Pumpkin Cream Cheese Dessert

column5 088Dump cakes are new to me. Whenever one would pop up on Facebook, I’d just move along because why would anyone want to eat something with the worddump” in it? Seriously, can you think of a single positive connotation? Besides that, they use a boxed cake mix, which I try to stay away from.

Then I ate a pumpkin dump cake at a club meeting, and was smitten. The flavors, the crunch. (Cue erotic moaning here.)

When I was experimenting with homemade make-ahead cake mixes for my October Food for Thought column (which will be up on October 2) the logical thing to test it on – besides a cake –  was a pumpkin dessert. I wheedled the recipe from the lady at club, added pockets of cheesecake to the recipe and used lots of pecans. I also may have topped the warm dessert with a scoop of maple nut ice cream.

And I was, for once, speechless. It was beyond good. My personal preference when it comes to desserts is for something plain. A slice of angel food cake. A brownie. A bowl of ice cream. I have no problem with making complicated recipes – the harder and more involved it is, the more I enjoy the process – but I  would rather eat something simple, and this was just so…busy looking.

Honey, let me tell you – looks aren’t everything. The complex flavors will make you weep.

I’m sure I don’t have to tell you how to make the filling for pumpkin pie, right? You just grab a 15 oz. can of Libby’s solid pack pumpkin and follow instructions. Or you buy the pre-made kind in a can. Or you follow your grandma’s recipe with condensed milk or whipping cream and brandy.

The foundation of this dessert is a batch of pumpkin pie filling. Covered with dollops of cream cheesy goodness. Suffocated with a thick layer of dry cake mix. Drizzled with melted butter. Adorned with pecans. What’s not to love?

If you must use a boxed white cake mix, that’s OK.  If you would like to make yours from scratch, here’s a small version of my cake mix. You’ll use about 1/2 of this (my cake mix is a little more generous than the packaged kind). Save the rest in an airtight container for your next dump cake, or check out the October Yummy column for the full cake recipe.

White Cake Mix

3 cups cake flour
1/2 cup dry milk powder
1 3/4 cups sugar (I use superfine, but regular is OK)
4 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt

Thoroughly whisk together all ingredients. Use half of this recipe for topping a dump cake and store the rest in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 months.

Here’s how it all gets put together:

Pumpkin Cream Cheese Dessert
Serves 12 A scoop of ice cream is lovely over this warm dessert.
  • Pumpkin pie filling for one pie
  • 1 8-oz package cream cheese, softened
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 egg
  • ¼ cup milk
  • 1 package white cake mix, DRY!
  • ¾ cup butter, melted
  • 1 cup (or more) chopped pecans
  1. Heat oven to 350 F.
  2. Grease and flour (I use Baker's Joy spray) a 9x13 cake pan or casserole dish.
  3. Spread the pumpkin pie filling evenly in the bottom of pan.
  4. Cream the cream cheese, powdered sugar, flour, vanilla, and egg together well.
  5. While beating, slowly add the milk a little at a time. You may not need all the milk - it depends on the size of your egg. I use jumbo eggs and 2 tablespoons was just right. The goal is to have the mixture the texture of thick pudding.
  6. Drop the cream cheese mixture in rounded tablespoons over the pumpkin. Take a knife and pull it through gently. You don't want to mix the pumpkin and cream cheese...you just want to have it evenly distributed. Another option would be to put the cream cheese filling in a zipper bag, cut the tip off, and pipe it all over the pumpkin.
  7. Cover completely with dry cake mix.
  8. Drizzle evenly with melted butter.
  9. Sprinkle with pecans.
  10. Bake for approximately 1 hour. Let it cool on a rack and eat it when it's barely warm.
  11. Refrigerate leftovers.


Globs of cream cheese mixture, covered with dry cake mix.

Drop globs of cream cheese mixture over the surface OR use a zipper storage bag with the tip cut off to squeeze it evenly over the pumpkin.

(Yes, I know. I didn’t pull a knife through the cream cheese before I covered it with cake mix. I learn as I go!)

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Drizzle with butter

Ready for the oven

Ready for the oven

I always get excited about new recipes (I wish I could be that passionate about housework) but this one has really stolen my heart. It is my new go-to Fall “company vittles” dessert, and will probably take the place of pumpkin pie for Thanksgiving.

