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Makeover Crunchy Pumpkin Dessert Squares Recipe

Makeover Crunchy Pumpkin Dessert Squares Recipe

By combining Cindy’s efforts with our own, we created a decadent dessert worthy of praises. And with 100 less calories per serving than the original, too! Now that’s something to celebrate at any gathering this year! Cindy Styles — Goldsboro, North Carolina
TOTAL TIME: Prep: 15 min. Bake: 1 hour + cooling YIELD:20 servings


  • 1 can (30 ounces) pumpkin pie filling
  • 1 can (12 ounces) fat-free evaporated milk
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 package yellow cake mix (regular size)
  • 2/3 cup chopped pecans
  • 1 cup reduced-fat butter, melted
  • 1-1/4 cups fat-free whipped topping


  • 1. In a large bowl, combine the pie filling, milk and eggs; beat on medium speed until smooth. Pour into an ungreased 13-in. x 9-in. baking pan. Sprinkle with cake mix and pecans; drizzle with butter.
  • 2. Bake at 350° for 60-65 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool completely on a wire rack. Garnish with whipped topping. Refrigerate leftovers. Yield: 20 servings.
Editor's Note: This recipe was tested with Land O'Lakes light stick butter.

Nutritional Facts

1 piece: 246 calories, 10g fat (4g saturated fat), 44mg cholesterol, 335mg sodium, 36g carbohydrate (23g sugars, 1g fiber), 4g protein .

Reviews for Makeover Crunchy Pumpkin Dessert Squares

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staddeo 183249
Reviewed Jan. 1, 2014

"This recipe is a hit! Something different from traditional pumpkin pie, very easy, and very tasty!"

loraone 185616
Reviewed Nov. 29, 2013

"This is the 2nd year to make this. We love it!! As mentioned by rdooley65, I cut the calories by using fat free evap milk. I also use 1/2 box of cake mix. You really don't need so much mix. And yes, to Angel-Food on the 1st of Jan, you MUST used the pumpkin PIE FILLING!!"

rdooley65 211084
Reviewed Nov. 11, 2013

"I will be making this with a sugar free came mix, sugar blend and fat free evaporated milk and 0 Cal butter spray, for Thanksgiving. Just a little healthier."

Angel_Food 172181
Reviewed Jan. 1, 2013

"I think denbet thinks it is bitter because she didn't use Pumpkin Pie Mix. She probably used pumpkin only. I agree a whole box of cake mix is too much. This is one of the best healthy Cooking recipes I've tried."

Kayhet 101218
Reviewed Dec. 11, 2012


gdwitch 101216
Reviewed Nov. 24, 2012

"Tasty but a mess. Does not look like the picture. Followed directions exactly and bottom never solidified to cut into squares. It was like pudding. How does everyone get this out of the pan without everything falling apart?"

GWENRW 185615
Reviewed Nov. 29, 2011

"WOW! This was delicious! I have already made it 3 times and given the recipe to several friends that ate mine!! Love this!!"

trishgale 145122
Reviewed Nov. 13, 2011

"I have made this twice and both times used only 1/2 of a butter cake mix and only 1/4 cup chopped pecans. I also used 1/2 stick of reduced fat butter instead of 2 sticks. The second time I used the butter spray which was not as good. Without the butter each piece is about 130 calories. I will definitely make this again and again."

denbet 167791
Reviewed Nov. 10, 2011

"This had no spices or anything to give it taste, all you tasted was the bitter pumpkin"

jnewby2010 185613
Reviewed Nov. 10, 2011

"There were 10 of us in the office, and everyone LOVED this!"

bji 185393
Reviewed Nov. 9, 2011

"2 sticks of butter is way too much. Start with half that much. Once you see how it works, you may be able to cut back more. If there is some dry cake mix untouched by the melted butter, spritz it with butter spray. The original recipe used sugar in with the pumpkin. If it isn't sweet enough, try some Splenda or equivalent. I question the heart healthy rating on this recipe but the nuts do counteract some of the butter."

hartman55 101215
Reviewed Nov. 8, 2011

"I'm going to try the recipe again and cut the amount of butter in half and use pumpkin pie "filling" versus the canned pumpkin the next time. Much easier to make than my Pumpkin Pie Cake...less calories too! I'm sure it will be much tastier!!"

MY REVIEW 106855
Reviewed Nov. 4, 2011

"Does anyone think that the amount of butter can be cut in half?"

aubsmc 183248
Reviewed Nov. 4, 2011

"This was good and easy to make. I'm not a huge pumpkin pie fan and thought this was a nice replacement for that. Going to make this soon for a Thanksgiving meal at my church."

MY REVIEW 106853
Reviewed Nov. 4, 2011

"This cake was very dry and not moist like I had hoped!!"

crowebar 115737
Reviewed Nov. 3, 2011

"Yup, I bet that's why it was bad. Thanks for clearing that up. Might try it with the right ingredients..I'm sure it'll be waayyy better! Thx!"

prenk1dm 186993
Reviewed Nov. 3, 2011

"I bet you used canned "pumpkin" and not "pumpkin pie filling" as stated in the recipe. They are two different things. :)"

crowebar 126291
Reviewed Oct. 30, 2011

"It was awful! Tasted like the pumpkin right out of the can, very bitter. I thought I copied the recipe wrong, but I didn't. I don't get how people liked it. It was like something was missing."

honeymore 185391
Reviewed Oct. 2, 2011

"I love this recipe and make it a lot. Just made it this week from my healthy cooking mag. You won't be sorry you tried it, so easy !!"

