Melt in your Mouth Pumpkin Cake

For many years, we had always hosted the neighborhood Halloween Party.  On the night of Halloween, everyone showed up in costume attire to chow down on big vats of homemade chili, corn muffins, and slaw or large trays of baked ziti, Caesar salad, garlic balls, and some sort of festive cocktail. It raeally depended upon my mood and how many were expected to show up. One year, a friend of mine brought over a huge tray with a pumpkin like cake on it. I couldn’t figure out what it was. A layer of pumpkin like mousse atop some sort of crust over a sprinkling of pecans.

I took one bite and I was addicted.  I can’t really call it a cake, even though it is made with a cake mix. It is kind of like a pie, but not really. Her mom called it “Pumpkin Delight” and I have to say, it is delightful. For years, I followed the recipe.  Would never have thought to have changed it. But with me being conscious about what I put in the food that I make, thus what ultimately goes into my kids bodies, I decided to test this recipe using more whole ingredients.

I swapped out many of the original ingredients.  Instead of evaporated milk(which has a host of perservatives), I used organic, heavy whipping cream, rather than white sugar I used coconut sugar, and instead of margarine, I used whole, organic butter. I went on line and looked at the ingrdeients in a typical, boxed cake mix.  and I made my own “yellow cake mix” using pantry staples.  It took a few batches before getting the result that I wanted. The end result was just as good, if not better than the original.

It’s not the “prettiest” of desserts, but I have taken this to many parties and although I couldn’t take credit for it in the past, this new adapted version feels more like my own.


Melt in your Mouth Pumpkin Cake


for the pumpkin layer:
15 oz. pumpkin puree or make your own
14 oz. organic, heavy whipping cream
1 cup coconut sugar
1 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp. nutmeg
3 large, organic eggs
for the cake layer:
2 1/4 whole wheat pastry flour
1 1/2 cups coconut sugar
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. kosher salt

1 cup chopped pecans
10 oz. unsalted, organic butter


• preheat oven to 350*.  butter a 9″ x 13″ baking dish. line the bottom of the pan with wax paper. set aside.
for the cake layer:
• melt butter in a heavy duty sauce pan over medium heat. remove from heat and set aside.
• in a large mixing bowl, whisk the whole wheat pastry flour, coconut sugar, baking powder, and kosher salt. set aside
for the pumpkin layer:
• in a large bowl, whisk the pumpkin puree, heavy cream, coconut sugar, eggs, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt.
• pour into prepared baking pan.
• sprinkle homemade “cake mix” over the pumpkin layer.
• sprinkle pecans over cake mix layer.
• pour butter, evenly over entire top of cake.
• bake for 1 hour.  cool for 30 minutes.
• invert pan and carefully flip over onto a serving platter. remove wax paper
• refrigerate for 2 hours before serving.
• cut into little squares and serve with homemade whipped cream
• dot with homemade whipping cream.
• enjoy!

The Urban Baker /

Lots more pumpkin in and around the web:
Pumpkin Pie Snickerdoodle Bars – Delishhh
Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cupcakes – Ryan Bakes
Pumpkin Brownie Truffle Cheesecake Bites – The Urban Baker
Roasted Pumpkin Quiche with Caramelized Onions, Gorgonzola, + Sage – Closet Cooking
Pumpkin Chocolate Spiderweb Tart – Handle the Heat


Showing 23 comments
  • Kim

    Would you believe me if I tell you that I never eat a dessert with pumpink in it… I know that for you, Americains, it’s quite impossible… I should really try your cake because it looks so moist and good! Ok, I’m going to by a pumkin and I’ll try it!

    • Susan

      Kim – you must join the pumpkin band wagon. I have a soup that I love (on my site) and some mini cheesecakes that will convert you into a pumpkin lover!

    • sara lee

      Hi, I made the cake but there is two problems. It did not came out good.
      first yu forgot abouth the eggs , no explanation about what do we do about the eggs!! and I am not sure I get it right:
      do we pure the liquid layer (pumkin layer) then sprinkle the dry ingredients(flour,…) on it without mixing? I mixed them all. please clarify it fpr me.
      thank you sooo much

      • Susan

        I am so sorry your cake did not come out. And thank you for calling to my attention the missing eggs. What was it that didn’t taste good. I am curious to know. Thanks again!

  • Amanda

    I adore your organic take on the recipe… such fantastic substitutions!! Great job as always!

  • Deliciously Organic

    Yum! This looks really good! I love that you’re substituting with the organic ingredients. 🙂 Aren’t they fun to play with?!

    • Susan

      Carrie, what I am enjoying is substituting the “white” stuff. Not always spot on, but when it gets close to the original, that’s the fun part!!!!

  • TidyMom

    this looks “to die for”

    • Susan

      Cheryl, I think this dessert is right up your alley!

  • Nancy@acommunaltable

    Hi Susan!

    I sometimes think that the best desserts are not always the prettiest! This sounds wonderful and I am sure that the substitutions gave the dessert a fuller flavor! Sounds like the perfect dessert for a fall party!

    • Susan

      Nancy – so not pretty, but so delish. This version is not as sweet as the original, but it was still totally addicting. This is a crowd pleaser and if you ever make it for one, please do come back and tell me about it! x

  • Lucy Lean

    This looks so light and tasty – and hits all the right notes for Halloween – and good for you for making your own wholesome ingredients – although I still think pumpkin puree from the can is the way to go – and you can get Organic versions too

  • Maria

    I can’t get enough pumpkin! Love this cake!

  • Brooke @ Food Woolf

    I love all the healthy substitutions. What a great motivator for that second piece!

  • Reply

    I am so excited to try this pumpkin cake and it looks so easy to make. Thanks for revamping the recipe to be more wholesome. I am not a big fan of boxed cake mixes and preservatives.

  • Marla

    Wow! I am always a fan of everything pumpkin – but melt in your mouth pumpkin cake. Bring it….

  • Georgia Pellegrini

    Coconut sugar? I’m so intrigued! Where does one get such a thing. I want it… I love how moist this looks by the way. Tis the season 🙂

  • Delishhh

    WOW just looks fabulous – and coconut sugar? Hmm have to try this.

  • Linda

    This looks wonderful and so pumpkiny! If that is even a real word!
    Beautiful pics!

  • Stefani

    i love these healthy substitutions! buuut..being a struggling college student [ 🙂 ]..i’m trying to use the ingredients i already have. would you mind sharing the original recipe? or should i just the same amounts of your listed substitutions, just with basic ingredients? thanks for the recipe!

    • Susan

      Hi Stefani! I so get that, believe me. If you want to use a yellow cake mix, omit the “homemade cake mix”. And I always use canned, organic pumpkin puree. Rarely do I bake a pumpkin, puree it and go through all of that trouble. If you don’t have cream, just use a 14oz can of evaporated milk. Also, coconut sugar can be a bit expensive, use plain white sugar and you will get the same results. The original is truly wonderful, I was just trying my hand at omitting some of the perservatives. Good luck and let me know if you have any more questions or concerns. SS

  • Delishhh

    BTW i forgot to say – THANK YOU for including me 🙂

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