Pumpkin Dump Cake is the easiest, yet incredibly tasty, fall dessert of your dreams, made with pantry staples in minutes!
This Pumpkin Dump Cake recipe is a minimal prep, effortless, fall or Thanksgiving dessert that will disappear in a flash! It’s a delectable mashup between rich, silky smooth, spiced pumpkin pie and buttery cake all topped with crunchy pecans. Pumpkin Dump Cake gets its name by whisking then dumping the filling into a baking dish, dumping cake mix on top, then baking to golden, buttery, creamy, crunchy perfection. Be the hero of Thanksgiving with this twist on the comforting classic!
More pumpkin treats not to miss include Pumpkin Oatmeal Cookies, Pumpkin Bars, Pumpkin Cheesecake, Pumpkin Pound Cake, Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Bread and Pumpkin Snickerdoodles. You’ll also love my easy Apple Dump Cake!
How to Make Pumpkin Dump Cake Video
Ingredients in Pumpkin Dump Cake
In this Pumpkin Dump Cake recipe, the pie filling is made from scratch with canned pumpkin puree, sugar, evaporated milk, eggs and spices to deliver a far superior result than canned pie filling. But don’t worry, all you do is whisk, then dump the filling into the baking dish! Here’s a closer look at the ingredients you’ll need (see full measurements in the recipe card at the bottom of the post):
FOR THE FILLING
FOR THE TOPPING
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS:
The dessert gets its name because there is no mixer involved. All of the ingredients are dumped into a 9×13-inch baking dish and then baked together. The easiest form of a dump cake is pie filling (apple, fruit, etc.) poured into a 9×13-inch baking dish, topped evenly with cake mix, followed by pads of butter, then baked. So easy!
Dump cakes are similar to cobblers, in that the fruit filling is on the bottom topped with a cake-like topping – in this case, literally cake mix with butter! The filling and the cake mix bake in the oven at the same time for an easy dessert.
Dump cakes became popular in the late 1960s in the USA as various recipes began being printed in newspapers across the country. In 1969, a Florida newspaper reported that it seemed like everyone was talking about this “delicious” dessert. The article recalled how the newspaper was inundated with angry readers after it printed the recipe for the first time, demanding the recipe be printed correctly. The readers couldn’t believe the recipe called for just dumping the ingredients without any mixing. Word spread, however, that this magical dump cake was indeed easy and delicious!
Yes, you can, however, I do not suggest it. Many people find pumpkin pie filling too sweet when combined with the sweet cake mix. By using canned pumpkin puree, we are able to control the amount of sugar added so the overall dump cake isn’t too sweet.
I prefer Pumpkin Dump Cake made with canned pumpkin puree. The filling is a little sturdier and smoother, whereas fresh tasted a bit grainy.
If you don’t have yellow cake mix, you could use pumpkin spice cake mix instead and reduce the spices in the filling, or make your own yellow cake mix. To make your own, whisk together 2 ¼ cup all-purpose flour, 1 ½ cups granulated sugar, 3 ½ teaspoons baking powder and 1 teaspoon salt in a large bowl. Use a pastry cutter to blend in 4 tablespoons butter (½ stick). Viola! Now you have homemade yellow cake mix.
Every oven bakes differently, so if you notice the cake topping is browning too much before the dessert is done cooking (check at 40 minutes to be sure), tent the dish with foil.
Technically, no, you do not have to refrigerate Pumpkin Dump Cake. It can be safely stored at room temperature for up to 2 days. However, I suggest refrigerating the dump cake so it lasts longer. Refrigerated dump can stay fresh for up to 5 days in the refrigerator
Yes, dump cake can be frozen for up to 3 months. Transfer to an airtight, freezer safe container or wrap the baking dish in plastic wrap followed by aluminum foil before freezing.
How to Make Pumpkin Dump Cake
Are you ready to see just how easy this Pumpkin Dump Cake recipe is to make in thee steps?! Let’s get to it! (Full measurements are found in the recipe card at the end of this post.)
- Step 1: Mix the pumpkin filling. In a large bowl (or directly in the baking dish!), combine the pumpkin puree, evaporated milk, spices, vanilla, sugar, and eggs. Pour into a lightly greased 9×13 baking dish.
- Step 2: Add the topping. Evenly sprinkle the dry cake mix over the pumpkin filling, followed by the squares of butter. Top with pecans, if using (please use!).
- Step 3: Bake. Bake uncovered in a preheated oven until the dump cake is golden brown and bubbly around the edges. Let stand for 15 minutes before serving. I highly recommend topping your portion with a scoop of vanilla ice cream!
How to Serve the Dump Cake REcipe
The BEST Pumpkin Dump Cake recipe is served warm, fresh from the oven (after it’s had time to rest for 10 to 15 minutes). It becomes exponentially more delicious with a big, cold scoop of vanilla ice cream to cut through the richness. The cold, silky smooth ice cream mingled with the warm, sweet, pumpkin filling. Homemade whipped cream is also fabulous.
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- 1 29 oz. can pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie filling)
- 4 eggs
- 12 oz can. evaporated milk
- 1 cup packed light brown sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp EACH ground ginger, ground nutmeg
- 1/4 tsp EACH ground cloves, salt
- 1 15.25 oz. box yellow cake mix (do not prepare)
- 1 cup chopped pecans
- 12 TBS (1 ½ sticks) salted butter, sliced into thin pads (about 28 slices)
Preheat oven to 350°F. Lightly butter a 9×13 baking dish or spray with cooking spray.
Mix all of the Pumpkin Filling ingredients together in a large bowl. Pour into the prepared baking pan.
Evenly sprinkle the dry cake mix over the Filling, breaking up any clumps with a fork. Top evenly with the pads of butter, followed by the pecans, if using.
Bake uncovered at 350 degrees F for 50-60 minutes or until the cake is golden brown and cooked through and the center is mostly set (it will set more as it cools slightly). Let stand for 15 minutes before serving. Serve WARM with vanilla ice cream or whipped cream.
- To store: Pumpkin Dump Cake is the very best fresh from the oven but can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
- To freeze: Let the dump cake cool completely, wrap a few times in plastic wrap, followed by foil. Freeze for 3 months. Be aware that the topping will be softer once thawed. Thaw the frozen dump cake in the refrigerator overnight, then reheat per below methods.
- To reheat: Leftovers can be reheated in the microwave for 30 seconds, then at 10-second intervals until warmed through or baked at 350 degrees F for about 15 minutes or until heated through.
- Prepare the pumpkin filling according to recipe directions in a 9×13-inch pan. Cover tightly with plastic wrap or foil and refrigerate for up to one day.
- Slice the pads of butter and refrigerate. Chop the pecans and store in an airtight container.
- When ready to bake, sprinkle topping evenly over filling, add butter and pecans.
- Bake according to directions, adding an extra 10 minutes due to the cold start.
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