Rubyredgold 126290
Reviewed Sep. 30, 2011

"This recipe is easy to make and is delicious! I make it every year for our Fall dinner at our church and it is a hit every time."

dezzie0807 101214
Reviewed Apr. 22, 2011

"This is amazing! Everyone always loves it when making it for friends and family I use the full fat version of ingridients:;)"

dezzie0807 167789
Reviewed Apr. 22, 2011

"This is amazing! Everyone always loves it when making it for friends and family I use the full fat version of ingridients:;)"

passin 186991
Reviewed Nov. 7, 2010

"Everyone's favourite!"

cgriffin1126 211083
Reviewed Oct. 28, 2010

"This is awesome. I always get good reviews on it and it's so easy."

leewardmomma 185612
Reviewed Sep. 6, 2010

"These are amazing! My family raves about them. Now that fall is here, I'll definitely be making them more often."

caramurray21 106852
Reviewed Feb. 22, 2010

"This is the most delicious pumpkin recipe!! It is sooo simple!! It has become a favorite, thanks for the great recipe!"

msabaker 183243
Reviewed Dec. 15, 2009

"This was so delicious, I got requests for more!!"

cathy1022 186990
Reviewed Nov. 29, 2009

"My sister made these for Thanksgiving and we took them camping with us. What a wonderful desert. Will definately make this a tradition. When serving I would suggest that you flip over and have the pumpkin on top. If not, the pumpkin squishes out when you try to cut into it."

CO_Dixie_chicken 183444
Reviewed Nov. 20, 2009

"ATTN: Recipe-Bot!

Can we get the recipe prior to the makeover? I have pumpkin puree on hand that needs to be used. How much sugar and what spices were in the original recipe? Thanks!"

mlg082549 185390
Reviewed Nov. 10, 2009

"Very good. Everyone enjoyed it and it was a lighter receipe too!"

lambmm 185353
Reviewed Nov. 9, 2009

"This is definitely a "keeper" recipe and one that will be served at our Thanksgiving meal."

creader 117858
Reviewed Nov. 7, 2009

"To decrease the sugar in this recipe, I bought a can of regular pumpkin and added 3/4c of splenda for baking plus the spices called for on the back of the pumpkin can. The canned pumpkin pie filling I found was made with high fructose corn syrup. Yuck! I also used reduced sugar yelllow cake mix, cut back on the butter by about 1/4c and used 4 egg whites. Not sure of the calories saved, but 'm willing to bet it's quite a few!"

smwegscheider 115733
Reviewed Nov. 3, 2009

"My co-workers and I loved this recipe!"

beth_morello 167786
Reviewed Oct. 31, 2009

"I also used egg beaters which cut calories and cholesterol."

bettytaliaferro 106851
Reviewed Oct. 30, 2009

"I have taken this dessert to two church gatherings this month and have gotten rave reviews each time. Everyone seems to love it!

And they can hardly believe it's healthy!!"

beckins1217 186984
Reviewed Oct. 30, 2009

"I wonder if those of you who said it was bland and needed sugar... did you use the pumpkin pie FILLING... or just canned pumpkin?"

meals 183442
Reviewed Oct. 30, 2009

"I have made this several times this year! we are making it for our Thanksgiving Special at work, and i'll make it for out meal at home. Another thing - it holds so nice for 4 days or so!!"

lpeters86 117856
Reviewed Oct. 29, 2009

"If I could, I would give this recipe 0 out of 5 stars. It was WAY TOO bland. This simply is one recipe that needs to keep the sugar in it. The extra 100 calories saved are not worth what you eat instead."

Chef-Sudey 166473
Reviewed Oct. 27, 2009

"I have made pumpkin crunch before and I know how good it I was excited to try this lower-calorie recipe, but I was so disappointd when I tasted this!! The pumpkin layer was so definitely needs sugar! I am all for a healthier recipes and options, but its got to have taste and the pumpkin in this recipe did not....very disappointed;("

v6282143 145120
Reviewed Oct. 17, 2009

"I liked the sounds of this dessert but still wanted to reduce it down further.   I used solid pumpkin without spices and sugar and added the spices on the pumpkin can but used splenda instead of sugar and use egg beaters instead of eggs.  I also used a reduced sugar yellow cake mix.  Everything else was the same.  I don't know what it originally tasted like but this was very good.  I don't know how much more calories I saved but I think it was alot.   I served this to compamy and they loved it.

Valerie  /   Ohio"

emhrnbsn 145119
Reviewed Oct. 13, 2009

"We all liked it but wasn't as good the next day. Also- I used full fat butter."

daisey5 145118
Reviewed Oct. 9, 2009

"Was very good and everyone that tried it, loved it."

blackm 145117
Reviewed Sep. 29, 2009

"I don't know what I did wrong.

I followed the directions, but mine never set.  I baked it the time it said and even baked it longer, but the pumpkin was still all liquidy.[[:'(]"

blackm 186982
Reviewed Sep. 29, 2009

"I made this and it never set. Very disappointed."

bitgirl 115731
Reviewed Sep. 18, 2009

"Just after I received my issue in the mail I sat down and started looking through it. When I came to this recipe, I HAD to go right to the kitchen and make it - it sounded THAT GOOD! (and easy). We are going to dinner tonight at a friend's house and I'm taking a second batch of this over there for dessert. This is a new favorite at my house and will be made several times this fall. Thank you for a great, easy, recipe that is so good!"

oscarbooboo 185351
Reviewed Sep. 16, 2009

"Is it possible to see a comparison of the 2 different recipes?"

Robin Bean 211082
Reviewed Sep. 12, 2009

"These are absolutely delicious!"

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