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. 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!

  2. 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?

  3. 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!

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

  6. 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!

  7. Mmmmm this looks delicious! And that's saying something considering the fact that I am sick and NOTHING sounds good 🙂

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