Pumpkin Crunch is a big deal in Hawaii! Never heard of it? Today I’m sharing a very simple pumpkin crunch recipe for you to try this fall!
The first fall we lived in Hawaii, we were at a picnic that featured a full table of desserts. One of them appeared to be little pieces of cake with frosting served in a cupcake liner. I took one for my plate, but as soon as I tasted it – I knew it was SO MUCH BETTER than cake. When I asked the host, she told me it was pumpkin crunch. I thought to myself…what is pumpkin crunch? The answer is: the most delicious fall dessert to exist.
Pumpkin Crunch In Hawaii
What Is Pumpkin Crunch?
Pumpkin Crunch is an island-wide favorite in Hawaii as soon as fall rolls around. I don’t know how or when it started, but I have zero complaints. It’s a buttery cake base, moist pumpkin center and whipped cream cheese frosting. It’s always cut into tiny squares and served as individual pieces in cupcake liners.
I’ll be honest – I have tried to make this many times and it has fallen flat. It wasn’t until a neighbor gave me her pumpkin crunch recipe that it actually worked out.
Pumpkin Crunch Recipe
I promise that once you make this, there will be no going back. You’re going to want to make it every fall and I can’t say I blame you. It’s something I look forward to every single year, because even though we don’t get a true Northeast fall season here (with changing leaves! sweaters! crisp temperatures!), we DO get pumpkin crunch.
To make this easy pumpkin crunch at home, you will need:
15 Oz of pumpkin pie filling
12oz evaporated milk
1 cup sugar
1 box yellow cake mix (dry)
1 cup chopped pecans
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
2 sticks of butter (one stick = 8 tablespoons)
For the frosting:
1 8 oz. block of cream cheese
3/4 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
2. Line a 9 x 13 pan with parchment paper.
3. Mix pumpkin, milk, eggs, cinnamon, pumpkin pie spice, and sugar.
4. Pour into parchment paper-lined pan.
5. Sprinkle half the box of yellow cake mix over it.
6. Sprinkle pecans on cake mix.
7. Layer other 1/2 of dry cake mix on top.
8. Melt butter and spoon over the top evenly.
9. Bake at 350 degrees for 50-60 minutes.
10. Let cake cool completely (this part is very important!). When cool, invert 9×13 pan onto a tray (the cake part you made with the cake mix and pecans is the buttery crust bottom).
11. For frosting, whip heavy cream into whipped cream using hand mixer. Blend with cream cheese and powdered sugar. Frost baked pumpkin with frosting and sprinkle with pecans (optional). Cut into squares if you’re serving to a crowd!
I know the recipe seems a little daunting, but I promise you, this is worth every single step and weird direction! I can also tell you that if you are not serving this to a crowd, you’re going to want to cut the squares a bit bigger, because one tiny piece is not enough!