Magic Pumpkin Cake

See for yourself why this 3 layer Magic Pumpkin Cake is so magical! It’s made up of a creamy pumpkin puree layer, a layer of yellow cake, and lastly a white chocolate pumpkin spice frosting topped with white chocolate shavings!!

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

3 layer magic cake on a white plate

Why is it so magic?

Hola!! It’s me, Lily!! Today’s recipe is Magic Pumpkin Cake. YUMMMMMY!! Even though I don’t love pumpkin, I reallllly liked this recipe. It has three delicious layers – a pumpkin layer, a fluffy cake layer, and pumpkin spice frosting layer.

This cake is called “magic cake” because the pumpkin layer sinks to the bottom while it’s baking. It’s really cool – kind of like a science experiment. My mom says it has something to do with the cake batter being really liquid-y, and the pumpkin layer being heavier and more dense.

You also bake it in the oven for a really long time compared to other cakes, and while it’s baking for so long, the pumpkin layer starts to sink down to the bottom. Neat, huh? Just like magic! If you like Pumpkin, you’ll love this recipe!

pumpkin magic cake layers in a glass casserole dish

The pumpkin will sink to the bottom – it’s MAGIC!!

How to make it:

CAKE LAYER. Start out by preparing the yellow cake mix as the instructions say to on the box. Pour the cake batter into a greased 9×13 pan and set aside.

PUMPKIN. Then, make the pumpkin layer by mixing the pumpkin, evaporated milk, cream, eggs, and brown sugar in a medium bowl until it’s smooth. Pour all over the cake mix in the 9×13 pan.

BAKE. Bake for about an hour until it doesn’t jiggle in the middle.

FROSTING. While the cake is cooling, make the frosting by whisking together the white chocolate pudding mix, pumpkin pie spice, and milk until smooth. Then, fold in the Cool Whip and mix well. Spread the frosting over the cooled cake and top with white chocolate curls if you like!

Refrigerate until ready to serve.

Cinnamon cream cheese frosting in bowl

Additional Tips

STORING: Magic Pumpkin Cake can be made up to a day ahead of time and stored in the fridge. Cover leftovers and store in the fridge for up to a week.

Recipe Notes:

  • Remember, don’t mix the pumpkin batter with the cake batter. Just pour over the top. 
  • Once baked it may be hard to tell the 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.

Pumpkin Magic Cake on a white plate

Be prepared for lots of Pumpkin and Halloween treats because we’re going to be making lots of them!! I hope you can come back again soon for more yummy treats from me.

Love, Lily

For more pumpkin desserts, check out:

Pumpkin Magic Cake Recipe

4.91 from 21 votes
3 layer cake made up of creamy pumpkin puree layer, a layer of yellow cake, and lastly a white chocolate pumpkin spice frosting topped with white chocolate shavings!!
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 15 minutes
Servings 12
Calories 357 kcal
Author Lil' Luna


  • 1 box yellow cake mix PLUS ingredients needed to make - eggs, water, oil
  • 15 oz can pumpkin puree
  • 1/2 c evaporated milk
  • 1/2 c heavy cream
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 c brown sugar


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


  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • Prepare cake as instructed on package and pour into a greased 9x13 pan. Set aside.
  • In a medium bowl add pumpkin, evaporated milk, cream, eggs, and brown sugar and whisk until smooth. Pour all over the cake mix in the 9x13 pan.
  • Bake for an hour (or until it not longer jiggles in the middle).
  • Let cool and 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!

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Recipe adapted from I Wash You Dry

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About the Author

Kristyn Merkley

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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Recipe Rating


  1. 5 stars
    hello, I tried your pumpkin magic cake and got great reviews from my testers (guinea pigs-lol) it was divine, hopefully for thanksgiving I will make it again. will always keep this recipe. I didn’t know how to make the curls on top so I didn’t add it. I wasn’t going to add the white chocolate because I couldn’t find it, but I did find it ( so hard to locate) and I am so glad I did add it. it just gave the cake and added texture. this cake is so delicious

    1. I am so happy to hear that!! I am glad you found the white chocolate!! I just get a peeler (one I would peel carrots, etc) & use it on the chocolate, to make the curls. Thank you for sharing with me!

  2. How will the cake come out in layers like that with the yellow Cake in the middle if you put the pumpkin mixture on top of the cake? Do you put the cake then pumpkin mixture or the other way in so confused..

    1. 5 stars
      If you read at the top she tells you that the pumpkin sinks to the bottom as its cooking. Pumpkin is heavIer and will sink. Thats the magic!

  3. 5 stars
    I made this recipe last night. It was heavenly! My whole family loved it! Thank you so much for sharing! Anyone that makes this will not be disappointed! Its very moIst and light!

  4. something dosnt make sence, it looks like the pumpkin is the only thing on the bottom, it dosn’t look marbled how do you get it to look like the pic?

  5. I just made this for the first time (havent tasted it yet) and My PumPkin layer didnt sink to the bottom. Could this be becaused i used a gLuten free cake mix? I’m disappoiNted that it doesnt Look like it was supposed to, but i Imagine it should taste about the same. The layers are just in a different order.

  6. 5 stars
    Made this yesterday for my son’s birthday for today. It’s such a hit, everyone had 2 slices. Made it as listed with the exception of the white chocolate curls and the pumpkin pie spice, i had neither.

    For those curious about the recipe, yes the pumpkin sunk to the bottom. It is not overtly sweet. If you use canned puree, there is only a slight hint of pumpkin taste in the finished product, but I suspect that homemade puree would bring out more flavors.

    For those interested in the texture, my husband said it was like eating a pumpkin pie and a cake at the same time.

    I loved this, and it was so easy to make. This is definitely a keeper.

    1. Thank you so much for sharing that!! I am happy it was a hit! It’s great all year long!

  7. 5 stars
    did you flip the cake because you baked the cake first then added pumpkin layer and in the picture the pumpkin layer is at the bottom. thanks

  8. 5 stars
    Made this cake fOr my 27 yr oLd granddaughteRs birthday. Very good, easY and it is magica. She is verY picky but loved the cake.

      1. 5 stars
        I Could not fine white chocolate instant pudding. So I just put the pumpkin spice in the cool whip and it worked.

  9. I am going to try this with spice cake instead of yellow cake mix. Has anyone switched out the cake and still had the “magic” work? Crossing my fingers!

  10. 5 stars
    Easy, yummy, and versatile! I used what I already had: spice cake mix instead of yellow, and cheesecake flavored instant pudding instead of white chocolate. Followed directions exactly. Turned out delicious, tasted and looked like a fancier version of pumpkin pie. Not overly sweet, perfect with coffee. Great dessert to feed a crowd.

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