Old Witch’s Magic Nut Cake

From a Child’s Storybook

Old Witch's Magic Nut Cake was a great use for my home-grown pumpkin.

Old Witch’s Magic Nut Cake was a great use for my home-grown pumpkin.

Last year, around the time of the harvest of the great punkini, we had my husband’s colleague over for dinner. He told the story of how his all-time favorite dessert is a pumpkin-based cake, Old Witch’s Magic Nut Cake, from one of his childhood storybooks.

Naturally, I had to look it up and put punkini to use.

The original is supposed to be cooked in coffee cans. I can’t remember the last time I saw a coffee can, so I replaced that with loaf pans. Probably not as cool, but much more practical.

Coated in cream cheese frosting, there’s something vaguely carrot-cakey about this one. It tastes like autumn spices.

Magic Nut Cake

Serves 12-16
Prep time 20 minutes
Cook time 1 hour
Total time 1 hour, 20 minutes
Allergy Egg, Milk, Tree Nuts, Wheat
Meal type Dessert
Misc Child Friendly, Freezable, Pre-preparable
From book Old Witch and the Polka Dot Ribbon
This great autumn cake comes from a child's book, and is a favorite of my husband's colleague.


  • 3 eggs (beaten)
  • .75 cup oil
  • .5 cup water
  • 1 can pumpkin (19 ounces)
  • 2.5 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2.25 cups granulated sugar
  • 1.5 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1.25 teaspoons salt
  • .75 teaspoon nutmeg
  • .75 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 cup raisins (preferably golden)
  • .5 cup chopped walnuts (or almonds)
  • 4oz cream cheese (softened)
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 2 tablespoons nuts (finely chopped for garnish)


Step 1
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. In a large bowl, beat together eggs, oil, water and pumpkin.
Step 2
In a smaller bowl, mix together flour, sugar, baking soda, salt and spices.
Step 3
Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients. Stir to combine.
Step 4
Pour the batter into three buttered coffee cans. If you don't have a time machine with which to obtain coffee cans, use buttered loaf pans.
Step 5
Bake for approximately one hour, or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean. Allow the cakes to cool completely before frosting.
Step 6
Beat together cream cheese, vanilla, butter and powdered sugar until light and fluffy. Spread over cake and sprinkle with chopped nuts for garnish.


Weekend-All“I like the cream cheese frosting,” said The Assistant. “This is the same stuff from red velvet cake, right? Yeah, it’s really good. Which is weird because I don’t actually like cream cheese.”

It’s a little bit time consuming, and I don’t typically have a free hour for cake baking on weeknights. I’d say that it’s more of a weekend project, but definitely tasty.

I’ve also been told that you can freeze leftover cream cheese frosting. What is this “leftover” frosting that they speak of?

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