Chocolate Pumpkin Cake
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Chocolate and pumpkin are teamed up to make a striking autumn centerpiece cake. The frosting is a scrumptious blend of cream cheese, whipped cream and a little cocoa and spice, then covered with a dark Ganache glaze. This is one dessert that you don’t want to miss
Recipe type: Dessert | Butter Cake
Serves: 12 to 14
  • 1½ cups all-purpose flour
  • ⅔ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup buttermilk
  • 1 cup canned pumpkin
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • ¾ cup (1½ sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 large egg yolk
Spiced Cocoa Frosting:
  • 6 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
  • 2¼ cups confectioners' (powdered) sugar, divided
  • 2¼ teaspoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ¾ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1½ cups whipping (heavy) cream
  • ¼ teaspoon orange food color
Chocolate Glaze:
  • 4 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped into small pieces
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • ½ cup whipping (heavy) cream
  • 3 tablespoons light corn syrup
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Prepare two 8 inch round layer cake pans; lightly grease the bottom and sides of the pans with shortening and dust with flour. Tip: to make baked cake easier to remove from pan, lightly grease the pan, line the bottom with parchment paper, and then lightly grease the top of the parchment paper and dust the pan with flour.
  1. In a medium mixing bowl, combine flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, and salt; sift or whisk together to mix. Set aside.
  2. In a small bowl, combine buttermilk, pumpkin, and vanilla; stir together. Set aside.
  3. In a large bowl of an electric mixer, cream the butter, granulated sugar, and brown sugar until light and fluffy. Tip: To cream, start by placing the butter in the bowl, with an electric mixer on medium speed begin by beating the butter about 1 minute until it is smooth and light in color. With the mixer still on medium speed, slowly add the granulated sugar to the butter, either one tablespoon at a time, or in a very slow steady stream, taking from 4 to 5 minutes to add all of the sugar, then add the brown sugar, taking an additional 3 to 4 minutes, beating until the butter and sugar are fully incorporated and the mixture is a light, or pale yellow color, with a fluffy texture. While adding the sugars, stop the mixer occasionally to scrape the mixture off the paddle and scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl with a rubber spatula so the mixture blends evenly.
  4. Add eggs and egg yolk one at a time, beating until thoroughly mixed. Tip: For each egg, crack the egg into a small bowl and whisk with a fork to thoroughly break up the egg before adding to the creamed mixture. Start with the mixer on low speed so the liquid from the egg doesn’t splatter, once the egg is partially mixed increase the speed to medium. Each egg should be fully incorporated into the mixture before adding the next egg, taking about one minute to blend in each egg.
  5. With the mixer on low speed, add about one third of the flour mixture, mix just until the flour is almost completely blended. Scrape the bowl down, and add about one half of the buttermilk mixture, blending just until mixed. Scrape the bowl down again and continue alternating with the flour mixture and buttermilk mixture, ending with the last portion of the flour, and stirring just until blended.
  6. Bake: Spoon the batter into the prepared pans and smooth the surface with the back of a large spoon. Bake 35 minutes or until a long toothpick, wooden skewer, or cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean. Remove from oven and place pans on a wire cooling rack to cool for 10 to 15 minutes then remove cake from the pans and place the cake on the wire cooling rack to finish cooling.
Spiced Cocoa Frosting:
  1. In a medium size bowl, add cream cheese, beat with an electric hand mixer or wooden spoon until smooth and fluffy. Add 1½ cups powdered sugar, cocoa, cinnamon, and vanilla; beat until well mixed.
  2. In another medium bowl, using an electric mixer with clean beaters, beat the whipping cream until soft mounds form; add ¾ cup powdered sugar and orange food coloring, continue beating until thick and stiff.
  3. Using a balloon type whisk or large rubber spatula, gently fold the whipped cream into the cream cheese mixture.
  4. Place one cooled cake layer on a cake plate. Use an offset spatula to spread about 1½ cups frosting over the top. Top with the remaining cake layer and use the remaining frosting for the top and sides of cake. Spread the frosting as smooth as possible over the top and sides.
  5. Refrigerate the cake at least one hour to stabilize the whipped cream before glazing.
Chocolate Glaze:
  1. Place the chopped chocolate and butter in a medium bowl. Set aside.
  2. In a small heavy saucepan over medium low heat, heat the cream until it is hot and just beginning to steam. Remove from heat and pour over the chocolate, stirring until the chocolate and butter is completely melted. Add corn syrup, stirring until completely mixed.
  3. Pour the chocolate mixture into a pitcher, or liquid measuring cup with a pouring spout and let chocolate glaze cool for 10 minutes. Do not let the glaze sit longer than 10 minutes because it will thicken and become difficult to pour over the cake.
  4. Slowly pour the glaze over the cake. Cover the top of the cake entirely, letting some of the glaze drizzle down the sides, and allowing some of the frosting to show through the drizzles around the side of the cake. Tip: If the glaze doesn’t flow easily it means it has cooled and thickened too much. Either slightly reheat the glaze in a saucepan over low heat, or add an extra one or two tablespoons of corn Syrup.
  5. Refrigerate the cake until the glaze is set and the frosting is firm, at least one hour.
  6. To serve, slice the cake with a long serrated knife, cleaning the knife between each slice. Refrigerate leftovers.
Source: Country Living, October 2007
Recipe Notes
Pan: Two 8" Round Layers Pan Prep: Greased and Floured Oven Temp: 350° Storage: Cover and Refrigerate

Help: Cake Hints and Tips, Chocolate Types

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