This self-saucing Pumpkin Pudding Cake is a tasty fall dessert. A light and moist pumpkin spice cake that magically bakes up with a brown sugar caramel sauce right underneath it.
If you’re not quite ready for pumpkin recipes, look the other way. Or better yet, bookmark this recipe for when the weather cools down and you need a warm and cozy dessert, because you do not want to miss this one!
This recipe is two treats in one: cake on the top, pudding-like sauce on the bottom. You will be blown away by the concept of this recipe. It’s super simple and produces a unique and delicious dessert.
Pumpkin Pudding Cake
This cake is flavored with pumpkin, brown sugar, cinnamon, and pumpkin pie spice. The pumpkin flavor is subtle, with the flavor profile falling closer to a spice cake than a pumpkin cake. The cake itself is fluffy and moist, but it’s what is underneath this cake that makes this recipe unique. As the cake bakes, a sauce forms underneath. The sauce has a consistency close to caramel sauce with the flavors of brown sugar and cinnamon. Wondering how and why this sauce forms? Here’s the technique for this recipe:
- Prepare the cake batter (an easy one-bowl recipe, no mixer required).
- Spread the cake batter into a 9-inch square pan.
- Sprinkle brown sugar and cinnamon over the batter.
- Pour boiling water over the top of the sugar-topped cake batter (don’t stir).
- Transfer to the oven and bake.
While baking, the cake rises up to the top and bakes up light and fluffy. Underneath the cake a thick, sweet sauce forms from the brown sugar, cinnamon and hot water.
How to Serve Pumpkin Pudding Cake
This cake should be served warm, ideally the day it is made. When it is warm the cake is moist and fluffy and the sauce is thick and gooey. I allow it to cool slightly after baking and then serve it. Leftovers can be refrigerated and are best consumed within 1 day, reheating individual portions in the microwave as needed.
I highly recommend serving this cake with a scoop of vanilla ice cream or a dollop of sweetened whipped cream. The cool topping contrasts with with the warm cake and takes this over the top!
Tip: If you’d like a bit of crunch, you can serve this cake with chopped pecans, walnuts or toffee bits.
Pumpkin Pudding Cake
- 1-1/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 2/3 cup granulated sugar
- 2 teaspoons baking soda
- 1-1/4 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup evaporated milk
- 1/2 cup canned pumpkin puree not pumpkin pie filling
- 1/4 cup melted butter
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/3 cup chopped pecans optional
- 3/4 cup packed brown sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1-1/2 cups boiling water
- Vanilla ice cream or sweetened whipped cream for serving
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease a 9x9 square baking pan. Set aside.
- In a large bowl, combine flour, granulated sugar, baking soda, cinnamon, pie spice, and salt. Add milk, pumpkin, butter, and vanilla. Stir with a wooden spoon or rubber spatula until combined. Fold in pecans, if using.
- Transfer the batter to the prepared pan and spread into an even layer. For the topping, sprinkle the cinnamon and brown sugar over the batter. Pour boiling water on the top (do not stir).
- Carefully transfer the pan to the oven and bake for 25-30 minutes. A toothpick inserted into the center of the cake should come out clean, and there should be a wet, pudding-like layer under the cake. Place on a wire rack to cool slightly. Serve warm with vanilla ice cream or whipped cream.
This recipe was adapted from the Taste of Home Pumpkin Cookbook.