This sweet, creamy, crunchy Pumpkin Walnut Crunch Cake is similar to other Pumpkin Crunch Cake desserts but uses walnuts instead of pecans, and a homemade “cake mix” instead of a packaged cake mix, and includes a sprinkling of cinnamon sugar on top. Serve warm with ice cream for a crowd-pleasing Fall or Thanksgiving dessert!
With the record-setting heat that we are experiencing right now, I am looking forward to Fall. I love everything about Fall. Football, cooler weather, Fall foliage, and of course, Fall foods, especially Fall desserts! So I wanted to start my Fall baking.
However, my husband, Mr. Gridiron Grub Guru, is not a fan of pumpkin pie. If I serve it at a Thanksgiving dinner, he will pass it up every time. To him, pumpkin pie is bland and boring. However, I (and the rest of our extended family who comes over the for Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays) love pumpkin pie.
This is why each year I try to come up with other pumpkin recipes as an alternative to pumpkin pie.
So I have come up with a compromise that I’m certain will please even the pickiest of eaters, including Mr. Gridiron Grub Guru. It dresses up the sweet, creamy pumpkin pie by adding a crunchy cake layer on top. With walnuts and cinnamon sugar sprinkled on top, it is a certain home run!
Since Mr. Gridiron Grub Guru has now tried the Pumpkin Walnut Crunch Cake, I can confidently say that it has his enthusiastic stamp of approval. He even asked that I serve it this Thanksgiving. Even his Mom loved it, and usually, she is my pickiest eater.
If you can make pumpkin pie, and you can bake a simple cake, then making this Pumpkin Walnut Crunch Cake will be a breeze.
I recommend serving the Pumpkin Walnut Crunch Cake warm with a scoop of ice cream on top, but it is delicious on its own as well.
For which occasion will you be making this Pumpkin Walnut Crunch Cake?
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Pumpkin Walnut Crunch Cake
- 1 15-ounce can pumpkin puree
- 1 12-ounce can evaporated milk
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 4 whole large eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice
Homemade "Cake Mix" Layer
- 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 3/4 cups granulated sugar
- 1/3 cup nonfat dry milk
- 2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
Over The Top
- 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
- 1 cup butter melted
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 2 teaspoons cinnamon
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Spray a 9x13 inch baking pan with baking spray (or butter and flour the pan.)
- In a large bowl, whisk together the pumpkin puree, evaporated milk, eggs, white and brown sugar, vanilla, and pumpkin pie spice until all ingredients are thoroughly combined and the batter is smooth.
- Pour the pumpkin mixture into a prepared pan and spread evenly with a spatula.
- In a medium bowl, stir together all the ingredients for the "cake mix" layer until well combined.
- Sprinkle the dry "cake mix" over the top of the pumpkin layer.
- Sprinkle the top of the cake with chopped walnuts and drizzle the melted butter over the top.
- In a small bowl, stir together 1/4 cup sugar with 2 teaspoons cinnamon.
- Sprinkle the cinnamon sugar mixture evenly over the top of the cake.
- Cover the pan with foil.
- Bake in preheated oven for 30 minutes. Remove the foil. Continue baking an additional 25 - 30 minutes or until set.
- Remove pan to a wire rack to cool completely.
- One serving suggestion is to top with ice cream before serving.
Be sure to pin this recipe to your Pumpkin or Thanksgiving Board!