#VirtualPumpkinParty: Pumpkin Pie Cake

pumpkin pie cake

It’s pie! It’s cake! It’s pumpkin pie cake!

As I mention every year, pumpkin season is the best season. I secretly do not mind when it starts just a bit earlier each year (though I’ll admit, this year’s first pumpkin spice related sighting may have come a bit too early). I do not get pumpkined out. So when I saw that my friend Sara of Cake Over Steak was organizing a virtual pumpkin party, I was in, and I knew exactly what I would make for the occasion.

Pumpkin Pie Cake started to be a thing in my house shortly before I left for college. My mom says she found it in one of her cookbooks, but can’t remember which one, and the recipe I have is buried deep in my Gmail archives from 2010, several years after it’d been in regular fall rotation back home. So it’s hard to pinpoint the origins of this, but I’m sure it’s floating around the internet elsewhere, too.

Growing up, cakes and brownies mainly came in the 9×13 Pyrex format, and involved a box of cake or brownie mix. We didn’t really do fancy cakes, for the most part. That’s not to say that I didn’t come from a long line of from-scratch bakers; my mom always made cookies, pies, pastries, and maybe an elusive nut cake from scratch. All the Amish-Mennonite food got its proper due with homemade crusts, and even boxed cakes only got homemade icing. I didn’t even realize store bought icing was a thing until I found out it was something that some people eat with a spoon in college. So this Pumpkin Pie Cake fits into that no-nonsense, unpretentious paradigm, but uses the cake mix a little unconventionally. As are most things, this is especially delicious warmed up with a little vanilla ice cream. I bet butter pecan would go extremely well with it, too.

pumpkin pie cake

Pumpkin Pie Cake


  • 1 box yellow cake mix (reserve 1 cup)
  • 1 stick melted butter
  • 1 beaten egg
  • 1 large can pumpkin
  • 3 beaten eggs
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 2/3 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 cup chopped nuts
  • 1/2 stick softened butter

Takes about .


  1. Mix first three ingredients (box of cake mix with 1 cup set back for later, 1 stick of melted butter, and 1 egg) with a fork until they’re moist. Pat into bottom of a 9×13 baking pan.
  2. Beat pumpkin, 3 eggs, brown sugar, cinnamon, milk, and 1/4 cup white sugar together and spread on top of the first layer.
  3. Combine the 1 cup of reserved cake mix, 1/2 cup of white sugar, chopped nuts, and softened butter to form crumbs, and sprinkle these on top of the pumpkin layer.
  4. Bake at 350 degrees for about 55 minutes.

As this is mostly made of actual pumpkin, it’s basically eating a vegetable. A buttered, sugared vegetable. With some eggs. Protein!

pumpkin pie cake

Thanks so much to Sara for organizing this! I’ve been hankering for some pumpkin pie cake for awhile, and this was the perfect reason to stop being lazy about baking in my new house. You can check out the rest of the #virtualpumpkinparty posts over on Cake Over Steak or Twigg Studios.

  • Conrad22

    Is there a typo in there? “1/4 cup with sugar”? Or maybe I don’t understand that reference.

    • Lisa

      Yes, totally a typo. It should have been “1/4 cup white sugar.” Just updated that. Thanks for pointing it out!

      I separated out the ingredients that are used in different parts of the recipe (crust, filling, crumbs), so that no one would accidentally dump way too much of something in too early and not have enough left for the next part!

  • Makeda Vanderpuije

    Hi! How much pumpkin is in a large can??


    • Lisa

      I think that the large cans are 29 oz and the small cans are 15 oz. The last time I made this, I actually used two small cans since it was so close!

      • Makeda Vanderpuije

        Thanks for your response! I look forward to trying this for a work potluck

        • Lisa

          I’m glad to hear it! You’ll have to let me know how it goes!