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Pumpkin walnut crunch cake recipe

Pumpkin walnut crunch cake recipe

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  • Recipes
  • Dish type
  • Cake
  • Nut and seed cakes
  • Walnut cake

This cake has the perfect combination of flavours and textures. Enjoy warm with a scoop of ice cream or a dollop of whipped cream.

63 people made this

IngredientsServes: 20

  • 825g pumpkin puree
  • 350ml evaporated milk
  • 3 eggs
  • 200g caster sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 4 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
  • 520g sponge cake mix
  • 175g unsalted butter
  • 120g chopped walnuts

MethodPrep:15min ›Cook:1hr ›Extra time:1hr15min › Ready in:2hr30min

  1. Preheat oven to 180 C / Gas 4. Lightly grease one 23x33cm or similar sized tin.
  2. In a large bowl, combine pumpkin puree, evaporated milk, eggs, sugar, salt and pumpkin pie spice. Mix well. Pour batter into the prepared tin.
  3. Sprinkle the dry sponge cake mix evenly over the pumpkin mixture. Melt the butter and drizzle it over the sponge cake mix. Sprinkle walnuts over the top.
  4. Bake for 55 to 60 minutes or until done.

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Reviews & ratingsAverage global rating:(66)

Reviews in English (55)


This cake is wonderful--delicious and easy to make. I found that it tasted better, when I used two 9oz. Jiffy yellow cake mixes (without pudding in the mix) for the topping. I've made this about 5 times, and everyone loves it.-09 Dec 2000

by anmlnrs

Wonderful. Used 4 eggs for a firmer texture. Spread dry spice cake mix and dropped pats of butter (about 1 1/2 cups -- we love butter) across the top. The butter melted and made a crispy topping. I skipped dinner and went straight to dessert!-25 Oct 2006

by Caty Cole

When I took this cake from the oven rich aroma of the season lured my downstairs neighbor up to my door wanting to know what I had baked. She ran downstairs to put on a fresh pot of coffee and we had two pieces of this fabulous "pie cake" while it was still warm from the oven! Yummers!!! One thing I did do was before I baked it I toasted the walnuts then I sprinkled them over the cake. I have shared this recipe with four people so far.-01 Nov 2006

  • Crunch Topping
  • 3 Cups (450 g) walnuts, finely chopped
  • 3 Cups (360 g) vanilla wafers (about 75 cookies)
  • 3 Cups (540 g) brown sugar
  • 12 oz (340 g) butter
  • Pumpkin Crunch Cake
  • 1 1/4 (250 g) cup sugar
  • 6 oz (168 g) softened butter
  • 1 16 oz (425 g) can solid pack pumpkin
  • 2 1/2 ( 300 g) Cups flour
  • 1/2 Cup (96 g) Greek yogurt
  • 1 Tablespoon (15 ml) pure vanilla
  • 1 Tablespoon (15 g) pumpkin pie spice
  • 2 1/4 Teaspoons( 12 g) baking powder
  • 3/4 Teaspoon (4 g) baking soda
  • 1/2 Teaspoon (2.5) Salt
  • 4 Large Eggs
  • Cream Cheese Frosting
  • 24 oz (454 g) cream cheese
  • 8 oz (227 g) softened butter
  • 2 cups (150 g) confectioners (powdered) sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon (15 ml) pure vanilla

Step 1

Melt Butter
In a food processor, pulse cookies to a fine crumb. Remove from processor and put into a medium bowl.
Then pulse walnuts to very small pieces. Add walnuts to the bowl with the cookie crumbs.
Add in Brown Sugar and mix well.
Add in Melted Butter and mix until completely blended.
Place one very full cup of the mixture into 3 greased 8″ round cake pans, pressing into bottom and spreading it evenly into the cake pans. Reserve about 2 cups of the mixture which will be baked to use on the sides of the cake.
Set pans aside and begin cake.
Preheat Oven to 350 degrees.

In your mixer beat sugar and butter for about 3-5 minutes until light and fluffy, scrapping down the bowl frequently .
Add In Pumpkin and all the rest of the ingredients, except the eggs. Mix just until blended. Do not over blend.
Add in the Eggs, one at a time just until blended.
Divide batter equally into your 3 prepared cake pans on top of the nut/cookie mixture, smooth it out and make it as even as possible in the pan.
Place remaining crunch mixture in a 4th cake pan or pie dish and allow to bake for the same amount of time as the cakes.
Bake in a 350 degree oven for about 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. If you use 2 racks to bake on in the oven, at the halfway mark rotate the pans .
Allow pans to cool about 10 minutes, then turn them out onto a wire racks and allow to completely cool. DO NOT LET THE CAKES COOL IN THE PANS. This is important because the crunch mixture will stick to the pans and you’ll be scraping it out. I made this mistake and ended up scraping much of the crumb mixture off the pans and piecing it back together on top of the cake layers. This was almost a Pinterest FAIL! Luckily I fixed it all in the frosting stage of the cake.
Break up the extra crunch mix to very small bits to use to decorate the cake with.
While your cakes are baking prepare a Cream Cheese Frosting.

Whip the cream cheese and butter till very smooth and creamy
Slowly add in the powdered sugar while mixer is on low setting
Add in Vanilla and mix well. Set aside till needed.

After your cake is completely cooled. I recommend refrigerating the layers for an hour or so to make frosting easier, especially if you had to piece the crumb mixture back on top of the cake. Then begin frosting the layers and putting the cake together.
Frost one layer of cake. (If you use the icing recipe I list here, you’ll have plenty of frosting to make pretty thick layers in between the layers.) Top the frosted layer with a second layer and frost the top. Repeat with the third layer.
When you have assembled all the layers with some frosting between them, start to spread the remaining frosting on the sides and top.
When finished frosting the cake, coat sides and top with your extra crunch mixture. Just take handfuls of the crunch mixture and carefully smash it into the sides of the frosted cake.
*Store cake in refrigerator.

Pumpkin Crunch Cake

Rather than multiple layers of cake sandwiching a rich frosting, this Pumpkin Crunch Cake takes a simpler approach&mdashone thick layer of moist cake is covered in a hefty slathering of pumpkin cream cheese frosting and sprinkled with a spiced cookie crumble with toasted pumpkin seeds. Just three components without any decorative fuss, our Pumpkin Crunch Cake boasts an exceptionally tender cake with just the right hints of cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and cloves. The oil-based cake is just as moist as a velvety piece of pumpkin bread, but the tangy cream cheese frosting and the salty pumpkin seed crumble complement the straightforward sweetness of the cake, making for a slice that&rsquos nearly irresistible in its sweet-salty, soft-crunchy, rich-tangy combination of textures and tastes. In addition to taste, it is all whisked together in a bowl and poured into a springform pan, meaning you won&rsquot have to pull out the mixer or dirty multiple cake pans. This mess-free recipe will cut your normal clean-up in half while leaving your friends and loved ones asking for more.

How to Make Pumpkin Cake

For all of the details to make this pumpkin cake, see the recipe card below. Be sure to follow the directions closely for the best results.

  1. Preheat oven. Spray a cookie sheet (with high sides-sheet pan) with nonstick cooking spray and set aside.
  2. In a stand mixer or large bowl, cream butter and sugar together. Whip in vanilla, eggs, and pumpkin. Scrape sides and briefly mix again. Measure out all dry ingredients and add them in all at once. Mix on low speed until all ingredients are moist. Scrape down the sides and mix again. Stir in sour cream. Remove bowl from mixer and stir in chopped walnuts by hand.
  3. Pour batter into prepared pan and smooth the top. Bake until cake is cooked thoroughly. Remove from oven and set aside to cool completely.

For the Frostings

  1. Whip butter, vanilla, and caramel syrup together until well blended. Whip powdered sugar into mixture until incorporated. Scrape the sides of the bowl and whip again until light in color. Remove from bowl and divide into two equal portions. Set aside.
  2. Whip butter, vanilla, and cocoa together until well blended. Stir in powdered sugar. This mixture may look very dry, so with the mixer on, trickle in the milk. Scrape bowl and whip again until light in color. Remove from bowl and divide into two equal portions.

Assembling Pumpkin Cake

  1. Cut cooled cake into 4 equal strips width wise. Carefully remove 1 strip of cake and place onto a serving platter. Top with half of the chocolate frosting, being sure to have thicker frosting around the edges and thinner frosting in the middle.
  2. Repeat this process alternating the chocolate and caramel frostings, finishing with caramel. Top cake with chopped walnuts and toffee bits. Serve.

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Preheat electric oven to 350°F. Grease a 9x13 inch baking pan with non stick cooking spray. In a large bowl, combine pumpkin, milk, eggs, sugar and spice. Mix well, and pour into baking pan. Sprinkle dry cake mix over the top, and then drizzle with melted butter on top. Top with walnuts. Bake for 1 hour or until a knife inserted near the center comes out clean. Makes 20 servings.

Approximate Nutrient Analysis per serving:
310 calories, 18 g fat, 6 g saturated fat, 55 mg cholesterol, 250 mg sodium, 35 g carbohydrate, 2 g fiber, 24 g sugar, 5 g protein

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If you’ve never had a Pumpkin Crunch Cake before, this recipe is like magic. It’s, basically, a pumpkin dump cake recipe but just with a better name.

Just like this Blueberry Dump Cake, this recipe is made with cake mix and a few other ingredients.

It’s a layer of pumpkin filling which reminds me of pumpkin pie and is topped with cake mix that bakes into a crunchy, sweet topping reminiscent of a streusel. The chopped pecans just take it over the top.

This Fall Cake recipe has become a family & friends favorite. And it’s easy too!

I had been thinking about a cake or pound cake flavored with pumpkin for a couple of weeks back in 2014 when I first posted this recipe. The word ‘crunch” was popping into my head whenever I thought about it. So I tinkered and tinkered until I got it where I wanted it. In my first attempt, I grabbed a bundt pan. I’m not sure what I was thinking since the crunch was on top, so getting that cake out of the pan, then flipping it was a feat for sure…not so smart especially since this cake is so moist and heavy from all of the pumpkin. Miraculously it didn’t break apart, but I knew that was not the way to go! Use a springform pan instead. (or make as cupcakes).

This cake is SO moist and explodes with pumpkin flavor, it reminds me of something but what that something is, I just can’t figure out. I can vaguely remember a boxed cake when I was a kid that said it had pudding in it, that might be what this reminds me of, it’s so moist and dense. My husband and my sister especially were crazy for this pumpkin cake, they begged me to stop making it (since I made it 3 days in a row to get it right) so they could stop eating it. They couldn’t control themselves!

If you are into nuts, feel free to add some chopped pecans in for extra crunch, my kids are allergic so no nuts for us. Initially, I envisioned a pumpkin-flavored drizzle over-top the cake but trust me, it doesn’t need it.

Pictured above is the full batter in one springform pan (maybe a 9-inch? That was back in 2014)/ Pictured below is the cake made in an 8-inch springform pan AND I did use some of the batter to make two smaller cakes. This is why it is not as high as above.

How To Make The Topping For This Pumpkin Crunch Cake:

  • You can make the topping in a variety of ways. Originally, I used packets of my daughters favorite instant oatmeal (O Organics Maple Brown Sugar Oatmeal), I added butter and some brown sugar until the crumble was where I wanted it.
  • Later I decided to use plain oatmeal, brown sugar, butter, AND then added Hershey’s Heath Toffee Bits and their Cinnamon Chips…OMG is that good! (If you only have one or the other, that is fine as well)
  • You can honestly make any type of crumble or strudel you like for the topping and make it sweet or less sweet, based on your preference. I have even used chopped dried banana chips for the topping before.

Tip: The cinnamon chips and the toffee chips (without chocolate) can be hard to find in regular markets. Walmart and Target however usually have them for less than $3 a bag.

  • When looking for canned pumpkin, make sure you grab “pure pumpkin” in a can and not pumpkin pie filling which has additional ingredients and spices already in it. Or you can roast your own pumpkin. See how to roast a pumpkin easily in your oven here.
  • You want your batter a little thicker, not runny.
  • You can adjust the sweetness level of the cake. Cut it down by 1/4 cup or more of sugar for a less sweet cake.
  • Experiment with toppings, plain oats mixed with spices and butter, adding toffee chips, cinnamon chips, or both. Adding maple flakes (yum) or anything else you think would be delish.
  • A springform pan really does work best for this, but go ahead and try whatever pan you have.

If you’re looking for more pumpkin love, here are some of my favorites:

Pumpkin crunch cake topping

ONCE COMPLETELY COOLED… add on your whipped topping (aka Cool Whip) and spread evenly on the top of your crunch cake before adding on the remaining chopped nuts (if you are using them).

Before I upset anyone with the use of non Redi-Whip topping, let me explain.

I was raised on The Whip and never had Redi-whip ever in my house as a I child.

As an adult, I love Redi-Whip. My husband loves it.

My dogs have been trained (thank you Husband) to come running whenever they hear that magical SHKKKKAAAAAAA sound because Mike will feed them all whippets out of the can.

So believe me, this is not a favoritism situation.

The reason I use Cool-Whip is because it stays.. it sets… it never goes anywhere… Redi-whip just doesn’t keep as well so that is why I use Cool-Whip over Redi-Whip for this Pumpkin Crunch recipe.

Now, you most certainly could use Redi-Whip or even vanilla ice cream, I would only suggest then to add it to the dessert piece by piece instead of covering the entire dish at one time.

Again, its all about personal preferences.. whatever twirls your skirt up is fine by me.