Some of the best fall desserts are the easiest, and this pumpkin dump cake is right up there! It’s sweet, with a tinge of salt, buttery, cinnamon-spiced, and combines the custard consistency of pumpkin filling with a crunch topping that couldn’t get better if it tried!
This is a recipe that I usually make in the early fall when it’s still hot out, because it’s so good with ice cream. It’s also a perfect addition to the Thanksgiving dessert table. Easier to make than pumpkin pie, but still has all the flavors you love.
My kids love this recipe because, aside from the taste, it’s easy for them to make independently, without any help from me. I never knew life with older kids would have so many perks.
Can Pumpkin Dump Cake be Make Gluten-Free?
Yes. You simply switch from a conventional cake mix, to a gluten-free cake mix. I usually make my own with this gluten-free cake mix recipe. Pillsbury is also a really good option for an easy, no-fuss dessert.
The cake mix topping is the only part that has flour in it, so that one swap is all you need.
Either way, this is a deliciously easy fall dessert you can put together in a matter of minutes.
Ingredients for this Easy Pumpkin Dump Cake Recipe
Unlike most dump cakes you need to make a pumpkin pie filling before you “dump” it into the pan to bake. With that in mind, the ingredients are simple to whisk together, and your prep time still comes in under ten minutes.
- Canned Pumpkin Puree
- Half and Half
- Granulated Sugar
- Pumpkin Pie Spice
- Yellow Cake mix
- Chopped Pecans (or pecan halves)
I know there’s always a chance you want to make this cake on a whim, but haven’t done any grocery shopping lately, so you make need to make some substitutions.
Here are a few safe changes to make:
- Evaporated milk instead of half and half. This one is easy. It still have less moisture than regular milk, so works really well, it’s just not quite as smooth and creamy. You may not even notice the difference though!
- Brown Sugar. Use in place of the granulated sugar. I would recommend using 2 Tablespoons less.
- Pumpkin Pie Spice. You’re always welcome to adjust the spices to your preference. If you don’t have any pumpkin pie spice mix on hand though, you can make your own pumpkin pie spice with this recipe using cinnamon, cloves, ginger, and other spices.
- Homemade Cake Mix. Since I make most of our desserts gluten-free, I usually make my own homemade cake mix with this recipe. As mentioned above, you can use a gluten-free box mix such as Pillsbury gluten-free, or substitute a white cake mix, or spice cake mix for yellow, etc.
- Pecans. You can omit these, or sub a different nut, such as walnuts. I really highly recommend the pecans though. They’re essentially butter toasted and add soooo much flavor to the end dessert.
Can I make this cake dairy-free?
I honestly don’t recommend it. You can sub a vegan butter easily enough, but the half and half is where it gets tricky. Most vegan milk substitutes are pretty watery, which makes the pumpkin filling a bit watery in the end. While I haven’t tried it though, I have heard that cashew milk is the best non-dairy milk to use in a recipe like this.
How to make Pumpkin Dump Cake
This is such an easy recipe to throw together.
- First, preheat your oven to 350º, and grease a 9×13 inch baking dish
- In a large mixing bowl, whisk together pumpkin, eggs, sugar, cinnamon, and pumpkin pie spice.
- Add Half and half and stir until completely incorporated.
- Pour pumpkin mixture into baking dish.
- Sprinkle with dry cake mix.
- Sprinkle with pecans.
- Slice butter into 1/8 inch thick pats, and arrange over top of the cake mix. (you can also opt to use melted butter, and drizzle it over the top).
- Bake in oven for about 40 minutes, until the top is golden brown
- Remove from oven and let cool for at least 10-15 minutes before serving.
This is super delicious topped with a scoop of vanilla ice cream or whipped cream, and a drizzle of caramel sauce.
How to store leftovers
This is a big dessert, so if you’re not serving a crowd, no surprise you’d have some leftovers.
- Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate 1-2 days
- Transfer to an airtight container and refrigerate for up to a week
- Freeze in an airtight container for 3 months.
To thaw frozen dump cake, move to refrigerator 24-48 hours before serving. You can also move the refrigerator overnight, and then let rest at room temperature for 1-2 hours to speed up thawing.
Other pumpkin recipes you’ll enjoy:
- Gluten Free Pumpkin Bars with Cream Cheese Icing
- Gluten-Free Pumpkin Cake Cookies
- Gluten-Free Pumpkin Chocolate chip Bread
- Pumpkin Spice No Bake Cookies
- Gluten-Free Pumpkin Roll
Pumpkin Dump Cake
- 2 15.9 oz. cans of pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie filling) or 3 1/2 cups
- 1 1/2 cups half and half
- 4 eggs
- 1 1/2 cup sugar
- 1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
- 1 Tablespoons pumpkin spice
- 1 box of yellow cake mix
- 3/4 cups butter (1 1/2 sticks – I use salted)
- 1 cup pecans halves or pieces
- Preheat oven to 350º
- In a large bowl, whisk pumpkin, half and half, eggs, sugar, cinnamon, and pumpkin spice together until well blended
- Pour and spread evenly into a greased 9×13 inch baking dish
- Sprinkle with cake mix
- Cut butter into thin (1/8 inch) pats and arrange over top of cake mix (you can also melt butter and pour it over, but I find the pats work to cover the top of the cake more evenly)
- Sprinkle with pecans
- Bake in preheated oven for 40-45 minutes until golden brown on top
- Remove from oven and let cool a few minutes before serving
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