Pumpkin Pie Crunch

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Pumpkin Pie Crunch-a perfect balance between pumpkin and my favorite sweet potato soufflé topping!

Pumpkin Pie Crunch-a perfect balance between pumpkin and my favorite sweet potato soufflé topping!

It’s no secret that I’m not a pumpkin fan. But it’s pumpkin season so I have to make a few treats that involve pumpkin. I have to, it’s peer pressure in it’s worst form.

Everyone else is doing it. Cookies, cakes, breads, main dishes. Pumpkin is everywhere!

I can’t be the one outcast, just because I don’t like pumpkin.

Pumpkin Pie Crunch-a perfect balance between pumpkin and my favorite sweet potato soufflé topping!

It can’t always be about me, can it?

Haha, sorry, when it comes to what we eat in my house, it is all about me. If momma doesn’t like it, the odds of it getting made are slim and none. I mean think about it. How can you taste test something for seasoning if you don’t like the base taste to begin with?

What about made with love? Nope, sorry kids, this dish was made with distaste and dislike (really I mean hate but I hate using the hate word.)

Pumpkin Pie Crunch-a perfect balance between pumpkin and my favorite sweet potato soufflé topping!

Yeah, not liking something will reflect in the recipe.

Now to be fair to pumpkin. It’s not dislike (certainly not hate.)  It’s just not love. Pumpkin is OK. If one of my children made a pumpkin anything, I’d eat every bite and ask for seconds. But only for my kids.

So I had to put the word out to friends. I needed taste testers. I put it out on my personal facebook. All my out of town friends were more than willing to try treats for me. Even willing to pay for shipping. I needed locals. Taste testers need to have same day fresh samples to try. I think all my foodie friends scared off all the “normal” people from commenting.

I finally posted a photo and one local posted “looks yummy.” Within seconds, I was out the door with samples, dropping them off and saying, please be honest.

Pumpkin Pie Crunch-a perfect balance between pumpkin and my favorite sweet potato soufflé topping!

Later that night I got a FB message “a perfect balance between pumpkin and my favorite sweet potato soufflé topping” and an “awesome” from her grandson, high praise indeed!

The next day, I dropped off samples to my accountant who took it home to her husband and son. The verdict? Next time they want the whole pan.

Then I finally tried it, OMG! I won’t lie to you, I only ate about half a slice but the topping, and the pumpkin, it was so good!

Pumpkin Pie Crunch-a perfect balance between pumpkin and my favorite sweet potato soufflé topping!

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Pumpkin Pie Crunch

Pumpkin Pie Crunch


  • 16 ounces canned pumpkin
  • 12 ounces evaporated milk (not sweetened condensed milk)
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 box yellow cake mix
  • 1 cup butter, melted
  • 1 cup chopped pecans


  1. Lightly grease a 9 x 13 pan, set aside.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, combine pumpkin, milk, eggs, sugar, salt and pumpkin pie spice until smooth.
  3. Spoon evenly over bottom of pan.
  4. Sprinkle cake mix over pumpkin layer, then pecans. Pour melted butter over top of cake mix/pecans.
  5. Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for 50-55 minutes, until top is golden brown.
  6. Let cool completely before serving.



Pumpkin Pie Crunch-a perfect balance between pumpkin and my favorite sweet potato soufflé topping!


Need more pumpkin love?


Pumpkin Spice White Chocolate Pudding Cookies

Pumpkin Spiced White Hot Chocolate

Pumpkin Spice White Hot Chocolate

Chocolate Pumpkin Spice Cake

Chocolate Pumpkin Spice Cake


Pumpkin Spice White Trash

Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Cookies from Roxana’s Home Baking

Crumbly Pumpkin Bread from Damn Delicious

Pumpkin Pie Crunch-a perfect balance between pumpkin and my favorite sweet potato soufflé topping!

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About Joan Hayes

Mom to 3 teens, sweets and travel are her passions. Joan really does love her chocolate. She has a secret stash she hides from the kids and she has at least one bite of something chocolatey every day. She creates easy recipes any skill level can achieve to satisfy the sweet tooth in everyone!


  1. I know how you feel about hopping on the pumpkin bandwagon. I have yet to do so myself! These look great though. I definitely want to try this recipe :).

  2. I’ll take a whole pan too please! Looks great!

  3. I really like this take on pumpkin pie!

  4. What kind of cake mix do you use? Does it matter if it has pudding in the mix or butter recipe?

    • Darlene, the brand doesn’t matter and it’s fine if it’s the pudding in the mix type or the butter type. I use either Duncan Hines or Pillsbury usually.

  5. I still think you could have shipped this to me without a problem. Looks amazing and my coworker was just reading over my shoulder asking if I can make this for a “thanksgiving present” – you win.

  6. That topping is definitely worth talking about! I am sorry you don’t care for pumpkin, but I empathize…I don’t like bananas, so I get it when it comes to the tasting thing.

  7. Sometimes peer pressure is a good thing! Looks like a little bit of pumpkin heaven there!

  8. Lise Beaudriault says:

    Your recipe looks delicious and I would prepare it as soon as I get an answer from you. Do you just drop the cake mix over the layer of pumkpin without prepare it ( dry) or you follow the box’s recipe for the cake and than drop it over the first layer. Thank you for your answer and for sharing that recipe with us. Lise

  9. Lisa Cecil says:

    Wow, this is amazing!!! So easy n delicious! I will be making this over n over!

  10. This looks great, but I love PUMPKIN! Glad you finally found some testers 🙂

  11. Lol, Joan, I love that you dislike pumpkin so much but were still a trooper in making a pumpkin dish. This looks incredible – I can totally see why your testers went crazy over it. Pinning so that I can try this myself.

