My sister's former mother-in-law, Emily, made this dessert for a wiener roast held out on their Ohio farm back in November of 1986. It was a cold evening & when she brought the cake out, it was still warm from the oven. I still like it that way, although most folks seem to like their pumpkin pie chilled around here. Go ahead & suit yourself! =^..^=
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Spray a 13 x 9" pan with cooking spray.
FOR THE "CRUST": Put the butter in a medium-sized microwave-safe utility bowl. Microwave until melted. Add the dry cake mix & the egg. Mix well with a large spoon, then** spoon evenly into the prepared pan. (**Want nuts with that crust? See Direction #4 before you go to the next step!)
FOR THE "PUMPKIN PIE FILLING": Put the canned pumpkin, eggs, evaporated milk, both sugars & spices into a large mixing bowl. Beat with a mixer until well-blended. Pour over the crust mixture.
Sprinkle with walnut pieces, if desired. Go ahead, they're good! (**OK, if you're a pumpkin pie purist, you could always stir up the nuts into the "crust" batter. Or... put them in BOTH places!)
Bake at 350 degrees F. for 70-80 minutes. (I do my first check at 60 minutes.) The dessert is done when a toothpick comes out clean from the pie filling and the "crust" that shows through is lightly browned. Watch carefully.
Serve warm or cold with your favorite whipped topping or ice cream.
NOTE: If you REALLY can't give up your pumpkin pie, skip the "crust" & just pour the filling into 2 unbaked deep-dish pie shells. Bake at 425 degrees F. for 15 minutes ONLY, then reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees F. and bake for another 40-50 minutes. (Check early, you know?) And throw some walnuts on those pies! I dare you.