Sweet, comforting, and surprisingly simple, this pumpkin dump cake is the best fall dessert you’ll ever make.
It’s tender, spiced, and totally scrumptious.
Between the insanely moist cake and the crumbly, buttery outer crust with toffee bits and chopped pecans, this dump cake is a thing of beauty.
It comes together in a snap and is best served warm and slightly gooey.
I like it with vanilla custard drizzled over the top. But ice cream makes such a nice contrast too!
One bite of this pumpkin dump cake, and you’ll be so overwhelmed with deliciousness you might just forget your name!
Best Ever Pumpkin Dump Cake Recipe
I’m not exaggerating when I say this pumpkin dump cake is outrageously easy to make.
Whether you’re a newbie in the kitchen or a busy bee with little free time, this recipe is for you.
It requires the most basic pantry ingredients and comes together in minutes. In fact, it’ll be on your table in under an hour.
That said, it tastes like you spent hours making it.
What Is A Dump Cake?
A dump cake is a simple dessert made by dumping ingredients into a greased baking dish. They’re usually added in a specific order, not stirred, and then everything is baked until the cake is golden. They can be made easily with boxed cake mixes and fruit pie filling.
So, while it’s still technically a cake, you don’t have to make an actual cake batter to pull it off. That said, some recipes are easier than others.
You do need to mix the pumpkin puree with a few ingredients for this, but that’ll only take a few minutes.
Then, sprinkle the cake mix on top, and it’s ready for the oven.
- Pumpkin Puree – To be clear, you’ll need pumpkin puree here, not pumpkin pie filling. The latter is already flavored with sugars and spices, and it can be difficult to find the right balance.
- Evaporated Milk – For saturating the pumpkin and giving the cake a richer, creamier flavor.
- Eggs – For binding the ingredients together, giving the cake its form. However, since this cake doesn’t need a lot of rise, you could add mashed bananas or another egg replacement if you prefer. It’ll just be dense in the end.
- White and Brown Sugar – You’ll want the pumpkin sweet, but not too sweet. White sugar brings sweetness and helps with the structure of the cake, while brown sugar brings moisture and a deeper flavor.
- Pumpkin Pie Spice – This enhances the flavors and makes this the best fall dessert. If you don’t have pumpkin pie spice, use a mix of cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, and allspice.
- Yellow Cake Mix – The secret ingredient that makes this recipe embarrassingly easy. You don’t even need to make a batter out of it – just dump it on top of the pumpkin mixture, and that’s it.
- Also, feel free to use another flavor of cake mix. I like spiced cake, and I’ve even tried it with banana which was super tasty.
- Butter – the key to an incredibly rich and buttery cake.
- Chopped Pecans – For added crunch and flavor. If you’re not a fan of pecans, use a different kind of nut or go nut-free.
- To really enhance that nutty flavor, toast the nuts in the oven for about 10 minutes, then leave them to cool.
- Toffee Bits – Another element of sweetness and crunch. These are technically optional, but I think they make the cake extra special.
- Vanilla Ice Cream – This, too, is technically optional, but let’s be honest: when it comes to fall cakes, ice cream topping is a must.
How To Make Pumpkin Dump Cake
This is one of the easiest cakes you’ll ever make. So, if you like simple desserts that are also crowd-pleasers, be sure to bookmark this recipe!
1. Mix everything but the cake mix and toppings in a bowl.
Whisk together the pumpkin puree, milk, eggs, sugars, and spices. Be sure it’s smooth and well-blended.
Pour the mixture into a greased baking dish.
2. Top with the remaining ingredients.
Sprinkle the cake mix on top, followed by the melted butter, then the nuts and toffee bits.
3. Bake the cake.
Pop the baking dish in the oven and bake until the cake is no longer wobbly in the middle.
Let the cake cool completely to help it set, and serve it with vanilla or butter pecan ice cream. Enjoy!
Tips for the Best Pumpkin Dump Cake
- Get an oven thermometer to check how hot your oven runs. If you set it to 350°F, but it’s really running at 380°F, the cake will burn before it’s baked.
- Also, pay close attention during the last 20 minutes of baking. Cover the dish loosely with foil if you notice the cake browning too quickly.
- To test for doneness, give the dish a jiggle. The middle should be set and no longer wobbly.
- Be sure to use the correct size baking dish. If you use a smaller dish, the cake will be thicker and need longer in the oven.
Variations and Substitutions
Recipes like this are meant to be used as a guide. So have fun mixing things up to make this cake your own!
- Experiment with other cake mixes. Spiced cake, carrot cake, butter pecan cake, and even chocolate cake would work well with pumpkin.
- Switch up or add more toppings. Why stop with toffee bits and pecans when you can throw on mini marshmallows, crushed candy, chocolate chips, or caramel sauce?
- Use maple syrup instead of brown sugar to give your cake a nice maple flavor. Or try a sugar substitute if you like.
- Swap half of the pumpkin puree with sweet potato or yam puree to make sweet potato pumpkin cake. Sweet potatoes are way easier to work with, and they’re more readily available too!
- Add a splash of vanilla and almond extract to boost the flavor. Or go for a glug of rum or bourbon!
- Aside from pecans, you can also opt for other nuts, such as walnuts or almonds. Or try adding some almond butter to the egg mixture.
- Toppings – here’s where you can go crazy! Heavy cream is great, but ice cream is greater, especially if you serve the cake warm.
How to Store Pumpkin Dump Cake
Cover the cake well with plastic wrap or store it in an airtight container. It’ll keep well in the fridge for 2 to 5 days.
While this cake tastes terrific when chilled, it’s much better served warm. Microwave the chilled cake at 20-second intervals until warm.
Double-wrap the cake with plastic wrap and foil. Alternatively, you can slice the cake into smaller portions and place them in freezer-safe containers.
Freeze for up to 3 months.
Let the cake thaw in the fridge overnight. Serve chilled or reheat in the microwave at 20-second intervals.
For larger portions, place the cake in an oven-safe dish and bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 15 minutes or until warmed through.
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