Looking for a new way to satisfy your pumpkin craving this fall? Wait until you try this quick, easy, and delicious pumpkin dump cake recipe!

I’ve got a treat that’s perfect for the fall season and a great way to make use of those fresh pumpkins from your garden.

(But of course, you can always grab a can of pumpkin puree if that’s easier for you too.)

It’s my all-time favorite Pumpkin Dump Cake recipe! 

Have you ever had pumpkin dump cake before? If not, you have been missing out!

If you’re anything like me, you’re always on the lookout for easy and delicious recipes that incorporate your homegrown goodies.

Well, this one checks all the boxes. Plus, it’s a low-maintenance and practically foolproof fall dessert recipe. Just the way I like it.

Wait until you try this crazy good pumpkin dump cake recipe!

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What’s a Dump Cake, Anyway?

Before we dive into one of the easy pumpkin dessert recipes to make, let me clarify what a dump cake is. A dump cake is a tasty American dessert that’s incredibly simple to make.

It’s similar to a cobbler but with a cake-like topping. You just “dump” one or more cans of fruit or pie filling into a baking dish, add a dry boxed cake mix and melted butter, and voilà, you have a scrumptious dessert in no time!

And I seem to have a favorite dump cake recipe for different seasons. In summer, I love to make this pineapple dump cake recipe that is a total crowd-pleaser.

But now that we are in the fall, I’m all about pumpkin everything! So this recipe for pumpkin dump cake hits the spot!

taking a bite of pumpkin dump cake recipe

Why I Love This Pumpkin Dessert Recipe

I absolutely adore this pumpkin dessert for several reasons.

  • It’s Garden-Fresh: Using your own homegrown pumpkins gives it that extra-special touch and fresh flavor.
  • Minimal Effort: As a busy mom and gardener, I appreciate recipes that don’t require hours in the kitchen. This one’s a breeze!
  • Versatility: You can use a variety of fruit fillings, such as cherry, apple, pineapple, or, in our case, pumpkin puree, and pair them with different cake mixes to create unique flavor combinations. You can also add nuts, spices, or other toppings to suit your taste.
  • Crowd-Pleaser: Whenever I serve this at gatherings, it serves a crowd and is a hit! People always ask for the recipe so that’s why I’m sharing it with you today!
pumpkin plant in the garden

How To Make Homemade Pumpkin Puree

While you can easily make this recipe using store-bought pumpkin puree, if you are growing your own pumpkins, it’s pretty easy to make your own!

Have you ever made your own pumpkin puree before?

If not, here’s how to do it.

Cooking Tip: Choose small to medium-sized pumpkins that are specifically meant for cooking, such as sugar pumpkins or pie pumpkins. These varieties have sweeter and smoother flesh compared to carving pumpkins.

  • Preheat oven to 375°F (190°C)
  • Wash pumpkins thoroughly to remove any dirt.
  • Using a sharp knife, carefully cut off the top stem portion of each pumpkin, then cut the pumpkins in half from top to bottom.
  • Scoop out the pulp and seeds. Save seeds if you want to roast them or use them for planting next year.
  • Place the cleaned pumpkin halves, cut side down, on a baking sheet lined with aluminum foil or parchment paper. 
  • Bake for about 45 minutes to 1 hour, or until the pumpkin flesh is fork-tender. The exact time may vary depending on the size and type of pumpkin.
  • Remove from the oven and allow the pumpkins to cool until you can handle them comfortably.
  • Using a spoon, scrape the cooked pumpkin flesh away from the skin. It should come away easily and be quite soft.
  • Transfer the pumpkin flesh to a blender or food processor. Blend until smooth and creamy. If the puree seems a little thick, add a small amount of water to thin it out.

You can use your homemade pumpkin puree immediately in recipes or store it for later use.

Removing the pumpkin flesh to make pumpkin soup for my thanksgiving aesthetic

Storing Fresh Pumpkin Puree

  • Refrigerator: Store the puree in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
  • Freezer: If you want to store it for a longer period, you can freeze fresh pumpkin puree in airtight containers or freezer bags. Make sure to label and date them. It can be stored in the freezer for 10-12 months.

Now you have homemade pumpkin puree ready to use in your favorite pumpkin recipes, whether it’s pumpkin pie, pumpkin soup, or this delicious pumpkin dump cake! 

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Close-up of sugar pumpkins on stone wall with staddle stone

Best Pumpkins for Baking

Sugar or pie pumpkins are the best types of pumpkin to use for baking and making pumpkin puree.

These pumpkins are specifically cultivated for their sweet, tender flesh and are ideal for creating delicious pumpkin-based dishes.

While sugar and pie pumpkins are top choices, there are other pumpkin varieties and squash types that can also work well for baking if sugar pumpkins are not available.

Varieties like Cinderella, Jarrahdale, and Orange Smoothie can be used as alternatives, as they have similar attributes in terms of flavor and texture.

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Pumpkin Puree vs. Pumpkin Pie Filling: What’s the Difference?