Now that I shared my new addiction with you, may I ask for a favor? Pretty please? I’m one of the top 13 finalists for Blogger Idol, and just finished my first assignment which will go live at noon on Wednesday, October 2nd. Would you please check it out and vote for me? Thank you, Foodie Friends!

13 thoughts on “Pumpkin Cream Cheese Dessert

  1. Drooling my way through this post. I just love that you offer so many options for the cake and for the pie filling. That way I can make it more homemade, but can also take some shortcuts if I’m in a rush.

    Vote for you? I can’t wait!

    • Thank you so much! Honestly, I think the best part is the crunchy top. Mmmm. (You may want to see my assignment before you commit to a vote. It may be a little out of the box)

  2. We haven’t had a dump cake in awhile because we don’t buy boxed cake mix. I love that you give options for those that want to do this from scratch. The finished cake looks mouth watering.

    Thanks for sharing this during Our Little Family Adventure’s Thanksgiving Menu Planning Event. I’ve added a link to your recipe on my planning post. ~Nicky

    • Thanks, Jennifer! I’ve got to say, for a simple dessert it has a lot of flavor. We were moaning while we ate it the first time. Hope it’s a big hit!

    • I have absolutely no idea why yours was done so quickly. Did you use a larger pan? Have you tested your oven? I haven’t heard this from anyone else. Now I’m going to have to try it again (oh, darn :))

  3. Forgot to come back and leave a comment a FEW years ago when I saw your post and made for Thanksgiving- I usually get to bring the dessert and yet one family member insists on store bought pumpkin pie (gag….seriously- worst “store” pie ever but I digress) so we’d end up with my homemade one, the store one, and of course I’d make something else- usually either apple pie (hubby’s choice) or cheesecake, but the former two truly are a bit traditional for even me (every yr at least!) and I’m very big on tradition but wanted something a bit different….

    Enter your blog and WHAM..INSTANT hit and love at first site!! I was able to combine my two favs essentially and make it even easier- funny thing is my third tradtional one is of course Pecan Pie and I used TONS of them on top (sounds like you’d like that too 😉 haha yes the crunchy top is to die for!) Everyone loved it even those who don’t usually get much of the sweets (well) after dinner when Mom cues desert time by starting to make the coffee. Btw- a glass of really good milk goes great with this to me too!! Been at least two years ago if not longer and yet I can still write this review as if it was yesterday! Stuck in my taste bud memory! haha

    So THANKS so very much for an AWESOME recipe I was able to do “as is” without having to tweak this or that!! (well other tha the extra pecans but does that count really…really?haha that’s just good sense! 😉 )
    Hope you still check this and makes you smile to know yet another family enjoyed your creation!!! I’m having Thanksgiving at my new home-God WIlling- this year and now stumbling across this (trying to jog my memory on my cheesecake crust ingredients (amts mostly) as I’m doing that this week for the inlawas and LOVE my “NY” cheesecake- in quotes as it took many “tweaks” as you say from many other recipes and comments over many websites/blogs but I make it with a pecan/coconut graham cracker crust and it’s to DIE for- always kinda left plenty of crust on the plate in past but you gotta try that!!

    Sorry, it’s late and I’m trying to get that done sidetracked by memories of this desert!! Already marked for the menu!! 😉 (and truly that’s a compliment as I’m “the baker” in my family and people have come to expect really good deserts from me! haha so a new “dump” cake that was tayor made for my favorite season is so perfect- esp as easy as it is to make!
    (and btw, I’m with you on “Dump” cake!! haha First time I thought I was not hearing it right! My family never made them so I wasn’t familiar! but you can call this ANY ole things and it would still disappear…even if assisted by people asking for ‘tupperware’ to take some home! (remember it made a “vat” as I only had a huge oversized pan!)

    SO sorry for the book…I get going and…well 😉 haha

    • Holly, thank you so much for this lovely comment! I’m sorry it took me this long to respond; I’ve been distracted with many things and neglected my blog. I’m so glad it was a hit. Easy, isn’t it?! Experimenting and tweaking recipes is half the fun, and it sounds like we are on the same page there. Hope everything goes well in the next months and you get to have that Thanksgiving feast!

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