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Pumpkin and yellow cake are topped with white chocolate pumpkin spice frosting in this seasonally scrumptious pumpkin magic cake!

Layered desserts not only look pretty but usually have an irresistible combination of textures and flavors. This pumpkin magic cake is one of our favorite layered pumpkin desserts, right up there with Pumpkin Lasagna and Pumpkin Cheesecake Bars!

A square slice of pumpkin magic cake topped with frosting.

Why is it so magical?

Pumpkin magic cake is made up of a creamy pumpkin puree layer, a layer of yellow cake, and a white chocolate pumpkin spice frosting topped with white chocolate shavings!! See for yourself why this 3-layer cake is so magical!

This cake is called “magic cake” because the pumpkin layer sinks to the bottom while it’s baking. The kids think it’s a tasty science experiment. I think it’s a tasty dessert, especially in the fall!

Cakes are perfect for feeding crowds and sharing with friends. If you like pumpkin, you’ll love this recipe!

Make This Magic Cake

Pumpkin layered cake is so simple to throw together!

PREP. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Spray a 9×13 dish with cooking spray.

CAKE. Start out by preparing the box of yellow cake mix according to the package instructions. Pour the cake batter into a greased 9×13 dish and set aside.

PUMPKIN. Make the pumpkin layer by mixing the pumpkin, evaporated milk, heavy cream, eggs, and brown sugar in a medium bowl, until smooth. Pour pumpkin mixture over the cake batter in the 9×13 pan.

BAKE. Bake for 50-60 minutes, until it doesn’t jiggle in the middle.

FROSTING. While the cake is cooling, make the frosting. Whisk together the white chocolate pudding mix, pumpkin pie spice, and milk until smooth. Fold in the Cool Whip, and mix well.

Spread the frosting over the top of the cooled cake then add the white chocolate curls!

Refrigerate until ready to serve.

Recipe Tips

Use these tips for the prettiest and tastiest pumpkin layer cake!

Pumpkin. Be sure to use pumpkin puree and NOT canned pumpkin pie filling. 

Pudding. You will need to buy INSTANT pudding. Do not make pudding as directed on the box. Use only the powder in the recipe as instructed.

Pumpkin Pie Spice Recipe uses basic spices you probably already have in your cupboard- cinnamon, ginger, cloves, and nutmeg.

Batters. DO NOT mix the pumpkin batter with the cake batter. Just pour over the top. Once baked, it may be hard to tell if the layers have switched. Don’t worry, trust the process, frost, and enjoy!

Chocolate curls are easiest to make with slightly softened chocolate. Use a vegetable peeler to peel off beautiful curls.


Fall magic cake is delicious just the way it is, but if you’d like to change it up here are a few tasty suggestions:

  • Cake mix. Use white cake mix instead of yellow.
  • Frosting. Instead of making the spiced frosting, simply use Cool Whip on top. You can also mix Pumpkin Pie Spice in cream cheese frosting to spread over the top.
  • Topping. Replace the chocolate shavings with white chocolate chips, cinnamon chips, or butterscotch chips.
  • Pudding. The white chocolate pudding can be replaced with vanilla pudding mix or cheesecake pudding mix.
A frosted cake topped with white chocolate shavings.

Storing info

Make it ahead of time. Magic pumpkin cake can be made 1-2 days in advance, and stored in the fridge.

STORE. Cover leftovers and store them in the fridge for 5-7 days.

A slice of pumpkin magic cake served on a white plate.

Recipe FAQ

What cake mix do I use in magic pumpkin cake?

Use a 15.25 ounce boxed cake mix. I used a yellow cake mix but you can use vanilla cake mix or white cake mix. Make the batter as directed on the back of the box and top it with the magic pumpkin layer as directed on the recipe card before baking.

Is magic pumpkin cake freezable?

Since the thawed texture may not be the same as when it is first baked, I don’t recommend freezing it if you’re wanting to serve it at an event. If you want to freeze it for yourself or to freeze leftovers, you can. Wrap it with plastic and again with foil and freeze for 1 month.

Can I add the pumpkin layer to the pan first in magic pumpkin cake?

Technically you can add the pumpkin mixture into the pan first and top it with the cake batter, but where is the magic in that?

For More Pumpkin Desserts, Check Out:

4.97 from 66 votes

Pumpkin Magic Cake Recipe

By: Lil’ Luna
Pumpkin and yellow cake are topped with white chocolate pumpkin spice frosting in this seasonally scrumptious pumpkin magic cake!
Servings: 12
Prep: 15 minutes
Cook: 1 hour
Total: 1 hour 15 minutes


  • 1 box yellow cake mix PLUS ingredients on the back of the box – eggs, water, oil
  • 15 ounce can pumpkin puree
  • ½ cup evaporated milk
  • ½ cup heavy whipping cream
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup brown sugar


  • 1 box white chocolate instant pudding mix 3.4 oz
  • 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 cup cold milk
  • 1 cup cool whip
  • white chocolate curls


  • Preheat oven to 350°F.
  • Prepare the cake as instructed on the package and pour it into a greased 9×13 pan. Set aside.
  • In a medium bowl add pumpkin, evaporated milk, cream, eggs, and brown sugar and whisk until smooth. Pour it over the cake batter in the 9×13 pan.
  • Bake for an hour (or until it no longer jiggles in the middle).
  • Let cool. Make frosting by whisking together the white chocolate pudding mix, pumpkin pie spice, and milk until smooth.
  • Fold in Cool Whip and mix well.
  • Spread over cooled cake and top with white chocolate curls.
  • Refrigerate until ready to serve. ENJOY!



Calories: 357kcal, Carbohydrates: 67g, Protein: 5g, Fat: 7g, Saturated Fat: 4g, Cholesterol: 60mg, Sodium: 415mg, Potassium: 206mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 47g, Vitamin A: 5790IU, Vitamin C: 1.7mg, Calcium: 186mg, Iron: 1.8mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Additional Info

Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Making this recipe? Tag us!
Share it with us on Instagram using the hashtag #lilluna, so we can see what you’re creating in the kitchen!

Recipe adapted from I Wash You Dry

About Kristyn

My name is Kristyn and I’m the mom of SIX stinkin’ cute kids and the wife to my smokin’ hot hubby, Lo. My mom’s maiden name is Luna, and I’m one of the many crafty “Lil’ Lunas” in the fam. On this site I like to share all things creative - from recipes to home decor to gifts and home decor ideas. Welcome!

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