Pumpkin Upside Down Cake

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This post was originally posted on September 29, 2021. It was updated with new images and typos in the recipe were corrected on November 2, 2022.

A whole Pumpkin Upside Down Cake is in a white baking dish and several chopped pecans are scattered on the top. The cake is golden in colorThe baking dish is sitting on a silver cooking rack. A white tea towl with a red floral print and two small orange pumpkins are in the background.

Pumpkin season is here, and we are celebrating our love of pumpkin with #PumpkinWeek hosted by Terri from Love and Confections and Christie from A Kitchen Hoor’s Adventures. All week-long 13 bloggers will be sharing over 40 pumpkin-filled recipes for all your Autumn celebrations, including breakfasts, baked goods, savory pumpkin recipes, desserts, and drinks.

When it comes to new twists on old favorites, this Pumpkin Upside Down Cake is my absolute favorite of them all. Ironically, this heavenly dessert has been around for a while, but it was brand new to me as of two months ago.

As many of you know, especially if you follow my YouTube vlogs, we are packing up to move to our newly built home out in the country soon. I started packing up “unnecessary items” weeks ago to get a head start on things. My expansive cookbook and recipe collection takes up a few book shelves and it was one of the areas I chose to start decluttering first. Many of my cookbooks are vintage and I keep them for nostalgia, for love, and as family heirlooms (I also could possibly be a sorta kinda cookbook hoarder, but we’re not gonna talk about that as long as they can all find a shelf to live on!).

However, I’m sure you know how it goes when you start packing up a house. Old things that haven’t caught your attention in a while become new again… and one must stop to flip a few pages in old recipe books!

A square slice of cake sits on top of a white dessert plate. The top of the cake is golden and several pieces of chopped pecan are on top. The white baking dish with the whole cake sits next to the plate and a white towel with a red floral pattern is in the background.

I also have a few large binders that are essentially recipe scrapbooks from years passed. I didn’t create any of these old recipe scrapbooks, they’ve all been given to me by friends and family who wanted to pass them on. They know I’m the person to call when it comes to old recipe collections that they no longer have an interest in… and that I’ll likely take them off of their hands!

The old recipes in my binders have been clipped from food packaging and various local and national foodie magazines. They are literally from all over the place. Homemade “cookbooks” like these are my favorite as they usually have so many unique recipes (=treasure). I think they are the some of the most awesome things in the world, and I can look through the pages of clipped recipes for hours on end.

And when I say these clippings are old, I mean they are old. I don’t even know which family member or friend passed this particular notebook on to me, but the majority of the clippings are definitely from the 70’s and 80’s, in my opinion.

A photo of the original old recipe clipping with the title "Pumpkin Upside Down Cake . The recipe clipping is made of light red paper and it's taped to a white cardbord folder divider. The ring of the spiral notebook is visible.
original magazine clipping in my hand-me-down recipe scrapbook.

Anyhoo, the recipe clipping for this amazing Pumpkin Upside Down Cake was taped into one of those fantastical old binders and I kept going back to it after I came across it (it was like a magnet!!) It just sounded so darn scrumptious. In fact, I was so intrigued by the recipe that I made special trip to the store to buy the ingredients to make a Pumpkin Upside Down Cake that very evening.

It was so good, y’all and we enjoyed it topped with whipped cream very much. Well, the hubs and I did anyway, the kids won’t eat pumpkin pie or anything resembling it (weirdos!).

A square slice of cake sits on top of a white dessert plate and the picture is take from the side. . The top of the cake is golden and several pieces of chopped pecans are seen on top.  The pumpkin filling is shown in this shot. It is orange in color and looks creamy. The white baking dish with the whole cake sits next to the plate and a white towel with a red floral pattern is in the background.

