Desserts Recipes

Pumpkin Better Than Sex Cake

Pumpkin Better Than Sex Cake


Okay, I admit it – I went a little crazy with the pumpkin baking today. Three pumpkin goodies in one afternoon isn’t excessive though right? Before you continue reading, I need you to solemnly swear that you will not head over to my Nutrisystem posts right now and comment with nasty things like “No wonder you can’t lose weight – you keep BAKING!” ๐Ÿ˜‰ In return, I solemnly swear to not eat the entire pan of cake right now….I will wait until morning to finish it. Sound good?

In case you weren’t over on facebook tonight (the night this recipe was posted), I posted a photo of each of today’s treats, and this one got the most votes. As promised, I am not delaying in getting the recipe posted for all.

You may recall the Better Than ___Cake recipe that I posted a while back. I mentioned that it was the cake that I requested most for my birthday. That may change now that I have discovered the Pumpkin version of Better Than Sex Cake. It could totally work since my birthday is in November too!

Oh my goodness this was some scrumptious cake! Just as with the chocolate version, I am anticipating this cake to be even better the next day. I won’t know until tomorrow, but I’ll let you know.

This Pumpkin Better Than Sex Cake is among my 5 most popular recipes.

Yield: 12-15

Pumpkin Better Than Sex Cake

Pumpkin Better Than Sex Cake
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Additional Time 4 hours
Total Time 4 hours 35 minutes


  • 1 box yellow cake mix
  • 1 - 15 oz. can pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie mix)
  • 1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 - 14 oz. can sweetened condensed milk
  • 8 oz. cool whip
  • 1/2 bag Heath Bits
  • jar of caramel sauce
  • Instructions


    In a large bowl, mix together the cake mix, spice and pumpkin puree until a smooth batter forms.
    Pour batter into a greased 9x13 baking dish, and bake at 350º, according to the directions on the cake mix box (approx 23-28 mins).
    Remove cake from oven and let cool for about 10 minutes after baking.
    Using the end of a wooden spoon to poke holes all over the top of the cake.
    Pour the sweetened condensed milk over the cake. This should fill in the holes and soak into the cake.
    Refrigerate for 30 minutes.
    Remove cake from refrigerator and spread cool whip over top of cake. Sprinkle on the heath bits, and drizzle caramel over top. (I didn't think the cake needed a lot of caramel at this point so I only used about 1/4 of the jar. I thinned it out first by heating it in the microwave.)
    Refrigerate for 3-4 hours, or overnight (best).

I spotted this recipe from Something Swanky.

About the author

Emily Buys


  • You know before you put all the topping on it’s a WW recipe and only 1 point… so it’s not all bad for you ๐Ÿ™‚ Can’t wait to try it

  • just made the cake….is it supposed to be gooey in the middle (before the milk is added)??? I’m worried

  • Sorry – I am just now seeing your comment Lindsay. Your cake should be cooked through just as any other cake would be, before adding the sweetened condensed milk.

  • Emily- Are you suppose to make the cake mix (eggs, and oil) plus pumpkin mix? or just the powder mix and pumpkin. Thank you! This looks great.

  • OMG, this looks amazing! I pinned it on my Pinterest Board so I don’t forget to make it for Thanksgiving dinner!

  • Do you mix the cake mix with eggs, water, and oil as directed on the box then add the puree or just mix the two ingredients of cake mix and puree?

  • Has anyone tried this with the German chocolate or devils food cake? wondering if that would be good, maybe using that instead of the yellow

  • I made this cake it was so easy to make and so good. I will be making it again for Thanksgiving. Thank you for the recipe.

  • So call me stupid…but what is the difference between Pumpkin Puree and just 100% canned pumpkin? Can I use the 100% canned pumpkin for this recipe?

  • I made this Wednesday night, for Turkey Day yesterday. Taste was great, but id anyone else end up with a soggy mess of a cake? I followed directions to letter, and left in fridge overnight. But by yesterday afternoon, when I went to serve it, cake was more like a bread pudding..Very soggy…I actually used a spoon to scoop it us and served in bowls. Maybe either use only half can of the SCM or don’t leave to soak up overnight..??


  • I’m sorry your cake didn’t turn out Shannon! I have one question. Did you add the pumpkin to the dry cake mix only, or the prepared cake mix (per the box instructions)? That might make a huge difference.

  • this punkin cake is so darn good i had to make another one the next day thank u for sharing your recipe

  • My son’s girlfriend made this recipe and really liked it, so I looked it up. I looks delicious, but I can’t eat that much sugar. I’m going to try substituting 3 cups of pancake mix and a teaspoon of vanilla extract for the cake mix. I’ll let you know how it turns out!

  • “Using the end of a wooden spoon to poke holes all over the top of the cake.”

    How deep should the holes be? Just below the surface, half way, or down to the bottom of the pan?

  • I am making the cake as i type. poured the condensed milk and let it soak for an hour but seems to still have alot in bottom of pan. Is this right or will continue to soak up the milk?

  • It’s been a while since I made this cake Peggy, but I believe it will still continue to soak some of the milk up. There may still be some in the bottom when you cut your slices, but I can’t say for sure. I guess I need to remake this yumminess! The cake is very moist and a little wet though.