Pumpkin puree and pumpkin pie filling are two very different products that serve distinct purposes in recipes.

Here’s what you need to know.

Pumpkin Puree:

  • Ingredients: Pumpkin puree contains only one ingredient: cooked and pureed pumpkin. There are no added sweeteners, spices, or other flavorings.
  • Versatility: Pumpkin puree is a versatile ingredient that can be used in both sweet and savory dishes. You can use it for making pies, soups, muffins, pancakes, smoothies, and more. It provides a neutral pumpkin flavor that can be customized with your choice of spices and sweeteners.
can of puumpkin puree
Opening can of pumpkin pure

Pumpkin Pie Filling:

  • Ingredients: Pumpkin pie filling is a premixed product that includes not only cooked and pureed pumpkin but also sweeteners, spices, and sometimes other flavorings like vanilla extract. It’s specifically formulated for making pumpkin pie.
  • Purpose: Pumpkin pie filling is designed to make the process of making pumpkin pie more convenient. You can use it directly in your pie crust without needing to add extra sugar, spices, or flavorings.
  • Limited Versatility: While you can use pumpkin pie filling in other recipes, it’s primarily intended for making pumpkin pie, but can also be used in other desserts with a similar flavor profile. 
before mixing the ingredients to make pumpkin dump cake recipe

FAQs About Making Pumpkin Dump Cake

Why does pumpkin dump cake work?

It’s really an ingenious way to make a simple dish! Dump cake works due to its easy layered preparation method.

The fruit filling heats below while the butter melts from above. As the cake bakes, the dry cake mix absorbs moisture from the fruit filling and butter, resulting in a cakey top layer, a gooey fruit layer, and a buttery, crunchy crust. 

If you’ve never made dump cake before, you may not go back to making cake any other way! Just saying!

Mixing the ingredients to make pumpkin dump cake recipe

Is pumpkin dump cake supposed to be gooey?

Dump cakes in general are supposed to be gooey. The fruit filling cooks down and the dessert ends up as a yummy mix of a cake and a cobbler.

However, pumpkin dump cake is not as gooey as other types of dump cake recipes. The bottom layer of this cake finishes more custard-like and sets to hold its shape when cut while the top section will have a cake-like texture. 

How long will pumpkin dump cake keep?

Here are some general guidelines on how long a dump cake will keep when properly stored:

  • At Room Temperature: A freshly baked dump cake can be kept at room temperature for 1-2 days. It’s essential to cover it with plastic wrap or aluminum foil to prevent it from drying out and to protect it from contaminants. Although it can be kept at room temperature, I prefer to refrigerate dump cakes for safer food handling.
  • Refrigeration: A dump cake can stay fresh in the refrigerator for about 4-5 days. Cover it well to prevent it from absorbing odors from the fridge.
  • Freezing: I’ve never frozen dump cake before, but you can do it. Wrap the cooled dump cake tightly in plastic wrap or aluminum foil and then place it in an airtight container or a resealable freezer bag. Properly stored, a frozen dump cake can stay good for up to 2-3 months.
pouring pumpkin puree mixture into baking dish to make pumpkin dessert recipe - pumpkin dump cake

What goes well with pumpkin dump cake?

Ooooooooo this is the best part! Cause there are so many different ways you can serve this recipe for pumpkin dump cake!

Consider these tasty topping options that can complement this easy pumpkin dessert and enhance the flavors of the dish.

Here are some topping ideas you may want to try. And feel free to mix and match these toppings based on your preferences.

  • Vanilla Ice Cream
  • Whipped Cream
  • Toffee Bits
  • Raisins
  • Chopped Apples 
  • Caramel Sauce or Syrup
  • Chopped Pecans or Walnuts
  • Maple Syrup
  • Yogurt or Greek Yogurt
  • Chocolate Chips
  • Crushed Graham crackers
  • Dusting of Powdered Sugar
Adding cake mix on the pumpkin puree mixture to make pumpkin dump cake

What is the biggest mistake to avoid when making a dump cake?

Dump cake is a nearly foolproof dessert recipe but there’s one big mistake to avoid. DO NOT mix the 3 layers of your dump cake. This will adversely impact the texture of the finished cake.

The trick to ensuring a crusty, crumbly, buttery top, and a gooey interior on dump cakes is to make even layers of the fruit, cake mix, and butter. 

Why is my pumpkin dump cake still powdery?

If you make this easy pumpkin dessert recipe and notice the top layer looks a bit powdery, there are a few reasons that happened. But fear not, ’cause it is fixable!

Here’s why that happens.

  • Uneven Distribution of Ingredients: After “dumping” each layer into the baking dish, use a spatula or the back of a spoon to gently spread and level the ingredients, paying attention to the corners and edges of the dish to avoid dry spots.
  • Dry Cake Mix Clumps: Sprinkle the dry cake mix as evenly as possible over the fruit filling. Use a fork or your fingers to break up any large clumps, spreading the mix evenly.
  • Inadequate Butter Coverage: When using butter slices or drizzling the melted butter, ensure that you cover as much of the dry cake mix as possible. It’s okay if some areas are not completely saturated, but aim for even coverage.

