Nothing says fall better than pumpkin! This is the best Pumpkin Dump Cake with a cakey, decadent texture loaded with pumpkin and a crunchy pecan-toffee topping.
The Easiest Fall Baking Recipe, Ever!
Every cook (especially a busy parent!) should have a quick, no-hassle baked dessert recipe up their sleeve. Bonus points, obviously, for that recipe including pumpkin, pecans, and toffee bits! This easy pumpkin dump cake is all of the above. If you’re looking for a super-simple dessert to bake that’ll bring on all those cozy fall vibes, you’ve got to try it!
Essentially, this cake tastes like a pumpkin pie, with a cake layer on top and a crunchy topping of nuts and toffee. It’s seriously delicious. I like to bake it on the weekend for a special snack. Served with your favorite hot coffee, iced coffee, or just a glass of cold milk, it’s a sweet treat that everyone will devour!
(Psst! Want more pumpkin goodies? Try these Pumpkin Whoopie Pies with Maple Cream Cheese Filling, thick and creamy Pumpkin Cheesecake, or this classic recipe for the BEST Pumpkin Bread. Or go over the top with my famous Pumpkin Dream Cake!)
Why Do They Call It Dump Cake?
Speaking of “can’t go wrong,” that’s the whole idea behind this dump-and-bake recipe. Dump cakes are named after the fact that you don’t need to use multiple mixing bowls, complicated techniques, or many ingredients. You just dump everything in, and the oven does the rest!
What You’ll Need
So what ingredients are needed to make pumpkin dump cake, you ask? My recipe uses a boxed cake mix, real pumpkin puree, and some tasty toppings to create the ultimate pumpkin treat. Here are the details:
- Pumpkin Puree: I use one large can (29 ounces) of pumpkin puree. If you can’t find the large can, substitute two regular sized (15 ounce) cans. Of course, homemade pumpkin puree would also be fine! Don’t use pie filling – it’s different and won’t work in this recipe.
- Evaporated Milk: Whole milk, half and half or even heavy cream will also work.
- Light Brown Sugar: I love how brown sugar adds a homespun, light molasses flavor to the recipe.
- Eggs: A few large, whole eggs bring the mixture together.
- Pumpkin Pie Spice: Pre-mixed, or make your own if you would prefer.
- Cake Mix: I use a Betty Crocker spice cake mix to give this lots of flavor, but you could also use yellow cake mix. If you use a plain yellow cake mix, I recommend adding a little extra pumpkin spice seasoning.
- Pecans: The natural sweetness and soft crunch of pecans is great with pumpkin, but if you want to substitute walnuts, almonds, macadamia nuts, or any other chopped nuts, that’s fine too.
- Melted Butter: Unsalted or unsalted, whichever you prefer.
- Toffee Pieces: These are usually available in the baking aisle. You can definitely omit them and still have a great pumpkin dump cake, though.
- For Serving: An optional garnish of whipped cream or ice cream is the perfect finishing touch.
Okay, so those are the ingredients, and as you can tell, this recipe definitely stacks up taste-wise. So how easy is it, process-wise? Let’s take a closer look!
- Prep the Baking Dish and Preheat the Oven. For starters, you’ll need to preheat the oven to 350°F, and spray a 9×13 inch pan with cooking spray. You could also grease the pan lightly with butter or oil, if you prefer. Set the pan aside while you mix the pumpkin batter.
- Make the Pumpkin Batter and Pour It into the Baking Dish. To make the pumpkin batter, just mix together the pumpkin puree, evaporated milk, brown sugar, eggs, and pumpkin pie spice. Pour this into your greased baking dish.
- Add the Cake Mix, Butter, and Toppings. Next, you will need to sprinkle and spread the cake mix evenly over the pumpkin. Follow this with melted butter, drizzling it evenly over the cake mix. Finally, sprinkle pecans and toffee all over the top.
- Bake the Pumpkin Dump Cake. Move your baking dish to the preheated oven, and let it bake for 50 minutes or so. Check for doneness with a toothpick. The cake is done when it is no longer jiggly in the center, even if the toothpick still has a little bit of pumpkin residue on it (similar to pumpkin pie).
