Pumpkin Crunch Cake

Pamela Seivert, pictured in her kitchen, says she and Ron bought their open-plan home on a large lot in Maplewood specifically so they could entertain. Both Thanksgiving and Christmas get-togethers are held at the home, where Seivert's Pumpkin Crunch Cake has become a favorite dessert. (Linda Baumeister/Review)

"This is my family's all-time favorite pumpkin recipe," Seivert says -- and it was the 2014 contest winner as well!
1st Place winner in the 2014 Savor the Season Lillie Newspapers holiday recipe contest

1 can (15 oz) pumpkin puree
1 can (12 oz) evaporated milk
3 eggs
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 box yellow cake mix
1 cup pecans, chopped (roasted, candied optional)
1 cup butter/margarine, melted

Preheat oven to 350° F.
In a large bowl, whisk together pumpkin, evaporated milk, eggs, sugar, cinnamon and salt. Pour into greased 13 x 9 baking dish. Layer dry cake mix evenly on top of pumpkin mixture. Sprinkle pecans on top of cake mix. Drizzle melted butter evenly over the top. Bake for 50-55 minutes or until golden brown. Serve either warm or chilled with homemade whipped cream or vanilla ice cream!

Pamela Seivert

Dealing out inspiration from a pile of cards

Pamela Seivert, who won this year's "Savor the Season" recipe contest, freely admits she's more of a doer than an organizer.

Her recipe for Pumpkin Crunch Cake was just one of hundreds in a stack of print-outs and cut-outs waiting to be categorized.

Seivert's name may be familiar to pool and billiard fans; she owned Smokin' Joe's billiards parlor, a nod to the Players' Billiards business her father Joe Saad had operated in South St. Paul. The Saad family, which also ran Brady's on Rice Street, lived on Lake Gervais in Little Canada.

After the billiards business closed, Seivert returned to college night classes and now works full time with developmentally disabled people, coaching them on job skills and supervising them in the workplaces where they're placed. "I love what I do," she says. "It's just so rewarding."

In her off hours, Seivert's priorities include her husband Ron, her adult children and grandchildren, playing -- and winning -- in pool tournaments, and church activities and mission trips. But she still finds time for cooking and entertaining, just not filing.

"I'm kind of a collector of recipes," she explains. "I'm not an organizer of them. I think of it as an 'on a rainy day' project, and I haven't gotten around to enough of a rainy day!"

When she needs to make something -- often for the greeting-card stamping and decorating club she hosts at her house -- she just sifts through the pile.

This recipe looked perfect for the recipe contest. It uses pantry staples, comes together in minutes and can be served warm or chilled. And it's a great creamy-and-crunchy take on pumpkin.

"I thought it would be good for Thanksgiving, as well as the weeks coming up to Christmas," Seivert says. "It's just a great fall recipe."


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