Pumpkin Crunch Cake

Pumpkin Crunch Cake is brimming with fall flavors. Top each slice with a dollop of whipped cream and chopped pecans to create the perfect pumpkin dessert.

Pumpkin Crunch Cake is fall treat you'll definitely remember. Full of warm spices and topped with a dollop if whipped cream.

This is post is sponsored recipe development on behalf of Fisher Nuts. Thank you for continuing to support the brands that make My Baking Addiction possible.

If you happen to follow me on Instagram, you are probably aware that I just returned home from a culinary conference in Jamaica. While I loved spending time with some of my favorite people on Earth and making new friends, it was hot.

Like glistening in the sun, potentially soaking through your clothes, the minute you walk out the door hot. So when I hopped off the plane and was greeted with 52 degrees of crisp fall weather, I was pretty excited for a few reasons. Namely boots, pumpkin and not having to shower three times a day. It’s the little things.

Pumpkin Crunch Cake is loaded with spices and topped with a dollop if whipped cream. It will quickly become your new favorite dessert.

Growing up, Pumpkin Crunch Cake was a dessert staple at my Nana’s house. Not only is it super simple to make, it’s also incredibly delicious. With just a handful of ingredients and minimal effort, you can create a rich, flavorful pumpkin dessert that’s perfect for Thanksgiving, or just a random Thursday night.

Sometimes Nana would leave out the pecans, but not me. There’s just something about them, especially when combined with pumpkin and warm spices, that I can’t skip.

You might think I’m crazy, but I actually love this cake year-round. Thanks to canned pumpkin, it’s something you really can whip up whenever the mood strikes, be it April or October. There’s no shame in reveling in pumpkin and pecans when the temperature is above 55°F.

Nana always made this cake with a mix, and I have to tell you, cake mixes have come a long way since I was a little kid baking in Nana’s kitchen, and I love the fact that I find mixes without all the artificial stuff.

And I especially love using Fisher Nuts in this recipe because they’re preservative-free. Nothing in the bag but the nuts as they came off the tree. That’s something this dessert lover can get behind.

Pumpkin Crunch Cake is a classic fall dessert. Loaded with spices and topped with a dollop if whipped cream, it will quickly become your go-to dessert.

Another reason for cake? Celebrating another year of Fisher Nuts My Fresh Twist Recipe Contest. From now until October 20th, home chefs from across the country are invited to submit their original recipe using Fisher pecans, walnuts or almonds to My Fresh Twist.

One lucky winner will recieve a trip for two to New York City, $500 spending money and a meet-and-greet with Food Network Chef Alex Guarnaschelli at her restaurant, Butter. For more information, be sure to check out My Fresh Twist.

Let me tell you, this is a contest you want to win. My friend Amber ate at Butter a couple of times before she decamped from Northern New Jersey to Texas, and it was one of her favorites. She still raves about this crazy Brussels Sprouts bruschetta she had with house made ricotta. Sounds amazing, right? And just think, your family recipe could get you there.

For more fall baking inspiration, be sure to check out these Pumpkin Cheesecakes with Salted Caramel Sauce and Caramel Pecan Bars.

Pumpkin Crunch Cake

Yield: 18 servings

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 60 minutes


  • 1 (15 ounce) can pumpkin puree
  • 1 (12 ounce) can evaporated milk
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 box yellow cake mix
  • 1 cup chopped Fisher Pecans
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, melted


  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Butter a 9x13 inch baking pan.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together the pumpkin puree, evaporated milk, eggs, sugars, vanilla, pumpkin pie spice and salt and well combined and smooth.
  3. Pour mixture into prepared pan and spread into an even layer.
  4. Sprinkle dry cake mix evenly over the pumpkin mixture and use you hands to gently press it into the batter.
  5. Sprinkle the top of the cake with chopped pecans and evenly drizzle the melted butter over the entire cake.
  6. Bake in preheated oven for 40 minutes. At this point, check your cake. If the top is becoming to brown, cover the cake with a piece of foil for the remaining baking time. Continue baking an additional 10-20 minutes or until set.
  7. Remove pan to a wire rack to cool completely. Chill for a few hours before serving.
  8. If desired, top with whipped cream and chopped pecans before serving.

192 Responses to “Pumpkin Crunch Cake”

  1. Brenda Adams — November 8, 2016 at 8:43 pm

    Made this,went by recipe,but it looks nothing like the picture.Picture looks as if crust is on bottom.Mine just has the pumpkin filling on bottom raised much higher?


    • Jamie — November 16, 2016 at 7:22 am

      Hi, Brenda! There’s no crust on the bottom of this cake. Did you enjoy the taste of the cake? Let me know if I can help with anything else.

