It really doesn’t get any easy (or tastier!) than this Pumpkin Dump Cake!  The two main ingredients are pumpkin and cake mix.  Mix up a can of pumpkin pie mix with a few simple ingredients, then “dump” a dry yellow cake mix on top. Drizzle with butter and bake! Voila! If you are not into pumpkin pie, this will be your new favorite fall tradition! Originally posted November 1, 2019.

slice of pumpkin dump cake with ice cream and caramel sauce on top

I was sitting in the living room working on something and kept hearing the Kitchenaid mixer turn on. Anytime the mixer turns on, that means something delicious is about to happen, right??

I went to investigate, only to find that Eric was taking a video of the mixer turned on, with nothing in it. The video was because we’re trying to sell it on Craigslist and someone wanted to see it operating. He had to take multiple videos because he deleted all the ones with me yelling from the other room, What are you making me!!!!

slice of pumpkin pie dump cake drizzled with caramel

Eric bought me a new Kitchenaid for my birthday, and it is awesome. It works exactly the same as the one we already had, but it is copper and looks amazing in our kitchen. I know, stupid reason to get a whole new machine (I can FEEL my frugal parents cringing) but it really changes the look of our kitchen, and wouldn’t you rather see gorgeous copper in the background of my blog photos than plum purple? See, I knew you were on my side.

slice of pumpkin and cake mix cake on top of fork

What is Pumpkin Pie Dump Cake?

Last week my friend Amelia threw a Witches Night Out Halloween party, girls only. It was SO fun and she fed us amazing food. Dessert was something she called “Pumpkin Dessert” and it was served in individual mini mason jars. I asked her what it was and she said a can of pumpkin mixed up how it says on the can, then you “dump” a dry cake mix on top and drizzle with melted butter. I LOVE cake mix recipes like this, the topping is unbelievable!

Amelia grew up eating this pumpkin dump cake. It’s in her family’s recipe file.

(That file is also where I got her apple crisp, which I have deemed “Apple Crisp, with a Ridiculous Amount of Streusel.” Her family knows where it’s at when it comes to dessert! One time Amelia was going camping with a friend, and Amelia said, ‘Look up a crisp recipe, I’ll bring the apples, you bring the topping.’ So her friend finds a recipe that looks good and reads on the post that it’s from the food blogger’s friend “Amelia.” She had found Amelia’s own family recipe on my blog. So funny, right?)

slice of pumpkin pie cake with yellow cake mix topped with ice cream and drizzled with caramel sauce

Well, I went home and made it the very next day. It was good but it could have been better, so I tried a couple more times to get it just right. (I found out later that I totally misunderstood Amelia’s instructions. Oops!)

Pumpkin Dump Cake Ingredients

Here’s what to get at the store. Quantities given in the recipe below!

For the pumpkin layer

  • 30 oz pumpkin pie MIX (NOT puree).* See below for substitution ideas!
  • Large eggs
  • Heavy cream. This is found in the refrigerated section of the grocery store near the milk. Or, instead, you can use evaporated milk, which is found in a can on the baking aisle.
  • Granulated sugar
  • Kosher salt. Better than regular salt, I swear! If you use regular salt, use less. For this recipe, use ½ teaspoon table salt instead of ¾ teaspoon kosher salt.
  • Pumpkin pie spice

For the top

  • 1 box yellow cake mix. Add it to the recipe dry, not prepared.
  • All purpose flour
  • Sugar
  • Pecans, chopped (Optional)
  • Butter. Salted butter is what I use. Add ¼ teaspoon of salt to the recipe if you are using unsalted butter.
  • Vanilla ice cream or whipped cream for serving
  • Salted caramel sauce, for serving
Freshly baked 9x13 inch pan of easy pumpkin dump cake recipe

*What is the difference between Pumpkin Pie Mix and Pumpkin Puree? Which one is used for this recipe?

Pumpkin Pie Mix is a can of pumpkin puree with spices and sugar inside, and that’s what we’re using today, folks. If you can’t find pumpkin mix and all you have is 29 ounce can of 100% pumpkin puree, you can still make this no prob. Increase pumpkin pie spice to 2 tablespoons for the pumpkin layer & increase the sugar in the filling to 1 and 3/4 cup sugar (instead of 2/3 cup). This info is in the recipe notes!

Can I use a different flavor cake mix for this recipe?

Go for it! Tell me how you like it. White cake would be fine, or maybe even spice cake?? I recommend avoiding chocolate flavors, but what do I know? You do you!

How to make Pumpkin Pie Cake with yellow cake mix

Before we drill into details, here’s a quick overview of the steps, which are also listed in the recipe.

  1. Mix pumpkin pie mix, 3 eggs, 1 cup cream, 2/3 cup sugar, 3/4 teaspoon salt, and 1 and 1/2 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice until the eggs are well incorporated.
  2. Pour the mixture into a greased 9×13 inch pan. 
  3. Dump your box of yellow cake mix into a bowl. 
  4. Add 1/2 cup flour, 1/4 cup sugar, and 1 cup chopped pecans. Whisk.
  5. Sprinkle this dry mixture over the top of the pumpkin in the pan. 
  6. Top with an additional 1/2 cup chopped pecans if you want. 
  7. Slowly pour 1 cup melted butter over the top of the dry cake mix. See photos. It’s okay if some of the cake mix is still dry. 
  8. Bake at 350 for about 60 minutes, or even up to 70 minutes. 
how to make pumpkin dump cake pumpkin dump cake recipe showing cans of pumpkin mix, butter, and eggs next to cake batter

Most versions of this cake (the recipe is everywhere) call for 100% pumpkin in the filling. I like to start with a can of pumpkin pie MIX. The kind that already has some sugar and spice in it. We’re adding even more pumpkin pie spice and a bit more sugar. I didn’t call it cake for nothing guys.

how to make pumpkin dump cake showing crumbled pecans in a glass bowl next to flour sprinkled over pumpkin dump cake batter

You can totally just dump the cake mix straight from the box if you want, but I prefer to mix in a bit of extra flour and sugar. Remember when cake mixes used to be over 18 ounces? Now you can only find 15.25 ounces usually. The extra flour and sugar makes up the difference, and makes this dump cake a little more substantial, the way the recipe was back in the day when dump cakes first became a thing.

