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Pumpkin Magic Cake

close up shot of a slice of Pumpkin Magic Cake on a plate
Pumpkin magic cake is a delicious autumn dessert that has pumpkin spice flavors and a light and creamy Cool Whip frosting.
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Table of Contents
  1. PUMPKIN MAGIC CAKE INGREDIENTS
  2. HOW TO MAKE THIS PUMPKIN MAGIC CAKE RECIPE
  3. HOW TO SERVE
  4. STORAGE
  5. MORE RECIPES YOU’LL LOVE
  6. JUMP TO RECIPE

This pumpkin magic cake recipe is a layered dessert with moist cake, pumpkin spice flavors, and a creamy cool whip frosting. It is delicious and easy to make using simple ingredients like box cake and instant pudding. The magic comes when you cut into the cake and see that the cake and pumpkin layers separate to make not only a tasty dessert but a beautiful one!

Who doesn’t love a delicious pumpkin dessert? If you’re looking for a new pumpkin recipe to try out this fall, we recommend this Pumpkin Delight Dessert or these Pumpkin Cheesecake Bars.

PUMPKIN MAGIC CAKE INGREDIENTS

You’ll need:

For the Cake

  • 1 box yellow cake mix (plus the ingredients on the back of the box to make a 9×13 cake BUT instead of using water you will substitute the same amount of milk for the water)
  • 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 (15-ounce) can pumpkin puree
  • 1 (12-ounce) can evaporated milk
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup brown sugar, packed

PRO TIP

Watch out when you are at the grocery store that you buy pure pumpkin purée and not canned pumpkin pie filling.

For the Frosting

  • One box (3.4 ounces) white chocolate instant pudding
  • 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 cup cold milk
  • 1 (8-ounce) tub of Cool Whip

SUBSTITUTIONS AND ADDITIONS

CAKE MIX: You can use any brand of yellow cake mix, just as long as it requires water, to replace with milk. You could also use a white boxed cake mix or vanilla cake as well.

PUDDING: It is possible to substitute French vanilla or vanilla pudding mix in place of the white chocolate instant pudding.

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HOW TO MAKE THIS PUMPKIN MAGIC CAKE RECIPE

STEP ONE: Preheat the oven to 350°F.

STEP TWO: Spray a 9×13-inch pan with nonstick cooking spray.

STEP THREE: In a large bowl, place the cake mix ingredients (substituting milk for water).

PRO TIP

For example, my cake mix called for ½ cup vegetable oil, 1 cup water, and 3 eggs. I substituted 1 cup of milk for the 1 cup of water.

STEP FOUR: Mix per the package instructions. For my cake mix, it was on medium for 2 minutes.

STEP FIVE: Pour the cake batter into the prepared 9×13 baking dish. Set aside.

STEP SIX: In a medium-sized bowl, place the pumpkin puree, evaporated milk, 1 teaspoon of pumpkin pie spice, eggs, and brown sugar. Whisk together until smooth.

STEP SEVEN: Slowly pour the pumpkin mixture right on top of the cake mix, over the whole cake.

PRO TIP

The key is to pour this slowly and drizzle it all over the top of the cake, along the edges so it covers the top. It will already begin to sink.

STEP EIGHT: Bake your cake for 50 minutes to one hour or until it is no longer loose in the middle.

PRO TIP:

When the cake is removed from the oven you will think that it hasn’t separated into layers because it looks just regular on top. But the magic is there when you slice into it and see the cake and pumpkin layers separate!

STEP NINE: While the cake is cooling, you can mix up the frosting. In a large bowl, whisk together the instant pudding mix, milk, and the remaining 1 teaspoon of pumpkin pie spice until smooth.

STEP TEN: Fold in the Cool Whip until combined.

STEP ELEVEN: Spread the Cool Whip over top of the cooled cake.

STEP TWELVE: Refrigerate until ready to serve.

PRO TIP:

To cut the cake cleanly, pop your knife in the freezer to cool it, and it should slice through the cake easily.

HOW TO SERVE

Amaze your guests at Thanksgiving dinner with this beautiful cake and its delicious layers. They are the perfect way to celebrate pumpkin season and all that is cozy. Serve with a homemade pumpkin spice latte for the perfect treat.

STORAGE

IN THE FRIDGE: Leftover pumpkin pie cake should be kept in the fridge, as well as between servings. While the cake itself is fine to be left out for a bit of time, the Cool Whip frosting will melt quickly if it’s left out at room temperature for too long.