  2. Kathy Steward — November 18, 2016 at 11:30 am

    Does it have to be puree pumpkin?


    • Jamie — November 18, 2016 at 2:05 pm

      Hi, Kathy! The pumpkin can be fresh pumpkin as well. Let me know if I can answer anything else for you!

  3. Ashley — November 19, 2016 at 12:02 pm

    Could you add some chocolate chips? If so, would you put them in with the bottom layer, or on top of the cake mix, maybe add on top 5 minutes or so before done baking, so not to burn the chocolate?


    • Jamie — November 19, 2016 at 1:19 pm

      Hi, Ashley! I’ve never put chocolate chips in this, but I suppose you could put them in between the pumpkin layer and cake mix layer. I’m interested to know the results if you give it a try! Enjoy!

  4. Christy Gaurkee — November 20, 2016 at 12:21 pm

    I am hoping to make this for Thanksgiving to save time I was thinking of making it on Tuesday. So I have a couple of questions. Do you think it will still be good on Thursday? Should I keep it at room temperature or put it in the frig? Thanks!


    • Jamie — November 22, 2016 at 11:23 am

      Hi, Christy! I think it’ll probably still be good on Thursday. Put it in the refrigerator until you’re ready to use it. I hope everyone likes it. Happy Thanksgiving!

  5. Vicki Morgan — November 21, 2016 at 11:52 am

    Is this gluten free.


    • Jamie — November 21, 2016 at 1:11 pm

      Hi, Vicki! Because of the cake mix, the recipe is not gluten free. I’ve never tried it with a gluten free cake mix, but you could give it a try. There’s also Pumpkin Pecan Bars on my site that have a gluten free option; you may enjoy those. Let me know if I can help you with anything else!

  6. RUTH MROCHEK — November 21, 2016 at 1:24 pm

    This is a most awesome dessert! supposed to make 10 servings…my husband and i polished it off in about 3 days!..hahaha ….incredible…will make for thanksgiving…


    • Jamie — November 22, 2016 at 11:21 am

      Hi, Ruth! Two servings or ten servings…it’s all the same in my book! I’m really glad you liked it!

  7. Emilee — November 21, 2016 at 9:50 pm

    What would you recommend for someone with peanut allergy in place of pecans? This recipe looks amazing but need it to be nut free. 


    • Jamie — November 22, 2016 at 11:21 am

      Hi, Emilee! You could use crushed gingersnaps or pumpkin seeds instead of nuts. I hope you enjoy it!

  8. Marisa — November 21, 2016 at 10:57 pm

    Hi! Do you think using pumpkin bar mix would work in replace of cake mix? 


    • Jamie — November 22, 2016 at 11:18 am

      Hi, Marisa! I’ve never tried it, but I don’t think pumpkin bar mix would work particularly well in this recipe; I’m afraid it might be a little soft. Let me know if I can help with anything else!

  9. Debbie — November 22, 2016 at 2:25 am

    Could u put pie crust on the bottom?


    • Jamie — November 22, 2016 at 11:11 am

      Hi, Debbie! I’ve never tried it, but I say go for it! Let me know how it all turns out!

  10. Marti Brightwell — November 22, 2016 at 11:56 am

    Hello, I have a similar reciepe which calls for 2 cans of pumpkin, 3 eggs, and regular sugar. Your reciepe only calls for 1 can of pumpkin and 4 eggs and half regular sugar and half brown.

    What would be the difference in the recipes? I do not know the science of cooking.

    Thank you for your help.



    • Jamie — November 22, 2016 at 4:47 pm

      I’m not sure what the difference would be in regards to consistency because this is the only pumpkin crunch cake recipe I’ve ever made.
      Thanks for stopping by.

  11. Linda — November 22, 2016 at 9:55 pm

    Could I use the pumpkin pie filling instead 


    • Jamie — November 23, 2016 at 10:08 am

      Hi, Linda! Pumpkin pie filling is already seasoned, so I would recommend you only use pumpkin puree. Let me know if I can do anything else for you!

  12. David Gonzales — November 23, 2016 at 1:24 am

    Well that was easy and awesome! I made it as a test before offering to bring it for Thanksgiving. Well, it’s is delicious! I couldn’t wait for it to completely cool in the fridge before I cut out a small piece. Excellent desert!


    • Jamie — November 23, 2016 at 10:07 am

      Thank you, David! I’m really glad you liked it!

  13. Kandace — November 23, 2016 at 6:16 am

    What do you mean by quote prepared pan quote. Does this mean I need to use a metal pan? Have you tried it in a spring form pan? Also do you use the whole cake mix? Please let me know I’m right in the middle of making this hahaha.