Of course, I had to check online to see if anyone else had discovered this gem of a vintage autumn dessert before me. As with most crazy delicious dessert recipes, it’s absolutely been posted about before and a few versions of this recipe are out there on several websites. The recipe is also called pumpkin cobbler and pumpkin dump cake, but it’s essentially the exact same recipe, whatever it’s been named.

I adapted this old recipe for Pumpkin Upside Down Cake very slightly by using a combination of pumpkin pie spice and a teaspoon of extra cinnamon. I also added in a bit of light brown sugar to suit our taste. We love brown sugar and cinnamon, y’all!

As usual, I’m the least trendy person on the web and I’m late to the Pumpkin Upside Down Cake party, but I’m happy to have finally arrived!

I hope this is a new and exciting way for your family to celebrate pumpkin-everything season too!

Enjoy! – M

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Pumpkin Upside Down Cake

Recipe by Marcelle at A Little Fish in the Kitchen Course: DessertCuisine: AmericanDifficulty: Easy


Prep time


Cooking time



A traditional pumpkin pie filling is combined with a buttery cake topping to make this sensational Pumpkin Upside Down Cake. Serve this vintage dessert with a healthy dollop of whipped cream!


  • For the filling
  • 3 large eggs

  • 2 cans (15 oz) pumpkin puree

  • 2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice

  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon

  • 3/4 cup light brown sugar

  • 1/2 cup sugar

  • 1 can (12 oz) evaporated milk

  • For the topping
  • 1 box yellow cake mix

  • 3/4 cup melted salted butter

  • 3/4 cup pecans, coarsely chopped


  • Preheat the oven to 350º. Grease a 13×9 inch baking dish or cake pan with non-stick cooking spray and set it aside.
  • Prepare the filling. In a large mixing bowl, lightly beat the eggs. Add in the pumpkin puree, spices, sugars, and the evaporated milk. Stir until all ingredients are well combined.
  • Pour the filling mixture into the prepared baking dish. Sprinkle the dry cake mix evenly over the top of the pumpkin filling. Drizzle all of the melted butter over the top of the cake mix and use a spoon to gently work the butter into the dry mix as well as possible (see notes below).
  • Bake the cake for 40 minutes and remove from the oven. Sprinkle the chopped pecans evenly over the top of the cake and return to the oven for 20 more minutes or until the top is golden brown.
  • Remove from the oven and allow the cake to cool completely on a rack. Serve with whipped cream or vanilla ice cream and enjoy!

Recipe Video


  • At the 40 minute mark, if any dry cake mix is visible on top of the cake, lightly spray those parts of the topping with non-stick cooking spray before returning the cake to the oven.
  • Recipe from A Little Fish in the Kitchen blog at www.alittlefishinthekitchen.com. All content is owned by Marcelle G. Bolton. Please contact the author for permission to republish.

Check out these delicious #Pumpkin Week recipes below!


Breakfast and Breads

Mains, Salads, and Sides


Did you miss a recipe? Head to the Pinterest board to find all the #PumpkinWeek recipes shared this week.


  1. Can I substitute white cake mix for the yellow?

    • Hi Joyce, yes! White cake will work just fine 🙂 Thank you for the comment and I hope you enjoy the recipe! Happy Thanksgiving!

  2. This cake has so much flavor. I love the pumpkin with the pecans in a delicious cake. A great dessert for holidays and parties.

  3. Looks absolutely wonderful – pumpkin and pecans are a natural pair! I can’t believe it’s almost Thanksgiving! This will be perfect for the crowd…

    • Hi David, I could literally eat this whole cake by myself 😆. I hope you and your crowd enjoy it!! Thank you very much!

  4. My daughter adores all things pumpkin and her birthday is one week before Halloween. I think this would make an appropriate birthday cake!

  5. Love pumpkin pie, and this is such an interesting twist on an old favorite. One might say you’ve turned the traditional recipe upside down. 🙂 Really good stuff — thanks.

  6. I love pumpkin season tremendously! This upside down cake looks so inviting with the combo of flavours!

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