Better Than Pumpkin Pie Cake

Seems I’m not the only one with pumpkin on the brain at this time of year. As I’ve added over 500 pumpkin recipes to my All Things Pumpkin Pinterest board, various delectable versions of this dessert keep popping up. You may have seen it before, but let me entice you one last time before Thanksgiving with this variation of Better Than Pumpkin Pie Cake shared with me by my sister-in-law years ago.

Better Than Pumpkin Pie Cake

Just yesterday we made this family favorite again, using the “guts” of one of the kids’ pumpkin patch pumpkins. Another child had a friend over, and he oooo’d and ahhh’d over his sample. “Wait. You mean you baked a real pumpkin and made this out of it? That’s amazing!” Ha! It’s fun to be amazing every once in a while. 😉

You, too, can be amazing, even with canned pumpkin and a boxed yellow cake mix. I promise I won’t tell!


Recipe first published on November 24, 2008.

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  1. That looks DELISH!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  2. This is exactly the same recipe (except ours calls for pumkin pie spice, and a few variations of measurements) that I made Saturday, a family favorite. We call ours Pumpkin Pie Crunch! We serve it with cool whip on top.


  3. Ohhh, this is sooo good! I made it last week for a church dinner. YUM!

  4. I think you are right. This could be THE pumpkin dessert. Love the way it sounds. Want some, now! Thanks for sharing and participating in TMTT.

  5. I make this same recipe but also with pumpkin pie spice. We love it.

  6. I just posted about this yesterday as well….the recipe I have is called The GREAT Pumpkin Dessert. Very tasty!! I didn’t add nouts but it looks very pretty with them.

  7. Oh wow! That looks really good. I love anything with pumpkin. I think we will have to give this a try!

  8. Oh, I will be giving this a try very soon! Thanks 🙂

  9. I have heard about this being the pumpkin dessert. I’m going to have to try it this year. Thanks for linking!

  10. This is also similar to the Pumpkin Crisp I make. Yummo.

    Happy Thanksgiving and Happy TMTT!!!

  11. Wow that looks awesome!

  12. What if I don’t have the Pampered Chef cinnamon Plus? Do I just use cinnamon? I don’t even know anyone who sells Pampered Chef. We live in a small town.

  13. Sandra, just use 2 tsp. cinnamon and 2 tsp. pumpkin pie spice. That should work fine! 😉 Amy

  14. That looks great! Thanks for the recipe. Have a great Thanksgiving!

  15. This looks fantastic. I WILL be making this.

  16. I’m going to make this tonight! What size can of milk do you use?!

  17. Yum. You’ll love it! I use a 12 oz. can of evaporated milk.

    • I’m wondering if substituting almond milk or coconut milk would work just as well as the evaporated milk which I believe is a high saturated fat ingredient. The almond or coconut milk has a lot more potent nutrients than evaporated milk. Just curious.

      • Sorry, Debbie. I really have no idea. This is definitely a “treat” for us and I haven’t worked to make it healthy in any way. 🙂

  18. Can you substitute something for the nuts, or just leave them out altogether? I don’t have any nuts, and don’t really care for them. Thanks!

  19. Alex, maybe try substituting coconut?

  20. Amy…What is the consistency of this dessert?? I made it last night for my husband to take to work today. After I let it cool, I needed to sample it…didn’t want to send an untested recipe to work without trying it…besides it smelled soooo good, I just had to try it. When I sampled it, the consistency of the pumpkin/cake part was very runny. I thought it would be more cake like, so I reheated the oven & cooked it for another 30 minutes. By this time it was after midnight & I needed to go to bed. This morning when I checked it, it seemed better, but I was still leary of sending it with my husband, but I did. Hopefully it turned out okay…eek! What are your thoughts on this?? Thanks…Erin

    • @Erin Blair, Hmmmm, that doesn’t sound right. It is soft, but not runny at all. I could probably cut it into squares to serve if I wanted to, but we just use a big serving spoon. That’s odd that you had to cook it so long!

  21. Oh my goodness! This looks so yummy! I can’t wait to try this one.

  22. I purchased the stuff to make this one as well.

    Can’t wait to try it out.

    -Alana Jo

  23. YUM

  24. Okay, so I must have been living under a rock because I’ve never heard of this dessert. Decided to try it, with sweet potatoes because they came in our produce box and I needed to use them. Amy, I have to say you and your SIL know your stuff. This is so off the hook! I enjoyed this dessert more than I do pie. BTW used a homemade gluten free yellow cake mix (from The Gluten Free Cooking School website). Man let me tell you, so, so good! Did I tell you how good it is? LOL Thanks again Amy.

  25. Cheryl in NC says:

    Hi, Amy. Thank you so much for this recipe. I’ve found other similar ones but decided to start with your version. So glad we did as it was absolutely delicous, what we got to taste of it. My daughter took it to work, and except for about 3T, it was completely gone by the end of the night. Even she didn’t get a piece, but was gratified when several people — even confirmed pumpkin haters — came to thank and compliment her on it!. Having no Pampered Chef spices, we used your suggestion of 2t cinnamon-2t pumpkin pie spice, and it was a perfect combo! We also chose yellow cake mix, though considered spice and buttered pecan, but I realized after tasting it that you can’t really taste the cake anyway with the strong pumpkin flavoring. We made one slight change suggested by another site: we put the nuts over the cake mix, THEN poured on the butter (1 cup, btw). It gave the nuts a wonderful, praline-like texture. Just delicious! We will be making this for our holiday dinner this year. Thanks so much again!

    • I’ve got fresh pumpkin in the fridge and all ingredients on hand. Don’t believe I’ll be waiting until Thanksgiving… 😉 So glad it went over well for your daughter’s co-workers!

  26. Cheryl in NC says:

    BTW, forgot to mention, for those concerned with texture, that she baked it around 4pm, but co-workers didn’t get a chance to eat it until after midnight (night shift), so it had several hours to set up and the texture was perfect: fluffy-crunchy on top, creamy on the bottom. YUM!

  27. I’m so glad you re-posted this- I’ve never seen the recipe before and am planning to make it for a holiday party on Sunday!

  28. Nancy Thyfault says:

    Just wanted to say I made this for Thanksgiving!! Everybody absolutely loved it. Thanks for a awesome recipe!

  29. Hi Amy this looks like a great recipe, and I can’t wait to make it. I was wondering about the 1 cup of sugar. Can it be left out entirely? The cake mix has sugar in it, or at least can I get away with 1/2 a cup?

    • I’ve never tried reducing the sugar, but I don’t know why you couldn’t get away with 1/2 cup. Let me know if you try it!

      • I hate to admit this, but I forgot to add the sugar and used sweetened condensed milk instead of evaporated milk and it turned out GREAT! I don’t like to comment on recipes I’ve altered, but this was an unintentional modification that Christina may find helpful. Thanks Amy!

  30. Melissa Frazier says:

    Do you need to keep it in the fridge? Looks amazing!

  31. I’m a former Pampered Chef consultant and now happy I don’t have to search through my recipe books for this one. This is a fabulous dessert, and this is coming a person who doesn’t like pumpkin pie. I think the crumble on top makes this dessert. It is so very, very good!


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