4.83 from 56 votes
pumpkin crunch cake with cream cheese frosting
Pumpkin Crunch Cake
Prep Time
45 mins
Cook Time
25 mins
Total Time
1 hr 10 mins

What better way to celebrate the season than with my Pumpkin Crunch Cake!  It will definitely bring smiles to your table and soon become your new family fall tradition.

Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: American dessert, pumpkin cake, pumpkin crunch cake
Servings: 20
Calories: 744 kcal
Author: Chef Dennis Littley
Crunch Topping
  • 3 cups walnuts finely chopped
  • 3 cups vanilla wafers about 75 cookies
  • 3 cups brown sugar
  • 8 oz butter
Pumpkin Crunch Cake
  • 1 1/4 cup sugar
  • 6 oz softened butter
  • 1 16 oz can solid pack pumpkin not pumpkin pie mix
  • 2 1/2 cups flour
  • 1/2 cup Greek yogurt
  • 1 Tablespoon pure vanilla
  • 1 Tablespoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 2 1/4 Teaspoons baking powder
  • 3/4 Teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Salt
  • 4 large Eggs
Cream Cheese Frosting
  • 16 oz cream cheese 454 g
  • 8 oz mascarpone * 227 g, or cream cheese
  • 8 oz softened butter 227 g
  • 2 cups confectioners sugar 150 g
  • 1 Tablespoon pure vanilla 15 ml
Crunch Topping
  1. Melt Butter
  2. In a food processor, pulse cookies to a fine crumb
  3. Then Pulse walnuts to a fine chop
  4. Add in Brown Sugar and mix well.
  5. Add in Melted Butter and blend together.
  6. Divide mixture into 4 Coated Cake Pans - standard 9-inch rounds (One very full cup per pan), pressing into bottom and spreading it evenly into the cake pans. Reserve about 2 cups of the mixture which will be baked to use on the sides of the cake.

  7. Set pans aside and begin cake.
  8. Pre heat Oven to 350 degrees.
Pumpkin Cake
  1. In your mixer beat sugar and butter for about 5 minutes until light and fluffy, scraping down the bowl frequently .
  2. Add In Pumpkin and all the rest of the ingredients, except the eggs. Mix just until blended.
  3. Add in the Eggs, one at a time just until blended.
  4. Divide batter equally into your 4 prepared cake pans, smooth it out and make it as even as possible in the pan.
  5. Place remaining crunch mixture in another cake pan or pie dish and allow to bake for the same amount of time as the cakes.
  6. Bake in a 350 degree oven for about 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. If you use 2 racks to bake on in the oven, at the halfway mark rotate the pans .
  7. Allow pans to cool about 10 minutes, then turn them out onto a wire racks and allow to completely cool.
  8. break up the extra crunch mix to very small bits to use to decorate the cake with.
  9. while your cakes are baking prepare a Cream Cheese Frosting.
Cream Cheese Frosting
  1. Whip the cream cheese, mascarpone, and butter till very smooth and creamy
  2. Slowly add in the confectioners sugar while mixer is on low setting

  3. Add in Vanilla and mix well. Set aside till needed.
  1. After your cake is completely cooled ( you can even refrigerate for a few hours) begin frosting the layers and putting the cake together.
  2. When you have assembled all the layers with some frosting between them, start to spread the remaining frosting on the sides and top.
  3. When finished frosting, coat sides and top with your extra crunch mixture*
Recipe Notes

*You can substitute cream cheese for the Mascarpone, I don't always have it on hand. You may want to increase the butter a bit cutting that amount from the cream cheese. If you have a favorite cream cheese frosting recipe, use that!

*feel free to eliminate the extra frosting on the sides of the cake and the additional crunch topping on the sides, the original cake was served simply with only whipped cream between the layers.

**I always use standard size 9 inch round cake pans. You can use other size pans but your cooking times will need to be adjusted

****If your cake sticks to the bottom of the pan, place it on a burner of your stove for about 15 seconds, the heat will help release the cake from the pan. This process works for all cakes. Just be careful and judge how hot and evenly your stove top heats the pan.
After heating place a plate on top of the pan, and invert quickly. Tap the pan with the heel of a knife to help release the cake.

Nutrition Facts
Pumpkin Crunch Cake
Amount Per Serving
Calories 744 Calories from Fat 477
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 53g 82%
Saturated Fat 25g 125%
Cholesterol 136mg 45%
Sodium 493mg 21%
Potassium 290mg 8%
Total Carbohydrates 62g 21%
Dietary Fiber 2g 8%
Sugars 51g
Protein 7g 14%
Vitamin A 100.9%
Vitamin C 1.6%
Calcium 12.8%
Iron 7.9%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.