  12. Cindy Stevens says:

    I love pumpkin! Will be making this very soon! 🙂 Did you use parchment paper like in the photo or just follow directions as shown? Would love to take these to my former fellow employees next week. I just retired and need to go ‘visit”! Thank You!!!

    • Cindy, the first time I made this, I lined my pan with parchment but found it works better without lining the pan. You’ll be a welcome sight for your coworkers! Enjoy!

  13. Oh Joan, I would be all over this! I am one of the hard core pumpkin lovers!

  14. Joan, these look so good! I’m way behind on reading and I’ve been working my way back to the beginning of where I fell off I’m so glad I have made it here – I can make this. Love a good cake mix recipe!

  15. Joan, I wish I lived closer so I could be one of your pumpkin taste testers. That’s a job I’d love to have!! Recipe is pinned and I’m sure I’ll be making this soon. I’m in love with the topping.

  16. Sharon Armstrong says:

    I am a pumpkin dis-liker ( hater ) too! being the ‘go to cook’ for everything under the sun- I too was peer pressured into jumping on the pumpkin treat band wagon…I pull a sneaky trick on my friends and family though- I use butter cup ( not butter NUT ) squash instead of pumpkin- it looks exactly the same- and is interchangeable in any pumpkin dish- but doesn’t have that nasty pumpkin after taste…no one has ever figured it out- only that every pumpkin dish I make taste sooo good- the best they’ve ever had!! I throw the whole squash in the oven and cook at 350 for about 45 mins- cut in half, seed and scoop..it freezes well too 🙂

  17. Sharon Armstrong says:

    Just made this tonight for the folks at work- I had to use pumpkin ( instead of the butter nut squash ) because some one else was providing the ingredients… IT IS AWESOME!!!! I cant stop eating it!!!!! Will definitely be making this again!

  18. I made this for my family over the weekend & it was polished off before I could clean the pan! Yum!! Do you happen to have the nutrition content? Thanks so much!!

    • Hi Rachel, so glad your family enjoyed it! Since I don’t do “healthy food” I don’t track the nutrition stats. There are several Online sights that you can plug in the ingredients to get the info.

  19. I used a spice cake mix, was really good. Should I refrigerate leftovers?

  20. I made this today for my father-in-law’s birthday. He loves pumpkin anything. The rest of us are more like you….don’t hate it, but definitely don’t love it either. Well, we ALL really liked this pumpkin crunch cake! Definitely the best way to eat pumpkin!
    The recipe says 16 oz. can of pumpkin, but I only saw 15 oz. cans at the store….either 15 or 29. So I just used a 15 oz. can and it was just fine. I can’t imagine 1 oz. out of 16 would be that big of a deal anyway.
    I baked it for 50 minutes and some of the pecans were starting to burn….guess I should’ve watched it more closely.
    It says to let it cool completely before serving. I took it out of the oven at 3:00 and it was still warm at 6:30…..just so anybody who’s in a rush knows how long this thing takes to cool. It tasted great warm though.
    I’m just assuming it needs to be refrigerated. I didn’t see anything about that.
    Thanks for the recipe! This pumpkin-indifferent family sure loves your crunch cake!

  21. It’s in the oven at the moment ,wish me luck !

  22. I plan on making this the day before serving it on Thanksgiving. Should I refrigerate it overnight? Can’t wait to try it! Thanks!

  23. I am planning to make this for thanksgiving but am traveling for five hours to my in laws. How would you transport this cake and will it be ok? Thanks

  24. Can Thisbe made THE NIGHT BEOFRE. How would I store and will it still taste as good as it loms. Help:)

  25. I don’t like nuts. Can this be made eliminating the nuts?

  26. Thank you for posting made this twice this week and both times have been a huge hit with everyone. My husband says I’m more than welcome to make it anytime

  27. i use this topping for desserts i call crunches. Blueberries and pineapple with this topping make for a delicious alternative to cobbler. I change things up a bit for different fillings such as adding cinnamon for apples I always add brown sugar to my cake mixand pecan mixture before i pour my butter over the top.

  28. This is just like a traditional “dump cake” but instead of fruit pie filling you use the pumpkin. It is awesome!! I’ve made it many times and as you noted people who don’t like pumpkin like this. I don’t use as much pumpkin pie spice as it calls for because I think it overpowers the dish a little but that may just be me. I also like it best warm with whipped cream or ice cream on top!!!!

  29. I just pulled this out of the oven but I only had walnuts so I used those. Hope it turns out just as good, they look fabulous and they were SO easy! For the record I feel the exact same way about pumpkin as you but lately have been liking things with pumpkin in them rather than a hunk of pumpkin pie – too pumpkin-y!! My husband loves anything and everything pumpkin, so I try for his sake. This should be just right, thanks for coming up with it!

  30. Trying this for the first time now and plan to bring to a pre-Thanksgiving dinner tonight with friends! Will plan to add some oats and brown sugar to the cake mix…will let you know how it goes!
    Thank you for this alternative way to celebrate pumpkin! 😀

  31. Have you tried using other flavors of cake mix like chocolate?

  32. Mary Morris says:

    This sounds like a tasty recipe. I want to try it. But first i need to know if you used the pumpkin pie filling or the plain pumpkin in a can?

  33. Tena McCormick says:

    I have been making this for a couple of years now and have found that most prefer this over pumpkin pie. Also those that don’t care for pumpkin pie like this. Personal preference, I use a spice cake mix. It is a great recipe and the best part is that it’s quick and easy!

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