What I’m Making: Great Pumpkin Dessert

Years ago I made a great pumpkin dessert.  I remember it being really good.  I remember it was gone within 4 hours of my making it.  I remember both Craig and Kramer liking it…but did I remember where the recipe was?  No.

After some hunting, I found it.  See the note in my handwriting?  It says “Great”!


I was in a mood to clean up everything I could clean up on the kitchen island.  Sadly at my house, I have to work hard for it not to be a dumping ground…and it was a dumping ground on this day.  In the middle were two squash.  Kalissa’s in-laws give them to her.  Kalissa brings them to me and then begs me to cook them for her.  I decided this day was the day.  I’d cook them both and use part of the squash as the pumpkin in this recipe.

Here’s the picture of the dessert from the cookbook.

The recipe is SUPER easy.  After mixing the first set of ingredients, pour them into a greased pan then pour a cake mix over the top.


Then pour butter over it.

Then nuts…


Bake an hour and you have this.


Mine isn’t as cute as the recipe picture as my squash was runnier than pumpkin in a can is and my pan was bigger than a 9 x 13.  But taste??   Yummy.  Exactly like I remembered.


I ate a piece while it was warm.  I shouldn’t have.  It’s MUCH better cold.  I hope there is a piece left tomorrow so I can try a cold piece.  Good news, I have more pumpkin and more evaporated milk….I don’t know about a cake mix though.

If you’re in charge of dessert for Thanksgiving, I highly suggest giving this a try.

17 thoughts on “What I’m Making: Great Pumpkin Dessert

  1. Carolyn Sands

    This sounds like Paula Deen’s Gooey Butter cake recipe. She has a bunch of different versions too. Looks yummy!

    Reply
  2. Kate

    I made that this year too and it was very good. The nuts make it extra yummy. I liked it better than pumpkin pie which I also made. Don’t we all have that spot in the kitchen or near by that seems to be a drop/dump place. So hard to keep it cleared, at least in my case.

    Reply
  3. Pennifox

    We lovingly refer to that as “Pumpkin Crap” at our house! I agree it’s much better tasting when it’s cold and covered in cool whip! I tend to take this to holiday parties (well I did before covid) and it is much easier that traditional pies for transporting.

    Reply
  4. Maxine

    Jo, this might sound complicated but a 4-year old could make this. I was approached by a new lawyer at work. Everyone knew I baked. She was beside herself because her new mother-in-law told her to bring the pumpkin pies. She was fearful because she didn’t know how to bake. I told her I would give her a recipe even her husband could make. It was a huge success. Now instead if pies, this is what they want her to bring every year.

    PUMPKIN PIE CAKE
    “Yellow cake mix takes the place of crust in this pumpkin dessert reminiscent of a pumpkin pie in a dish.”
    PREHEAT OVEN to 350 degrees and LIGHTLY GREASE a 9×13 pan. I use spray (PAM).

    BOTTOM LAYER (crust)
    ONE 18.25 ounce package yellow cake mix (minus 1 cup set aside for TOP LAYER–topping)
    1/3 cup butter, melted
    1 egg

    DIRECTIONS FOR CRUST:
    Set aside 1 cup of cake mix. Combine remaining cake mix with melted butter and 1 egg and mix until well blended; spread mixture in the bottom of the prepared 9×13 pan. [I use a mixer for anything except the topping].

    MIDDLE LAYER (pumpkin pie filling)
    1 (29 ounce) can pumpkin
    1/2 cup brown sugar
    2/3 cup milk
    3 eggs
    2T (2 tsp cinnamon) pumpkin pie spice (or whatever spice(s) you use in your pumpkin pies)

    DIRECTIONS FOR PUMPKIN PIE FILLING:
    In a large bowl combine pumpkin, brown sugar, milk, 3 eggs and pumpkin pie spice; mix well and pour this mixture over cake mix mixture in 13×9 pan.

    TOP LAYER (topping)
    1/4 cup butter, chilled (not room temperature)
    1/2 cup white sugar
    3/4 cup chopped nuts (optional)

    DIRECTIONS FOR TOPPING:
    In a small bowl with a pastry blender, or in a food processor, combine chilled butter and white sugar with 1 cup of reserved cake mix until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Sprinkle over pumpkin mixture. Sprinkle chopped nuts over all.

    BAKE 45 to 50 minutes, until top is golden and inserted toothpick comes out almost clean. Try not to over bake. It will be too dry.

    Reply
  5. Nance in Reno

    We call this pumpkin crunch instead of dump cake. I use a spice cake mix and followed the old recipe on the can of the Libby canned pumpkin. Instead of melting the butter, I use a pastry cutter and cut the butter into the cake mix and stir in the chopped nuts. If you have a carrot cake mix, that would work. I like my pumpkin crunch warm. My husband likes it with whipped cream.

    Reply
  6. Kim A Paventy

    This is what I make every year, without the nuts. Sometimes I make it with Spice cake and that’s really good. My family calls it Pumpkin Goo!

    Reply
  7. Susan

    Jo, is this recipe by chance, from Taste of Home or another Reiman publications? The print looks like that of their magazines.

    Reply
  8. sew happy

    Everyone must have tried it back when. I know I did and loved it. Like you, I have misplaced my copy. Many people would know it as a dump cake. Thanks for share and enjoy it.

    Reply
  9. Pingback: Ask Jo: This and That | Jo's Country Junction

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *