The best pumpkin cake recipe

Do you like pumpkin? You’ll want to make this quick and easy pumpkin cake all fall long.

August bridges the gap between summer and fall, and we begin to look forward to cooler weather, cozy sweaters, and our favorite candles. Fall, of course, is also pumpkin season, and we never get tired of it! From pumpkin cakes and bread to donuts and even savory pumpkin dishes, it’s definitely the star of the season.

To kick off your fall party, whip up a simple dessert. This quick and easy pumpkin cake requires very little prep time, yet it produces an incredibly flavorful cake with a great texture. Dump cakes are usually made with a fruity base, but this dessert dresses up in time for fall with canned pumpkin as the base. And it begs to be served with a dollop of cinnamon whipped cream, ice cream or even a drizzle of caramel. Yum!

How to make pumpkin cake

Molly Allen for the taste of home


  • 1 (15 ounces) pumpkin
  • 1 (12 ounces) evaporated milk
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon of cloves
  • 1 yellow cake mix
  • 1-1/2 sticks salted butter, melted
  • 1/2 cup crushed pecans, optional


Step 1: Make the Pumpkin Layer

blue baking dish filled with pumpkin mixtureMolly Allen for the taste of home

Preheat the oven to 350°F. In a large bowl, combine the canned pumpkin, evaporated milk, eggs, brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves. Whisk to combine until smooth.

Spray a 13×9-inch baking dish with cooking spray. Pour the pumpkin mixture into the prepared dish.

Step 2: Top with cake mix and butter

a blue baking dish with a pumpkin cakeMolly Allen for the taste of home

Sprinkle cake mix over top, pressing lightly. Pour the melted butter over the cake mix. Sprinkle with pecans, if desired, and bake for 50 to 55 minutes.

Let the cake cool for 15 minutes before serving. Serve warm topped with homemade whipped cream.

Editor’s tip: To make a fall-inspired whipped cream, add two tablespoons of cinnamon.

Pumpkin Cake Tips

How can I make my own pumpkin cake?

The beauty of a dump cake is the wide range of customizations available to you. Instead of yellow cake mix, you can substitute spice cake mix, white cake mix, or even chocolate. Not a pecan fan? Use walnuts or candied nuts instead. You can also increase the amount of spice in the pumpkin mixture for a bolder flavor, especially if you like lots of nutmeg or cloves. Consider topping this treat with whipped cream, a drizzle of caramel sauce, a drizzle of cream cheese, or maple syrup.

How can I store pumpkin cake?

For best results, this cake should be served warm right away or served chilled later. Cover the baking dish and store leftovers in the refrigerator. It can also be made ahead and stored in the refrigerator until ready to serve.

If you have room for the baking dish in your freezer, this pumpkin cake can be frozen. Cover the cake with a layer of plastic wrap and then foil, or place the lid on your baking dish for an airtight seal. Freeze it for one to two months and let it thaw in the refrigerator before enjoying another slice.

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