The pumpcake is the result when pumpkin pie meets dump cake. Signs of the dump cake’s existence date back to 1912. At the time, all the ingredients were literally dumped into the pan it was to be baked in and stirred before popping in the oven.

In the 21st century, it’s not too different. We dump pie filling into the pan, coat it with dry cake mix and drizzle melted butter over the whole kit and caboodle. However we now opt out of stirring and stick with the layers. It’s basically an easy pie with crust only on top. A la pumpkin pie, we get to bring stirring and eggs back into the equation. (We suggest using a separate bowl.)

(Photo by Christina Ulsh)
(Photo by Christina Ulsh)

The beauty of the pumpcake lies in its flexibility. Don’t want a pumpkin-pie-soft bottom layer? Use a 15-ounce can of pumpkin puree instead. Forgot to add the cinnamon? Sprinkle it on top at the end. There’s still powder where the cake mix was plopped 50 minutes in? Melt a little more butter and give the dry spots a once-over.

Use three teaspoons of pumpkin spice instead of ginger, cloves and cinnamon. Serve with whipped cream. Flip your slice over for a more traditional crust. Eat with pecan praline ice cream. Dealer’s choice.


29 ounces pumpkin puree
12 fluid ounces evaporated milk
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon ground ginger
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon ground cloves
½ cup white sugar
½ cup brown sugar
½ cup chopped pecans
½ cup melted butter
3 eggs
1 box of yellow cake mix


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Grease 9-by-13 inch pan.
  3. Combine pumpkin puree, eggs, brown sugar, white sugar and milk in large bowl.
  4. Stir cinnamon, ginger, cloves and salt into mixture.
  5. Pour into cake pan.
  6. Sprinkle cake mix powder evenly over pumpkin mixture.
  7. Scatter pecans proportionally over cake mix.
  8. Drizzle melted butter over pre-pumpcake.
  9. Bake in preheated oven for 50 to 60 minutes or until edges are brown.
  10. Allow to cool before serving.