Dear Crissy

Pumpkin Crunch Cake Recipe

So, I know that there are a lot of pumpkin crunch cake recipes floating around Pinterest and the web, but I’m here to assure you of one thing. You’ve landed on the one.

This pumpkin crunch cake recipe is so good that my entire family looks forward to fall all year just to have a taste! It is OUT OF THIS WORLD…

Pumpkin Crunch Cake Recipe

Pumpkin Crunch Cake - This is THE pumpkin crunch cake recipe that you've been looking for. I just made these and trust me, they are out of this world. One of those pumpkin dessert recipes you'll pass down to your kids!

This pumpkin crunch cake recipe is one that my mom has been preparing as a part of our Thanksgiving dessert lineup for several years. It’s always a huge hit and we all fight over the remaining pieces in the refrigerator for the week that follows!

Wondering where we got the original pumpkin crunch cake recipe?

Well, my mom also makes candles, and she grabbed this recipe, believe it or not, from a candle supply website.

As I said, I’ve seen several versions of this recipe online, but because this one is so perfect I’ve never considered changing up the recipe.

This pumpkin crunch cake starts with a crunchy-nutty layer on top, then a slightly crumbly but moist layer below that (the cake mix) and finally a thick layer of sweet and soft pumpkin-goodness on the bottom.

Also, just so we’re clear, this isn’t really very cake-like, overall. The thickest bottom layer is mostly pumpkin and is a bit custardy or pumpkin-pie-ish (pretty sure I’ve used a lot of non-word adjectives in this article) as opposed to cakey. It’s amazing, though, trust me.

Pumpkin Dump Cake

Drop a dollop of Cool Whip on top and you’ll know why this pumpkin crunch cake recipe is my favorite fall treat.

I can put a serious hurting on pumpkin crunch cake and when I make it home I end up having to give some of it away to friends or family just so I don’t eat the entire pan myself!

This recipe is really one of my favorite parts of the holiday season. My mom has been making it for enough years now that it is a familiar family favorite, and it’s truly one of those recipes that we go back to year after year because it’s just that delicious.

It’s also really easy to make which is always a bonus in my book.

Pumpkin Crunch Cake - This is THE pumpkin crunch cake recipe that you've been looking for. I just made these and trust me, they are out of this world. One of those pumpkin dessert recipes you'll pass down to your kids!

I hope you love this pumpkin crunch cake recipe as much as I do!

Also, don’t miss my pumpkin sheet cake, pumpkin cookies, and pumpkin cinnamon rolls!

Pumpkin Crunch Cake - This is THE pumpkin crunch cake recipe that you've been looking for. I just made these and trust me, they are out of this world. One of those pumpkin dessert recipes you'll pass down to your kids!

Pumpkin Crunch Cake Recipe


  • 1 box yellow cake mix
  • 1 can (16 oz.) pumpkin
  • 1 can (12 oz.) evaporated milk
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 1/2 cup sugar
  • 4 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1 cup melted butter
  • whipped topping


1. Preheat oven to 350F. 2. Grease bottom of 9X13 pan. 3. Combine pumpkin, evaporated milk, eggs, sugar, pumpkin pie spice and salt in bowl then pour it into your pan. 4. Sprinkle your dry yellow cake mix evenly over pumpkin mixture. 5. Sprinkle chopped pecans and walnuts over the cake mix. 6. Drizzle melted butter evenly over everything. 7. Bake your pumpkin crunch cake for 55 minutes or until top is turning golden brown. Cool completely, cut and serve with whipped topping. Refrigerate leftovers.

    77 Comments on “Pumpkin Crunch Cake Recipe”

  1. I love this cake. I made a few tweaks to my taste… I don’t care for pumpkin pie spice, I do 1 tsp cinnamon and 1.5 tsp of vanilla. Then I top it off with cinnamon-sugar before putting in the oven. 

  2. This pumpkin crunch cake was absolutely Divine!!  I’ve made it twice, it’s so easy and delish just as it is.  I added some thin sliced almonds along with walnuts and my fam of three gobbled this up in 2 days !  Thanks for sharing a real winner! 🥰

  3. I found this recipe on the inside of an egg carton. Seriously. It was close to Thanksgiving over 20 yrs ago. So I made for a dinner I was invited to. Big risk I know. But it was delicious and everyone loved it even pumpkin pie haters…

  4. So, I was in a rush this Thanksgiving morning, and dumped in the yellow cake mix with the canned pumpkin! So I opened another yellow cake mix and dumped it on top of the pumpkin/cake mixture, drizzled with the one cup of butter and sprinkled with chopped pecans, baked at 350 degrees F for 55 mins – and it turned out FABULOUS!!! LOTS of pumpkin crunch cake to eat now! A little cakey at the bottom, but just as moist and delicious.

