Pumpkin Crunch Cake

Merry Christmas! I know I’m a day late, but hopefully this cake will make up for it. My family hosted my cousin’s family for dinner tonight, and I made an adapted version of this wonderful pumpkin crunch cake from Chef Dennis. I cut the recipe in half to make it a more manageable size, and substituted walnuts for the pecans, since that’s what I had on hand. I also used the cream cheese frosting from Sally’s Carrot Cake, rather than use all the fancy ingredients required

I generally don’t like cakes, which is why you won’t see many on this blog, but this cake is an exception. It was amazing. The cake was quite dense and moist, a bit more like a pumpkin bread than a cake. And it has cream cheese frosting! Win! The cream cheese frosting, paired with this dense pumpkin cake, and finished off with a sweet, crunchy topping, makes this cake quite near perfect. Here’s the recipe, with my adaptations!

Pumpkin Crunch Cake

adapted from Chef Dennis

Makes 1 2-layer cake


Crunch Topping

1 1/2 cups pecans, finely chopped

1 1/2 cups vanilla wafers

1 cup brown sugar

1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, melted


1/2 cup granulated sugar

6 tbsp unsalted butter, softened

1/2 15oz can (a little less than 1 cup) pumpkin puree

1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour

1/4 cup Greek yogurt, plain (I used 2%)

2 tsp vanilla extract

2 tsp cinnamon

1/2 tsp nutmeg

1/4 tsp cloves

1/4 tsp allspice

1/4 tsp ginger

1 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp salt

2 eggs

Cream Cheese Frosting

8 oz cream cheese, softened

1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened

2-2.5 cups powdered sugar

2 tbsp milk

2 tsp vanilla extract

pinch salt


Crunch Topping

Grease 2 9-inch cake pans.

Pulse cookies in a food processor into fine crumbs. Add pecans and pulse to a fine shop. Mix in the brown sugar, then pour in the melted butter and stir to combine. Divide into three portions. Press one portion into each of the cake pans, and reserve the last third for the sides of the cake.


Preheat the oven to 350˚F.

Cream together the sugar and butter until light and fluffy. Add in the pumpkin, flour, yogurt, vanilla, spices, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Mix until just blended. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, until just combined. Divide the batter between the two cake pans. Place the reserved crunch topping on a baking sheet.

Put the topping in with the cakes but take it out after about 10 minutes. Bake the cakes for about 20 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Once baked, remove from the oven and allow to cool for ten minutes, then invert onto a rack to cool completely. Break up the crunch topping to decorate the cake with. While the cakes cool, prepare the frosting.

Cream Cheese Frosting

Beat the cream cheese and butter together in a mixer until creamy and thoroughly combined. Add 2 cups of powdered sugar and beat until combined. Add the milk, vanilla, and salt and beat to combine. Add powdered sugar to reach desired thickness.

To assemble the cake

Once the cakes are completely cooled, frost one layer, then top with second layer. Frost the sides and top. Coat the frosted sides and top with the reserved crunch topping. Admire your handiwork, and enjoy!



Add some nice crunch topping and you have a cake!







One thought on “Pumpkin Crunch Cake

  1. Charisma says:

    Mmm I love the crunch in this cake!

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