I can still remember as a child in the early 90s when my mom would make us dump cake. It felt like magic -- you just dump a few ingredients into a pan and out comes cake?! My little mind was blown. It wasn't until I got older that I realized that dump cake was even cooler than I thought -- there are so many variations outside of the traditional cherry-pineapple version my mom used to make. And this mini pumpkin pecan dump cake is my new favorite! It tastes like a cross between a pumpkin cobbler and a pumpkin pie, but with just a couple of steps! Plus, this is a small-batch recipe made in a 6-inch cake pan, perfect for just two or three (or one major pumpkin lover!)
What is a Dump Cake?
Like the name suggests, a dump cake requires you to layer, or "dump" all your ingredients directly into the pan, eliminating the creaming, whipping, folding, sifting, and stirring that a typical cake requires. Not only is the process easier, the ingredients list is very simple. Most dump cakes call for cake mix, butter, and some kind of fruit filling, so they're only 3 or 4 ingredients long! This mini pumpkin pecan dump cake calls for a few extra ingredients to make the pumpkin filling, but it's still SO easy! And it only takes a few ingredients. Here's what you'll need to make this super-easy pumpkin pecan dump cake:
- canned pumpkin - it should be 100% pumpkin purée, not pre-made pumpkin pie filling.
- evaporated milk - helps to create a creamy filling for this pumpkin pecan dump cake.
- egg - helps give the filling structure.
- pumpkin pie spice - those warm fall spices that go so well with pumpkin!
- brown sugar - I like to use dark brown sugar in this recipe to add more complexity to the sweetness, but it's up to you if you want to use dark brown or light brown sugar.
- yellow cake mix - you can also use a spice cake mix, but I prefer yellow cake mix to control the level of spice.
- salted butter - cuts the sweetness a bit. Dump cake can sometimes be too sweet, so salted butter helps with that, and brings out those delicious pumpkin flavors!
- pecan chips - you know me -- I love baking with pecans! The pecan chips sprinkled on top of this pumpkin pecan dump cake gives it a buttery crunch that fits so well with the flavors in the cake!
The best part about this mini pumpkin pecan dump cake recipe is that you don't need anything special to make it -- I use a 6-inch cake pan, but if you have another similarly-sized baking pan, you can use that too! Here are a few more tools I used to make this pumpkin pecan dump cake recipe:
Once you've got your ingredients and tools, you're ready to go! This pumpkin pecan dump cake is SO easy to throw together, and you'll be enjoying your small-batch fall dessert in no time! Don't forget the whipped cream or ice cream to go with it!
If you are loving this mini pumpkin dump cake recipe, you'll definitely want to try some of my other small-batch desserts -- my mini vanilla cake is a hugely popular recipe on my site (and on YouTube!) and it's easy to see why! It's a fluffy, moist cake bursting with vanilla flavor and covered with an easy vanilla buttercream. Perfect for when you have a quick craving for cake but you don't want to make a WHOLE cake!
Another great option if you love pumpkin desserts is my no-bake pumpkin mousse pie! It's full of those amazing fall flavors in a light, airy filling, all wrapped up in a maple cookie crust! It's to die for, and the best part is it's no-bake! So no competing for the oven this Thanksgiving!
Equipment you may need
- ⅔ cup canned pumpkin purée
- 1 cup yellow cake mix
- ¾ teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
- ½ cup evaporated milk
- ¼ cup brown sugar
- 1 large egg
- 4 tablespoon salted butter - thinly sliced
- ¼ cup pecan chips - or finely chopped pecan halves
- whipped cream or vanilla ice cream - for serving (optional)
- Preheat oven to 350°F and spray a 6-inch cake pan with baking spray.
- In a bowl, whisk together pumpkin, evaporated milk, brown sugar, and egg. Pour mixture into cake pan.
- Sprinkle cake mix evenly on top, then sprinkle pecan chips over cake mix. Lay butter evenly on top of pecans.
- Bake in preheated oven for 45 minutes, or until filling is set and top is nicely golden brown.
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Chenee, every time I make one of your recipes, I ALWAYS love them! This recipe is no different - this cake was easy to make and even easier to eat because it was so tasty! Thank you for this recipe!!
Thank you so much! I'm glad you liked it!
Tested this over the weekend for Thanksgiving and it's a winner. Thank you!
Awesome! I'm so glad it worked for you!
This cake was super simple to make, but was packed with flavor. Everyone devoured it in one sitting! We’ll definitely be making it again soon!
Wonderful! Yes, the fact that it's so small makes it easy to disappear quickly!
This was so easy to make and so perfect when my sweet tooth is craving & I want an easy dessert to make! Thanks for the recipe!
You're welcome! It's great for those random cravings!
Eric & Shanna Jones
This recipe was so easy to make, and we devoured it! Amazing dessert, Chenée. We love your recipes!
Thank you so much! I'm so glad you enjoyed 🙂
As a baking newbie, I just love the ease and simplicity of this cake!
It's perfect for beginner bakers!! Thanks for trying it!
This recipe was so easy to follow and it came out great! Thank you for making the distinction between pure canned pumpkin and pumpkin pie filling!
You're welcome! They're right by each other on the shelves so it can get confusing!
The kiddos and I made this as a Home Ec project on Friday and it was so easy, yet so delicious. Definitely a tasty way to use up the excess of pumpkin I had in the pantry.
Awesome! I'm so glad it worked out for you guys!
I've never had a dump cake before and didn't know what to expect, but this was a very pleasant surprise. I can be a lazy baker so this was right up my alley.
Definitely! It's perfect for a lazy baking day!
Nothing beats an easy dump cake recipe. This recipe is so easy to follow and will definitely make the holiday season even more delicious.
Thanks so much! I love a good dump cake too!