Pumpkin Pecan Dessert {in a jar}

For the past seveal years, for Thanksgiving at our house, Pumpkin Pie has been replaced with what we call Pumpkin Pecan Dessert.  This dessert is so simple to make, and everyone (even my non-pumpkin-pie-eating husband) loves it!  I’ve also made this dessert several times for potlucks and it’s always a hit!

This year, since I’m on a bit of a “deserts in a jar” kick… I thought this Pumpkin Pecan Dessert would be a perfect candidate for an “in a jar” treat.  I bought some short, wide mouth 1/2 pint jars (from the grocery store), which make one nice sized serving, and would make a pretty adorable gift too!  This dessert is even better topped with whipped cream or vanilla ice cream.

Pumpkin Pecan Dessert

1 can (15oz) pumpkin

1 can (12 oz) evaporated milk

3 eggs

3/4 cup sugar

4 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice

 (or 2 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon, 1/2 teaspoon ginger, 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg 1/2 teaspoon allspice)

1 boxed cake mix (white or yellow cake)

1 1/2 cups chopped pecans

3/4 cup butter, melted

whipped cream, or vanilla ice cream, for serving

Directions ~

1.  Preheat oven to 350*F

2.  In a large bowl add the first 5 ingredients, and whisk together until fully combined.

If you’re making one 9″ x 13″ dish of dessert….

3.  Spray dish with non-stick cooking spray.

4.  Pour pumpkin mixture into 9″ x 13″ dish.

5.  Sprinkle cake mix (dry) onto of pumpkin layer.

6.  Then sprinkle chopped pecans all over.

7.  Pour melted butter over top.

8.  Bake 50-60 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean, and dessert is a nice golden brown.

9.  Cool at least 30 minutes before serving.

If you’re making this dessert in jars….

3.  Lightly spray 12, wide mouth 1/2 pint jars with non-stick cooking spray.

4.  Use a measuring cup to put about 1/2 cup pumpkin mixture into each jar.

5.  Sprinkle two rounded tablespoon of dry cake mix on top of pumpkin layer, in each jar.

6.  Then sprinkle on one rounded tablespoon of chopped pecans in each jar.

7.  Pour one tablespoon of melted butter on top (of each jar).

8.  Bake jars on a large baking sheet (so they are easy to put in and out of the oven) for about 40 minutes, until toothpick inserted in the center of a jar comes out clean, and dessert is golden brown.

9.  Cool at least 30 minutes before serving.

Note:  When I baked mine using these measurements they filled the jars fully when baked, and as they cooled they shrunk down just a bit, a perfect amount of space to close the jar.

Before serving, top with whipped cream or vanilla ice cream.

This dessert is equally delicious the next day.

Recipe Source:  Betty Crocker, Holiday Recipes booklet, 2000.

Happy Fall Baking!


  1. Not only do I thank you but my coworkers thank you, too! Each month for our staff meeting I make a dessert for all to share. For October i'm doing your candy corn cheesecake in a jar and this pumpkin pecan masterpiece will be the November treat! I do have one question though. Where did you get your jars? Thanks for all you do!

  2. I also have a question. If making these the jars do we continue with steps 2-5 until the jar is at it's capacity or is the one time enough? I guess I am a bit confused. Thanks.

  3. You don't say when to use the eggs, evaporated milk or spices. Are they part of the "pumpkin mixture" you mention? You left a step out.

  4. In a jar questions-
    Each jar will get 1/2 cup of pumpkin mixture, then 2 tablespoons dry cake mix, then 1 tablespoon nuts, and finally 1 tablepoon melted butter.

    Right below the recipe itself it says "Directions- preheat oven.. mix first 5 ingredients…" This should be done weather you're making it in a caserole dish or in jars.

    Let me go look and see if I can reword things to make it easier.

  5. Great dessert for fall!

  6. This looks sooo good! I LOVE PUMPKIN & PECANS! I'm going to have to make these when I get back from vacation. 🙂

  7. I will be making this, though the occasion has not been determined. It looks delicious!!! Thanks to @dineanddish for tweeting it, so that I found you!

  8. Those look so yummy and super cute! Definitely trying this (:

  9. I know you would not approve of my terminology, but to a Texan, this is DUMP cake in a jar!!!! I LOVE it!!!

  10. I have a recipe similar to this for a crock pot. I bet you could cook this in the crock for two hours on high and it would be fab. Although not sure what it would do to the nuts. But I don't eat pecans so no biggie for me.

