Pumpkin Cake is a crock-pot dessert recipe that came to me later in life but when it showed up, it did so in a big way. This pumpkin cake recipe was our first recipe to go viral, within our first year of starting Platter Talk, back in 2013.
Featured in Country Living, Better Homes and Garden, House Beautiful, MSN Food, and in various other high-profile media outlets, it is one of our most popular cake recipes. Best of all, you can make this easy pumpkin cake recipe in just two hours at home.
Halloween is still a few weeks away, but suddenly there are gourds and pumpkins popping up all over the place.
Speaking of pumpkins, one of them ended up in the most unexpected places the other day - in my slow cooker. When it came out, it looked like this:
Growing up on a big Mennonite family farm, I always had a special relationship with pumpkins. And cakes.
In fact, homemade cakes are my favorite recipes to make. I'm talking about such yummy desserts as Chocolate Cake made with Whiskey and Coffee, Traditional Swedish Almond Cake, and Upside-Down Rhubarb Cake. They're all so delicious!
Each year I would plant a row or two in my mom's huge garden and as I grew older, I would try to grow the biggest pumpkins possible.
I tried milk-feeding them, like I read about int the Little House on the Prairie books, using fresh milk and cream from our cows via a bowl and a candle wick spliced into the pumpkin vines.
It wasn't until the fall season when I first left for college that some of my pumpkins had tipped the scale at over 40 pounds!
As fate would have it, I was over 100 miles away and wasn't even able to bask in the glory of my pumpkin pride.
And then 35 years later this pumpkin cake recipe showed up.
It was given to my recipe pimp and beautiful friend, Amy, who picked it up in the grocery store check-out isle.
I made this easy pumpkin dump cake for my new food and recipe blog, and all of the sudden, Platter Talk became real.
And so did this incredibly simple crock-pot dessert.
- Packed pumpkin
- Baking Powder
- Baking Soda
- Pumpkin Spice
- Caramel Sauce (optional topping)
- This pumpkin dessert recipe is inexpensive or downright cheap at less than $10 for the whole thing.
- Make this crock-pot dessert in just two hours.
- You don't need to be a baker to make this pumpkin dump cake, anyone can put it together!
- Much like our 3-Ingredient Peanut Butter Cookies
- Most importantly, the taste of this pumpkin cake recipe is nothing short of a miracle, IMHO.
In conclusion, this pumpkin cake recipe pretty much has it all.
It's affordable, it's extremely easy to prepare, and it is scary delicious.
This is the perfect crock-pot dessert recipe to make for guests or family, for Halloween, Thanksgiving, or any holiday.
If you were like me and thought that crock pots were just for making dinner and meals for the family while you are spending your entire day doing something else, I say, "Think again.
If you don't have a slow cooker, you can make this slow cooker cake in an oven. Here is how to do that:
- Bake at 350° F.
- The type of pan you have will determine how long to bake.
- A loaf pan will require 45 minutes, a sheet cake or double layer cake will take about 30 minutes.
- It is recommended that you not use a glass baking pan for this cake as metal and ceramic pans seem to help keep the batter from falling.
To avoid using processed (granulated white sugar), you can use ⅓ cup of maple syrup and ⅓ cup of honey.
If you don't want to use butter, readers have used ⅔ cup of sunflower oil with great success.
Finally, some people have added a little extra pumpkin spice to the batter and a cap-full of vanilla.
Try this recipe and let us know how you make it!
See all of our Cake Recipes!
More of our Favorite Dessert Recipes:
- RumChata Cupcakes
- Baked Pumpkin Donuts
- Pumpkin Pie Pop Tarts
- Soft Pumpkin Cookies
- Forgotten Cookies
- Danish Kringle Recipe
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- How to Roast Prime Rib
- Southern Cornbread Dressing
- Open-Face Apple Pie
- Cherry Christmas Cookies
- 101 Best Christmas Cookie for 2021
If you love caramel you have to have a taste of our homemade caramel popcorn. One handful is all it takes to get you hooked!
More slow cooker recipes
- Crock Pot Creamy Chicken
- Crock Pot Apple Butter
- Slow Cooker Honey Garlic Chicken Thighs
- Slow Cooker Scalloped Potatoes
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Slow Cooker Sticky Caramel Pumpkin Cake
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice or ground cinnamon
- 1 ⅓ cups sugar
- 1 cup butter softened
- 4 eggs at room temperature
- 15 oz solid packed pumpkin 1 can
- 16 oz caramel sauce 1 jar
- Coat 4 ½ quart slow cooker with nonstick cooking spray, turn to "high."
- Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and pumpkin pie spice in mixing bowl.
- Beat sugar and butter in large bowl with electric mixer for about 3 minutes, until light.
- Add eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each one.
- Add packed pumpkin, blend until well mixed.
- Gradually add flour mixture and beat at low speed for a minute or so until smooth.
- Spread evenly in slow cooker and cover.
- Cook on high setting 2 hours or until center-inserted tooth pick comes out clean.
- Let cake stand, uncovered 10 minutes.
- Invert onto wire rack, invert again onto serving plate.
- Drizzle half of caramel sauce over cake. Serve warm with additional sauce.
Awesome!! I just cooked 1 hour and 40 minutes. I waited 20 minutes to set before turning out. I sprayed oil to the ceramic before dumping the batter.
I made this recipe with a couple substitutions with what I had on hand (used up the coconut sugar last week - I generally tend not to use regular sugar since it spikes my blood a bit too much). So: instead of sugar - 1/3 cup maple syrup + 1/3 cup honey, instead of butter (I love butter, but my Man can't do too much of that) - 2/3 cup sunflower oil, and 2 additions: 1 Tablespoon Vanilla (Vanilla shots anyone? 😉 can't get enough of the stuff) and an extra 2 tsp. of pumpkin pie spice powder.
I baked the cake in 2 separate loaf pans since I don't have a slow cooker or a cake pan; they turned out absolutely decadent and marvelously richly moist! I baked them for 45 minutes at 350. FYI - the pyrex glass loaf pan cooks faster, so I removed it a couple minutes before the clay loaf pan I used. Also, the pyrex glass loaf pan caused my cake to flatten after I pulled it out to cool, but stayed fluffy while baking, and the clay loaf pan held the cake's shape quite nicely = evenly fluffy throughout bake time and cool time. I love my Clay Loaf Pan!
Thank you for the recipe! My Man and I are having cake for breakfast 😉 Yum! No drizzle since the cakes are sweet to our liking. Ok, maybe a little more maple syrup and honey on top (slirp, smack, and gone!).
Dan from Platter Talk
Thanks for this comment, Sabell. So many people have asked if this slow cooker dessert can be made in an oven and it's something I haven't tried yet. I think that other people have done this but you are the first person to follow-up with the results, and we really appreciate it. Thanks so much for reading Platter Talk and we hope you can find more recipes on our site that you enjoy!
Julie @ Back To My Southern Roots
Saw this on the Country Cook. Looks amazing!! I could eat a lot of this. 🙂
Dan from Platter Talk
Thanks, Julie! Hope you give this slow cooker dessert a try - it's so easy and sooooooo yummy!
How cool is it that you made this is a slow cooker. I have yet to try making a cake in a slow cooker. Love how sticky this is. My absolute favorite.
Lauren Vavala @ DeliciousLittleBites
I haven never used my slow cooker for dessert, but have always wanted to try! This is the perfect recipe to do so this time of year - my kids will love this too!
Made this twice now…First time per cook time instructions…2nd time baked 1:40 and the let “rest 20 min. in crockpot. Both time edges burnt! Anyone else have this problem?
Dan from Platter Talk
I’m sorry you are having this issue. Like ovens and stoves, there is variability with slow cookers. It sounds like your slow cooker may be uneven with its heat distribution. One thing that might help is to create a barrier between the surface of your slow cooker and the batter. A couple of ways to this would be to use a non-stick liner or use some strips of parchment paper. I hope this helps.
Elizabeth G Miles
I want to try this but have 6 quart slow cooker, how do I adjust ingredients?
This is the second year in a row that I have made this cake for my birthday, and let me just say that it is absolutely PERFECT! No modifications needed, and it comes together in a snap. I love baking and like to think I'm rather good at it, but I definitely appreciate this cake for its simplicity. Did I say before that it's perfect? Because it is.
Dan from Platter Talk
Happy Belated Birthday, Sasha! Thanks for the awesome feedback; wish I had been there to help celebrate - and enjoy this slow cooker dessert!
I would love to make this in the oven and not in a slow cooker! Is there anyway I can do this? Thank you so much it looks wonderful!!
Dan from Platter Talk
We get this question a lot. Although we have not tried making this slow cooker cake in an oven, I would encourage you to try it! I think that baking at 350° F would be a good place to start, probably for 40 to 45 minutes. If you decide to try making this in an oven, please let us know the results so we can shre it with our readers. Thank you and good luck!