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Chocolate Pumpkin Cake

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This tasty Chocolate Pumpkin Cake features chocolate and pumpkin batter swirled together. Perfect fall bundt cake or Halloween treat!
chocolate pumpkin cake

This Chocolate Pumpkin Cake is made from chocolate and pumpkin batter swirled together in a pretty marbled design. This chocolate pumpkin bundt cake is a perfect fall cake or Halloween treat!

Pumpkin is the ultimate fall dessert! Almost everyone loves pumpkin, and this time of year, everyone is eating and drinking pumpkin flavors.

cutting into pumpkin chocolate cake

While I enjoy pumpkin desserts, I am not big on pumpkin all by itself. I like my pumpkin desserts to include one of my other favorite flavors – chocolate or cheesecake!

The combination of pumpkin and chocolate is amazing. This dessert takes a little time to make, but it makes a fancy Halloween Bundt cake which makes it worth the small bit of extra effort involved.

Check out Pumpkin Cheesecake Trifle or Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Muffins for more seasonal pumpkin recipes!

slice of chocolate pumpkin cake from the top

🥣How to Make Chocolate Pumpkin Cake

What makes this cake a little complicated is that you need to make both a chocolate and a pumpkin batter and then swirl them together for a marble effect.

1. Make the Base Batter

Cream the butter, sugar, and eggs in a stand mixer. Then add the eggs and vanilla and mix until combined. Mix the flour, salt, and baking powder in a separate bowl. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix.

adding eggs to the mixer
Adding the eggs
adding the dry ingredients
Adding the flour mixture

The base batter is then divided into two more or less equal parts. One half is turned into pumpkin spice-flavored batter, and the other half is made into a chocolate cake batter.

2. Make the Pumpkin Batter

Stir the pumpkin puree, cinnamon, and pumpkin spice into one of the bowls of base batter. Don’t use a mixer. Stir it with a spatula or spoon to avoid over-mixing.

adding pumpking puree and spices
Mixing the pumpkin puree and spices
pumpkin batter
Pumpkin batter

3. Make the Chocolate Batter

In a medium bowl, microwave the chocolate chips in 20-second intervals, stirring after each. Once the chocolate is smooth, gradually stir in the milk to make thick chocolate. Stir the chocolate mixture into half the base batter without using the mixer.

melting the chocolate
Melting the chocolate chips
smooth chocolate batter
Chocolate batter

4. Bake the Cake

Layer the two batters alternately in the Bundt pan, adding about half of each batter at a time. The two combine to give the dessert its swirled look. Use a knife to mix the batter layers together a little bit, or just let them mix as the pumpkin cake bakes.

alternating batter in cake pan
Layering the batter
swirling the batter to make a marbled pattern
Swirling the batters together

Bake it for 45 minutes in a preheated 350-degree oven until a toothpick comes out clean when inserted.

🎃Chocolate Glaze (Optional)

The glaze is just semi-sweet chocolate melted with butter and oil, drizzled on the cake, and allowed to reharden. It tastes great without the chocolate ganache, but my kids always want extra chocolate on top!

Drizzling chocolate glaze on pumpkin Bundt cake
Glazing the pumpkin cake

If you skip the glaze, sprinkle the entire cake with cocoa powder or powdered sugar. Without the glaze, it is more like a pumpkin pound cake.

🍴Serving Ideas

This delicious recipe makes a treat that is elegant enough for a holiday dessert or a Halloween party. The combination of rich chocolate cake alternating with pumpkin spice flavor is irresistible!

💭How to Store

Keep leftovers in a cake saver or another airtight container, or cover in plastic wrap. It stays fresh at room temperature for 3-4 days.

pumpkin cake on a white plate

📝FAQ

Why is my pumpkin chocolate cake dry?

Overmixing the batter is the most likely reason for dryness. Stir the chocolate and pumpkin ingredients in by hand, do not use a mixer for a soft and moist cake.

How do you grease a bundt pan?

