Pumpkin Crunch Cake

If you love pumpkin pie and pecan pie.. you need to try this recipe!
This super easy recipe for Pumpkin Crunch Cake is slightly adapted from a recipe that originated from Pampered Chef… a delicious fall recipe that’s good any time of year.
The original recipe listed pecans or candied pecans… I didn’t want to plain pecans (even just roasted pecans)  … and I really thought candied pecans didn’t quite fit the bill either…
I decided to “butter roast” the pecans with brown sugar and cinnamon… after all.. pecans, butter,  brown sugar and cinnamon just go together..that worked out okay except a lot of the brown sugar didn’t stick to the pecans… so I scooped it off the baking sheet and sprinkled it on top of the cake before putting it in the oven… a mistake turned into the best thing I could have done.
My adaptation… butter roasting the pecans briefly to bring out the pecan flavor… and sprinkling a mixture of brown sugar and cinnamon over the top of the cake before baking… between the pecans and the brown sugar.. you get a nice crunch to the top and a wonderful flavor that blends perfectly with the pumpkin in every bite.
This recipe has pecans in it.. so be sure to warn anyone eating it .. in case they have nut allergies.
Most recipes, including the original list the pecans as optional… in my opinion, they’re a must.  They not only add the crunch… they add a wonderfully nutty butter flavor to the top crust.
Try this cake.. you won’t be disappointed!

Recipe:  Pumpkin Crunch Cake
All you need:
1 can (15 oz) pumpkin puree
1 can evaporated milk
3 eggs
1 ½ cups sugar
1 ½ teaspoons cinnamon
½ teaspoon salt
1 box yellow cake mix
For roasting the Pecans:
1 cup whole pecans
1 tablespoon butter, melted
For the Topping:
3 tablespoons brown sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 cup melted butter
All you need to do:
Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F. 
In a small bowl toss the pecans in the 1 tablespoon melted butter.  Spread on a non-stick foil lined baking sheet.  Bake at 300 degrees for about 20 minutes.. they should be fragrant.  Allow to cool slightly.
On a cutting board chop them (rough chop.. don’t make the pieces too small.  Set them aside.
In a small bowl mix the 3 tablespoons of brown sugar and the 1 teaspoon cinnamon and set it aside.
Up the temperature in the oven to 350 degrees F.
Spray a 9 x 13 baking dish with cooking oil spray (butter flavor preferred).
In a large mixing bowl, whisk the eggs.   Add the pumpkin puree, evaporated milk, sugar and cinnamon.  Pour the batter into the prepared baking dish.
Layer the dry cake mix evenly over the top of the batter.  Sprinkle the pecans over the top.  Drizzle the melted butter over the top.  Sprinkle the brown sugar and cinnamon over the top.
Bake for 50-55 minutes until golden brown (mine took 55 minutes).  Serve warm with whipped cream or chilled with a little cream drizzled over it.  (Plain works too!)

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