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Grab some canned pumpkin and a box of yellow cake mix and you’ll magically have a pumpkin dump cake with streusel topping ready for the oven in about 10 minutes! The perfect cross between a pumpkin pie, a cake, and a crisp, this easy dessert recipe is a fall favorite.

Side shot of a slice of pumpkin dump cake on a blue and white plate
Table of Contents
  1. Why You’ll Love this Pumpkin Dump Cake with Streusel Topping
  2. What’s a Dump Cake?
  3. Ingredients for Canned Pumpkin Dump Cake
  4. How to Make Pumpkin Dump Cake
  5. Storage Tips
  6. Tips for the Best Pumpkin Dump Cake Recipe
  7. Pumpkin Dump Cake Recipe

Looking for even more recipes with pumpkin? Try this one-bowl pumpkin bread, these 2-ingredient pumpkin muffins, and a pot of this pumpkin chili, too!

Why You’ll Love this Pumpkin Dump Cake with Streusel Topping

It doesn’t get much easier or more delicious than a pumpkin dump cake! There’s no need for a mixer and no fancy pie crust to contend with. Instead, you get the flavor and texture of a pumpkin pie combined with a rich, buttery pecan streusel topping. It’s the best of all worlds!

What’s a Dump Cake?

If you’re not familiar with “dump cakes,” then get on board! These easy dessert recipes only require about 5-10 minutes of hands-on prep time, while the oven does the rest of the work. There are minimal dishes necessary, with maximum flavor in the end!

It’s got a funny name, so let’s first explain what I mean by “dump cake.” While it starts with a box of yellow cake mix, this dessert is really more like a pumpkin pie with cake mix on top or a pumpkin crisp, because the cake mix and nuts form a buttery crumb topping over the pumpkin pie filling.

The name of the dessert probably gives it away, but basically you are just dumping the ingredients into a cake pan and baking them together in the oven. That’s it! 

Fork digging into a piece of pumpkin dump cake

Ingredients for Canned Pumpkin Dump Cake

This is just a quick overview of the ingredients that you’ll need for a pumpkin dump cake. As always, specific measurements and step-by-step instructions are included in the printable recipe box at the bottom of the post.

  • Pumpkin purée: just a can of plain, unsweetened pumpkin — not a can of pumpkin pie filling mix.
  • Brown sugar: sweetens the filling.
  • Eggs: give the cake structure.
  • Whole milk, half-and-half or heavy cream: do not substitute with a lower-fat alternative, as the fat in the liquid helps create a rich, custard-like filling.
  • Cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, allspice, cloves: warm spices that pair perfectly with the pumpkin.
  • Salt: balances the sweetness and enhances the flavor of the other ingredients.
  • Box of yellow cake mix: do not prepare the cake mix according to package directions — just use the dry mix as instructed.
  • Pecans: for rich, nutty crunch in the streusel topping.
  • Butter: adds flavor and moisture to the streusel topping.
Whisking together filling for pumpkin dump cake

The Best Pumpkin to Use

Make sure that you’re using canned pumpkin purée in this recipe — not canned pumpkin pie filling. The puree is just 100% pure pumpkin, while the pie filling has added sweeteners and spices that you don’t need for this dish. If you like, you can substitute with about 3½ cups of homemade pumpkin puree.

Pats of butter on top of dump cake

How to Make Pumpkin Dump Cake

This easy pumpkin cake comes together in about 10 minutes! I’ve included detailed directions in the recipe card below, but here’s the quick version:

  • Whisk together the pumpkin, brown sugar, eggs, milk, spices, and salt. This is the “pumpkin pie filling” for your dump cake.
  • Pour the mixture into a greased baking dish.
  • Sprinkle the dry cake mix and the chopped pecans over top.
  • Slice the butter into very thin squares and arrange the butter all over the top of the cake mix.
  • Bake for 50-60 minutes, or until the pumpkin filling is set and the topping is golden brown.
  • Slice the cake into squares and serve warm or at room temperature. Top with whipped cream or vanilla ice cream and enjoy!
Close up shot of a slice of pumpkin dump cake on a spatula

Storage Tips

Serve the cake warm, or allow to cool before slicing and serving. Leftover dump cake should be covered and stored in the refrigerator. The cake will keep for up to 3 days. Alternatively, you can freeze the cake for up to 3 months. Thaw in the refrigerator overnight.

You can reheat individual slices of cake in the microwave for 15-30 seconds, or just until warmed through.

How to make Pumpkin Dump Cake in the Slow Cooker

If you prefer to use a Crock Pot to “bake” your cake, follow the same instructions but cook the cake on HIGH for 3 ½ – 4 hours. Since the lid of a Crock Pot causes condensation to drop back down onto the cake, I recommend placing a few layers of paper towels just under the lid in order to absorb that additional liquid.