Use nonstick spray, and make sure you spray all the little crevices. Bundt cake can be tricky to get out of the pan without breaking if you aren’t thorough.

Can I make this recipe without a bundt pan?

Yes, you can bake this cake in two loaf pans. Just divide the batter between the two pans and swirl it together with a knife.

⭐Tips for Making the Best Chocolate Pumpkin Cake

Be sure to check out the step by step instructions

  • If you don’t have a Bundt pan, bake in two loaf pans.
  • Do not overmix the batter. Stir by hand for the last few steps to avoid overmixing, which makes it dry.
  • Pay attention when greasing a Bundt pan. Ensure you get all the little crevices so it comes out of the pan cleanly.

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chocolate pumpkin cake
4.50 from 53 votes

Chocolate Pumpkin Cake

This tasty Chocolate Pumpkin Cake features chocolate and pumpkin batter swirled together. Perfect fall bundt cake or Halloween treat!
Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time45 mins
Total Time1 hr 5 mins
Servings: 12
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Ingredients
 

Base Batter

  • 3/4 cup unsalted butter
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder

Pumpkin Batter

  • 3/4 cup pumpkin puree not pumpkin pie filling
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 3/4 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice

Chocolate Batter

  • 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 3/4 cup warm milk

Chocolate Glaze (optional)

  • 2 squares semi-sweet chocolate
  • 1 Tablespoon butter
  • 1 teaspoon corn syrup

Instructions

Base Batter

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray your bundt pan with nonstick baking spray. If you don’t have a Bundt pan you can bake this in two loaf baking pans.
  • Beat the butter and sugar in a stand mixer with the paddle attachment until soft and fluffy.
    3/4 cup unsalted butter, 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • Add the eggs one at a time and beat well after each. Then add the vanilla.
    4 eggs, 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • Mix the flour with the salt and baking powder in a separate bowl.
    3 cups all-purpose flour, 1/4 teaspoon salt, 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • Add the flour mixture to the mixing bowl. Mix until just combined, making sure to scrape the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula.
  • Separate the base batter into two medium bowls, with about half the batter in each.

Pumpkin Batter

  • Add the cinnamon, pumpkin puree, and spice to one-half of the batter. Mix by hand, not with a mixer, and do not overmix.
    3/4 cup pumpkin puree, 1 teaspoon cinnamon, 3/4 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice

Chocolate Batter

  • Place the chocolate chips in a microwave-safe bowl. Microwave it in 20-second intervals, stirring after each, until it is melted and smooth.
    1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • Once it is melted, slowly stir in the warm milk until smooth and creamy.
    3/4 cup warm milk
  • Add the chocolate mixture to the other half of the batter. Stir it by hand until it is combined. Be careful not to overmix.

Baking the Cake

  • Drop spoonfuls of the pumpkin batter into the prepared cake pan. Leave space between the spoonfuls and use about half the batter.
  • Then add about half of the chocolate batter into the empty spaces. Repeat another layer of each until the batter is used up.
  • Use a knife to swirl the two colors together for a marble effect.
  • Bake for 45 minutes until a wooden skewer inserted in the center comes out clean. Let it cool for 10 minutes, then invert the pan onto a wire rack.
  • Once the cake cools completely, top it with the optional chocolate glaze or sprinkle the top with cocoa powder or powdered sugar.

Chocolate Glaze (optional)

  • Combine the chocolate squares and butter in a microwave-safe bowl. Microwave for 30 seconds.
    2 squares semi-sweet chocolate, 1 Tablespoon butter
  • Stir and continue to microwave for 10 seconds at a time until it is smooth and melted.
  • Stir in the corn syrup and drizzle the glaze over the cake. The glaze will harden in a few hours.
    1 teaspoon corn syrup

Notes

The most important tip when making this cake is to not overmix the batter when adding the chocolate and pumpkin flavors. Stir it by hand for the last few steps for a moist chocolate pumpkin cake.
If you don’t have a Bundt pan, bake in two loaf pans.
Make sure you spray the cake pan well, so it comes out cleanly.
This recipe was modified on 9/21/22 because of feedback that the original recipe could be dry. The changes include adding the dry ingredients sooner and replacing some butter, sugar, and unsweetened cocoa powder with melted chocolate chips mixed with milk. If you are looking for the original recipe, you can find it here.

