Easy Pumpkin Lava Cake

pumpkin lava cake with walnut topping and ice cream on top in a white cast iron skillet with two gold spoons in it.

You'll fall for this gooey pumpkin lava cake with a crunchy walnut brown sugar topping and self-making pumpkin 'caramel' filling! It's the easiest, most delicious dessert for pumpkin season! (egg-free)


  • 1 cup white whole wheat flour (or all-purpose)
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 3 tsp pumpkin pie spice
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil, melted coconut oil, or melted butter
  • 1/4 cup milk of choice
  • 2 tsp vanilla

For the topping:

  • 2/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup walnuts
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 1/2 cups very hot water


  1. Preheat oven to 350° F. Lightly grease a round or square 8 to 10 inch baking dish. I like to use a cast iron skillet.
  2. In a large bowl, mix flour, 1/2 cup brown sugar, baking powder, pumpkin pie spice and salt. Whisk to blend.
  3. To dry ingredients, add pumpkin, oil, milk and vanilla. Stir to combine. Spread into prepared baking dish.
  4. Prepare the topping. In a food processor, grind walnuts with brown sugar and cinnamon into a course crumb. You can also finely chop the walnuts by hand and stir it in the brown sugar and cinnamon.
  5. Sprinkle walnut mixture over pumpkin batter in the baking dish. Pour hot water over topping but do NOT stir.
  6. Bake 35-45 minutes or until topping is golden and middle is just set. Remove from the oven and let cool slightly before serving with vanilla ice cream or whipped cream.


  • DO NOT STIR after pouring the hot water onto the batter. Just pour it and stick the whole pan in the oven.
  •  When mixing the batter, careful not to over-stir the wet ingredients into the dry. Mix until the dry ingredients are completely moistened, but no need to over do it.
  •  This cake is best served right away while the 'lava' layer is still gooey. The cake will absorb the moisture as it sits, so leftovers won't have the same effect, though they're still delicious. Because of the moisture content of this cake, store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator, then reheat in the microwave.

Keywords: pumpkin lava cake, gooey pumpkin cake with walnut topping