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The Best Pumpkin Pie Cake Recipe | Easy Pumpkin Smash

Updated on October 26, 2013
4 stars from 6 ratings of Pumpkin Pie Cake

The Best Pumpkin Pie Cake

If you've never eaten pumpkin pie cake, I am sorry. Also called pumpkin smash, it is a delicious marriage of cake and pumpkin pie filling. It is easy to prepare, inexpensive to make, and sure to be a crowd-pleaser.

Even if you've tried another pumpkin pie cake recipe before, please take the time to look at my recipe because it has a crucial extra step that sets it apart from the competition. Years ago, I learned a trick from the folks in America's Test Kitchen - cook pumpkin puree to remove that characteristic, unpleasant metallic taste. I applied this pumpkin pie tip to a pumpkin pie cake recipe to create the best ever pumpkin pie cake. Try it - you'll be glad you did.

Cook Time

  • Prep time: 10 min
  • Cook time: 50 min
  • Ready in: 1 hour
  • Yields: One 13x11 inch pan

Make sure you get pumpkin puree, not pre-seasoned pumpkin pie filling. This allows you to flavor the pie cake your own way.

Ingredients for Pumpkin Pie Cake

  • 1 box yellow cake mix
  • 1 16 oz can pumpkin puree
  • 1 12 oz can evaporated milk
  • 2 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs beaten
  • 1 stick (1/2 cup) butter, melted
Ingredients for Pumpkin Pie Cake
Ingredients for Pumpkin Pie Cake | Source

Equipment Needed for Pumpkin Pie Cake

  • 1 13x11 baking dish
  • 1 medium/large mixing bowl
  • A food processor, handheld blender, or immersion blender
  • 1 medium cooking pot or saucepan
  • A whisk or fork
  • 1 small pot or microwave safe bowl
  • 1 small bowl

Source

This is the best spatula ever. Hands down. Your kids will hate it, though - there won't be anything left in the bowl for them to lick! Check out the picture below of the bowl after using my Tovolo spatula.

This is how well the Tovolo spatula works!
This is how well the Tovolo spatula works! | Source

I love my Cuisinart hand blender. I have the model advertised above and it has never let me down. I use it for everything from sweets to soups.

Instructions for Pumpkin Pie Cake

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit (about 175 Celsius). Combine the pumpkin puree, evaporated milk, spices, and sugar in a mixing bowl. If you do not own the necessary spices, you can substitute 2 teaspoons of pumpkin pie spice, but it will be tastier if you mix your own!
  2. Mix the combined ingredients with a food processor, handheld mixer, or immersion blender until fully combined, about 1 minute. I have an immersion blender and I absolutely love it!
  3. Pour the pumpkin mixture into a medium cooking pot or saucepan and cook on medium heat until the mixture is bubbling and aromatic. Smell the mixture when you first pour it in the pan. It will probably smell slightly metallic because that's how canned pumpkin puree smells. As the pumpkin heats, it will become more aromatic. Finally, all traces of a metallic scent will vanish. This is when the mixture is ready. Turn off the burner and remove the pot from the heat.
  4. While the pumpkin mixture is heating, whisk (or fork) two eggs thoroughly in a small bowl. Mix the eggs into the pumpkin mixture. You can use a handheld mixer or immersion blender, but take care not to spatter hot pumpkin mixture on yourself! Alternatively, use a whisk or fork to reduce the risk of burning yourself.
  5. Lightly grease your 13x11 baking dish and pour the pumpkin batter into the pan.
  6. Heat the stick of butter (or butter substitute, if you prefer) in a pot on low heat or carefully melt it in your microwave. I don't own a microwave, so I use the stove. Honestly, I prefer to use the stove, anyway, because butter can explode in the microwave!
  7. Sprinkle the cake mixture across the pumpkin puree. Dispense the cake mix easily by cutting a corner off the mix's bag and sprinkling it straight from the container. Some of the cake mix will sink into the pumpkin puree. This is fine. Don't stir the pumpkin and cake mix together, though!
  8. Drizzle the butter over the cake mix. You pour directly from the bowl/pot or use a spoon. The butter will want to pool - use a spoon to spread it across the cake mix. The butter needs to sink into the cake mix in order to form a tasty crust. If you cannot cover the entire surface, melt and use some extra butter.
  9. Place the pan on the middle rack of your preheated oven.
  10. Cook until the crust is golden and, well, crust-like! This will probably take about 50 minutes, but I suggest checking the pie cake starting at about 45 minutes. It may take up to 55 minutes to finish cooking - don't worry!
  11. Wait as long as you can to cut and serve the pumpkin pie cake. It holds together better when it's cool, but it's tasty hot or even cold.
Source
Click thumbnail to view full-size
Pumpkin pureeAdd the sugarAnd the spicesAdd the can of evaporated milkMix until well-combined, about 1 minutePumpkin puree in the panSprinkle the cake mix across the pureePour the butter on the cake mix. Make sure to spread it out with a spoon to thoroughly coat the cake mix.
Pumpkin puree
Pumpkin puree | Source
Add the sugar
Add the sugar | Source
And the spices
And the spices | Source
Add the can of evaporated milk
Add the can of evaporated milk | Source
Mix until well-combined, about 1 minute
Mix until well-combined, about 1 minute | Source
Pumpkin puree in the pan
Pumpkin puree in the pan | Source
Sprinkle the cake mix across the puree
Sprinkle the cake mix across the puree | Source
Source
Pour the butter on the cake mix. Make sure to spread it out with a spoon to thoroughly coat the cake mix.
Pour the butter on the cake mix. Make sure to spread it out with a spoon to thoroughly coat the cake mix. | Source
Source

