Monday, November 23, 2009


One Sunday afternoon during my freshman year in college, a wonderful friend came back to the dorm with left-over pumpkin crunch. It had no crust, but a layer of pumpkin custard underneath sweet vanilla topping with pecans mixed in. Lovely hot, cold or at room temperature and so perfectly seasonal, pumpkin crunch soon became my favorite dessert.

I think it's very funny that this wonderful friend doesn't even like pumpkin crunch that much (I don't really hold it against her. She has some very nice other qualities.). But she kindly passed along the recipe her family uses to make it.

I don't have a picture of pumpkin crunch! But this is my Thanksgiving table last year.

My family has adopted it into our own Thanksgiving traditions, and this Thursday, when Peter and I are at his Uncle Jack's house celebrating the holiday, I will introduce it to them. I hope they love it as much as I do.

*A note about this recipe: Pumpkin Crunch isn't going to win any awards for being healthy or making use of local ingredients. Try not to hold that against it. I certainly don't.

Ronald McDonald would probably be excited about the amount of butter in this recipe.

You will need:

15 oz can of pumpkin
12 oz evaporated milk
1 1/2 cups pecans, crushed
1 teaspoon cinnamon
4 teaspoons brown sugar
1 cup sugar
3 eggs
1 box yellow cake mix, without pudding
2 sticks butter, melted (!)
POST EDIT: My sweet friend tells me it is supposed to be 2 sticks of margarine, not butter! Use this if you want to be more authetic. And Southern.

Preheat oven to 325 F.

In a large bowl, mix pumpkin, milk, cinnamon, brown sugar, sugar and eggs in a bowl with a fork or whisk until smooth. Pour into a 9x13 inch glass pan (spray first with non-stick coating). Sprinkle dry cake mix over pumpkin mixture. Sprinkle pecans over cake mix. Drizzle melted butter on top.

Bake for 50-60 minutes.


  1. you know, i bought some canned pumpkin the other day, and a can of evaporated milk came free with it. i might have some pumpkin crunch in my future!

  2. Beth, the pumpkin crunch Gods are trying to tell you something. Best not to ignore them!

  3. This comment has been removed by the author.

  4. Oh Julie...the Shoffner recipe actually calls for 2 sticks of margarine (not butter). So it's even worse than you thought.

    My mom is pretty serious about the call for margarine. It's definitely not the healthiest (hello, plastic)but it's worth it in the end. And it's only once a year, right?

  5. p.s. SO glad that the tradition is spreading! It feels wonderful to know that you're sharing it with your new fam!

  6. Oh my gosh, Ronnie, I had no idea it called for margarine instead of butter! Maybe I'll have to try that this year - I have complete faith in your mother's opinions regarding pumpkin crunch.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...