  • i have made this cake a few times, my family loves it! Why wait for Thanksgiving?Just do it!

  • I’d like to try almond milk instead of the sweetened condense milk, healthy it up a bit more, what do u think? thank you

  • It would still be a good pumpkin cake without the sweetened condensed milk, but it won’t be the same consistency or anything. It’ll just be a pumpkin cake.

  • I haven’t made this recipe yet, but I just made pumpkin muffins with a spice cake mix and a can of pumpkin and the batter was very thick. I had to spoon it like cookie dough into the muffin papers. I’m not sure how it’s supposed to be like cake batter. Any suggestions?

  • Hm, that’s not my recipe so I can’t say for sure, but it sounds like it would be thick. Are you sure that the recipe didn’t call for eggs or oil? It seems like you’d need another liquid in there.

  • Oh I know the muffins aren’t your recipe lol… But your Better Than recipe starts out the same way, just cake mix and pumpkin and you said it should be like cake batter. I’m just wondering how to get it to that consistency?

  • Hmm, The only thing I can think of might be altitude. How did it bake up? Mine was probably thicker than regular cake batter, but it wasn’t like cookie dough either.

  • This somehow got posted on Facebook by one of my friends. Thought I’d try it for a picnic the next day. Thank God I pulled a Paula Deen and snagged a bit out of the middle of the cake before putting the cool whip on. It is the most disgusting thing I have ever put in my mouth. The pumpkin (unspiced) makes for the most bland tasting cake ever. And the fact you just mix puree with cake mix, if you don’t smooth out the batter in the pan, that’s how it looks when done. Please try this before you serve it. You have been warned.

  • I’m sorry you feel that way Tim. Did you taste the cake after you let the sweetened condensed milk soak in it for hours? I assure you that makes a difference. I also took a peek at the original recipe and noticed that I forgot to include 1 tsp of pumpkin pie spice in with the cake batter. The would give it a tad more flavor, but wouldn’t change the consistency. I’m really wondering if you let the cake sit though because I have heard of so many people loving this cake.

  • I am going to try this it just looks so good. Would it be sweet enough without the toppings as condensed milk is very sweet.

  • This recipe sounds great and I cannot wait to try it but I have one question; you said to mix the cake mix, pumpkin, and spice together and bake it is that it just those 3 ingredients or do I add all the cake mix ingredients along with it too…Thanks

  • This recipe looks great and I can’t wait to try it but I have a question you said to mix the cake mix, pumpkin, and spice together and bake is that it? or do you add all the cake ingredients listed on the back of the cake box along with everything too…

  • I’m think I’m going to make it with the pumpkin, spice and cake mix,, but instead of the sweetened condensed milk try using pumpkin pudding into the holes. Do you think this would work ok?

  • My only critiques are on the instructions given. It took some time to figure out the “no other ingredients from cake box” thing. Also the “poke holes w/the tip of a wooden spoon” wasn’t the best description. I ended up with “slits” & had no idea I’d not used the proper technique until looking at a few other blogs (wish I’d done that SOONER). Still pretty good!!…Just maybe not as moist through & through as it’s intended to be…

  • I’m sorry you had a difficult time understanding the directions. Whenever poking holes in a cake, you always use the skinny round end of the spoon.

  • hey I’m needing help I didn’t read the last instruction and I’m making this dessert now and I have a church thing in 2 hours and this is what I’m bringing I won’t be able to soak it for 3-4 hours so what should I do?

  • ok so i am trying this cake today…..followed the baking directions exactly and the batter looks way thicker then normal cake batter… this normal?? hoping this turns out its my birthday cake!!:)

  • For all of those saying the batter is thick and the cake turns out mushy in the middle…. I usually make pumpkin muffins that start out the exact same way as this recipe (cake mix + pumpkin puree) and I find that it can be soggy and thick at times. So lately I have been adding 1 egg and 1/4 cup of water to the mix and that seems to help. I’m sure that would work in this case also. I bet this recipe would also be great with spice cake mix. Can’t wait to try it!

  • I made the cake per the directions. The cake batter was very thick, not pourable at all. I had to spoon it into the pan and try to spread the very thick mixture smoothly into the pan. I used all the correct amounts of cake and pumpkin. I find the whole can of milk way too sweet for my tastes, I say a half can of milk would be plenty sweet. The cake is very gooey and unfortunatly not a hit with my family. I also had to spoon it out because the milk made it so wet and sticky. Maybe we just don’t like such sweet recipes.

  • I tried this and the batter was super thick – it did not rise like a normal cake. I was wondering if I needed to add an egg or something to make it more smooth.


  • Hmm, I haven’t heard of issues with it rising. Did it soften up after poking holes and adding the milk? Another reader suggested this for the cake: “For all of those saying the batter is thick and the cake turns out mushy in the middleโ€ฆ. I usually make pumpkin muffins that start out the exact same way as this recipe (cake mix + pumpkin puree) and I find that it can be soggy and thick at times. So lately I have been adding 1 egg and 1/4 cup of water to the mix and that seems to help. Iโ€™m sure that would work in this case also. I bet this recipe would also be great with spice cake mix. Canโ€™t wait to try it!”

