Skip to main content

Warm and Spicy Pumpkin Custard Cake

Patty enjoys cooking for family and friends. She creates simple and satisfying treats from old family recipes.

Pumpkin custard cake can be served warm or cold with a sprinkle of powdered sugar or a dollop of whipped cream.

Pumpkin custard cake can be served warm or cold with a sprinkle of powdered sugar or a dollop of whipped cream.

It's Pumpkin Time!

The transition from summer to autumn signals dessert lovers to create treats that prepare us mentally for the colder months to come. When the pumpkins, squash and gourds start appearing at farm stands, piled high in fall colors, it's time to shift from cool and crisp recipes to warm and spicy sweets.

Pumpkin is a versatile fruit and can be used in desserts, soups, smoothies, coffee creamer, the list is endless. This is a one mixing bowl and one cake pan recipe so clean up is super simple and it's delicious warm or cold.

pumpkin-custard-cake

Great for Potlucks

Since a co-worker handed me this recipe 20 years ago, I have taken this dessert to potlucks at least a couple dozen times. Leftovers need to be refrigerated and will keep well for several days.

Cook Time

Prep timeCook timeReady inYields

15 min

1 hour

1 hour 15 min

12 servings

Ingredients

  • 3 eggs
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1 can evaporated milk
  • 1 (29-oz) large pumpkin
  • 1 box yellow cake mix
  • 1 cup melted butter
This recipe uses ingredients readily available in most grocery stores.

This recipe uses ingredients readily available in most grocery stores.

Instructions

  1. Mix the first 6 ingredients together in a large bowl.
  2. Pour the mixture into an ungreased 9x13 pan.
  3. Sprinkle 1 box of yellow cake mix on top. Spread evenly over the entire cake.
  4. Pour 1 cup of melted butter over the cake mix.
  5. Bake at 350 degrees for 50-60 minutes.
  6. The cake is done when a knife inserted into the middle comes out clean and the edges begin to brown.

Photo Guide

Mix the first 6 ingredients together in a  medium-size mixing bowl.

Mix the first 6 ingredients together in a medium-size mixing bowl.

Stir until all ingredients are mixed together.

Stir until all ingredients are mixed together.

Sprinkle the cake mix over the top of the cake and gently smooth to cover . Do not stir.

Sprinkle the cake mix over the top of the cake and gently smooth to cover . Do not stir.

Drizzle 1 cup of melted butter over the cake.

Drizzle 1 cup of melted butter over the cake.

Canned pumpkin is not the same as pumpkin pie filling. This recipe uses solid packed pumpkin.

Canned pumpkin is not the same as pumpkin pie filling. This recipe uses solid packed pumpkin.

Evaporated milk gives this dessert a creamier texture that is both sweeter and thicker than whole milk.

Evaporated milk gives this dessert a creamier texture that is both sweeter and thicker than whole milk.

Pumpkin Custard Cake

My Recipe Folder

There is a folder under my kitchen counter that archives my family's history through bits of paper, old envelopes and 3x5 cards. The contents of its plastic pockets spin a tale of kitchen legends otherwise lost to history. There's a story behind each recipe, some are in my handwriting and some were scribbled out by my grandmother or neatly written by my own mother. Many of them came from potlucks with co-workers and friends but they all fit together and weave a tale of memories that has been otherwise forgotten.

Of course today, it's easy to conjure up a dozen different versions of any recipe by simply typing in a phrase or ingredient but when someone texts me and asks if I still have Grandma's recipe for turkey stuffing, I sure do. It's right there in my folder under the kitchen counter.

Canned milk is creamier and thicker than whole milk.

Canned milk is creamier and thicker than whole milk.

Why Use Evaporated Canned Milk?

Canned milk, not to be mistaken for sweetened condensed milk, is the ingredient that knocks this recipe out of the ball park. Creamier and sweeter than whole milk, you can actually reduce the amount of sugar a little in most recipes by using canned milk. I used canned milk and reduced the sugar from 1 cup to 3/4 cup and found the cake to be just the right amount of sweet.

Thanksgiving Day

Family and friends gather every Thanksgiving at my son's home near the Chesapeake Bay for a day filled with cooking, eating and well, more eating. Stomachs full, a football game playing in the background, the kids outside tossing a football around with one of their uncles, the day quiets down into leisurely family time with quiet conversations over coffee or hot spiced cider.

There are a few diligent kitchen invaders tackling the clean up while Grandpap and a few others poke through the dessert table for one more smidgen of something sweet. It's a day of memory making. The long row of delectable foods so traditional for Thanksgiving are what we set our sites on for this day that is devoted to family and good friends.

Crust or No Crust?

The pumpkin custard cake is a great pumpkin alternative to pies. It mixes up in about 15 minutes and goes into an ungreased pan. It's quick and easy. When you are facing a mountain of cooking for the holidays, this recipe might just be the ticket to a pumpkin dessert. Serve it with a dollop of whipped cream or better yet, ice cream!

Serve warm or cold with a dollop of whipped cream or a sprinkle of confectioner's sugar.

Serve warm or cold with a dollop of whipped cream or a sprinkle of confectioner's sugar.

Organizing Your Loose Recipes

© 2022 Patty Poet