#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.

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A Day Off: Projected Intentions

Posting here has been scarce, for good reason. I’m in my last semester of a post-bacc teaching certification program at a local university. That means I’m student teaching. So far it has been frustrating, exciting, exhausting, frustrating, time consuming, and fun. But above all, time consuming and exhausting. I’m convinced it’s harder to do as a post-bacc student, if only because I now have more of a life to manage than I did as an undergrad. It’s left me with little time to post new content.

But tomorrow is Rosh Hashanah! And that means, at least in this area, that I don’t have school tomorrow! Back home, we never had off for any Jewish holidays. Instead, we had off for the first two days of deer season. It’s still weird to me to have to go back to school or work the Monday after Thanksgiving.
So, instead of going to school, I plan to
  • check out the selection of children’s lit in Spanish at Barnes and Noble
  • wander around Terrain, looking at things I have no intention of buying, awaiting inspiration and enjoying beauty
  • go to yoga (it’s been way, way, way too long)
  • write a spectacular lesson plan for Friday (I’m getting observed by my university supervisor)
  • stock up on canned pumpkin (I think there’s another shortage this year?)
  • bake something with pumpkin
  • read

I really don’t want it to seem like a to-do list. It will be much more free-form than that. But these are things I’d enjoy doing if I had the time.

And tomorrow I do. Thank you, Rosh Hashanah. Thank you, suburban school district. Though come Thanksgiving, I’d be wishing I could trade Rosh Hashanah for deer season vacation days.
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Brooklyn Pumpkin Tour

Can you imagine anything more exciting than a Brooklyn Pumpkin Tour? I certainly can’t. Brooklyn Based just published a post on where to get the best pumpkin stuffs in the area. They also link to this Pumpkin Ale Chocolate Cake recipe. Mmm-hmm.

This whoopie pie doesn’t look like it quite measures up to my Amish/Mennonite baked-good standards, but it’ll do. If I lived in Park Slope, I think I could sacrifice accessibility to authentic Amish baked goods. Or just make my own, I suppose.

via Brooklyn Based

Maybe I’ll research and execute a Central PA pumpkin tour this weekend. How does that sound? Anyone want to join?


Pumpkin and chocolate

I’m fairly certain the combination of pumpkin and chocolate is to me what peanut butter and jelly is to normal people. Unfortunately, I really only partake of this delicious marriage of foods in the fall. Fortunately, I’ve done an awful lot of partaking so far this fall. I’ve made two batches of pumpkin and chocolate chip muffins (and then went on a surprise late-night muffin delivery to a friend who I thought could use some cheer-up muffins), and tonight I made chocolate chip pumpkin cookies. Ohmygoodness. My heart. My tongue. My belly.

Recipe found here.

I should probably be committed for making a double batch of these, but I’ll be taking lots to work tomorrow for our Halloween party, and then maybe bestowing a bunch more upon Problem Children Thursday night at staff meeting.

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Weekend To-Do List

I had plans to have a really autumnal weekend . . . farmers’ market, fall foliage viewing, mulled cider, pumpkin bread — the works! However, I have had to alter my plans. Now . . .

  • Stay inside
  • Drink lotsa hot chocolate and lattes and other warm drinks
  • Bake pumpkin bread and pumpkin muffins and maybe pumpkin pie? (An aside: I am so very into pumpkin. I tried to buy a few cans a couple weekends ago, and the grocery store was OUT! No pumpkin! Apparently everyone else in State College was making pumpkin stuffs that weekend, too. I eventually found some in another store, and bought about four cans. Then, last night, Chad and I were at the store, and right in front of the canned pumpkin was a sign informing us that there may be pumpkin shortages this season because of the POOR PUMPKIN CROP! What? I was distraught, and threw four more cans into the cart. There is so much pumpkin in our future and I cannot wait!)
  • Make a herringbone skirt with this amazing fabric found on clearance at Joann Fabric:

  • Shop for boots and sweaters . . . online
  • Buy some cute Tretorn boots and a snow shovel (yes, a snow shovel)

It’s a lovely October in Central PA. Just delightful.

That tree is still full of green leaves because, you know, it’s October. I certainly won’t miss State College in the fall. I was super late to work because I got stuck in the driveway. Chad had to turn around and come back to push my car out because we don’t have a snow shovel. Because, you know, it’s October.

The worst part? It’s not done snowing. Sigh.