  • Looks much better than it tastes. It isn’t disgusting by any means. I just expected it to be better than it actually was. Its way too sweet after about 3 bites. :/

  • Pillsbury has a pumpkin cake mix . I am going to use it, mix as directed on box instead of yellow cake mix and pumpkin puree and go on to step 2. Pillsbury also has a caramel apple cake mix that i bet would be great with this recipe.

  • Made this last night….FANTASTIC!! Made sure to cook through and do the toothpick test before taking it out of the oven. Had some last night after 3 hours in the fridge and it was great. And just had some after sitting overnight, and even better. All my coworkers absolutely loved it. Consistency was just perfect, not too gooey at all


  • Hi, I am not sure what health bits are? I am not baker at all,, and canadian ,, so wondering if they are called something else?

    thanks so much,, you have some great recipes,,,

  • I would think IF you don’t won’t to use the toffee that Chocolate Chips would be Awesome or your favorite Candy or candy Chips ! I have to TRY the Cake … Thank You sooo much for sharing the recipe !!! ๐Ÿ™‚

  • I’m just wondering how many holes you should make in the cake and how close together they should be. Also, I live in Colorado, so the altitude is high; do I need to make any adjustments?

  • There is no exact number or science for the holes. Just play with it. For the altitude, look at your cake mix to see what adjustments it tells you to make for high altitude.

  • i made this tonight but made some substitutions. instead of the sweetened condensed milk i used sugar free butterscotch pudding. instead of the cool whip i used real whipped cream sweetened with splenda. i drizzed a small amount of sugar free caramel sundae topping ( smucker’s ) and instead of the toffee i used homemade spiced walnuts ( made with walnuts,splenda brown sugar blend, cinnamon,and cloves and some butter ). oh and instead of pumpkin pie spice in the cake batter i used a scant teaspoon of cinnamon about a 1/4 teaspoon of cloves and a teaspoon of fresh ginger and i threw some walnuts in. it was scrumptious! i try and make dessert as sugar free as possible because i am diabetic and i rarely have dessert at all but this was definitely worth it!

  • I’ve made the chocolate version of this before. I mix the Carmel and eagle brand together and pour into my cake then I mix part of the Carmel eagle brand mixture with my cool whip. Makes a great frosting. I thought I would try this pumpkin version. Anyway in a hurry at the store I just realized I grabbed pumpkin pie mix. I wonder if it would work anyone or if I could make it work. I don’t wont to go back to the store before Thanksgiving. Thanks

  • Ooh, good question. I haven’t tried it with the other. My recommendation would be to go easy on any other flavors if you use the pumpkin pie version. Good luck!

  • I used pumpkin pie mix because it was what I had on hand and it turned out great. I just omitted the pumpkin pie spice.

  • My batter is thick like cookie dough. I added a little bit of water to it just to get it to be able to spread. It is still way thicker than regular cake batter. Any ideas of what to do? I know I read that someone else had the same problem with no real solution…. Please help!!!

  • Oh dear. Have you baked the cake yet to see how it turns out? When you poke the holes and poor the milk over, it will soften it a bunch so try not to worry too much. I believe some people have tried adding an extra egg.

  • The cake was really good! It was really dense when it came out but after the milk and sitting for 6 hours it was really moist and soft and really sweet! I used a packet of whipped mix instead of cool whip and it was really good because it wasnt as sweet. So no worries if the next one is a thick dense batter ๐Ÿ™‚ I have had the same cake with chocolate cake and they cooked the cake how it says on the box and it was so sweet and wet that it is amlost too sweet and rich but this one was perfect! Thanks so much!!!

  • Loved this recipe! Thanks so much for sharing- it was a huge hit for Thanksgiving! ๐Ÿ™‚ I did add an egg and 1/4 cup of water prior to baking, and the batter rose like a regular cake. I also used only 1/2 of the can of condensed milk. Delicious!

  • I have a suggestion for everyone who chooses to bake this cake. I have made it before and if you only mix the cake mix and purรฉe together, it will be thick like dough, so add the sweetened condensed milk to the mix and it will become smooth like batter, it cooks up very well. Those are the only three ingredients in the cake. I usually frost it with cream cheese frosting. Delish. !!

  • I just made this tonight for my husband’s Police Department Christmas party. It was an absolute hit! It was the first thing that we ran out of and everyone was buzzing around saying, “What WAS that?!?!” My husband even said it was good, and he doesn’t like pumpkin. His quote – “It takes just like Christmas!”

    The only thing I did different was I only used 3/4 can of condensed milk. I didn’t want it to be too sweet – if there is such a thing. Cake rose just fine with the puree and cake mix. Heath chips and caramel sauce were great! I’m already planning on going to the store tomorrow for another round to make for my church’s Christmas party! Thanks Emily!

  • I just buy 1 Butterfinger and chop it up or break it up in the wrapper and sprinkle on the top. Looks and taste’s great. Oh and remember only the cake mix and the puree. Do not mix what the cake box asks for.

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