Carolyn’s Easy Pumpkin Cake

October 26th, 2013

I refuse to call this a pumpkin dump cake, but that is really what it is;  a pumpkin mixture, topped with a yellow cake mix, topped with pecans and coconut and then melted butter.  Plain pumpkin cake sounds so much better.  But whatever you call it, it is easy and delicious.  This is one of those desserts that you can throw together at the last minute with pantry ingredients.  This time of year a pumpkin dessert is always welcomed.

This cake first got my notice when it was given to me by one of my friends for a cookbook that we were putting together.  Our self-published cookbook has a pride of place on my cookbook shelf.  It contains the favorite recipes of all of my high school friends and was compiled twenty years after we graduated.  We had fun doing it and I find myself referring to it quite often.

I made this cake for my Son’s new girlfriend years ago.  It was her birthday and the ingredients were what I had on hand.  She loved it.  That girlfriend turned into my daughter-in-law, Kristen.  Kristen even shared the recipe with her family and it became a Thanksgiving tradition in their homes.  It is heartwarming when a recipe can make good memories.  So thank you to Carolyn for sharing her recipe in our cookbook.  Each time I make something from the cookbook, I am reminded of my good friends from years past.


29 ounce can pumpkin puree (Not pumpkin pie filling)
12 ounce can evaporated milk
1 cup sugar
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon nutmeg
3 eggs, beaten
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 box yellow cake mix, about 3 cups (You can make your own cake mix if you prefer.  Here is the recipe.
1/2 cup chopped pecans
1/2 cup coconut
1 cup butter, melted
1 carton Cool Whip or Whipped cream

Mix pumpkin, evaporated milk, sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, eggs, and salt together.  Pour into 9X13 greased pan.  Sprinkle 1 box of yellow cake mix over pumpkin.  Sprinkle on chopped nuts and coconut.  Pour melted butter over top and bake at 350 degrees F. for 50 minutes.  Serve topped with cool whip or whipped cream.

 Printable recipe


Cranberry-Walnut Pumpkin Bread

September 28th, 2013

The changing of the seasons seem to be speeding up in my life.  I want to hold each precious moment in the palm of my hand and grasp it greedily so as not to let it fly away.  I want to be here for my Granddaughter’s wedding someday.  I want to witness what my precocious Grandson becomes.  All of these thoughts intensify with the arrival of Fall.  There is an urgency to Fall.  Squirrels gather their acorns.  Farmers harvest their crops and gather hay.  Many of us can and freeze the bounty from our gardens.  Fall is the season for soups, pumpkins, stews and freshly baked bread.  Fall food is solace for the soul and gives us a reason to look forward to Spring and bright days ahead.

Few things smell as good as pumpkin and cinnamon baking in the oven.  One of my favorite pies is pumpkin.  But this pumpkin flavored quick bread has also become a favorite.  The recipe appeared in a 2003 issue of Bon Appetit magazine.  The article and recipe came from Ken Haedrich.  I have written about Ken before in this post.  By the way, I am still waiting for a guest post from you Ken.  He has a very informative website called The Pie Academy.

This is a dense and moist quick bread that is studded with cranberries and walnuts.  Eating a slice and sipping a cup of coffee while gazing at the changing colors across the lake is a celebration of all that is good about Fall.  The urgency and cold winds of Winter can wait.


2 cups all purpose flour
2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
1 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup sugar
2 large eggs
1 cup canned pure pumpkin
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2/3 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup dried sweetened cranberries
1/2 cup coarsely chopped walnuts

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Butter a standard loaf pan.  Line bottom and 2 long sides with waxed paper.  Whisk flour, pumpkin pie spice, baking powder, salt, and baking soda in medium bowl to blend.  Using electric mixer, beat butter in large bowl until fluffy.  Gradually add 1 cup sugar, beating until blended.  Beat in eggs one at a time.  Beat in pumpkin, then vanilla.  Beat in dry ingredients alternately with buttermilk in 2 additions each.  Fold in cranberries and nuts.  Transfer batter to pan.

Bake bread until tester inserted into center comes out clean, about 1 hour 10 minutes.  Cool bread in pan on rack 15 minutes.  Cut around bread at short ends to loosen from pan.  Turn bread out onto rack; peel off waxed paper.  Cool bread completely.

Printable recipe

© Penny Klett, Lake Lure Cottage Kitchen. All rights reserved.