To fix a powdery pumpkin dump cake, all you need to do is add a little bit of butter to the top of those areas and bake it for a few more minutes.

Just be sure to check it often to be sure that the butter has melted into all of the areas where you saw the cake mix.

Sprinkling the graham cracker layer on pumpkin dump cake recipe

Is it better to melt the butter or slice it?

This leads me to the reason I prefer to slice the butter instead of taking the step to melt it first.

While either method works, I prefer to thinly slice the butter and lay it like a blanket over the top of the cake layer.

This allows it to evenly distribute throughout the cake mix layer and it’s just easier with less of a mess.

Layering sliced salted butter on top of pumpkin dump cake recipe before baking

Easy Pumpkin Dump Cake Recipe

Now that we’ve covered the basics of making a pumpkin dump cake, let’s make it!

This recipe is perfect for fall and a great way to enjoy the flavors of the season in one simple dessert.

If you are looking for a different way to enjoy pumpkins this autumn, you’ve got to try this one!

Ingredients 

Here’s what you’ll need to make this mouthwatering pumpkin dump cake:

  • Pumpkin puree
  • Evaporated milk
  • Eggs
  • Light brown sugar
  • Pumpkin pie spice
  • Yellow cake mix (but I’ve seen recipes using a pumpkin cake mix too!)
  • Butter sliced thin
  • Crushed graham crackers
  • Toffee Bits (for garnish)
  • Caramel Syrup (for garnish)
  • Vanilla Ice Cream
After pumpkin dump cake recipe comes out of the oven in a baking dish

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Coat a 9×12-inch baking dish with nonstick spray and set aside.
  2. Combine the pumpkin puree, evaporated milk, eggs, sugar, and pumpkin pie spice in a mixing bowl. Stir to combine and pour into the prepared baking dish.
  3. Sprinkle dry cake mix evenly over the pumpkin layer, followed by your crushed graham crackers. Use the whole box of dry cake mix and make sure you have a full layer of crushed graham crackers.
  4. Cover the whole cake with sliced butter pieces.
  5. Bake in the preheated oven for 45-50 minutes until the center is set and the edges are lightly browned.
  6. Serve warm or at room temperature. I prefer it at room temperature as it sets more and serves easier.

This cake is like a slice of heaven with a scoop of vanilla ice cream, caramel syrup, and toffee bits.

But see what flavor profile you prefer to serve with it!

pumpkin dump cake recipe close up with whipped cream and toffee bits
pumpkin dump cake recipe on a dessert plate with whipped cream, cinnamon and toffee bits

Mouthwatering Pumpkin Dump Cake Recipe You Can’t Resist

Stacy Ling
Looking for a new way to satisfy your pumpkin craving this fall? Wait until you try this quick, easy, and delicious pumpkin dump cake recipe!
5 from 2 votes
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 50 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Servings 12 Servings
Calories 372 kcal

Ingredients
  

Instructions
 

  • Preheat oven to 350°F. Coat a 9×12-inch baking dish with nonstick spray and set aside.
  • Combine the pumpkin puree, evaporated milk, eggs, sugar, and pumpkin pie spice in a large mixing bowl. Stir to combine and pour into your prepared dish.
    pouring pumpkin puree mixture into baking dish to make pumpkin dessert recipe - pumpkin dump cake
  • Sprinkle a whole box of dry cake mix evenly over the pumpkin layer, followed by your crushed graham crackers.
    Adding cake mix on the pumpkin puree mixture to make pumpkin dump cake
  • Spread sliced butter pieces all over the cake mix making sure to cover as much of the dry mix as possible.
    Layering sliced salted butter on top of pumpkin dump cake recipe before baking
  • Bake in the preheated oven for 45-50 minutes until the center is set and the edges are lightly browned.
    After pumpkin dump cake recipe comes out of the oven in a baking dish
  • Serve warm or at room temperature. Top with ice cream, caramel sauce and toffee bits.
    pumpkin dump cake recipe on a dessert plate with whipped cream, cinnamon and toffee bits

Nutrition

Calories: 372kcalCarbohydrates: 39gProtein: 4gFat: 23gSaturated Fat: 14gPolyunsaturated Fat: 2gMonounsaturated Fat: 6gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 61mgSodium: 230mgPotassium: 233mgFiber: 2gSugar: 32gVitamin A: 6194IUVitamin C: 2mgCalcium: 142mgIron: 1mg
Keyword Easy Pumpkin Desserts, Pumpkin Dump Cake Recipe
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

More About Pumpkin Dump Cake Recipe

Have you ever had a pumpkin dump cake recipe before? Would you try making this recipe? I would love to know more in the comments below.

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More Fall Recipes You Might Enjoy

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Mouthwatering pumpkin dump cake recipe on a plate with toffee bits  and whipped cream

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Stacy Ling

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16 Comments

  1. Oh my word, Stacy. I LOVE anything pumpkin in the fall. Your dump cake is making me drool. I can’t wait to try it. Pinned!