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Forest Chocolate Pumpkin Cake

Forest Chocolate Caramel Pumpkin Cake

Yield: 6-inch cake
Prep Time: 25 minutes
Cook Time: 35 minutes
Assembly: 15 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: pumpkin cake, thanksgiving, chocolate pumpkin cake, pumpkin layer cake
Servings: 10
Author: Maryanne Cabrera


Pumpkin Cake:

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • ¾ cup coconut oil
  • 1 cup canned pumpkin puree
  • 1 ¼ cup granulated sugar
  • 3 large eggs, room temperature
  • cup whole milk, room temperature

Chocolate Caramel Cream Cheese Frosting:

  • 8 oz cream cheese, room temperature
  • 4 oz unsalted butter, softened
  • 3 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 Tablespoons sea salt caramel (store-bought or homemade)*
  • pinch of fine sea salt
  • chocolate dark chocolate, as needed for layers



Pumpkin Cake:

  • Preheat oven to 350° F. Butter two 6-inch round cake pans and line with parchment paper. Set aside.
  • In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, ground cinnamon and salt. Set aside.
  • In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream together coconut oil and pumpkin puree. Add sugar and eggs. Mix until smooth. Scrape down bowl as needed
  • Add half of dry flour mixture. Mix on low speed until almost combined. Add milk. Mix on slow speed and then add remaining dry flour mixture. Mix until there are no longer any dry streaks of flour. Scrape down bowl as needed to ensure thorough mixing.
  • Divide cake batter between the two prepared cake pans. Level batter using a mini offset spatula. Bake for 35-40 minutes until toothpick inserted in center of cake comes out clean. Allow to cool in pan for 5 minutes before unmolding. Allow cakes to cool to room temperature on wire rack.

Chocolate Caramel Cream Cheese Frosting:

  • Using a hand mixer (or stand mixer), beat cream cheese until smooth. Add butter and continue to beat until mixture is smooth. Scrape down bowl as needed.
  • Sift together powdered sugar and cocoa powder. Add to mixing bowl and combine together at low speed. Add caramel and pinch of salt. Mix until frosting is smooth.


  • Slice each cooled pumpkin cake into two layers. Place one cake round on cake board (or serving plate). Spread a layer of frosting over cake layer. Sprinkle a handful of chopped dark chocolate over frosting.
  • Place second cake layer on top. Gently press cake layer down to secure. Spread a layer of frosting and add another layer of chopped chocolate. Continue to repeat until fourth cake layer of added on top.
  • Spread frosting all over cake to seal in the crumbs (crumb coat). Let chill in the refrigerator for at least 15 minutes. If desired, add another layer of buttercream to coat cake. If desired, pipe border along the bottom of the cake. Otherwise, continue to chill cake until ready to serve.
  • Decorate cake before serving. Use fresh rosemary sprigs, chopped pistachios, and chopped chocolate to garnish the top of cake. Add additional chopped pistachios and chopped chocolate along the bottom of the cake. Place animal toy figurines, if desired. As a final touch, dust cake with powdered sugar to resemble snow.


All images and text ©The Little Epicurean