    • Jamie — November 23, 2016 at 10:06 am

      Hi, Kandace! Hopefully I got to you in time! Prepared pan means the pan that’s already buttered. I hope you like the cake!

  14. Carla Colburn — November 23, 2016 at 7:47 am

    Can you use regular butter? Does it HAVE to be unsalted??


    • Jamie — November 23, 2016 at 10:06 am

      Hi, Carla! It doesn’t have to be unsalted. Cut back on the 1 teaspoon of salt a bit, or leave it out all together. I hope you enjoy it!

  15. lucy moore — November 23, 2016 at 11:03 am

    I couldn’t find pumpkin puree so I got pumpkin pie filling so will this work if I just leave out the pumpkin spice ?


    • Jamie — November 23, 2016 at 12:25 pm

      Pumpkin pie filling is sweetened and has spices. The cake may be a bit sweeter than normal due to the added sugar. Thanks for stopping by.

  16. Madeleine Sapoch — November 23, 2016 at 11:12 am

    I have now been baking this recipe for 1hour & 5 minutes.  It is cooked around the outside edges but the center is still bubbling & not set.  Afraid I will over cook.  Getting very brown on top but not burned.  Suggestions?


    • Jamie — November 23, 2016 at 12:24 pm

      It will set, I promise. Let it cool to room temperature and then pop it in the fridge. It will be perfect tomorrow. I just pulled mine out of the oven. Enjoy!

  17. Corey Clancy — November 23, 2016 at 3:48 pm

    I have this in the oven right now. I am a bit worried though. My pumpkin mixture looks a lot thinner than in the video. Is this normal?


    • Jamie — November 27, 2016 at 8:35 am

      I think it should be fine, Corey. Please let me know how it turned out. I hope you enjoyed it!

  18. C.C. Christopherson — November 23, 2016 at 4:01 pm

    I used a home made puree…never did that before.  The final mix seems somewhat watery.  What can I do to fix this before I move to putting it the baking pan?


    • Jamie — November 27, 2016 at 8:44 am

      I would maybe bake a little longer so the liquid evaporates. How did it turn out for you? I’d love to know your feedback!

  19. Parejm — November 23, 2016 at 4:41 pm

    Made this for a dinner party 2 weeks ago and it was a hit!  I used a spice cake as others suggested. Now baking for Thanksgiving with a ginger cake. This is a wonderful, easy recipe.  


    • Jamie — November 27, 2016 at 8:34 am

      I’m so glad you liked it, Parejm!

  20. Theresa — November 23, 2016 at 5:37 pm

    I forgot to butter it until half way through. Ugh I’m terrible with recipes. Lol. So you think its ruined now?


    • Jamie — November 27, 2016 at 8:43 am

      Hi, Theresa! Did the cake turn out for you? I’d love to know your feedback. We all have moments like that when baking!

  21. Lynn Pasquallr — November 23, 2016 at 6:13 pm

    I made these for Thanksgiving. Thank God people share on facebook!  I shared it too! Already had everything including my Fisher pEcans too. Cannot wait to try it tonight….nobody will know right? LOL
    P.S. Do you know why they are pEcans not paacans…because you never drank a coke from an aluminum caan. Southern humor. 
    Happy Thanksgiving


    • Jamie — November 27, 2016 at 8:34 am

      Ha, Lynn! I’m so glad you enjoyed it! I hope you had a great Thanksgiving!

  22. Ariann Childress — November 23, 2016 at 8:04 pm

    I made this a few nights ago and now making it for Thanksgiving! Lol I’m a pumpkin pie fan and this is literally my favorite. I used salted butter and approximately 2 cups melted. I didn’t take anything away from the original ingredients and only baked about 45 minutes. Let it cool and served. Absolutely the BEST! Thank you for sharing such a delicious family treat!


    • Jamie — November 27, 2016 at 8:33 am

      You’re so welcome, Ariann! I enjoy this throughout the season as well!

  23. John — November 23, 2016 at 9:23 pm

    Could you replace pumpkin with sweet potato and if you could what spice can you use instead of pumpkin spice


    • Jamie — November 27, 2016 at 8:33 am

      Hi, John! I’ve never tried this recipe with sweet potato, so I honestly don’t know. I say give it a try! I would also keep the pumpkin pie spice as it should give a good flavor to the sweet potatoes. I’d love to know the results. Good luck!

  24. Sheri — November 24, 2016 at 9:12 am

    Can I use pumpkin pie spice instead of all spices


    • Jamie — November 27, 2016 at 8:42 am

      Hi, Sheri! This recipe calls for pumpkin spice, so you should be good. I hope you enjoy it!

