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Pumpkin Crunch Magic Cake

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  • Prep 25 min
  • Total 5 hr 25 min
  • Servings 18
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This cake is pure magic! Inspired by a recipe for Pumpkin Custards in my 1971 Betty Crocker™ Recipe Card Library, I love the contrast of textures that adding peanut brittle creates. The crunch is a perfect pairing for the fluffy cake and silky pumpkin layers. The subtle peanut and caramel flavors of the brittle pair nicely with the pumpkin pie spice, amping up the fun fall flavor!
By Melinda Sekela
Updated Oct 23, 2023
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Cake Layer

  • 1 box Betty Crocker™ Super Moist™ Yellow Cake Mix
  • Water, vegetable oil and eggs called for on cake mix box

Pumpkin Layer

  • 1 can (15 oz) pumpkin (not pumpkin pie mix)
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 cup half-and-half
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt


  • 1 package (8 oz) cream cheese, softened
  • 3/4 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups heavy whipping cream
  • 1 cup peanut brittle


  • 1
    Heat oven to 350°F (325°F for dark or nonstick pan). Spray bottom only of 13x9-inch pan with cooking spray.
  • 2
    In a large bowl, beat the Cake Layer ingredients with an electric mixer on medium speed for 2 minutes, scraping the bowl occasionally. Pour in the pan.
  • 3
    In another large bowl, mix Pumpkin Layer ingredients with whisk until smooth. Carefully spoon pumpkin mixture over cake batter in pan.
  • 4
    Bake for 44 to 49 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool 30 minutes. Refrigerate at least 4 hours to chill.
  • 5
    In a large bowl, beat cream cheese, powdered sugar, vanilla and 1/8 teaspoon salt until smooth. Add whipping cream; beat until smooth and stiff peaks form. Spread over the chilled cake.
  • 6
    In a plastic bag, crush peanut brittle with a rolling pin to create pea-sized crumbles of candy. Sprinkle the top of the cake with crushed brittle in an even layer. Store loosely covered in refrigerator.

Frequently Asked Questions

How should I add the layered ingredients?

Be sure to spoon the pumpkin layer over the cake batter using a wide and flat spoon, going slowly so the batters don’t mix together. From the top view, it may look like the layers are mixing as it bakes, but don’t worry, the layers will cleanly flip!

Do you have any helpful tips for creating a nice smooth topping?

Adding cream cheese to whipped cream ensures a smooth and tangy topping! To get the perfect texture, use a cold bowl and pour in the heavy cream slowly in batches as you whip.

How can I top this cake recipe?

Crushed peanut brittle makes an excellent decoration for this cake! The flavors pair well together, and the contrast of silky cake and crunchy candy makes every bite fun.


Nutrition Facts are not available for this recipe
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