Remember the time I told you I didn’t like pumpkin pie? Well I still don’t. But I love this. Don’t ask me why. It’s basically pumpkin pie, but it’s surrounded in crumbly-carby goodness. Because let’s face it: crumbly-carby goodness makes everything better. I’ve made this for informal family gatherings as well as for Thanksgiving dessert. It’s quick and easy (and no one has to know!)

Many of you are probably familiar with “Pumpkin Dump Cake” (which by the way is a horribly unappealing name for such a scrumptious treat!) If you’re not then I can give you the recipe in about 4 sentences. Here you go:

1. Get a can of pumpkin (large or small depending on how thick you want it) and follow the instructions on the back of the can to make pie filling. Pour filling into a 9×13 pan.
2. Sprinkle one dry cake mix on top (yellow or vanilla).
3. Drizzle1 1/2 sticks of melted butter over the top.
4. Bake at 350 for about 45-55 minutes or until the top is golden brown.

You can use that trick for any sort of filling. Instead of pumpkin pie on the bottom, you can layer fruit, canned pie filling, etc. Just about anything. Good little trick to know.

Now let me share my version of this quick and easy dessert- just kicked up a notch. First I used part of the cake mix on the bottom of the dessert to create a little bit of a crust. For the filling, I used a recipe I think is much better than the standard back-of-the-can pie filling. Mine uses sweet and condensed milk to make it silky, creamy, and flavorful. And finally on top I added a touch of spice and some toasty pecans. When that all cooks up together it’s one mighty fine dessert. And still incredibly easy! Even pumpkin pie haters like it! This shows up a lot at our table this time of year. It’s a favorite for our weekly “Family Night”. Maybe it will be for you too!

Easy Pumpkin Crumble
Recipe by Our Best Bites

1 boxed yellow or white cake mix
1-2 sticks butter (see notes in instructions), if you have unsalted use it
1 16 oz can pumpkin*
2 eggs
1 can sweetened condensed milk
1 t cinnamon
1/2 t pumpkin pie spice
1/4 t ginger
1/8 t cloves
1/8 t nutmeg
1/2 t salt
1/3 C chopped pecans
1/2 t additional cinnamon for topping

*This makes a dessert about an inch thick or less. That’s because I like a high topping-to-pumpkin ratio. If you’d like it thicker, use a large can of pumpkin and double the rest of the filling ingredients (Eggs, sweetened condensed milk, and spices). Leave the rest of the recipe the same.

Preheat oven to 350.

Place 2 C of the cake mix in a bowl. Cut in 3 T chilled butter. Just use your fingers to crumble the butter until it’s in small crumbly pieces. Place mixture in a 9×13 baking dish and press flat with your fingers.

Mix pumpkin, eggs, sweetened condensed milk, and spices until smooth. Pour on top of the cake mixture in the pan.

Now take the rest of the dry cake mix and mix in 1/2 t cinnamon. Sprinkle it all over the top of the pumpkin mixture. Use a measuring cup so you have a rough measurement of how much you’re putting on. Here’s why:

Here’s a little something I learned after making the dump cake a gazillion times. Cake mixes all have different amounts in them! Different brands, different flavors, etc. Each one is slightly different in volume. I found one mix to have almost double the normal amount. Measuring the amount of cake mix you’re sprinkling on top will help you get the perfect topping ratio in the last step.

Next sprinkle on the chopped pecans. You’ll have 3 distinct layers now:

Here’s the trick: For every 1 C of cake mix you sprinkled on top, you’ll need 3 T of melted butter. Drizzle it right on top.

That butter is going to combine with the cake mix and make magic in the oven. Pop it in your 350 degree oven for about 40 minutes or so. A knife should come out without globs of pumpkin on it and the topping should be nice and golden.

You can eat it warm, at room temp, or chilled! My favorite is actually at room temp. Put a dollop of sweetened whipped cream on top. It’s also great with vanilla ice cream.


In the mood for pumpkin? Here’s some pumpkin surprises for you. Click on a link to see!

Pumpkin Yummy #1
Pumpkin Yummy #2
Pumpkin Yummy #3
Pumpkin Yummy #4
Pumpkin Yummy #5


  1. Mmmmm this looks delicious! And that's saying something considering the fact that I am sick and NOTHING sounds good πŸ™‚

  2. I have been looking and looking for a recipe like this. I have made the "dump" version for years, but always wanted a little something more. Thanks for the great post!

  3. I've been making a dessert like this for years, and it is one of my favorites! I love to see your spin on it!

  4. I might be changing my middle name to "crumbly-carby goodness"…I think it fits me well.

    Thanks for yet another great recipe (with tips) girls!

  5. I see I have found a fellow pumpkin lover : ) Anytime you have a pumpkin recipe I automatically print it and make it. All of them have been delicious! Thank you!!!!

