I love it when all the festive and holiday desserts start popping up. And I’ll be even happier when peppermint arrives, specifically the peppermint bark at Williams-Sonoma and the peppermint ice cream at Disneyland.
In the past I’ve made pumpkin coffee cake, pumpkin ice cream, pumpkin cheesecake, and pumpkin seed muffins. They’re all pretty good, but I found a definite winner with this decadent chocolate pumpkin cake.
Its not your typical pumpkin cake. Its better because its loaded with chocolate and cream cheese. Plus, the colors scream Halloween. The addition of pumpkin puree to the chocolate batter makes the cake very moist, similar to the effects of adding applesauce to baked goods. Its a nice way to achieve moisture without adding more oil and butter.
The pumpkin taste is quite subtle. You don’t taste it as first and then it hits you. The warm pumpkin pie spices with the rich chocolate and the tangy cream cheese just melt in your mouth. It sure tastes like autumn.
Chocolate Pumpkin Cake
Yield: makes two 8-inch cake layers and 12 cupcakes
- 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1 Tablespoon baking powder
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 3/4 teaspoon instant espresso powder
- 1/2 cup buttermilk
- 1/4 cup sour cream
- 1-15 oz can pumpkin puree
- 2 teaspoons vanilla paste
- 1 cup + 2 Tablespoons unsalted butter, room temp
- 1 1/2 cup light brown sugar, packed
- 1 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 5 large eggs
Pumpkin Spice Cream Cheese Frosting:
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temp
- 16 oz cream cheese, room temp
- 2 cups confectioners' sugar, sifted
- 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon vanilla paste
- 3-5 drops of orange gel paste coloring
- 4 oz dark chocolate, chopped
- 1 Tablespoon unsalted butter
- 3 Tablespoons light corn syrup
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line two 8-inch cake pans with parchment paper and grease lightly. Line 12 muffins tins.
Sift together dry ingredients: flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and espresso powder. Set aside.
In a medium bowl, whisk together buttermilk, sour cream, pumpkin puree and vanilla. Set aside.
Using a stand mixer, cream together butter and sugars with a paddle attachment. Add eggs one at a time, making sure to scrape down bowl between eggs.
In three additions, alternate adding dry mixture and wet mixture to butter. Scrape down bowl occasionally to make sure all ingredients are fully incorporated.
Fill muffins tins 2/3 full with batter. Divide remaining batter between the 2-8in round pans. Bake cupcakes for 20-25 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Bake cake rounds for 30-35 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let cake rest for a couple minutes in pan before unmolding and allowing to cool completely.
Cream together butter and cream cheese until fully incorporated. Add confectioner’s sugar, pumpkin pie spice, salt, ground cinnamon, and vanilla paste. Beat until combined. Add orange gel paste to get the desired colored.
Place chocolate, butter, and corn syrup in a medium bowl.
Bring heavy cream to a boil and pour over chocolate. Let sit for 1 minute. Using a rubber spatula, gently stir until smooth. Stir in small circles in the same spot and gradually increase size of circle. Let glaze sit for 5 minutes until it slightly thickens.
Pour glaze over the chilled frosted cake and allow glaze drop over the sides. Let chill in the fridge for 15-30 minutes to set up before serving.
adapted from Country Living