PUMPKIN CRUNCH UPSIDE DOWN CAKE
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a 9 x 13 inch pan with buttered waxed paper or parchment paper.
Beat together the following and pour into lined pan:
1 large can (28-30-oz) can of pumpkin puree (NOT pumpkin pie mix!)
1 13-oz can of evaporated milk
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup Splenda
5 eggs, well beaten
1 tsp. rum flavoring
1 tsp. vanilla flavoring
1 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon each ground cloves, allspice and ginger
Over the pumpkin mixture, sprinkle a whole box of Duncan Hines golden cake mix -- right out of the box.
Over that, sprinkle 1 1/2 cups of chopped pecans or walnuts (or a mixture or your preference). Over that, drizzle 1 cup of melted light butter.
Bake for 50-55 minutes until evenly brown. Remove from oven and allow to cool at least 1 hour. Run a knife around the edges to loosen. Invert pan on serving tray, and gently remove any waxed or parchment paper.
(If I want to make this the day ahead, I bake the cake, leave it in the pan and refrigerate it without turning it out after cooling. Before frosting it the next day, I run a knife around the edge of the parchment paper again and let it sit out for about half an hour before inverting the cake onto a serving tray and frosting it.)
To make a frosting for the cake, begin by beating together the following until light and fluffy:
1 8-oz package low-fat cream cheese, softened
1 1/2 cup powdered sugar
1 teaspoon rum or vanilla flavoring (or 1/2 tsp of Each)
Fold into that 1 medium-sized container of Free or Lite or Sugar Free Cool Whip, thawed.
Spread over the cooled cake. You can refrigerate the cake for 3-4 hours or serve immediately after frosting.
This is a dense, rich dessert with all the usual "pumpkin pie" flavors, plus the extra crunch of the nuts and the creaminess of the topping. It's been a real hit in my family for the past 10 years. Enjoy!