    1. I am actually having a pumpkin party this week. I’m inviting friends over to share pumpkin treats and recipes. I am even giving a pumpkin quiz with prizes! I have some true pumpkin lovers for friends!

  6. Sara, as I tried to use the 'Print Friendly' link it does not work. I have printed off lots of your recipes but the last few times it just goes to the candy corn cupcakes. My hubby said your link may be broken. Can you see if anyone else cannot copy either?

  7. Paula- I'm sorry. We are constantly having issues with that PrintFriendly button! I just tried it and it works fine for me. If it continues to not work you can always just hit "print selection" in your printer menu and highlight the text you wish to print. Sorry for the problem!

  8. Yum! Our family makes this all the time (the simpler version) except we call it Pumpkin Pie Cake. I'll have to try yours, though I think my husband might consider the addition of pecans akin to blasphemy. And I agree that "Dump Cake" is a horrible, horrible misnomer.

  9. Looks really really good. I plan to make this for our Thanksgiving get-together. One question though, does it have to be refridgerated?

  10. I just made this on Monday but got the recipe from the blog Me and My Pink Mixer. It taste best the next day at room temp.

  11. I just read through your version better and caught where you made a bottom crust…nice! I'm gonna try your way next time.

  12. I've always really liked your pumpkin dump cake recipe but I like the idea of adding a bottom crust. I can't wait to try it.

  13. Why add pumpkin pie spice and then add additional ginger, cloves and nutmeg? Pumpkin pie spice is a blend of cinnamon, cloves, ginger, nutmeg and allspice.

  14. Sara,

    I made this today for a ward potluck tonight and just had to sneak a piece ahead of time! This is wonderfu! Thank you for sharing with us!

  15. I just made this last night for a girls night out we're having tonight. I had to try a bite-just to make sure it was okay to serve to them, of course πŸ˜‰

    Oh my goodness, this is SO good! I think my mouth said, "Hello, Fall!" when I took my first bite. It is exactly what this time of year demands from a dessert! Yum!

  16. Heather, you can definitely make it without the nuts. And honestly I can't tell you about specific cake mixes, I've made it a gazillion times so I don't really remember which is which! I do know the last time I fooled around with it I had a Duncan Hines French Vanilla and I'm *thinking* that was the one that had more than normal- but I could be totally wrong.

  17. I didn't ask my question clearly. Instead of using pumpkin pie spice at all, why not just increase the proportions of the individual spices rather than having to buy an additional one. I made it an omitted the pumpkin pie spice. I increased the cinnamon to 1 1/4 tsp, the ginger to a heaping 1/4 tsp, the nutmeg to 1/4 tsp. and 1/16 tsp. of allspice. It turned out great!

  18. I understood what you were saying Bonnie, and ya, that works just fine if you don't already have all of the spices on hand! When I made this recipe I did it to taste and when it needed a little extra flavor boost at the end, the addition of the pumpkin pie spice did just the trick without figuring out how much more of each spice to add. (Because they are not always in equal proportion in the pie spice bottle). I'm glad you figured out something that worked for you and liked it- You can't really go wrong with any combination of those spices!

  19. We learned about dump cake from a sweet old lady neighbor of ours when I was a kid. It is my family's ultimate favorite cake, especially for birthdays. Here's the version we learned:
    1 can cherry pie filling
    1 can crushed pineapple (including juice)
    1 box yellow cake mix
    1 cup coconut
    1 cup chopped pecans
    1 cup butter, sliced in pieces short-wise and laid out over the cake

    I'm trying your pumpkin version for Thanksgiving dinner with my family. We are really excited!

  20. This was a total hit around our house. Loved it! However, I was really upset when my son decided to add butter flavored popcorn seasoning to 1/4 of the pan before I ran over to stop him. Not a good combination. I guess I'll have to make another one.

  21. Just so you know, I made this the day after you posted it, and it was gone very quickly! It was SO delicious! Thanks for the recipe!

  22. OMGOSH! This is absolutely DELICIOUS! I made it this afternoon and it was just a piece of warm heaven!

    My husband is not a fan of pumpkin, but he really liked this!

    Thank you!

    After this is gone I am getting ready to make your individual pies! πŸ™‚

  23. Anytime I use pecans (we have two trees in our yard), I toast them first. It brings out a great flavor in them. In fact, I always have to toast twice as many pecans as the recipe calls for because we eat half of them while cooking πŸ™‚ However, since this recipe bakes for 40 minutes, I wonder of that would burn the pecans, having been toasted then baked. Has anyone tried that?

  24. My kids loved this and I'm so happy to have another pumpkin recipe to add to the mix. I'm not a huge pumpkin pie fan either! My son is already asking for it again!
    I also made this with a homemade version of a cake mix (live in Europe, can't get cake mix). It had the same exact flavor as using the box. Love it! Thank you!