  25. Rose — November 24, 2016 at 9:49 am

    I made the cake according to directions, however the cake mix never got browned or crusty, it stayed powdery and I left it in the oven 10 extra minutes. What went wrong??


    • Jamie — November 27, 2016 at 8:42 am

      Hi, Rose! The melted butter on top should saturate the cake enough so it shouldn’t remain powdery. I’m not entirely sure what went wrong, but I hope you give it another try! Let me know how it goes!

  26. Lynne Bourelle — November 24, 2016 at 10:52 am

    I added all ingredients as directed and its like a liquid, not a spread.


    • Jamie — November 27, 2016 at 8:38 am

      Hi, Lynne! The batter should be a liquid…you should be fine! I hope you enjoyed it!

  27. corrinna — November 24, 2016 at 2:58 pm

    I just made this.  It tastes great, but is the pumpkin supposed to be soft on the bottom?  It’s cooked through but I don’t want anyone to think it’s raw…  Does it firm up in the refrigerator?  Please let me know before I serve.


    • Jamie — November 27, 2016 at 8:31 am

      Hi, Corrinna! The cake should firm up for you. I hope you enjoyed it!

  28. Joni — November 24, 2016 at 4:46 pm

    Can you double the recipe to make it thicker in the 9×13 pan ….and how would that change the baking time or temp… please help?thank you


    • Jamie — November 27, 2016 at 8:30 am

      Hi, Joni! You can definitely double the recipe and bake it in a 9×13 pan. I would keep the baking time the same and use your best judgement for if it needs a longer bake. I hope you enjoy it! Let me know how it goes.

  29. Wade Lam — November 24, 2016 at 5:22 pm

    I love to bake, and for that reason, Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday. I came across this recipe and was a little skeptical. I’ve seen countless cobbler recipes that use a cake mix, very similar to this recipe, and I’ve never tried them. For some reason, I just couldn’t imagine the cake part getting done (or tasting like anything other than cake mix). But, I’ve made several of your recipes in the past, and they’ve always been exceptional, so I decided to give this a try. To my surprise, this is AMAZING! I made it for a friend’s Thanksgiving luncheon earlier today. I opted for a whipped vanilla frosting drizzled with caramel. The flavor and marriage of different textures…absolutely incredible! As a matter of fact, we’re having family over for our Thanksgiving dinner this evening, and I must admit, I have a second cake in the oven right now…because it’s way better than the apple pie I had planned to serve. Thanks for a wonderful recipe, and a new tradition at my house!


    • Jamie — November 27, 2016 at 8:28 am

      Thank you so much for your kind words, Wade! I’m really glad you liked it!

  30. Bonnie — November 24, 2016 at 5:56 pm

    Had this warm from the oven covered with whipped cream, and it is  delish!  The taste is a cross between pumpkin and pecan pies…. two amazing desserts wrapped into one!  


    • Jamie — November 27, 2016 at 8:28 am

      How wonderful, Bonnie! I’m so glad you liked it!

  31. Cj — November 25, 2016 at 4:30 pm

    Not sure why my comment from yesterday isn’t showing.  An any case, this turned out and it was delish.


    • Jamie — November 27, 2016 at 8:36 am

      I’m so glad it turned out for you, Corrinna!

  32. Shelley — November 25, 2016 at 4:39 pm

    I made this for Thanksgiving and it was amazing. I will definitely be replacing pumpkin pie with this from now on! I used spice cake instead of vanilla and added a little more pecans. Yum! 


    • Jamie — November 27, 2016 at 8:24 am

      I’m so glad you liked it, Shelley!

  33. cheryl — November 25, 2016 at 8:20 pm

    This recipe was such a hit I’m making a double batch…one for family tomorrow and one for us at home!! delish’!!


    • Jamie — November 27, 2016 at 8:27 am

      Wonderful, Cheryl! I’m so glad everyone enjoys it!

  34. Lynsey — November 26, 2016 at 2:36 pm

    Hi, I’m making this today for tonight! Is it supposed to be served chilled? Is that why we put it in the fridge? Or is that just to set it? Do I serve straight from the fridge?


    • Jamie — November 27, 2016 at 8:27 am

      Hi, Lynsey! You can serve the cake chilled if you like. The chilling helps the cake set a bit. I hope you enjoyed it!

  35. L. Crayne — November 27, 2016 at 4:07 pm

    This cake is the bomb! My ladies’ Sunday school class LOVED it! I received many requests for the recipe!


    • Jamie — November 28, 2016 at 8:44 am

      I’m so happy to hear that!

