Preheat oven to 350 F. Wash pumpkin, pat dry, cut off top to create a wide opening & clean out the seeds, and pulp. (Reserve seeds, if you wish to toast them for snacking later!)
Spray an 9-inch square pan and set pumpkin in pan for ease of handling. Rub butter and brown sugar on inside of pumpkin shell & set in oven for 15 to 20 minutes.
Occassionally, during baking time, baste inside of pumpkin with butter/sugar mixture.
Meanwhile, prepare Gingerbread mix, substituting applesauce for water or milk called for on the box. Pour batter into partially baked pumpkin shell, filling only to 2/3 capacity. (If there is extra batter, bake it in a custard cup or muffin tin.)
Bake with top on or off, depending on how you wish to serve it at 350 F, until shell is tender & gingerbread tests done with toothpick. Cooking time will be 1/2 again of baking time on box. For example, such as 45 minutes for regular time, plus another 20 minutes. Just make sure to read box for time.
To serve, cut pumpkin and cake into wedge-shaped slices & garnish with a dollop of whipped topping. Serve warm at the table, so everyone can enjoy your clever creation. Enjoy!! :)