Chocolate Pumpkin Cake

Slice of pumpkin bundt cake with orange frosting on a plate

The Spruce / Diana Rattray

  • Total: 85 mins
  • Prep: 15 mins
  • Cook: 70 mins
  • Servings: 12 to 16 servings
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
368 Calories
16g Fat
53g Carbs
4g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 12 to 16
Amount per serving
Calories 368
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 16g 21%
Saturated Fat 9g 46%
Cholesterol 91mg 30%
Sodium 330mg 14%
Total Carbohydrate 53g 19%
Dietary Fiber 2g 9%
Protein 4g
Calcium 114mg 9%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

At first glance, you might not think chocolate and pumpkin work together, but pumpkin is a subtle and versatile player when it comes to desserts. Sure, it works great with maple, browned butter, and the texture of canned pumpkin lends a lot of moisture to chocolate cake and balances the sweetness. Add some cinnamon and nutmeg, and you've got a sophisticated and rich chocolate pumpkin cake that's great for any occasion. The pumpkin doesn't necessarily come through strongly as a flavor, necessarily. It's more of an earthy background note that plays well with chocolate.

For a Halloween party or fall event, glaze this delicious chocolate pumpkin cake with orange-tinted icing. Or simply dust the cake with powdered sugar, or drizzle it with a chocolate glaze to up the chocolate factor.

This requires a Bundt cake pan to achieve the signature shape, but you could also bake this cake in a one-piece tube cake pan, which is the kind you use for angel food cake. If you fall in love with chocolate and pumpkin, try pumpkin chocolate bark or pumpkin brownies.

Ingredients

  • 2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter
  • 1 1/2 cups packed light brown sugar
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 5 large eggs
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1 (15-ounce) can pumpkin puree

Steps to Make It

  1. Heat oven to 325 F. Grease and flour a 12-cup Bundt cake pan. 

  2. In a bowl, combine the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, soda, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Set aside.

  3. In a mixing bowl with electric mixer, cream butter with sugars until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in vanilla.

  4. Slowly add the dry mixture to the creamed mixture, alternating with the sour cream and pumpkin. Beat until well blended, scraping the sides of the bowl a few times.

  5. Spoon the batter into the prepared pan.

  6. Bake in the preheated oven for 1 hour to 1 hour and 10 minutes, or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean and the cake springs back when lightly touched with a finger.

  7. Cool in the pan on a rack for 15 minutes. Invert onto a serving plate to cool completely. Dust with powdered sugar or ice with an orange-tinted vanilla glaze or thin icing.

How to Store Chocolate Pumpkin Cake

This cake will keep well at room temperature for two to three days if it's covered in a container. If you would like to keep it for longer than that, it should be refrigerated.


Cakes like this will freeze well, too, if wrapped in plastic and then aluminum foil, and stored in a zip-close freezer bag. Thaw the cake in the refrigerator or at room temperature.