Quick and Easy Pumpkin Crisp is a Last-Minute, Back-Pocket Thanksgiving Dessert
Super quick-and-easy Pumpkin Crisp is a last-minute, back-pocket autumn dessert that includes pumpkin, but isn’t pie or bread. It can serve as dessert for a large gathering on Thanksgiving or, even better, be a new and different dessert to whip up later during the long weekend when guests continue to expect to be fed and entertained.
This recipe is a great way to use stray or leftover cans of pumpkin, evaporated milk, and a box of cake mix that never made their way into another recipe. A warm, charming dessert (or brunch dish) that makes the most of pantry staples always comes in handy.
The base comes together in a single bowl with a couple of stirs. Toss together a yellow cake mix (straight from the box) with a handful of crunchy pecans and a drizzle of butter, and voila, you have the topping. The result is soft and custardy on the bottom with moist cakey bits in the middle and a smattering of crisp edges on top. It’s good warm or at room temp. It’s little wonder that when this classic recipe ran in 2005 the headnote mentioned that one staffer ate half the pan.
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The recipe suggests topping Pumpkin Crisp with generous dollop of lightly sweetened whipped cream. However, those who want an even richer dessert can serve it with ice cream, either reliable vanilla or something fun from the freezer case at the store, such as dulce de leche, cinnamon swirl, or good old butter pecan. Those who want to go a little lighter could use premium yogurt or sour cream.
Relying on the convenience of a cake mix makes this dessert a winner for time-strapped or less experienced cooks who still want to bring a crowd-pleasing dish to the table. Cake mixes have been around since the 1940s, saving the day for busy people and hungry families who can’t wait for a good cake to be on the table. Or a tasty Pumpkin Crisp.