The Best Pumpkin Magic Cake Recipe

September is in the house, and brings with it spices, apples, pumpkins and lattes. I can’t think of another recipe I’d rather make with pumpkin, and start a new season, than a magic cake recipe. If you’ve never met the magic cake, then first pop over to Todd and Diane’s place from White On Rice Couple and see how I found out all about it.
 Growing up in Scotland, we never celebrated Thanksgiving, or fall for that matter. So when I came here and found a season combining all of my favorite spices, I was like a pig in mud! My mom did make a really fantastic sticky gingerbread loaf and I’d slather slices of it in butter, but no pumpkin pies or cheesecakes. 

Pumpkin magic cake recipeI am definitely a bar over a cookie kind of guy, so anything like brownies or blondies may be swiftly sent my way. When I first saw the magic cake recipe back in March, and read that it’s squishy like custard but firm like a bar, a little like a flan, with a cake-like top, I knew it had to be made. I didn’t just want to make the same as Todd and Diane’s, though, so I made this chocolate Guinness version, appropriate for St Patrick’s day! 

Success…it tasted great and would like to add that it’s not too sweet. I began to think that this magic cake could be twisted into almost anything. After making some pumpkin gingersnap ice cream last week, which will be posted soon, I had some leftover canned pumpkin and my first thought was to try and turn it into a magic cake. After doing a quick Google search, all I could find was plenty of pumpkin cake and a whole lot of stuff about My Little Pony and a magic pumpkin. I may have to claim my pumpkin magic cake as the first. I think my next version will be a pecan pie magic cake…watch this space!

pumpkin magic cake bars 

Amazing pumpkin magic cake bars



The Best Pumpkin Magic Cake Recipe
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Serves: 9
  • ½ cup unsalted butter
  • 2 cups milk
  • 4 eggs, separated
  • 1¼ cups confectioners sugar
  • 1 tbsp water
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 cup pumpkin, canned
  • 2 tbsp pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Butter an 8 x 8 cake pan, set aside.
  2. Melt the butter and set aside.
  3. Whip the egg whites to stiff peaks.
  4. Beat the egg yolks and sugar until pale and light, about 5-6 minutes.
  5. Mix in the melted butter and water and combine.
  6. Add the flour mixing well to break down any lumps. Beat in the milk and vanilla.
  7. Add the pumpkin and pumpkin spice and whisk until smooth.
  8. Slowly add the egg whites ½ at a time, whisking gently until smooth.
  9. Pour the batter into the prepared pan.
  10. Set the pan on a baking tray and bake for about 45-50 minutes. The top will still be a little jiggly but will set upon cooling.
  11. Cool completely before slicing into squares and dusting with some more confectioners sugar.
The cake will slice better after being in the refrigerator. It is also best served at room temperature.

Adapted from White On Rice Couple,


  1. says

    This deserves to go viral to beat the band. GENIUS idea! I have been oogling T & D’s Magic Cake since they posted it and have seen tons and tons of duplicates but yours is truly the first. I hope this takes off for you. You deserve it. SO CREATIVE, Gerry! Pinned!

    I love the styling, too. The horizontal pic, that really shows the magic of it, mmmmmmmm so good!

    • foodnessgracious says

      I’m still searching for a good ale though Lauren and I’ll leave the beer cooking to the master, Miss J :)

  2. says

    I saw your picture on Fridgg and i love spiced pumpkin anything so i just had to check out the recipe and i’m really glad i did. this cake/flan/bar thingy looks amazing!
    I was also a bit shocked to find out you grew up in scotland. I’m currently living in scotland(grew up in singapore). Serendipity! only problem is its hard to get canned pumpkin in scotland. if i were to use fresh pumpkin, how much do you think i will need to make up 1 cup?

  3. says

    I have been wanting to try Todd and Diane’s Magic Cake but haven’t gotten around to it (crazy, I know!), but this oumpkin version sounds amazing this time of year and will have to make it a priority now! Thanks for this amazing version of Magic Cake!

    • foodnessgracious says

      Hi Judy, yes I think it could be doubled but it would certainly affect the baking time which would be longer. I would just keep checking it every 5-10 (after about 35 minutes) minutes for the middle to be on the firm/soft jiggle feel. Good luck!

  4. jmjouras says

    Gerry —
    Since there is a relatively small amount of flour in this cake do you think a gluten free flour blend would work?? It looks so yummy!

  5. Melissa says

    I baked mine in a glass dish and had to bake it a bit longer to get the pumpkin pie consistency on the bottom with a brownie hard top.

  6. Jessi says

    I was looking at the original recipe just like you referenced and starting trying to figure out if I could make it pumpkin. After wading through the my little pony references, I found your post! I was thought the similarity of my search to you post was hilarious. Can’t wait to try it out tonight!!!

  7. ~LaLonne says

    I found your blog yesterday, and made this cake last night. I was *SO* excited after reading about it here, and also many others who’ve posted their Magic Cake recipes (including WOC’s). I decided to make this version first because it’s fall, and Pumpkin *anything* is amazing. My cake turned out fine (with the 3 layers), but the custardy middle had a weird texture to it, and it left a weird coating in your mouth after you swallowed. It also tasted really bland, even though I added a little extra Pumpkin Pie Spice, and it wasn’t nearly sweet enough to be a dessert – it was actually just barely sweet. To eat it you had to add a lot of confectioners sugar on top. I didn’t try it until it was completely room temp, and then I tried it again cold – it tasted the same, just cold. I’m so disappointed, and don’t know what to do to make it better. I think next time I’ll try one of the other recipes that have less flour and more sugar and see how that turns out. But I’m really excited to try other recipes on your blog! Your photos and humor are wonderful! It’s definitely worth sticking around just to read your posts! :)
    A new fan~ LaLonne

    • foodnessgracious says

      Ahh, LaLonne. I am so sorry it didn’t live up to your thoughts :( I will be remaking it and possibly adjusting the sugar and spice ratios as one other person also mentioned this. Glad you’re sticking around though. I appreciate it!

  8. xrenx* says

    Just to be sure, is 1 1/4 cups of confectioners’ sugar one and a quarter, or just a quarter cup? Do you think it could be replaced with something like golden syrup or agave nectar? And if so, would it be the same quantity in cups?

    Thanks in advance!

    • foodnessgracious says

      Hi, it would be one cup plus one quarter cup. I don’t think the agave or syrup would work as a’d be way sweeter and too dense. Thanks!

  9. says

    Wow, this looks amazing! Magic cakes have been all the rage lately and this is the first pumpkin one that I’ve seen. Who doesn’t love pumpkin desserts? This is so easy, yet it looks so elegant. I can’t wait to try this and your other magic cakes as well! Thanks for sharing.

  10. Rebecca says

    I was super excited for this and made it for a party I was hosting. Maybe I did something wrong, or maybe I didn’t realize what I was making but after an hour of baking I felt like the inside was still raw. I cooked it for another 30 minutes and turned up the temp to 375. Although the top looked better it was still very custardy which I didn’t expect. It didn’t cut well and was horribly messy and ended up in the trash :(. I wish mine would have turned out like the pictures. Unfortunately I don’t think this recipe is for me, but glad to see many others had success with it! Thanks for sharing.


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