  25. Ya Sara you can totally use pie filling in this. Just ignore my filling recipe and instead follow the instructions on the back of the can of pie filling. The canned filling has added sugar and spices, but it still needs things like eggs and evaporated milk. So just use that instead and it will work great!

  26. I made this dish this morning for a pot luck this afternoon. I did actually use the 29oz can of Pumpkin rather than the 15oz can and doubled the spices. But after adding one extra egg and 1/2 extra can of sweet condense milk I hesitated. It seemed if I added any more it would be way to runny. I'm glad I didn't. I baked it for the 40 min and checked it every 5 min for a total time of 1 hour. The pecans (I didn't pre-toast) started to turn a little dark so I took it out of the oven. It was more of a pumpkin pie consistency but still had a great flavor. I would make again but stick to the smaller portions.

  27. ok, this may seem like a really silly question, but at the very beginning where it says 'Place 2 C of the cake mix in a bowl' is that dry cake mix or cake mix that is made up and combined with the eggs, oil, etc? i am planning on making this for thanksgiving next week and dont want to mess it up! thanks!!

  28. Galindo Family- not a silly question at all, sorry if it wasn't clear! You are just using the dry cake mix, straight from the box, you never mix anything into but the butter called for in the recipe.

  29. i have ONE more question…. i'm making this for thxgiving, but i'm traveling wed. nite… i would REALLY like to make it sunday afternoon…. it would probably be pushing my luck to expect it to hold up till thursday right?
    If you think otherwise please let me know – thanks again!'
    thanks for your responses so far! πŸ™‚

  30. Well I love your blog and have for awhile. I am making this recipe for Thanksgiving. I just now realized after reading your bio that you live in Boise! I live in Meridian. Fun! Another local celebrity.

  31. I made this last night for thanksgiving today, I doubled the pumpkin recipe including the eggs and milk and cooked it about 15 min. longer, its AWESOME!! I also skipped the nuts and just used cinnamon and apple pie spice and its still unbelievabley yummy…my hubby and I couldn't stay out of it last night!! so theres a little dent in it for today!! your blog..this is the 3rd recipe I've tried from you guys..all great!!!

  32. So I made this today– with the smaller ingredient amounts– and I had to cook it for 30 minutes longer than the recipe called for. And is it supposed to be custard-y in the middle? (I could taste egg.) Otherwise, it was delicious!

  33. Lauren, I'm not sure what was off with yours! The middle should be the consistency of pumpkin pie, so not super custard-y.

  34. I am making this for Thanksgiving this year, so excited! Quick question – how well will it keep in the fridge? Could I make it tomorrow (Monday) and still have it taste fresh on Thursday, or should I wait? Thanks!

  35. This was amazing. AMAZING. I made the thicker version, and I do admit that I cheated and used LIbby's pumpkin pie filling mix, but my husband said that this was the best pumpkin dessert he's ever had, and my dad – who generally avoids carbs completely – couldn't help himself and had seconds. Thank you for such an awesome recipe!

  36. Thank you so much for sharing this recipe. I made these and wrote about them here
    on my blog. I had a kitchen disaster and needed a dessert ASAP but was out of Vanilla. These fit the bill and were yummy too! Thank you again.

  37. This is so good on it’s own…I’ve been making this for years. Last year I found a way to make it better ( is that even possible?)
    On the stove melt 1 c. Butter. Add 1c. Brown sugar and 1 c. Whipping cream. Cook on low til sugar is dissolved and sauce thickens.
    Pour it over the crumble and then add the whipping cream. So rich…but so yummy!

  38. I feel like I’m a good cook but after discovering your website I am thinking that I still have a lot to learn. Who knew that’s how you cut up a watermelon! I don’t pull out the pumpkin pie filling until September because I make pumpkin bread every year for friends and family. But this year, in addition to pumpkin bread I will be making this Easy Pumpkin Crumble. My mouth was watering just reading over the recipe. I love your website. The easy to follow photos really help when you’re trying to decipher what the recipe should look like as you are making it. Love this website. I’ve bookmarked it and will go back time and time again for future ideas. Great work!

  39. I made this today with the doubled recipe and the filling was delicious. However, the topping was gooey (despite the filling being perfectly cooked) and the bottom was not only chalky in texture but also salty in taste, perhaps due to a high amount of salt in the cake mix I chose.

    1. I gave this another try, this time using Duncan Hines Moist Deluxe Yellow Cake Mix and not doubling the filling (previously I had used Dr. Oetker). The filling was once again very good. However, the topping was still pretty gooey and the bottom still somewhat salty – pretty much what you’d expect from uncooked cake mix. People liked the dessert but I don’t intend to serve it ever again.

