Optional: Vanilla ice cream or sweetened whipped cream
Preheat oven to 350°. In a large bowl, combine the first 6 ingredients. Add milk, pumpkin, butter and vanilla; mix until blended. Stir in pecans. Transfer to a greased 9-in. square baking pan. For topping, combine brown sugar and cinnamon; sprinkle over batter. Pour water over top (do not stir).
Bake until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean and liquid is bubbling around the edges, 25-30 minutes. Cool completely in pan on a wire rack. Serve with ice cream or whipped cream if desired.
Test Kitchen tips
You'll love the cozy cardamom aroma that will fill your kitchen while this cake bakes.
When the cake is done, it will be bubbling around the edges and a toothpick will come out clean.