As an Amazon Associate and member of other affiliate programs, I earn from qualifying purchases.

Nutrition Information

Calories: 529kcal | Carbohydrates: 64g | Protein: 7g | Saturated Fat: 17g | Cholesterol: 145mg | Sodium: 440mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 36g

Nutrition facts are estimates.

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pumpkin chocolate cake with a slice cut out
By on September 17th, 2018

49 thoughts on “Chocolate Pumpkin Cake”

  1. Came out beautiful and moist but had to edit. Pam for baking to avoid the flour debris on outside. Chocolate batter too dry and thick so added 1/2 container reduced sour cream. Mixed red and yellow food coloring for orange to pumpkin as directed. Not very sweet but nice mix of chocolate and pumpkin. Needs another 1/2c of sugar. Added 1/2tsp of baking soda so not so dense and lighter. Will add frosting or powder sugar to bring up flavors.

    Reply
  2. Came out beautiful and moist but had to edit. Pam for baking to avoid the flour debris on outside. Chocolate batter too dry and thick so added 1/2 container reduced sour cream. Mixed red and yellow food coloring for orange to pumpkin as directed. Not very sweet but nice mix of chocolate and pumpkin. Needs another 1/2c of sugar. Added 1/2tsp of baking soda so not so dense and lighter. Will add frosting or powder sugar to bring up flavors.

    Reply
  3. Came out beautiful and moist but had to edit. Pam for baking to avoid the flour debris on outside. Chocolate batter too dry and thick so added 1/2 container reduced sour cream. Mixed red and yellow food coloring for orange to pumpkin as directed. Not very sweet but nice mix of chocolate and pumpkin. Needs another 1/2c of sugar. Added 1/2tsp of baking soda so not so dense and lighter. Will add frosting or powder sugar to bring up flavors.

    Reply
  4. Not very sweet. I’d add more sugar to the pumpkin layer and add more pumpkin too. The chocolate layer was a little dry so maybe add yogurt or sour cream as someone else mentions. Otherwise it looks great.

    Reply
  5. I came across your site on the Wednesday Roundup at Savory Experiments today and am SO glad I did. This recipe looks like a great way to herald in the fall. LOVE pumpkin chocolate combos. Looking forward to following your site!

    Reply
  6. Oh, Anne, this looks so scrumptiously delicious. I just want to reach into the picture and grab a piece. Thanks so much for sharing at Inspire Me Wednesday. Featuring you in next week’s issue.

    Reply
  7. One of my favorite flavors for the fall is pumpkin and I love chocolate! This looks and sounds delicious! Thank you for sharing with Foodie Friends Friday. Hope to see you again this week.

    Reply
  8. Wow, this looks fantastic! I need to add this to my fall recipe collection. Pinned! I would love for you to share this post at my Create & Share Link Party tonight (7:00 PM MST)! Hope to see you there ๐Ÿ™‚

    Reply
  9. Hi there. Just stopped by to let you know that I featured this on my Saturday Spotlight post this week! Thanks for linking to A Round Tuit. Hope you have a lovely weekend!

    Reply
  10. Thank you for sharing this at my Pinterest Party. It looks delicious — so delicious that it (and you) are the featured blogger at this week’s party! I hope you’ll stop by again and share some more great posts!

    May all your adventures be happy ones!

    Reply
  11. This looks so cool! Perfect for Halloween. The first time I saw pumpkin and chocolate together was in a recipe for pumpkin chocolate chip cookies. At first, I thought it was odd. But they do go so well together.
    Thank you for linking with See Ya in the Gumbo this week.

    Reply
  12. Great recipe. I made it exactly without any changes it came out so good. My ganache is not dark color and smooth but the cake is moist and delicious.

    Reply

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