This Pumpkin Pie Crunch Cake combines a creamy pumpkin base with a crunchy pecan top. Perfect for fall gatherings, this dessert is easy to make with pantry ingredients (no cake mix required!). Prepare it a day ahead for convenience and enjoy a flavorful, festive treat!
If you are a pumpkin pie fan searching for an easy dessert that’s a twist on the classic pumpkin pie, look no further than this pumpkin pie crunch recipe. It is a rich, creamy pumpkin pie filling paired with a crunchy pecan topping that’s baked to golden brown perfection. This pumpkin pie crunch cake will surely be the showstopper at your next Thanksgiving dinner!
Pumpkin desserts, especially ones with pumpkin pie spice, are a quintessential hallmark of the fall season. Their popularity peaks during the holiday season, especially around Thanksgiving. If you’re a fan of pumpkin flavors, you might also enjoy our traditional pumpkin pie recipe or our favorite pumpkin brownies.
- Pumpkin Puree: The base for our pumpkin filling, make sure it’s pure pumpkin and not pie filling.
- Evaporated Milk: Adds creaminess to the pumpkin pie layer.
- Eggs, Vanilla Extract & Sugar: For structure and sweetness.
- Spices: Individual spices like cinnamon, ginger, and cloves bring out those classic fall flavors.
- Topping: A combination of flour, brown sugar, and chopped pecans, drizzled with melted butter, creates that crunchy pecan delight.
Step by Step Instructions
In a large bowl, combine pumpkin puree, evaporated milk, eggs, vanilla extract, sugar, and spices until smooth. Pour the creamy pumpkin pie filling into your prepared baking pan.
Using a medium bowl, mix the flour, sugar, brown sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and chopped pecans.
Sprinkle this mixture on top of the pumpkin layer, ensuring even coverage.
Evenly drizzle the melted butter over the dry mixture.
Bake in your preheated oven for 50-60 minutes or until golden brown.
Allow it to cool to room temperature, then cut into squares and serve with a scoop of ice cream or whipped cream.
Tip: Take this delicious dessert to the next level by drizzling some caramel sauce before serving.
How to Store
Store any leftovers covered with plastic wrap or in an air container in the refrigerator. Properly stored, the cake will keep for up to 3-4 days. When you’re ready to serve, you can enjoy it cold or let it come to room temperature for about 20-30 minutes.
How to Prepare Ahead of Time
Preparing this dessert a day ahead is a great idea, especially if you’re planning for an event or gathering. Once you’ve baked the pumpkin pie crunch cake, let it cool entirely on a wire rack. After it has cooled, cover it tightly with plastic wrap or aluminum foil to preserve its moisture and freshness. Store it in the refrigerator overnight. Before serving the next day, you can take it out of the fridge about 20-30 minutes in advance if you prefer it at room temperature.
- Ensure your butter is completely melted to get the best crunchy topping.
- For best results, allow the cake to cool completely before cutting.
- If you’re not a fan of pecans, walnuts are a great substitute.
- Instead of a scoop of ice cream, try serving with a dollop of heavy cream.
- Always use pure pumpkin, not pumpkin pie filling, for a genuine pumpkin flavor.
Frequently Asked Questions
Absolutely! Pumpkin pie spice is a blend of the spices typically used in pumpkin desserts. If you’re opting for pumpkin pie spice, replace the individual spices with about 2 tsp of pumpkin pie spice. However, always taste and adjust according to your preference.
The perfect indicator is its color and texture. The cake will develop a rich golden brown hue, and when you insert a knife or toothpick into the center, it should come out mostly clean. The crunchy topping will also have set and will produce a light, crisp sound when tapped gently.
The crunchy texture of the topping largely depends on the melted butter being evenly distributed. If there isn’t enough melted butter or if it’s not spread out uniformly, certain parts of the topping can remain dry and won’t achieve that desired crunchiness. Ensure you drizzle the melted butter thoroughly and might consider using a brush to spread it over more challenging areas.
Yes, while pecans provide a delightful texture and flavor to this dessert, you can substitute with other nuts like walnuts or almonds. However, each nut has its unique taste and texture, so it will slightly alter the final flavor profile of the cake.
Evaporated milk is thicker and creamier than regular milk, which contributes to the richness of the pumpkin filling. If you’re in a pinch, you can use half-and-half or a mixture of milk and heavy cream as a substitute. While regular milk can also be used, the filling might be less creamy.
If you make this recipe, take a photo and tag #bakedambrosia on Instagram and Facebook so that I can see your creations and feature them on Instagram! To stay up to date with the latest recipes, follow Baked Ambrosia on Pinterest, Facebook, Instagram, and Youtube. ♡
Pumpkin Pie Crunch
- 9×13-inch baking pan
- 15 oz pumpkin puree
- 12 oz evaporated milk
- 3 eggs room temperature
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp ground ginger
- 1/4 tsp ground cloves
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 cup sugar
- 3/4 cup brown sugar
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 cup pecans chopped
- 1 cup butter melted
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 9×13 baking dish.
- In a large bowl, whisk together pumpkin puree, evaporated milk, eggs, vanilla extract, sugar, spices, and salt until smooth. Pour into the prepared baking dish.
- In a separate bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, brown sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and pecans. Sprinkle evenly over the pumpkin mixture, covering it completely.
- Drizzle the melted butter evenly over the flour mixture.
- Bake for 50-60 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow it to cool completely. Cut into squares to serve. Serve with vanilla ice cream.