This easy pumpkin magic cake recipe is simply magic with three layers of delicious flavor – a pumpkin layer, a yellow cake layer, and a cream cheese frosting layer to finish it all off! Add all of the simple ingredients to the pan and watch them switch into separate layers, creating a cake that’s absolutely delicious!
With Thanksgiving just around the corner, I thought it was time to share a couple of additional recipes to add to your Thanksgiving dinner menu, or dessert menu I guess!
I’ve already shared my favorite pumpkin crunch cake, no-bake pumpkin pie, and even a pumpkin crisp but this pumpkin magic cake is another great addition to any fall party, Thanksgiving celebration, or even just dinner during pumpkin season!
Why’s it called a magic pumpkin cake? Because you add of the ingredients and somehow the ingredients switch places to create magic layers in this yummy layered cake!
It’s one of my favorite pumpkin recipes, and I know you and your family will love it!
Why You’ll Love This Recipe
- Fall flavors – this cake is perfect for the pumpkin lover, but it also includes fall flavors like pumpkin spice and brown sugar in its delicious layers!
- Easy – there’s nothing to making this pumpkin cake, it’s just mixing up some ingredients in a stand mixer and layering them on top of each other. It’s one of those recipes that’s pretty much foolproof and still ends up looking and tasting good!
- Simple ingredients – everything in this cake can be found at pretty much any grocery store or possibly your own pantry!
- Yellow cake mix – you’ll want to start with an unbaked cake mix. I’ve only ever used a boxed cake mix personally, but if you try it with a homemade yellow cake mix, let me know!
- Half and half – this is best with half and half to keep a balanced amount of fat, but it would likely work okay with whole milk or heavy cream as well.
- Pumpkin puree – make sure you’re using pumpkin puree and not pumpkin pie filling.
How to make pumpkin magic cake
The coolest thing about this magic pumpkin cake is that you add all of the ingredients to the cake and then it somehow separates into separate layers so the first layer is a pumpkin pie layer, the second layer is a prepared cake layer, and then you have a delicious frosting on top.
1 – Make the Cake Layer
Start by preheating the oven to 350°F and spraying a 9″ x13″ baking pan with non-stick cooking spray. You can use either a glass or metal baking dish, either one works fine.
Combine the butter, cake mix, one cup water, and 3 eggs in a large mixing bowl. Whisk together until well combined and smooth.
Pour cake batter into prepared baking pan and spread it out evenly. This will turn into your fluffy cake layer.
2 – Make the Pumpkin Layer
Now, in a large bowl, whisk together the pumpkin puree, brown sugar, half and half, 3 eggs, pumpkin pie spice, and salt to make the pumpkin layer.
Pour the pumpkin pie mixture evenly over the cake batter and smooth it out on top of the cake layer making sure to cover the entire cake layer.
Place the baking dish in the preheated oven and bake for 50-60 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
Remove the delicious cake from the oven and allow to cool completely before frosting or the frosting will just melt off.
3 – Make the Frosting and Frost the Cake
Make the frosting while the cake bakes or while the cake is cooling to room temperature.
To make the frosting, beat the cream cheese in a large bowl until smooth, then add the powdered sugar and vanilla and beat until well combined.
In a separate bowl, whip the heavy whipping cream on high for 2-3 minutes. It should form stiff peaks and have the consistency of whipped cream.
Now combine the whipped cream and cream cheese mixture and beat well at low speed or by hand until they’re well combined together.
Spread the frosting evenly over the top of the cooled cake, trying to create an even layer on each piece. The frosting combined with the layer of pumpkin pie and the yellow cake mixture just blends so well together, making the perfect fall dessert!
Slice and serve immediately or refrigerate and serve when you’re ready! Just look at all of those delicious layers!
This is good enjoyed right away or even better the next day once the flavors have all mingled together! And unlike most pumpkin cakes, this one doesn’t even need ice cream or whipped cream because you have that delicious cream cheese frosting on top!
Expert Tips & Storage Info
Store the cake in an airtight container (or with a top) in the refrigerator for up to five days then toss any leftovers.
Move the pumpkin mixture all over the top of the cake mix to make it easier to cover the entire layer. If you pour it all in once place, it can be a pain to spread out.
Let kids help make this pumpkin magic cake and make sure to point out that the cake layer started on the bottom and ended up in the middle. It’s always fun to point out the distinct layers and magic with kids!
It’s called pumpkin magic cake because you start with a layer of cake topped with pumpkin and magically the pumpkin mixture is on the bottom of the cake once it’s baked. They switch places during the baking process!
More Easy Pumpkin Recipes
If you like pumpkin, you have to try these other pumpkin recipes!
- Pumpkin balls – these no bake pumpkin truffles taste just like pumpkin pie and cheesecake together!
- Pumpkin bars – creamy pumpkin topped with a crunchy streusel, these are amazing!
- Pumpkin cupcakes – fluffy pumpkin cupcakes topped with a creamy cheesecake frosting!
- Pumpkin blondies – if you love pumpkin and chocolate together, you have to try these!
- Cream cheese pumpkin dip – the perfect dessert dip for fall!
Pumpkin Magic Cake Recipe
- 1 box yellow cake mix
- 1 cup water
- ⅓ cup butter softened
- 6 large eggs divided
- 15 ounces pumpkin puree
- 1 cup brown sugar packed
- 1 cup half and half
- 1 ½ tsp pumpkin pie spice
- ½ tsp salt
- 8 ounces cream cheese softened
- 2 cups powdered sugar
- 1 ½ cups heavy cream
- 1 tsp vanilla
- Preheat oven to 350°F and spray a 9" x13" baking pan with non-stick cooking spray.
- Combine the butter, cake mix, water, and 3 eggs in a large mixing bowl. Whisk together until well combined and smooth.1 box yellow cake mix, 1 cup water, 1/3 cup butter, 6 large eggs
- Pour batter into prepared baking pan and spread it out evenly.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the pumpkin puree, brown sugar, half and half, 3 eggs, pumpkin pie spice, and salt.15 ounces pumpkin puree, 1 cup brown sugar, 1 cup half and half, 1 1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice, 1/2 tsp salt, 6 large eggs
- Pour the pumpkin mixture evenly over the cake batter and smooth it out.
- Bake for 50 - 60 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
- Remove from oven and allow to cool completely before frosting.
- Beat the cream cheese in a large bowl until smooth.8 ounces cream cheese, 2 cups powdered sugar, 1 1/2 cups heavy cream, 1 tsp vanilla
- Add the powdered sugar and vanilla and beat until well combined.
- In a separate bowl, whip the heavy cream on high for 2-3 minutes. It should form peaks and have the consistency of whipped cream.
- Combine the whipped cream and cream cheese mixture and beat well.
- Spread the frosting evenly over the cooled cake.