Happy Wednesday! I finally had time to get this post done for you guys after being on Good Things Utah yesterday. I had a blast on set with all the producers and hosts. They are all so kind and friendly and I legitimately look forward to hanging out with them each month. This Pumpkin Crunch Cake was a hit and we even got Jay (one of the producers) to try this cake and he doesn’t even like pumpkin flavored things and he loved it. He even gave it two thumbs up!
Surprisingly I am actually not a huge fan of pumpkin flavored things either but I absolutely LOVE this dessert. It is hands down my favorite fall time dessert. The pumpkin spice flavor in it is mild and not overpowering, allowing the true pumpkin flavor to stand out. The “crunch” on top is what knocks this dessert out of the park though, it is literally like crack. It is so addicting. It’s loaded with pecans, pretzels, brown sugar and lots of butter! Have I convinced you to make this yet? If not, head to Good Things Utah to watch me demonstrate this recipe and see how much they loved it.
Tips & Tricks:
- I am not a huge fan of pumpkin spice flavor so I keep this recipe more on the mild side when it comes to spice, and I think its perfect the way it is but if you prefer more of a “spicy” pumpkin spice flavor, add an additional teaspoon into the cake batter.
- If you have a nut allergy or don’t like pecans, use 3 cups of chopped pretzels instead of 2 and omit the pecans.
- If you don’t want to make the elements in one day, I like to make the “crunch” on day 1 and the cake and frosting on day 2 and then I’ll frost the cake and store it in the fridge until I’m ready to serve it at which point I will sprinkle the “crunch” all over the top.
Pumpkin Crunch Cake
- Prep Time: 40 min
- Cook Time: 40 min
- Total Time: 80 min
- Yield: 16 1x
A from scratch pumpkin sheet cake frosted with a cream cheese whipped cream frosting and topped with a delicious pumpkin “crunch” full of pretzels, pecans, brown sugar and butter.
For the cake:
- 1 cup vegetable oil
- 2 eggs (room temp)
- 15 oz canned pumpkin
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 cups all purpose flour
- 1 cup sugar
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp salt
- 2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
- 1/2 cup buttermilk (room temp)
For the frosting:
- 1 1/2 cups heavy whipping cream
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 8 oz cream cheese (softened)
- 1 cup powdered sugar
For the crunch:
- 2 cups crushed pretzels, measure after crushing
- 1 cup chopped pecans
- 1 1/2 cups brown sugar, packed
- 2 1/2 sticks melted butter
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
For the cake:
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
- In a large bowl or in the bowl of a stand mixer add oil, eggs and canned pumpkin. Mix on medium speed for 1 minute.
- Add vanilla, sugar and brown sugar and mix again for 1 minute or until smooth.
- In a separate medium sized bowl add flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and pumpkin pie spice. Whisk to combine.
- Alternate adding the dry ingredients and the buttermilk to the pumpkin mixture, starting and ending with the dry ingredients. Do not over mix. Mix until no flour streaks remain.
- Spray a baking sheet with cooking spray and spread the cake batter evenly into the pan. Bake for 20-30 minutes or until a toothpick entered in the center comes out clean or with a few moist crumbs on it.
- Set aside to cool while you make the frosting.
For the frosting:
- In a stand mixer or with a hand mixer add heavy whipping cream and granulated sugar. Mix on high speed until stiff peaks form.
- Remove the whipping cream and put it in a small bowl.
- Add the cream cheese and powdered sugar to the mixing bowl that you just whipped the whipped cream in. Beat on medium speed until smooth.
- Slowly fold the whipping cream mixture into the cream cheese mixture until smooth and fluffy.
For the crack:
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
- In a medium sized bowl combine all crack ingredients until sugar is wet and mixed in.
- Using a baking silpat or parchment paper, line the bottom of a half sheet pan with it.
- Spread mixture in an even layer and bake for 9-10 minutes until starting to bubble. At this point turn your oven to high broil, don’t walk away from the oven, watch your mixture the entire time and let it broil for 30-60 seconds until its a toasty caramel color. Remove from the oven and let cool completely.
- Once completely cool, break it into chunks and set aside.
- Frost cooled cake with whipped cream frosting.
- Right before serving, top the cake evenly with the pretzel crack. Cut into squares and serve. Do not add the pretzel crack until an hour before serving or else there’s a chance it could get soggy.
- Keep leftovers in the fridge.
Keywords: pumpkin spice, pumpkin, pumpkin cake, pumpkin spice cake, pumpkin crunch cake, pumpkin season, pumpkin dessert, pumpkin sheetcake
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