  40. I made this yesterday for my husband’s birthday and boy-oh-boy did you ladies make me look good! This is a winner of a recipe, not too much cheesecake and just the right amount of pumpkin. I failed to notice that it needed some time in the fridge to set up, however popping it in the freezer worked like a charm! Thanks for the tip!

  41. how many servings does this recipe and the doubled recipe yield if we serve for a bible study. thanks

    1. They’re both made in a 9×13 pan, so really they serve about the same. You can choose how many servings depending on how you scoop it out!

  42. Found this recipe about an hour ago on Facebook and it’s already in the oven (which I’m very impatiently waiting to be done!!). It smells AMAZING in my house right now! I can’t wait to try it!!!!! Thanks for a great Fall recipe!

  43. Hi Sara! I saw the pumpkin crumble recipe in the new cookbook (which I love, by the way!). I have been wanting to make it, but I’ve gone to several grocery stores and can’t find white cake mix in the 18.25 oz size, only in the 16.5 oz size. So, I came to the blog to see if the recipe was here and if I could gain some insight. So, as I’ve looked through it, the recipe is different here than it is in the cookbook. I’m assuming you perfected some things since you posted this on the blog, and the one in the cookbook is your recommended way to make it, correct? So, now I’m stuck wondering what to do? What adjustments should I make if I can only find the 16.5 oz cake mix? Thanks for your help! Or you can email me if that’s easier. πŸ™‚

  44. This is the identical recipe my aunt gave me 20 years ago when I went to her house for Thanksgiving. She didn’t know where she had gotten it originally. I’ve given the recipe out dozens of times, but always told people I wasn’t sure who to credit. I’ve seen it here and there through the years, but no one ever knows the source. Do you know where the recipe originated?

    1. If you’re talking about the traditional “Dump Cakes” then who knows! They’ve been around forever and ever. My version however is one I came up with myself. So if you’re aunt gave you the identical recipe then that’s just bizarre!

  45. Quick question. Does this need sugar added to it? I noticed all the other recipes I’m finding call for sugar. Just want to make sure I’ve got it right. Thanks!

    1. Nope, it’s correct as written. Most recipes call for evaporated milk, but notice mine uses sweetened condensed milk- that’s where the sweetness comes in!

  46. What could you use to substitute the cake mix part and how much would you need. We have a person in our family with celiac so we always are looking for substitutions.

      1. I just made this with a gluten free cake mix and it turned out great, a little salty but I used salted butter so I’ll definitely use unsalted next time. There are plenty of GF cake mixes out there to choose from. I used Pamela’s brand.

  47. Hi! I made these last night and they were AMAZING. Exactly what I was looking for in a pumpkin bar. The filling is also super light and not at all heavy like in a pumpkin pie. I doubled it and it’s maybe too much filling, but now I know for next time that I maybe could have done 1.5 times the filling. πŸ™‚ One thing I did do was I left out the nuts (I just don’t like them in my desserts much) and used spice cake mix instead of yellow or white cake. I was thinking it was going to be really over sweet with the white mix but the spice cake mix has just the right balance with the pumpkin. Really nice. I really recommend trying that modification. Thanks so much for the recipe!

  48. I made your pumpkin crumble recipe from your cookbook, which is a little different from this one. Anyways, it was for a crowd, so I doubled the recipe and put it in a 9×13 like was suggested, but I had a really hard time getting it cooked all the way through. Do you know what might have gone wrong? Or do you have any suggestions for next time? Thanks! It almost didn’t all fit in my pan!

    1. But I DO want to add that people still loved it! And I love you girls and all of your recipes! Just was wondering if you had any tips for how it might turn out better next time and bake more consistently.

    2. I made the cookbook’s recipe and used the 8×8 as instructed, without doubling it and had the same problem! I’ve baked it for over an hour now, and it’s still nowhere near done. From looking at the recipe on here, I guess you have to make the regular recipe in a 9×13 pan, and if you double it, use two 9×13 dishes. Darn it! I think it was a typo in the book.

  49. This recipe was ABSOLUTELY DELICIOUS!!! I showed it to my husband, who is not a baker, and told him that I would make it for him. Having no patience, he went ahead and made it himself!! It was easy enough that my husband made it with no issues. And it only got better with every day! Definitely a keeper! Thank you!

  50. First- this is AMAZING!!!! My favorite thing to do is let it chill, and spread cinnamon whipped cream over it before serving.

    Second- if you were going to use a cherry pie filling instead of doing pumpkin, would you add anything to the cherry pie filling or leave it as is?

  51. I wish I would have read this recipe online before making it. I followed the instructions in the seasons cookbook which said to put it in an 8×8 pan. I thought it looked really full, but figured it must be a thick recipe. Now it makes sense why it isn’t cooking.

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