How to Tell when the Pumpkin Pie Cake is Ready

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Not ready yet!You're looking for a delicious golden brown crust.
Not ready yet!
Not ready yet! | Source
You're looking for a delicious golden brown crust.
You're looking for a delicious golden brown crust. | Source
Source
See the delicious layers? Pumpkin on the bottom, pumpkin cake in the middle, and a tasty crust on top!
See the delicious layers? Pumpkin on the bottom, pumpkin cake in the middle, and a tasty crust on top! | Source

How to Serve Pumpkin Pie Cake

Pumpkin pie cake is always delicious, no matter how you serve it. It works well cut in squares but you may want to make them large squares! Here are some suggestions to make it even better:

  • Sprinkle a cup of chopped nuts over the cake mix before adding the butter.
  • Make your own whipped cream to serve with the pumpkin pie cake.
  • Serve with ice cream.
  • Substitute brown sugar for the white sugar for some added flavor.

Have you made pumpkin pie cake? Do you have any more suggestions for how to change up the recipe or make it even more delicious? I'd love to hear them!

Comments

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    • carol7777 profile image

      carol stanley 4 years ago from Arizona

      This sounds really good. I am not a pie fan, but this cake idea is intriguing. Going to bookmark and vote up. it looks so tempting.. Gotta try it.

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Sheez, where have I been? I have never heard of pumpkin pie cake! Well now I have and I have to have it! Great recipe Natasha!

    • Natashalh profile image
      Author

      Natasha 4 years ago from Hawaii

      It is so delicious! I may have just eaten my photo model slice... I'm trying hard to hold out on the rest of it, though, so I can bring it to work tomorrow to pass around. I hope you give it a try, carol7777!

      Thank you, billybuc. It sounds kind of funny, pie cake. But it's the best term for it. For a while, my mom could hardly attend a holiday function without people asking her to make this.

    • peachpurple profile image

      peachy 4 years ago from Home Sweet Home

      Yeah, I haven't heard pumpkin pie cake either. Gonna try to bake 1 this week.

    • Natashalh profile image
      Author

      Natasha 4 years ago from Hawaii

      I am so excited! I'm about to bring this one (ok, the rest of this one) to work within the hour. I can't wait to share it with other people because it's delicious. I hope you enjoy!

      Adding chopped pecans on top is a way to make it even better =)

    • randomcreative profile image

      Rose Clearfield 4 years ago from Milwaukee, Wisconsin

      I am a huge fan of pumpkin recipes. This looks delicious and so easy. Thanks for sharing this great dish.

    • Natashalh profile image
      Author

      Natasha 4 years ago from Hawaii

      You may be one of the only other people I know who actually likes pumpkin! I hope you enjoy it =)

    • profile image

      Jlbh 4 years ago

      You forgot to include mention of the fact that this is about the only thing your dear old mom can bake!

