Pumpkin Cake

I’ve had a history with Pumpkin Cake but had never made it till last month. In college my roommates baked one, and I couldn’t get enough. When I got married, my mom’s friend gave me a copy of the recipe and it sat in cooking notebook unused (till now). Then when I asked for Pumpkin recipes, many of you recommended Paula Deen’s Pumpkin Goey Butter Cakes and I knew it was time to make the cake myself.

So, I did. And I made it three times because I wasn’t satisfied with the cake/pumpkin ratio. The original recipe had too much cake and not enough baked pumpkin goodness. So I’ve tweaked the recipe to my liking and here it is.

The dessert is fairly straightforward, with a yellow cake mix on the bottom, pumpkin pie filling in the middle, and cake mix/butter crunchiness on top.


NOTE: This recipe is for an 8×8 square dish. Most recipes similar to this are for 9×13, so some of the measurements have been halved, from the original recipe.

Cake bottom:

1 cup of yellow cake mix (you’ll also need 3/4 cup of the cake mix for the topping and can save the rest for making this dessert again)

2 Tbls melted butter

1/2 of an egg (more info below)

Pumpkin filling:

1 15 oz can of pumpkin (or 2 cups of fresh puree)

2 eggs, slightly beaten

3/4 cup sugar

1/2 tsp salt

1 tsp cinnamon

1/2 tsp ginger

1/4 tsp cloves

1 can evaporated milk


3/4 cup yellow cake mix

2 Tbls sugar

2 Tbls butter

First prepare the bottom cake layer.

Melt the butter in the microwave or stove and let it cool slightly (so you the eggs don’t curdle when added to the mix). Then pour the butter and 1/2 of an egg into the 1 cup of cake mix and stir. (Since this recipe has been halved from the original, it calls for 1/2 of an egg. Whenever I need 1/2 eggs for a recipe, I crack and whisk up one egg in a small bowl and then just pour about 1/2 of the mixture into the recipe. I don’t measure exactly since eggs vary in size anyway. It usually works pretty well).

Press the cake mixture into the bottom of an 8×8 Square dish (which has been sprayed with cooking spray). The mixture will be very sticky, so use a plastic bag over your hand to evenly press it around.

Next, prepare the topping. Mix 3/4 cup of yellow cake mix with 2 Tablespoons of sugar in a bowl. Using a pastry cutter or fork, cut in 2 Tablespoons, till well blended. Set this aside.

Now the Filling.

You’re going to make this exactly like you would a pumpkin pie. If you have a small can of Libby’s canned pumpkin, you can follow that recipe exactly or use the ingredients listed above (which are from the Libby’s can!). Mix everything together with a wire wisk.

And pour it over the bottom cake layer.

Finally, sprinkle the topping evenly over the top.

Stick it in a 350 degree oven and bake for 45 min to an hour.

Now because I doubled the amount of pumpkin filling in this recipe, it takes much longer for the pumpkin to set in the middle. Of course you don’t want the top of your dessert to get overly brown in the process. So, I haven’t perfected this part yet, but I recommend covering the top with foil for the first 15 minutes or so of cooking (doesn’t have to be tight on the pan, just sitting on top of the dish). Remove it during the cooking and let it cook the rest of the time, uncovered. This is often what I do with pie crusts as well. If you have better suggestions, I’d love to hear!

When you’re done, you have this:

Let it cool for a bit, top with cool whip, whipping cream, or vanilla ice cream, and serve!

  1. 1) maria dubruiel

    I lost my mom’s pumpkin cake recipe, this recipe is the most similiar I can find, however I remember for 9×13 rectangular pan taking out 1/2 cup cake mix out for the topping and at the very end creaming it with butter and crumbling it on top of the pumpkin. My problem is I am not sure if she used 4 eggs in the pumpkin mix, I made it many times from her recipe. Like I said I cannot find the recipe and this was the only one on line that was almost the same. i do know I used 2 cans of the pumpkin not the pie filling. It was always a huge hit and gone in hours. Thanks and Happy Thanksgiving!

  2. 2) Jonathon

    This is my Aunt’s recipe fro a 9×13 pumpkin cake recipe that sounds like what you are looking for. For the crust use 1 box 18.25 oz yellow cake mix (minus 1 cup for topping) and mix with 1 egg and a 1/2 cup melted butter, then press on the bottom of your 9×13 lightly greased pan. (chill crust in refrigerator for 10 minutes) Then mix filling using 2 cans 15 oz pumpkin (do not use pie filling), 1 can 12 oz evaporated milk, 1/2 cup white sugar, 1 teaspoon cinnamon, 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg, 1/8 teaspoon clove, 1/4 teaspoon ginger. When mixed together pour over crust. Then prepare topping using 1 cup cake mix (set aside from earlier), 1/4 cup white sugar, 1 teaspoon cinnamon which you mix together then add 1/4 cup SOFT butter and mix with a fork until it is mixed then sprinkle evenly over pumpkin filling. Then bake in preheated oven at 350 degrees for 45 minutes (or until tooth pick inserted in center comes out clean) I have also made my adaptation to include a layer of cream cheese filling on top of crust before putting in pumpkin filling (cream cheese filling is made up of 2 packages 8 0z cream cheese, 3/4 cup white sugar, 1 1/2 teaspoons lemon juice, 1 teaspoon vanilla extract, 2 teaspoons sour cream beat together and should be about between 1/4 to 3/8 of an inch thick over crust). Keep in mind this alters baking time so check every five minutes after 40 minutes have passed.

  3. 3) Jonathon

    I am sorry but I forgot you need to also add 2 eggs with the other ingredients I listed for the pumpkin filling

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