The pecans are totally optional. I tried it with and without, it’s great both ways! You do you.

butter poured over dry yellow cake mix showing how to make pumpkin dump cake

Dump all that butter on top, yes the full 2 sticks. If you’ve never made a dump cake before, this is the part where you’re like, THIS IS GOING TO END BADLY, but trust me, it all works out!

Overhead shot of sliced pumpkin dump cake

The butter melts into all that dry cake mix and turns into a cobbler-like topping. It does not taste like a baked up yellow cake. It is buttery and a little bit crunchy in some spots. So on the bottom of this cake you have delicious pumpkiny-ness, and on the top you have a distinct layer of buttery streusely type cobbler topping. I’m sure my descriptions are just really helping you out here, haha. Here’s a picture of the layers:

Single slice of pumpkin dump cake recipe on a white plate

Should this Easy Pumpkin Dump Cake Recipe be refrigerated?

You can store this dump cake covered on the counter for about 2 days, and after that (if there is any left!) stick it in the fridge.

If your family is not into pumpkin pie, this easy pumpkin dump cake might be the answer! It still gives you that pumpkin-y, Thanksgiving nostalgia, and it’s WAY easier than rolling out pie dough. And how can you go wrong with a cake topped with ice cream and salted caramel?? You can’t!

how to make pumpkin dump cake showing assembling ice cream over a slice of cake and drizzled with caramel sauce

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slice of pumpkin dump cake with ice cream and caramel sauce on top
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Pumpkin Dump Cake Recipe

It really doesn't get any easier (or tastier!) than this Pumpkin Dump Cake! Mix up a can of pumpkin pie mix with a few simple ingredients, then "dump" a dry yellow cake mix on top. Drizzle with butter and bake! Voila! If you are not into pumpkin pie, this will be your new favorite thing!

Ingredients

For the filling

  • 1 (30-oz) can pumpkin pie mix, use pie mix, not puree!*
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 cup heavy cream , OR evaporated milk
  • 2/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 & 1/2 tablespoons pumpkin pie spice

For the top

  • 1 (15-oz) box yellow cake mix , add it to the recipe dry, not prepared
  • 1/2 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 cup pecans, chopped, to mix into flour mixture (optional)
  • 1/2 cup pecans, chopped, for the top (optional)
  • 1 cup butter, melted (2 sticks)
  • vanilla ice cream , or whipped cream for serving
  • salted caramel sauce, for serving

Instructions

  • Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 9×13 inch cake pan with nonstick spray, or rub with a bit of butter, focusing on the upper edges of the pan. 
  • In a large bowl or stand mixer, add the can of pumpkin pie mix, 3 eggs, 1 cup cream, 2/3 cup sugar, 3/4 teaspoon salt, and 1 and 1/2 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice (or add spice to taste). Beat it together until the eggs are well incorporated, scraping down the sides and bottom of the bowl. 
  • Scrape the mixture into your prepared 9×13 inch pan and spread it out evenly. 
  • Open up your box of yellow cake mix and dump it into a bowl. 
  • Add 1/2 cup flour, 1/4 cup sugar, and 1 cup chopped pecans. Whisk it all together.
  • Sprinkle this dry mixture over the top of the pumpkin in the pan. 
  • Top with an additional 1/2 cup chopped pecans if you want. 
  • In a small bowl, melt 1 cup butter in the microwave. Slowly pour the butter over the top of the dry cake mix. See photos. It’s okay if some of the cake mix is still dry. 
  • Bake at 350 for about 60 minutes, or even up to 70 minutes. You will know it is done if you shake the pan and it doesn’t wobble too much in the center. You want the top to be golden brown.
  • Let cool for a few minutes before digging in! I am usually a warm-dessert kind of girl, but I actually really love this cobbler chilled in the fridge. It’s also great room temperature. Decide between cold and room temperature judging by what temperature you like to eat your pumpkin pie! 
  • You can store this dump cake covered on the counter for about 2 days, and after that stick it in the fridge. 
  • Serve with a scoop of vanilla ice cream and a drizzle of warm Salted Caramel Sauce!

Notes

*If you can’t find pumpkin mix and all you have is 29 ounce can of 100% pumpkin puree, you can still make this no prob. Make these adjustments:
  • increase sugar in the filling to 1 and 3/4 cup sugar (instead of 2/3 cup)
  • increase pumpkin pie spice to 2 tablespoons, or to taste 
And that’s it! Everything else is the same.
Source: This recipe is adapted from my dear friend Amelia’s family recipe file. They call it “Pumpkin Dessert” :)

Nutrition

Serving: 1 g, Calories: 592 kcal, Carbohydrates: 70 g, Protein: 6 g, Fat: 34 g, Saturated Fat: 16 g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 4 g, Monounsaturated Fat: 12 g, Trans Fat: 1 g, Cholesterol: 114 mg, Sodium: 712 mg, Potassium: 213 mg, Fiber: 8 g, Sugar: 31 g, Vitamin A: 6722 IU, Vitamin C: 3 mg, Calcium: 140 mg, Iron: 2 mg