Great Pumpkin Dessert Recipe
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Great Pumpkin Dessert Recipe

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Canned pumpkin and yellow cake mix make these bars an effortless alternative to pumpkin pie. It's a tried-and-true dessert that always brings big smiles. —Linda Guyot, Fountain Valley, California
Featured In: 25 Best Fall Desserts
TOTAL TIME: Prep: 5 min. Bake: 1 hour
MAKES:12-16 servings
TOTAL TIME: Prep: 5 min. Bake: 1 hour
MAKES: 12-16 servings


  • 1 can (15 ounces) solid-pack pumpkin
  • 1 can (12 ounces) evaporated milk
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 4 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 package yellow cake mix (regular size)
  • 3/4 cup butter, melted
  • 1-1/2 cups chopped walnuts
  • Vanilla ice cream or whipped cream

Nutritional Facts

1 piece: 385 calories, 21g fat (8g saturated fat), 70mg cholesterol, 326mg sodium, 44g carbohydrate (30g sugars, 3g fiber), 8g protein.


  1. In a large bowl, beat first five ingredients until smooth.
  2. Transfer to a greased 13x9-in. baking dish. Sprinkle with cake mix and drizzle with butter. Top with walnuts.
  3. Bake at 350° for 1 hour or until a knife inserted near the center comes out clean. Serve with ice cream or whipped cream. Yield: 12-16 servings.
Originally published as Great Pumpkin Dessert in Quick Cooking September/October 1999, p12

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Becky User ID: 9128857 264264
Reviewed Apr. 3, 2017

"This was very tasty and easy. I used half the sugar and half the butter, which was perfect--not too sweet and fewer calories."

Cathy User ID: 8973025 258124
Reviewed Dec. 14, 2016

"I did not add the cup of sugar, it was plenty sweet without it."

603linda User ID: 819056 256811
Reviewed Nov. 15, 2016

"Great easy recipe and tasted great."

amehart User ID: 1464390 256667
Reviewed Nov. 11, 2016

"Super simple and super delicious!! Love this and so does everyone I serve it to! Have made this several times already and sometimes have added coarsely crushed gingersnaps on top before baking - so good!!"

SonjaVK User ID: 8558871 255906
Reviewed Oct. 25, 2016

"I love how easy this is and the streusel like topping from the cake mix and butter on top. Sent it to my in laws and my BIL deemed it "best pumpkin pie ever!" He doesn't like pie crusts so this was perfect for him. :)"

LoungeDog User ID: 8505028 255800
Reviewed Oct. 23, 2016

"Super easy to make. Delicious. The flavor and consistency reminded me of a pumpkin bread pudding I once had. Will make it again."

bicktasw User ID: 4201818 254901
Reviewed Oct. 2, 2016

"What a wonderful (and easy) recipe! I had some frozen pumpkin puree that I made last Fall and decided to use that instead of canned.... so, I used 2 cups of pumpkin puree instead of the 15 ounce can .... I also used just 2 eggs (that's all I had!) ....... I used light brown sugar instead of white and only 2 teaspoons of pumpkin pie spice. The final change I made?? I used a spice cake mix instead of yellow cake as I had that cake mix on hand. I must say, the end result was VERY tasty ..... a very nice layer on the bottom of pumpkin (almost like pumpkin pie) topped with a thin layer of cake (with some crunchy spots...), finished off with the richness from the butter and the crunch of the walnuts.... This will definitely be on my list of things to make for the Holidays."

fkarpen User ID: 4435428 254698
Reviewed Sep. 27, 2016

"I make this but use pecans. I like this for Thanksgiving instead of pie"

cbachtel User ID: 3618273 254645
Reviewed Sep. 26, 2016

"This turned out great. My husband, who isn't a huge dessert eater, ate 2 pieces while it was still warm! Only things I did different was to cut butter to 1/2 cup to reduce fat, made with splenda in pie filling and sugar free cake, and pecans instead of walnuts, because that is what I had."

Stacy User ID: 7998214 254624
Reviewed Sep. 25, 2016

"So many good reviews thought this would be a winner. Wrong. It was horrible. The pumpkin base was missing something. The cake mix never turned into cake. It was just dry powdered cake mix. (actually making the batter would've been better). Good thing we even sprinkled praline and peanuts on top so somewhat edible. Ice cream too."

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