This delicious Pumpkin Dump Cake has a layer of velvety smooth pumpkin pie on the bottom and a buttery topping made with cake mix and crunchy pecans. Filled with fall flavors and ridiculously easy to make – it’s the perfect Thanksgiving dessert
When fall weather comes around, I’m on the lookout for everything pumpkin. I’ve shared a lot of pumpkin recipes before – but this pumpkin dump cake is definitely the easiest. We’re basically making a pumpkin pudding on the bottom, and then adding a layer of vanilla butter cake on top. It’s made with cake mix, so it’s also a delicious shortcut recipe.
If you’re wondering – a dump cake is basically an easy cake/pudding recipe where the ingredients are literally “dumped” in the pan. Usually, it’s a fruit filling on the bottom and cake mix with melted butter on the top. But since today we’re making a pumpkin version – we’re making pumpkin pie filling on the bottom.
How to Make a Pumpkin Dump Cake
- First – we make the pumpkin bottom layer by whisking together two 15-oz cans of pumpkin, 1 cup brown sugar, 1 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice, 4 large eggs, 1 teaspoon vanilla extract and one 12-oz can of evaporated milk.
- Note that this would traditionally be done by whisking the ingredients together in the 9×13 inch baking pan. But I prefer to do it in a very large bowl and then pour the mixture into the pan because I always spill if I mix it together in the pan.
- Pour the batter into a prepared pan.
- Sprinkle the top with cake mix and 1 cup chopped pecans.
- Thinly slice ¾ cup unsalted butter, then place the slices on top of the cake.
It then goes in the oven to bake for about 1 hour – and when it’s done the top will be golden brown and if you give the pan a nudge the cake shouldn’t wiggle in the middle. It definitely isn’t a pretty looking cake – but boy is it tasty!
Tips for Making This
- Instead of yellow cake mix, spice cake works too. I do not recommend angel food cake.
- To make this pumpkin dump cake without cake mix:
- Whisk together 2 cups all-purpose flour and 1 cup white sugar.
- Sprinkle on top of the pumpkin layer.
- Use ¼ cup extra butter – 1 cup total instead of ¾ cup.
- Make sure to use pure pumpkin and not pumpkin pie filling.
- To make pumpkin dump cake without evaporated milk – use 1 ½ cups heavy cream instead
- If you don’t have pumpkin pie spice – you can use 1 ½ teaspoons cinnamon, ½ teaspoon nutmeg, ½ teaspoon ginger powder, and ¼ teaspoon ground cloves.
- I do not recommend using homemade pumpkin puree because the amount of liquid is always different – which leads to inconsistent results.
- I love to serve it with ice cream and caramel sauce. Butterscotch sauce is super tasty too. Or even just a dollop of whipped cream!
And if you’re looking for more desserts for Thanksgiving and fall – be sure to try:
Pumpkin Dump Cake
- 2 15 oz cans pure pumpkin
- 4 large eggs
- 1 cup packed brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice or make your own - see recipe notes
- 1 12 oz can evaporated milk
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 box vanilla cake mix only the cake mix - not the ingredients to make the cake
- 1 cup chopped pecans
- ¾ cup unsalted butter
- Preheat the oven to 350F degrees. Lightly grease a 9x13 inch baking pan.
- In a large bowl whisk together the pumpkin, eggs, sugar, pumpkin pie spice, evaporated milk and vanilla
- Pour the mixture into the prepared pan.
- Sprinkle the cake mix on top so that the pumpkin layer is evenly covered.
- Sprinkle the chopped pecans on top.
- Cut the butter into thin slices and place on top of the cake mix doing your best to evenly cover the cake mix. It does not have to be entirely covered.
- Bake in the preheated oven for 60 minutes or until the top is golden and the middle of the cake no longer wobbles.
- Cool for at least 15 minutes, then slice and serve.