  5. OMG, i love this treat.I got an email and i just had to try it and it’s a good thing i did! My mom even loved it were going to make it for Thursday for Thanksgiving. Please make more i’m dying to try them!!

  6. Do you use pure pumpkin or pumpkin puree ? Thanks.

  7. Ok, this is the most delicious looking dessert I have ever seen! I cannot wait to make it. I love all things PUMPKIN! You mentioned your mom makes candles, does she make a pumpkin cinnamon one? I am dying to learn how to make my own candles, I even went so far as to get things in bulk from the bulk apothecary. lol. Do you have a tutorial on making candles? Thank you so much!

  8. I’ve made this twice. Got the recipe from a newspaper article–food section. Same basic recipe, except that recipe called for crushed pineapple and raisins. Plus I topped with a cream cheese frosting–double recipe. One is good, two is nummy.

  9. Has anyone tried this with almonds or pistachios – I have a friend that is allergic to walnuts and

  10.  I’ve been making this recipe for a few years now and it’s always a hit! And so easy and delicious! I mix the pumpkin mixture in the pan I’m using so I don’t need to dirty a bowl…it’s a one pan wonder!  I made it for our Thanksgiving spread at work and everyone loved it! So many asked for the recipe. I just put two in the oven at 10 PM tonight for a bake sale at church tomorrow 

  11. I’ve made this for years the only thing I do different is after it cools I flip it over so the pumpkin is on top & I frost it like a cake with butter cream frosting & sprinkle pecans on the top so delicious my family loves it & we are usually sweet potato pie people.

  12. I’m not a fan of Pumpkin Pie Spice but I love cinnamon. How much Cinnamon would you suggest me using?

  13. This was SO good.  I used the full sugar,.. but would reduce it to prob 3/4-1 cup next time. Everyone enjoyed this and it would be a great addition to a Thanksgiving table… or anything!     Can’t wait to make this one again! 

  14. Can’t wait to make this delicious sounding recipe

  15. Excellent….they ate every piece.

  16. Delicious!   I used all pecans and butter cake
    Smelled heavenly as it was baking  definitely will be making this again!  Thanks 

  17. I’ve made this cake many times. Everyone loves it — almost better than pumpkin pie. As an alternative, I use dark chocolate cake mix. OMG!

    • Can you make this ahead of time and freeze??? If so, how do you suggest I’d wrap it and how would I reheat? 

      • I freeze it every year and it’s fine. In fact, I bake it in ramekins for individual servings and always have those in the freezer too. Thaw it in the refrigerator overnight then pop it in the oven for a few minutes if you prefer it warm.

  18. I have made this before, but this by far the best recipe l have used. Took it too work and it was a big hit.

  19. I mace the recipe but only put nuts on half because I had guests who were allergic to nuts,  Tu what I did add was toffee chips.  Just excellent.

  20. Hi Crissy, do you use the whole box of yellow cake mix or just part of it?

  21. SOOOO GOOD! I took to work for a meal and everyone raved! I even had to make two one for my boys! It was half gone in about 2 hours! Great Recipe thank you for sharing. I will definitely be making this again.. very soon. I love Jesus too!

  22. Serving this for our Friday nite ladies dessert time fellowship.
    Ingredients sound delicious. I know it will be a hit. TU so much.
    Keep them coming our way.

  23. Made this for my guests in my home last night & we all loved it! Served it warm with vanilla bean ice cream. 

  24. can you make this a day ahead?

  25. Just curious can you make this in a muffin an for individual ones? If you think so, is there anything you would change?

    • I haven’t tried muffin tins but I frequently make it in ramekins for individual servings. Any not needed can be frozen and still taste great.

  26. Gluten free people!
    –You so can make this gluten free! Second time I made it I used a bit extra butter because the aldi GF cake we feel is dryer than the Pillsbury gf.
    I found a very similar recipe recently that calls for 2 cans pumpkin or one large can so we may try that because we have a family of 9 and love this dessert! We want extra!

  27. Is there a substitute for yellow cake mix as its not available in Singapore.
    Cant wait to try it !

  28. I just came across your recipe and can’t wait to try it. Have you ever made it in a muffin tin?  I want to make it first as a cake but I have something coming up that I think individuals servings ready to go would be easier on me and the people I am serving. Would it change the moistness and everything you love about it if I baked it this way? If I did bake it in muffin tins how long would you bake it? Thanks for sharing this recipe. 

  29. This is a good recipe but I added a lot more cinnamon and added nutmeg which made it wonderful. So I recommend adding more cinnamon and and add nutmeg

  30. I’m making this  today! I may love easy more than the next person…so I have a Butter Pecan cake mix in my pantry, I’ll use that and omit extra nuts as I don’t want to shop. This sounds soooo good! 