    • Natashalh profile image
      Author

      Natasha 4 years ago from Hawaii

      Because it isn't true - you're really good at baking! Cooking...now that's a different story =p

    • teaches12345 profile image

      Dianna Mendez 4 years ago

      This is sooo good! I have not had it as cake, but I am ready for a piece. What a great idea for Thanksgiving. THanks for sharing.

    • Natashalh profile image
      Author

      Natasha 4 years ago from Hawaii

      It's fantastic for Thanksgiving and for holiday potlucks. Be forewarned, though - if you bring it to a party, you may never be allowed back without it every single year!

      I made this on Monday and it's still getting complements on Wednesday, so it keeps a couple of days, too. The topping isn't as crunchy, but it's still tasty.

    • SimeyC profile image

      Simon Cook 4 years ago from NJ, USA

      This looks excellent - well written recipe - may just be making this for Thanksgiving!!!

    • Natashalh profile image
      Author

      Natasha 4 years ago from Hawaii

      Make sure to add pecans if you get the chance! They're so tasty. I hope you enjoy it.

    • GoodLady profile image

      Penelope Hart 4 years ago from Rome, Italy

      Oh how yummy! I'd love to make this cake (but I'd have to make mine with my own pumpkin pure since we don't have those ingredients where I live). Really hope it works just the same. Delicious looking hub.

    • Natashalh profile image
      Author

      Natasha 4 years ago from Hawaii

      It should be even better! With fresh purée, you don't need to cook it. Cooking it removes the canned taste, but you won't have a canned taste =)

    • Sharyn's Slant profile image

      Sharon Smith 4 years ago from Northeast Ohio USA

      Natasha, this looks really awesome. I think I'll try it for Thanksgiving. Sharing it all over Facebook and pinning!

    • Natashalh profile image
      Author

      Natasha 4 years ago from Hawaii

      Thank you! I hope you enjoy it - the crusty part is probably the best part. It gets less crunchy within about a day, so it's best fresh. It's still tasty for several days, though, just not as crispy.

    • PegCole17 profile image

      Peg Cole 4 years ago from Dallas, Texas

      This looks amazing and incredibly delicious. It's cool here today so I'm headed to the kitchen to make this recipe right now. Love to bake when it turns cool. All the ingredients are things I normally keep in the house and that makes it even better. Your instructions are great and illustrated wonderfully with those scrumptions pictures. Bye and thanks!

    • Natashalh profile image
      Author

      Natasha 4 years ago from Hawaii

      That's fantstic! It smells so good baking. I hope you enjoy.

    • Janis Goad profile image

      Janis Goad 4 years ago

      I love pumpkin--pumpkin soup, pumpkin pudding, and now this pumpkin pie cake. I don't really enjoy pumpkin pie, as I am not a big fan of pastry. We just scoop out the filling, and eat that. This recipe looks wonderful.

    • Natashalh profile image
      Author

      Natasha 4 years ago from Hawaii

      That's funny! I feel like a lot of people eat pumpkin pie the opposite way - a lot of folks aren't huge pumpkin fans. Glad you are!

    • Rosie writes profile image

      Rosie writes 4 years ago from Virginia

      I've made a similar recipe for several years now, passed on to me by a coworker. She called it Pumpkin Crunch. It is so delicious and everyone loves it. I always put pecans on the top, and I use the butter cake mix, instead of the yellow mix. Yummy!

    • Natashalh profile image
      Author

      Natasha 4 years ago from Hawaii

      I bet butter cake would be good. Pecans are always a good touch, I just didn't get any because they are expensive this year and I'm a grad student!

    • loveofnight profile image

      loveofnight 4 years ago from Baltimore, Maryland

      I do believe that you have given me one of the many desert recipes that I will be making and giving this holiday season. This truly is a must make.Thanks much and keep hubbing.

    • Natashalh profile image
      Author

      Natasha 4 years ago from Hawaii

      Thank you, loveofnight! I hope you enjoy and thanks for stopping by.

    • Turtlewoman profile image

      Kim Lam 4 years ago from California

      Hmmm, I've never thought about reheating the pumpkin purée to get rid of that metallic smell...thanks for the tip. Beautiful hub!

    • Natashalh profile image
      Author

      Natasha 4 years ago from Hawaii

      It works really well - try it next time you make a pumpkin pie, too!

    • PegCole17 profile image

      Peg Cole 4 years ago from Dallas, Texas

      This turned out fantastic! Thanks so much for the recipe. I liked it so much I made this recipe and wrote about it on my blog. It was delicious and I'll be making this one again.

