpkin Crunch Cake is jam-packed with all the best fall season flavors. You'll mix up this delicious dessert in 10 minutes using cake mix for a shortcut!
5 from 1 vote
Print It Rate It Save Text It
Course: Desserts
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 50 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 5 minutes
Servings: 12 servings
Calories: 391kcal
Author: Lana Stuart

Ingredients

  • 15 ounces canned pumpkin puree
  • ½ cup whole milk
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 cup butter melted
  • 1 yellow cake mix (recommended brand: Betty Crocker)
  • 2 cups pecans chopped
  • ½ cup heavy cream
  • 2 tablespoons sugar

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 350.
  • Grease and flour a 9×13 baking dish or pan. Set the pan aside.
  • Melt the butter and set it aside also.
  • Place the pumpkin, milk, eggs, sugar, and cinnamon in a medium mixing bowl. Use a spatula or whisk to combine them well. Pour the wet ingredients mixture into the prepared baking pan.
  • Sprinkle dry cake mix over the wet ingredients layer.
  • Sprinkle pecans over the dry cake mix.
  • Pour melted butter evenly over the pecan layer.
  • Bake for 50-60 minutes or until the cake is set in center.
  • Remove the cake from the oven and allow to cool completely.
  • When ready to serve, whip the cream on high speed of an electric mixer until soft peaks form. Add the sugar and beat 1 more minute. Top individual servings with whipped cream. (Alternately, top with purchased whipped cream or whipped topping.)

Notes

Pro Tips:
  • How to grease and flour a pan: Start with about a tablespoon of soft butter and, using your fingers, spread it all over the bottom and up the sides of the pan. Depending on the size of the pan you may need a little more or less butter. Then lightly sprinkle a tablespoon or two of flour in the bottom of the pan. Pick up the pan and tilt it back and forth and turn it around until the flour has stuck all over the butter and coated the inside of the pan. Tip out any excess flour and discard.
  • How to melt butter: The easiest way to melt butter is in the microwave. Cut the butter into chunks about 1-tablespoon each and place them in a microwave-safe bowl. Cover the bowl with a plate or plastic wrap. Microwave the butter at 50% power until melted (it’ll take between 30 and 60 seconds for a stick or ½ cup of butter). Watch carefully and stop the microwave as soon as the butter has melted. Use oven mitts to remove the bowl.
  • How to test whether a cake is done: Quickly insert and remove a toothpick, wooden skewer, or sharp paring knife into the center of the cake. If the tester comes out clean, the cake is done. If it comes out wet, gummy, or with wet crumbs clinging to it, the cake needs to cook some more.

Nutrition Information

Serving: 1 | Calories: 391kcal | Carbohydrates: 25g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 32g | Saturated Fat: 14g | Cholesterol: 96mg | Sodium: 161mg | Potassium: 181mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 21g | Vitamin A: 6219IU | Vitamin C: 2mg | Calcium: 52mg | Iron: 1mg

Nutrition information is calculated by software based on the ingredients in each recipe. It is an estimate only and is provided for informational purposes. You should consult your health care provider or a registered dietitian if precise nutrition calculations are needed for health reasons.

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— This post was originally published on November 8, 2013.

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17 Comments

  1. This is a wonderful recipe which I made for a potluck. People loved it and will make it again and again. So easy. Thank you.

  2. My beautiful girlfriend brought home the wonderful aroma of Pecan Pumpkin Cake… via a scented candle… this in turn lead me to Google the recipe; I stumbled upon your website/recipes and now can’t wait to bake this delight. It sounds incredible and I know it will fill our home and bellies with the autumn essence we love.

  3. I’ve looked at alot of recipes today, but this one is one that is really speaking to me. Looks delish!

  4. I have read many recipes for dump cakes, and they always sound delicious! Pumpkin and pecans together would make for a perfect cake:-) Yum, Hugs, Terra

  5. Don’t use many boxed items but this one sounds so good and easy that I plan to do it for our Senior Center’s next potluck. Why is it that as we grow older we love our sweets even more?

    1. I don’t know, Stella, but it does seem that we crave the sweets more and more, doesn’t it? I have to make something, have a little taste, and send the rest to work with my hubby or I’ll be too tempted to over indulge! Hope you enjoy the recipe!