I don’t know about you all, but my family had an awesome Halloween. We spent it with some of our best friends and their kiddos (who are some of our kiddos best friends.) Before we headed out into the dark drizzle with our to-go hot chocolates, we gathered first at our house for hot spiced honeycrisp apple cider, homemade soup, rolls, and salad, and fresh veggie appetizers. My friend Leina, who is an excellent cook, brought over dessert- a mystical thing that I had never had nor heard of called a pumpkin crunch.
After googling “pumpkin crunch recipes” I realized it is kind of weird that I’d never heard of it, but I digress.
Occasionally, a food will come into your life that is life changing and dangerous. This was both. Life changing because after one bite, I knew I would be making this every fall for the rest of my life, and dangerous because not only was it incredible, Leina told me how to make it, and it was super easy too.
Super easy and super delicious is never a good combo- because you will make it all the time. All the time. And this has a lot of butter in it. A lot. That’s why it’s so good. Very bad news for my food-tracking-trying-to-eat-healthy-self.
I have been so good this pregnancy with my weight gain, and I’m pretty sure that pumpkin crunch is going to blow it all to hell.
Exhibit A: even though I’m supposed to be trying to stay off my feet as much as possible during the rest of my pregnancy, and my baking has really slowed due to that, there is one in my oven right now. Yes, I will send most of it to work with my husband tomorrow, but that still leaves me the whole afternoon and evening to devour half of a 9×13 pan.
Exhibit B: After I tasted Leina’s (and ate 4 pieces of it) I called my sister to tell her about it and how she had to try making one. I bake new things pretty much constantly, but she will tell you- I almost never do this. This is good, y’all. It would be the perfect dessert to bring to Thanksgiving.
Like all pumpkin-y desserts, this one gets better the longer it sits in the fridge. I suggest letting it sit overnight before you serve it- and don’t spread your whipped cream across it until right before serving. If you use cool whip, you can cover it with that the night before.
Something about the buttery, crunchy, nutty topping baked into the creamy pumpkin pie filling and topped with whipped cream is simply irresistible. Make one today. Or, don’t. It’s too late for me, but you all can still save yourselves.
Recipe from my friend, Leina
28 oz can of pumpkin puree (not the pie mix)
12 oz can of evaporated milk
1 cup granulated sugar
3 large eggs
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
1 box of yellow cake mix
1 1/2 cups walnuts (smashed into small pieces)
1 cup of butter, melted
2 cups of whipped cream (or cool whip, whatever you prefer)
Preheat the oven to 350°. Line a 9×13 inch pan with parchment paper (this step is important- don’t skip it.)
Mix together the pumpkin, milk, sugar, eggs, cinnamon, and pumpkin pie spice. Pour it into your prepared pan.
Sprinkle the cake mix evenly over the top of the pumpkin mixture. Cover that with the nuts.
Melt the butter, and spoon it evenly over the top of the cake mix and nuts
Bake for 60 minutes or until a knife inserted comes out clean. Cool completely.
After cooling completely, very carefully turn it out upside down onto a platter. Before serving, cover with whipped cream and serve.