Our family’s favorite Thanksgiving dessert has a pumpkin filling on the bottom and is sprinkled with cake mix, pecans, and drizzled with butter. It’s absolutely wonderful with real whipped topping on it! So it was one of the first Thanksgiving recipes I converted to be gluten free. I tried it with the Betty Crocker GF yellow cake mix the fist time I made it, and it turned out well, but I had to buy two of the mixes in order to fill a 9″x13″ pan, which is really expensive. Interestingly, it gradually absorbed the pumpkin and eventually had the texture of a pumpkin coffee cake after several days, but it was still so good!
2012 Update: This year I modified a homemade cake recipe that goes on a dump cake and used it with my pumpkin pie crunch. I learned that cake flour is merely flour with cornstarch added to lighten it, so I experimented with substituting 2 T. corn starch per cup of my flour blend. I also increased the xanthan gum to 1 tsp. The result? A perfect Pumpkin Pie Crunch with a crispy, buttery topping, just like we remembered from our gluten days. Happy Gluten Free Thanksgiving!
14 oz. can pumpkin puree (not the pie filling with spices added)
1 1/2 c. evaporated milk or almond milk
1 1/3 c. sugar
1 T. pumpkin pie spice
1/2 tsp. salt
Cake Mix (or use a boxed 9″x13″ yellow cake mix):
1 3/4 c. gluten free flour blend (see recipe below)
1/4 c. cornstarch
1 c. sugar
1/2 c. brown sugar
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. xanthan gum
1 1/4 c. chopped pecans (I use the “cookie pieces” or bits that come pre-chopped)
1 c. melted butter or dairy free margarine
1 tsp. vanilla extract (omit if using a boxed mix containing vanilla flavoring)
In a large mixing bowl, stir together pumpkin filling ingredients until smoothly blended. Pour filling into a greased, 9″x13″ pan. In a separate bowl, mix together cake mix. Sprinkle cake mix evenly over top of filling. Scatter nuts over cake mix. Melt butter and stir in vanilla (unless using a boxed mix containing vanilla). Drizzle melted butter over nuts, moistening as much cake mix as possible (to avoid fights with your husband over who gets the yummy pieces where the butter pooled).
Bake at 350 degrees for 50-55 minutes or until set and golden. Cool at least one hour in pan on a wire rack before serving. Serve with whipped cream. Store leftover dessert in the refrigerator, if you’re lucky enough to have leftovers.
Brenda’s All-Purpose Gluten Free Flour Blend:
1 c. white rice flour
1 c. brown rice flour
1/3 c. tapioca flour/starch
1/3 c. cornstarch
1/3 c. potato starch
1 T. sweet rice (also called sticky rice) flour
1 T. potato flour