Tips for the Best Pumpkin Dump Cake Recipe

  • Substitutions for yellow cake mix: if you don’t have a box of yellow cake mix, try using white cake mix or spice cake mix.
  • Use whole milk, half-and-half or heavy cream. I do not recommend substituting with a fat-free or low-fat milk, because the fat in the dairy helps to make the rich pumpkin custard.
  • Pecans are optional. You can omit the nuts altogether, decrease to just ¼ cup (I often do this to appease my kids!), or use different nuts such as walnuts or almonds.
  • Cool to slice. You can serve the dump cake warm, straight from the oven; however, I find that it’s easiest to slice the cake into neat squares if you allow the cake to cool for at least 1 hour.
  • Add a creamy topping. Don’t forget the whipped cream or vanilla ice cream on top! It’s the perfect finishing touch. Try a drizzle of caramel sauce, too.
Front shot of a piece of pumpkin dump cake with a bite taken out of it

More Pumpkin Dessert Recipes to Try

Square shot of a slice of pumpkin dump cake on a blue and white plate.

Pumpkin Dump Cake

5 from 1 vote
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 55 minutes
0 minutes
Total: 1 hour 5 minutes
Servings 16 slices
Calories 305 kcal
Grab some canned pumpkin and a box of yellow cake mix and you'll magically have a pumpkin dump cake with streusel topping ready for the oven in about 10 minutes!

Ingredients
  

  • 2 (15 ounce) cans pumpkin purée (about 3 ½ cups total)
  • 1 cup light brown sugar
  • 4 large eggs
  • 2 cups whole milk, half-and-half, or heavy cream
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • ½ teaspoon ground allspice
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1 (15.25 ounce) box yellow cake mix
  • ½ cup chopped pecans
  • ¾ cup butter, sliced into very thin squares
  • Optional, for serving: whipped cream or vanilla ice cream; caramel sauce; dash of cinnamon

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350°F. Spray a 9 x 13-inch baking dish with cooking spray and set aside. In a large bowl, whisk together pumpkin, brown sugar, eggs, milk, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, allspice, salt, and cloves until completely combined. Pour into the prepared pan.
    Whisking together filling for pumpkin dump cake
  • Sprinkle dry cake mix and pecans over top. Add thinly-sliced butter to cover the top.
    Pats of butter on top of dump cake
  • Bake for 50-60 minutes, or until the pumpkin filling is set and the topping is golden brown.
    Close up shot of a slice of pumpkin dump cake on a spatula

Notes

  • Substitutions for yellow cake mix: if you don’t have a box of yellow cake mix, try using white cake mix or spice cake mix.
  • Use whole milk, half-and-half or heavy cream. I do not recommend substituting with a fat-free or low-fat milk, because the fat in the dairy helps to make the rich pumpkin custard.
  • Pecans are optional. You can omit the nuts altogether, decrease to just ¼ cup (I often do this to appease my kids!), or use different nuts such as walnuts or almonds.
  • Cool to slice. You can serve the dump cake warm, straight from the oven; however, I find that it’s easiest to slice the cake into neat squares if you allow the cake to cool for at least 1 hour.
  • Add a creamy topping. Don’t forget the whipped cream or vanilla ice cream on top! It’s the perfect finishing touch. Try a drizzle of caramel sauce, too.

Nutrition

Serving: 1sliceCalories: 305kcalCarbohydrates: 42gProtein: 4gFat: 14gSaturated Fat: 7gCholesterol: 67mgSodium: 381mgPotassium: 212mgFiber: 2gSugar: 29gVitamin A: 8647IUVitamin C: 2mgCalcium: 130mgIron: 2mg
Keyword: pumpkin dump cake
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Author: Blair Lonergan
blair

Hey, I’m Blair!

Welcome to my farmhouse kitchen in the foothills of Virginia’s Blue Ridge Mountains. Inspired by local traditions and seasonal fare, you’ll find plenty of easy, comforting recipes that bring your family together around the table. It’s down-home, country-style cooking!

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Comments

  1. Roseanne G. says:

    Your pumpkin dump cake looks delicious…just in time for the cold weather. Can’t wait to make it. Roseanne

    1. Blair says:

      Thanks, Roseanne! I hope you love it. Happy fall! 🙂

  2. Dennis Proietti says:

    Could I use chocolate cake?

    1. Blair says:

      Absolutely! That would be great!

  3. Janis Neill says:

    Can’t wait to make it today! Thanks for the receipe.

    1. Blair says:

      Enjoy, Janis! 🙂

  4. Linda Avent says:

    Getting ready to make this but, I have a question. Could I mix cold butter with the cake mix working it to incorporate more evenly into pea size then sprinkle on pumpkin mixture. I would think it would be better rather than placing sqares of butter all over the top. I do it this way with other dump cake/cobbler recipes.

    1. Blair says:

      Hi, Linda! I think that would probably work fine! Enjoy the cake! 🙂

      1. Brittany says:

        5 stars
        Hello got a question, If all I have is 2 cans of pumpkin pie filling, instead of puree, how could I use it instead? Plus it looks like it wouldn’t have to purchase extra spices I don’t have in my pantry atm.

        1. The Seasoned Mom says:

          Hi Brittany,
          Pumpkin puree works best. However, if you want to use pre-made pumpkin pie filling, we recommend omitting the spices and adjusting the sugar to taste. Then, just follow the instructions as they’re listed.

  5. Renee Cunningham says:

    Can I use butter flavored cake mix instead of just yellow cake mix? I only have butter flavored on hand

    1. The Seasoned Mom says:

      We recommend using white cake mix or spice cake mix instead to avoid an overly rich cake, but you could definitely try it!