Sweet, comforting, and surprisingly simple, this pumpkin dump cake is one of the best fall desserts you’ll ever make.
It’s tender, spiced, and totally scrumptious.
What do you get when you combine moist cake with a crumbly, buttery crust, toffee bits, and chopped pecans?
One of the best dump cakes around!
It comes together in a snap and is best served warm and slightly gooey.
And after just one bite, you’ll be so overwhelmed with deliciousness you might just forget your name.
You Will Love This Pumpkin Dump Cake Recipe
I’m not exaggerating when I say this pumpkin dump cake is outrageously easy to make.
So 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 staples, and it’ll be on your table in under an hour.
Better yet, it’s one of those fun fall recipes everyone adores. So be sure to make extra!
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 layer is golden.
Many recipes, like peach dump cake, simply call for canned fruit or pie filling with dry cake mix and butter.
But this one needs a few more ingredients than just canned pumpkin puree.
It’s still technically a fudgy pumpkin cake, but I’ve heard people call it pumpkin cobbler or even deconstructed pumpkin pie.
Whatever you call it, it’s insanely good.
As mentioned, this pumpkin dump cake with yellow cake mix calls for mostly pantry staples.
That said, if you’re baking in the summer, you might not have any pumpkin puree on hand.
Luckily, it’s available year-round!
- Pumpkin Puree – You need canned pumpkin puree, 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, giving the cake its form.
- White and Brown Sugar – 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.
- 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.
- 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 cake recipes, 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!
- Melt the butter. Set it aside to cool.
- Mix the filling ingredients. Just whisk them by hand until smooth.
- Add the dry cake mix. Sprinkle it evenly over the top, ensuring the whole surface is covered.
- Drizzle the butter over the top. Start around the edges, then try to get it as even as possible.
- Add the nuts and toffee bits. Again, sprinkle them over the top as evenly as you can.
- Bake the cake. Oven temps vary, but you want it to no longer be 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
Dump cake recipes are popular because they require little to no effort. You literally just dump everything in the dish and let the oven do the work.
Having said that, I do have some tips and tricks to ensure your dump cake comes out perfectly.
- Get an oven thermometer. Even if your oven is new, you want to know how hot your oven runs. For example, if you set it to 350°F, but it’s really running at 380°F, the cake will burn before it’s baked.
- Pay close attention during the last 20 minutes of baking. Cover the dish loosely with foil if you notice the cake browning too quickly.
- Use the correct size baking dish. This recipe calls for a 9×13-inch dish. If you use a smaller dish, the cake will be thicker and need longer in the oven.
- Worried about dry cake mix? It won’t be a dump cake anymore, but you could mix the butter and cake mix in a bowl before adding it to the dish. This will make it more streusel-like once it’s baked.
- Add the butter in thin slices. I find melting the butter easier, but you can also slice the butter and layer it over the top for similar results.
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. This will 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. 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!
- Try other nuts, like 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
To Store: 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.
To Freeze: 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.
To Reheat: 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.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is pumpkin dump cake supposed to be gooey?
Yes, pumpkin dump cake should be gooey on the bottom. It’s called a pumpkin cake, but it’s more like pumpkin pie with a cake mix crust.
Why don’t you mix dump cakes?
If you combine the dry cake mix with the filling, you won’t get that cobbler-like finish with layers.
Instead, the filling should moisten the underside of the cake mix, and the butter should moisten the top. That’s how it gets crispy and crumbly.
Why is my dump cake powdery?
You might see pockets of powder if the butter isn’t evenly spread over the top. That’s why I suggest melting the butter and starting with the edges.
When the cake comes out, if you see any dry spots, simply spoon some of the juices from the sides over the top.
Can I use pumpkin pie filling instead of canned pumpkin?
You can, but you’ll need to reduce the amount of sugar and spice in the recipe.
More Easy Pumpkin Recipes You’ll Love
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