  11. What a yummy dessert ~ so cute too! This would make for such a sweet treat for my teaching buddies ~ thanks! 😉

    Have a great weekend~

  12. Mmmm! I make a similar version of this that I call "pumpkin dump cake", but I can't remember if I use pecans in it or not. I haven't made it since last fall, but now I'm going to have to get some pumpkin and make it again!

  13. Very nice, thanks for sharing.

  14. This looks great but could it be made with fresh pumpkin? Tinned isn't available in the UK. Also – what is the difference between yellow and white cake?

  15. I am SO making these!! Looks and sounds perfect.

  16. Adorable!! And they look delish too!

  17. What a fabulous fall dessert! I think I'm going to try making them in ramekins.

  18. Love the "in a jar" idea for this!! Super cute and fun.

    I've made a very similar recipe for years (sans the pecans) that is officially called "Pumpkin Something" LOL It's my FAV pumpkin dessert ever!!

  19. Quick question. I would love to make this. If you do it in the 9×13 is it sturdy enough to cut into bars or is it soft and would be scooped out.
    Andrea Saunders

  20. @Anna- This dessert is not solid enough to be cut into bars, you would need to scoop it out.

  21. Evidently I have been living under a rock. I have done my fair share of blog surfing and have never come across your blog before. I found your blog through pinterest and I must say, YOU ARE FABULOUS! I am now off to do some exploring previous posts.

    Oh ya, I am sooooo making these for Thanksgiving this year. Thanks.

  22. I'm ready to dig in!

  23. Love your site! found your Candy Corn Mouse cheesecake cups and then the Pumpkin Pecan dessert in a jar. Thanks for all the great ideas

  24. So pretty and sounds yummy! I think I will make these when I get back in town. 🙂

  25. Looks and sounds really yummy! I'm not a big fan of pumpkin pie myself, but love other pumpkins type desserts, I think I would like this one!

  26. Love desserts in a jar look delicious and beauty!!! gloria

  27. oh these look so good Glory xxxx this time last year we were together. xx

  28. These look wonderful and I can't wait to make them. Just a quick question though…how many jars does this make? Thanks!

  29. this sounds yummy posted and shared on my blog and facebook page, thanks for sharing! I have never made the jar deserts but will give this one a go!

  30. ok silly question, if I make them the night before do I just keep them in the refrigerator and they can reheat?

  31. can you please tell me if these could be made on a Saturday and taken to school on a Monday ? Rosemary

  32. Desserts in a jar are the cutest things ever! These pumpkin desserts look delicious.

  33. Wondering if I could make these in advance for holiday gifts. How long could they be stored in the fridge before sharing with friends and family? Up to a week?

  34. To make ahead- These can be stored in the fridge up to four days (I've never tried any longer). Bring to room temperature, or heat slightly before serving.

  35. I make this desssert all the time, but putting it in jars as a gift? Genius! Thanks for the idea.

  36. these look so adorable… i saw this back in september and have had the page saved to make for this thanksgiving… just went out to get all ingredients today, and sadly – the only mason jars I could get were same size – but tall and skinny…. do you think they'll come out the same (as far as rise up to the top?) the mouth is regular too… not a wide mouth – but i'm sure it will work! what do you think?

  37. Jenny,
    I am having the same problem. I can't find wide mouth jars that are 1/2 pint. I did find wide mouth that are 4 oz. if I use 4 oz I will have to 1/2 the amounts. I can't decide what to do:(

  38. o.k…so i found them at target! i looked online and it said that they had it in the store near me, and i went and got them! cooking them RIGHT NOW!!! So excited to see them! They smell delicious!!! Let me know if those work Shannon… im curious!

  39. wooww you kill me I love the ice cream and with this cake woooww I can test it anytime

  40. Pingback: Glorious Treats » Pumpkin Cinnamon Streusel Muffins

  41. Pingback: 50 Pumpkin Recipes

  42. Pingback: Pumpkin Mania

  43. Would these need any adjusting for higher altitudes?


    • I am not super familiar with adjustments for high altitude baking. I know quite a few adjustments often need to be make especially for cakes, but since this recipe is using a box mix (much more fool-proof), and is not really a cake, I would guess that you could try this recipe as is.

  44. Pingback: 5 Dreamy Dessert Recipes in a Jar | RecipeLionBlog

  45. Pingback: 24 Best Pumpkin Recipes To Bake

  46. This is my absolute favorite dessert! My recipe calls it “Pumpkin Crunch”. Love the gift idea!

  47. Also, for those of you asking about storing them in the frig, I actually like it better cold!

  48. Has anyone ever made this and shipped over night?? i want to make these for my boyfriend but i’m wondering if they would get messy in the jar when shipped. Thoughts? or ideas please! 🙂 ellen

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.