  31. This is sooooo good. I will be replacing my pumpkin pie recipe with this dessert. It is like a pumpkin pie crisp. Not a cake at all. We give it 5 stars!

  32. Just made this and my house smells delicious. I will post on the taste once it cools.

  33. These recipes sounds Delish ! I need to try them and as soon as do I will post ,thanks

  34. I see that this was asked earlier, but did not see a response . . . do you use salted or unsalted butter in this recipe?

  35. Can you make this gluten-free my son has a gluten intolerance. So I was wondering if you can make this 
    using a GF cake mix box? 

    • Hey Kelly, I’m not for sure since I don’t have a lot of experience with Gluten Free cake mixes, but if you decide to give it a try please come back and let us know how it turned out! :)

    • You absolutely can! Just sub with gf boxed cake mix. Pillsbury is totally fine. I’m not a fan of the finger to kind for this but I like the funfetti for jello cake!

  36. you have some good recipes.thank you

  37. A couple of variations:  1) I am trying spice cake mix instead of yellow this time.  2) I make an icing with cream cheese, cool whip and powdered sugar.  Then sprinkle with a few toasted pecans on top as a finishing touch!  Been making this for 20 years!  Never fails to disappoint!!!

  38. Thank you so much for sharing this recipie! My mother made it one year for the first time ever and took if to a family gathering. At first it was not a hit someone made the comment of it looking like wel,l barf… Then…! Everyone took little tastes and ther was not a slice left at the end!! I’ve been wanting to make it since but never found the right recipie! This is it! Thanks again Happy Holidays!

  39. If I make this a day in advance, do I need to refrigerate it until I am ready to serve it?

  40. I’m  trying to make this with cream cheese. It’s baking  now so I hope it comes out ok 

  41. I made this yesterday, all I can say is YUM.

  42. A rookie baker here… would you suggest salted or unsalted butter for this recipe? I’m looking forward to making this for Thanksgiving. Thanks in advance. 

  43. My sister made this for a family get together. It was delicious!

  44. OMG! I made this tonight for the family.  After reading the reviews I reduced the sugar to 1/2 cup and I added a 1/4 teaspoon of vanilla.  This recipe is divine.  I did add the melted butter to the cake mix because I wanted to ensure that it would be moist.  So yummy! Thank you Dear Crissy.

  45. What size can of pumpkin do you use?

    Thank you!

  46. Could this be done in a crock pot?

  47. Pumpkin recipes are really tasty, love it!

  48. Does this not work with gluten-free cake mixes? I used one, and it came out with the cake mix just sitting on top of the pumpkin mixture totally dry (of course with the butter/nuts on top of that). Am I misunderstanding the recipe–I’m having a hard time seeing how a whole box of dry cake mix sprinkled on top of the pumpkin mixture as is can come out as a cakey layer.

    • Next time try mixing the butter with cake mix before putting it on top. I do not like to drizzle on it always seems a little dry at end.. hope that works for you.

  49. Can this be made in a pie shell like the traditinal pumpkin pie can? If so what changes do you recomend in doing so.

  50. I made this I cut the sugar back for I though 1 1/2 cups of sugar was to much I did 1 cup and it turned out perfect

  51. This sounds so yummy, does anyone know how to make a little liter?  To much sugar and butter, last year I would not even ask but do to health now…….less fats and sweets :(((
    Thanks so much 

  52. I just made this! It is AWESOME!!!  The only thing that I changed is that I only used a 1/2 cup of sugar (instead of the 1 1/2cups that it called for).   My husband had bariatric surgery 10 years ago and cannot eat a lot of sugar.  Plus, there’s enough sugar in the yellow cake mix. So, a half cup if sugar was perfect. lol be making this cake for a Thanksgiving too!!

  53. Absolutely!

  54. How deliciously deviant! I don’t know about anyone else, but I am so ready for autumn and it’s cooler weather and beautiful changing leaves. 

  55. This sounds wonderful! Do you think it still works without the nuts? (My kids aren’t fans of chopped nuts.)

  56. The pumpkin crunch cake caught my eye – I plan on making it when the weather is cooler and more of your posts.

  57. What a great fall recipe!

  58. I’m going to make that pumpkin crunch cake. It sounds delicious..

  59. Thanks for the recipe – I had this years ago at a church function and absolutely loved it but forgot about it. can’t wait for Thanksgiving!!

  60. This sounds amazing but to much butter and sugar. I would use Splenda. What can be used in place of all that butter?

    • I use 3/4 to 1 cup of Grapeseed oil to which I add a small bottle of butter-flavored extract and microwave 30-45 seconds which makes it easier to mix and drizzle it over the dry cake mix. You really can’t taste any difference!

  61. Can’t wait to make

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