IN THE FREEZER: You can freeze your pumpkin magic cake and enjoy it later. Either freeze the entire cake as a whole or cut individual pieces and freeze them by wrapping them in plastic and placing them in a Ziploc bag. That way we can enjoy an individual piece when the sweet tooth hits!

Pumpkin magic cake is a perfect fall dessert if you are a pumpkin lover. This cake is magical in that it displays three distinct layers that all come from one batter. The pumpkin layer falls to the bottom as the cake bakes and is topped with a fluffy cake layer and a top layer of fluffy frosting. Best of all, it looks as beautiful and it tastes! It’s sure to be a hit at your next fall gathering.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Is my batter supposed to be very runny?

Yes, you will have a very runny and thin batter, and that is the consistency you want for the magic layering to happen.

Are there other flavors of this unique cake?

You can find a recipe for magic custard cake on this site. Lemon and chocolate magic cakes are also popular variations on this classic vanilla magic custard cake recipe.

Can I make my own homemade pumpkin puree?

If you would prefer to use homemade pumpkin puree rather than store-bought, you certainly can make this substitution.

MORE RECIPES YOU’LL LOVE

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close up shot of a slice of Pumpkin Magic Cake on a plate

Pumpkin Magic Cake

5 from 1 vote
Pumpkin magic cake is a delicious autumn dessert that has pumpkin spice flavors and a light and creamy Cool Whip frosting.
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 15 minutes
Servings 12

Ingredients
  

  • 1 box yellow cake mix             (Plus the ingredients on the back of the box to make a 9×13 cake BUT instead of using water substitute the same amount of milk for the water)    
  • 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 15 ounces pumpkin puree  
  • 12 ounces evaporated milk
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup brown sugar packed

Frosting

  • 3.4 ounces white chocolate instant pudding             (vanilla flavor can be substituted)
  • 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 cup cold milk
  • 8 ounces Cool Whip

Instructions
 

  • Preheat oven to 350°F.
  • Spray a 9×13 pan with nonstick spray.
  • In a large bowl place the cake mix ingredients(substituting milk for water). My cake mix it called for ½ cup vegetable oil, 1 cup water, and 3 eggs. I substituted one cup of milk in place of the water.)
  • Mix per the package instructions. For my cake mix it was on medium for two minutes.
  • Pour the cake batter into the prepared 9×13 pan. Set aside.
  • In a medium-size bowl place the pumpkin puree, evaporated milk, 1 teaspoon of pumpkin pie spice, eggs, and brown sugar. Whisk together until smooth.
  • SLOWLY pour the pumpkin mixture right on top of the cake mix, over the whole cake. The key is to pour this slowly and drizzle it all over the top of the cake, along the edges so it covers the top. It will already begin to sink.
  • Bake for 50 minutes to one hour or until no longer loose in the middle.
  • While the cake is cooling in a large bowl whisk together the pudding mix, milk, and remaining 1 teaspoon of pumpkin pie spice until smooth.
  • Fold in the Cool Whip until combined.
  • Spread over the cooled cake.
  • Refrigerate until ready to serve.

Notes

TIP: Watch out when you are at the grocery store that you buy pure pumpkin purée and not canned pumpkin pie filling.
 
TIP: When the cake is removed from the oven you will think that it hasn’t separated into layers because it looks just regular on top. But the magic is there when you slice into it and see the cake and pumpkin layers separate!
 
TIP: To cut the cake cleanly, pop your knife in the freezer to cool it, and it should slice through the cake easily.

Nutrition

Calories: 366kcal | Carbohydrates: 73g | Protein: 7g | Fat: 6g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Cholesterol: 54mg | Sodium: 440mg | Potassium: 266mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 51g | Vitamin A: 5708IU | Vitamin C: 2mg | Calcium: 241mg | Iron: 2mg
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  1. Va says

    I have a question regarding the pumpkin pie spice. One teaspoon of pumpkin pie spice is listed in the ingredients list. However, pumpkin pie spice is noted twice in the directions: Steps 4 and 6. Is one teaspoon added separately in each step or half-teaspoon added in each step?

    • Layne Kangas says

      Hey, there – pumpkin pie spice is listed twice in the ingredients – once for the cake and once in the frosting. It’s a teaspoon for each part, so two teaspoons total. Enjoy!

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