  36. Delora DeJohn — November 29, 2016 at 8:35 pm

    love this


    • Jamie — December 1, 2016 at 11:40 am

      I’m so glad, Delora!

  37. Gail — December 6, 2016 at 6:50 pm

    Hi……Your recipe calls for a box of yellow cake mix. Is it the 15.25 oz or 18 oz box. Some recipes call for one or the other. Thanks!


    • Jamie — December 7, 2016 at 4:55 am

      Hi, Gail! The 15.25 oz box would work for this recipe. I hope you enjoy it!

  38. Gail — December 8, 2016 at 6:11 pm

    Hi Jamie……thank you for your quick reply to my previous question! This was delicious. I am having dinner in a couple of weeks. I’m trying to bake as many things as I can ahead of time. Does this freeze well? Thanks!


    • Jamie — December 12, 2016 at 2:30 pm

      Hi, Gail! I’ve never tried freezing the cake, and I’m thinking it may not be a good idea. I’m really glad you enjoyed it!

  39. Christy — December 10, 2016 at 4:37 pm

    Can this be served warm?


    • Jamie — December 12, 2016 at 2:19 pm

      Hi, Christy! I’m a little reluctant to say yes because I don’t know if the cake will be set enough. If you try it warm, I’d love to know the results!

  40. Deborah Cordero — December 19, 2016 at 5:56 pm

    Can you make this recipe without the yellow cake mix? Or substitute something else than yellow cake mix?

    Thank you,

    Deborah Cordero


    • Jamie — December 20, 2016 at 8:59 am

      Hi, Deborah! I’ve heard of people substituting spice cake mix for the yellow cake and having very good results. Let me know if I can do anything else for you!

  41. Corrinna — December 20, 2016 at 1:01 pm

    I have made this twice now and it has been a hit! I absolutely love it! I’ve shared the recipe a few times, as well. The only thing, which I guess isn’t a big deal, is that I can never get the cake to cool to “room temperature” (I do put it on a rack to cool). Even after a couple of hours it is still hot, so I just end up putting it in the fridge. Not sure if that is “safe” in regards to foodborne illnesses, etc., but … ?


    • Jamie — December 21, 2016 at 8:47 am

      Hi, Corrinna! You should definitely chill this cake for a few hours before serving. I’m really glad everyone likes it!

  42. Giana Carter — January 6, 2017 at 4:54 pm

    This cake is super good. My family and friends love it. Simple and yummy. Thanks!


    • Jamie — January 9, 2017 at 11:44 am

      You’re welcome, Giana!

  43. Grace — March 14, 2017 at 6:56 pm

    What do you think about the idea of replacing the pumpkin with BANANA and the white sugar with brown and walnuts instead of pecans…. making it a banana bread ish kind of dessert?? I have that idea of it in my head and it sounds delicious. Just wondering your thoughts….


    • Jamie — March 15, 2017 at 11:15 am

      I think it sounds amazing, Grace! Please let me know if you try it!

  44. Samantha H. — August 8, 2017 at 10:21 am

    I love this recipe, can’t wait to try it out, but I also prefer to “pun” my recipes to Pinterest. Would you please add that option to this and your other recipes? Many thanks & Bon Appetit!


    • Jamie — August 10, 2017 at 8:46 am

      Hello! All you have to do to Pin a recipe is hover your mouse over any photo, a pin will appear on the photo, click it and you’ll be able to pin it. Thanks!

  45. Norma — August 26, 2017 at 2:59 am

    How about a Graham Cracker crust?


    • Jamie — August 28, 2017 at 11:09 am

      I think you could definitely add a graham cracker crust, Norma!

  46. DeeAnn — August 27, 2017 at 8:45 pm

    It is baking in the oven now and it smells so good I will have a difficult time waiting to eat it. Thank you for this recipe 


    • Jamie — August 28, 2017 at 11:06 am

      I hope you enjoyed it! :)

  47. Mary Mc — September 11, 2017 at 12:24 pm

    Definitely making this very soon. One question, is pumpkin purée the same as solid pack pumpkin?
    Thank for the great recipe :-)


    • Jamie — September 11, 2017 at 12:31 pm

      Hello! You want to use pure pumpkin puree – I typically use Libby’s. I hope this helps.

  48. Jennifer — October 3, 2017 at 5:46 pm

    I live at high altitude, do I need to make any adjustments as I usually do with cake/cookie mixes? excited to try the recipe!


    • Jamie — October 4, 2017 at 11:08 am

      Hello, Jennifer!
      I honestly have zero experience baking at high-altitude, but I did find this guide from Epicurious. Please let me know how it goes. Happy baking!

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