    • Peggy W profile image

      Peggy Woods 4 years ago from Houston, Texas

      I love pumpkin pie so should like your pumpkin cake recipe. Nice tip you learned about heating the pumpkin first. Thanks for passing it along to us. Voted up and interesting! Wish I had a bite of it right now. Would be great with a cup of coffee. :)

    • Natashalh profile image
      Author

      Natasha 4 years ago from Hawaii

      Fantstic, PegCole17! I'm glad it turned out delicious =)

      It goes fantastically well with coffee, Peggy W. I've enjoyed several pieces that way! Thanks for stopping by.

    • vespawoolf profile image

      vespawoolf 4 years ago from Peru, South America

      This will be perfect for our family, as I like pumpkin bread and my hubby enjoys pumpkin pie. Now we can both enjoy this pie cake! I like the tip of cooking tinned pumpkin to remove the metallic taste, although we have to use fresh here in Peru. Thanks so much! Voted up, pinned and shared.

    • Natashalh profile image
      Author

      Natasha 4 years ago from Hawaii

      Thank you for sharing, vespawoolf. I agree that fresh puree is better, I just don't usually have the time to make it! I hope you enjoy this recipe - I think it's delicious.

    • J. Biaza profile image

      J. Biaza 4 years ago from USA

      I love pumpkin anything. This looks like a great recipe to try this season.

      I am always looking for something to go on the side of my pumpkin pie.

    • Kathryn Stratford profile image

      Kathryn 4 years ago from Manchester, Connecticut

      I love pumpkin, and this looks fantastic! I would love to try this for a family get-together around the holidays, but first I will test the recipe out myself ;)

      Thank you for sharing this recipe, and all of the tips that come along with it.

    • Natashalh profile image
      Author

      Natasha 4 years ago from Hawaii

      Any time is pumpkin time! Or maybe I'm the only person who thinks so...

      I hope you enjoy it!

    • Kathryn Stratford profile image

      Kathryn 4 years ago from Manchester, Connecticut

      No, I agree. I like pumpkin anytime. I actually make pumpkin pancakes once every week or two, every time of the year!

    • trusouldj profile image

      trusouldj 4 years ago from Indiana

      ok, you're making me hungry.

    • Natashalh profile image
      Author

      Natasha 4 years ago from Hawaii

      Yeah...it's a tasty recipe! I had a very sensible lunch, so I'm hungry now, too!

    • profile image

      stessily 4 years ago

      Natasha, Pumpkin pie cake is one of my favorites because it's easy to make, pretty to look at, and delicious to eat. Your point about cooking pumpkin puree "to remove that characteristic, unpleasant metallic taste" is an easy remedy and well worthwhile. Also I always buy unseasoned pumpkin puree because, as you point out, then the flavoring can be individualized. Also your suggestion about substituting brown sugar for white sugar is excellent; lately I'm regularly substituting the brown sugar because I like the detectable difference in texture.

      Thank you for taking the time to spread the word about pumpkin pie cake and including helpful tips and photos.

      Kind regards, Stessily

    • Natashalh profile image
      Author

      Natasha 4 years ago from Hawaii

      I'm glad you liked my additional pumpkin pie tips! And that you've actually heard of pumpkin pie cake before, too. Thanks for stopping by and taking the time to comment!

    • Au fait profile image

      C E Clark 3 years ago from North Texas

      Looks and sounds delicious! I love pumpkin all year around and the crust is what intrigues me here. May try this for Thanksgiving when my daughter will be here to help me eat it. :)

    • Natashalh profile image
      Author

      Natasha 3 years ago from Hawaii

      It's funny you just commented - I'm literally eating pumpkin pie cake right now! It's that time of year again. =) I hope you enjoy it and thanks for stopping by!

    • EatCookReview profile image

      Chantele and Julie 3 years ago from Wales

      That looks really good!

    • CatherineGiordano profile image

      Catherine Giordano 2 years ago from Orlando Florida

      Look delicious. I love pumpkin pie and this is a way to "spice" it up a little. It's a variation of the old standard.

    • Natashalh profile image
      Author

      Natasha 2 years ago from Hawaii

      I didn't actually make any pumpkin smash this year, but I think it isn't too late! Who says pumpkin is just for the holidays? Thanks for stopping in!

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