- Cool and Serve. Take the pumpkin dump cake out of the oven, let it cool for 15 minutes or so, and then serve it warm with ice cream or whipped cream.
Tips and Tricks
Time for tips! This recipe is so, so easy, it’s basically foolproof. These helpful tips for success will guarantee that it turns out perfectly, every time.
- Pumpkin vs. Pie Filling: This recipe uses a large can of pumpkin puree, but don’t mistake that for the large cans of pumpkin pie filling. Pumpkin pie filling includes extra ingrediens like sugar, spices, dairy, etc. It would be overwhelming in this recipe – just look for 100% pumpkin instead.
- The Foil Hack: If you check on the cake and it looks like it is browning too much during the baking time, just loosely cover it with foil to protect the top and prevent burning. Finish baking as directed, and remove the foil when you take the cake out of the oven.
- Doneness: Again, when you poke a toothpick in the center to check for doneness, there may be a little residue stuck to it, like with a pumpkin pie. This is expected. The cake is done when it is no longer jiggly in the center, and the toothpick helps you gauge that. You can also shake the pan a little from side to side to see if it jiggles.
There are lots of fun ways to change this recipe up, and I’ve rounded up a few extra-scrumptious variations right here. You’ll want to bake this cake every week – I know I do!
- More Toppings: Toffee bits and pecans are awesome, but why stop there? You could top this with just about anything, and be in culinary heaven. Mini marshmallows, crushed Heath bar instead of the toffee bits (that way you get some chocolate, too), white chocolate chunks, a caramel drizzle… even a crunchy granola topping would be amazing!
- Maple Pumpkin Dump Cake: Replace the brown sugar with pure maple syrup, for an extra dose of fall flavor.
- Sweet Potato Pumpkin Cake: Substitute about half of the pumpkin puree with pureed, canned sweet potatoes (or yams). Yum!
How to Store and Reheat Leftover Pumpkin Dump Cake
- This cake is best served fresh, but leftovers can be covered tightly and stored in the fridge for up to 5 days. I suggest reheating it before serving the leftovers.
- To reheat, just place the desired portion in an ovenproof dish and bake at 350°F until heated through. You can also microwave it, but the texture may not be as good.
Can I Freeze This?
Pumpkin dump cake can definitely be frozen! Just wrap it tightly (or portion it out into small freezer bags), and freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw in the fridge before reheating and serving.
The Best Pumpkin Dump Cake
- Heat the oven to 350°F, and spray a 9×13 inch pan with cooking spray. Set aside.
- Combine the pumpkin puree, evaporated milk, brown sugar, eggs, and pumpkin pie spice together in a mixing bowl. Then pour the pumpkin batter into the prepared baking pan.
- Spread the cake mix evenly over the pumpkin, then pour the butter over the top.
- Sprinkle with pecans and toffee pieces, and place in the oven.
- Bake for 50 – 55 minutes, and then check for doneness with a toothpick. Cake is done when it is no longer jiggly in the center. The toothpick may have a little bit of pumpkin residue, similar to a pumpkin pie, on it. This is normal!)
- Remove the cake and let it cool for 15 minutes.
- Serve warm with whipped cream or ice cream on top.
- Fridge: This cake is best served fresh, but leftovers can be covered tightly and stored in the fridge for up to 5 days. I suggest reheating it before serving the leftovers.
- Reheat: To reheat, just place the desired portion in an ovenproof dish and bake at 350°F until heated through. You can also microwave it, but the texture may not be as good.
More Perfect Pumpkin Recipes
- Pumpkin Dip
- Pumpkin Cream Cheese Swirl Muffins
- Chewy Pumpkin Snickerdoodles
- Best Pumpkin Bars
- Pumpkin Cream Cheese Bread
- Maple Glazed Pumpkin Donuts
- Pumpkin Pie Cheesecake
- Swirled Pumpkin Cheesecake Bars
- Maple Pumpkin Cupcakes
- Easy Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls
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