I was first introduced to dump cakes about 20 years ago when I worked night shift at the hospital. We would all bring in food occasionally and celebrate something-- or just do it to have fun and keep us awake. One of my coworkers made the dump cake that calls for pineapple and cherry pie filling. I remember really enjoying it, although it was quite rich. Then about 2-3 years ago, a coworker at my current job made a tropical dump cake, which is just slightly different from the regular one, but not quite as rich. That also was very good. Then I saw Paula Deen making her blueberry dump cake that looked amazing! However, last winter, I was introduced to the best version of dump cake yet!- at least in my opinion. I never dreamed there were so many options to what you could do with dump cakes! Since my friend Vikki said she got her recipe off the internet, I went and googled it. Cooks.com seemed to have an unending list of pumpkin dump cake recipes. So I started looking at a bunch and writing down the different things people were doing with them. Some were more streamlined than others. Those who know me know that I am not a simple-spice/flavor person. So I decided to make this like a deluxe pumpkin pie. I used pumpkin pie spice, since I had it and it contains all the different spices most everyone was using. However, I will give measurements for the individual spices if you do not have the pumpkin spice mix. I cut back on sugar and also did not use any salt since I was using salted butter, and it turned out wonderful!
Another thing that amazes me about this recipe is how you can make it so different by switching the cake mixes you use. I read on one recipe that you could use a spice cake mix or caramel cake mix. For this picture, I used a spice cake mix. Most recipes call for a yellow cake mix, which is also very good. The finished product is like a pumpkin pie on the bottom and a crumb-like topping.
1 (29 oz.) can of pureed pumpkin (not pumpkin pie mix)
1 (12 oz.) can evaporated milk
1 cup sugar (1/2 cup white, 1/2 cup brown, or you can use all white sugar)
3 eggs (some called for 4, but I did not think it was necessary)
2 1/2- 3 tsp pumpkin pie spice (or 2 tsp cinnamon, 1/4 tsp ginger, 1/4 tsp cloves and 1/2 tsp nutmeg)
1 box cake mix- either yellow, spice or caramel
2 sticks butter (1 cup), melted
1 cup pecans or walnuts, whole or chopped
1/2 cup flaked coconut (optional)
cool whip or whipped cream for topping- or even some vanilla ice cream!
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease 9x13 inch baking pan. Mix pumpkin, milk and eggs in a large bowl using a wisk. Add in the spices and mix well. Pour into prepared pan. Sprinkle dry cake mix evenly over top of the pumpkin mixture- breaking up any large chunks of mix. Sprinkle nuts and/or coconut over top of the cake mix, followed by melted butter drizzled evenly over top.
Bake for approximately 1 hour. Cool. Serve with whipped cream or ice cream if desired.