Our Favourite Chocolate Pumpkin Cake / by Linda Klimack


Pumpkin is popping up in everything these days, with the rise of the queen of all spice mixes, pumpkin spice. But all the hype is for the spice, not really the pumpkin itself. The actual pumpkin is the star in this recipe because it makes the cake moist and dense. 


1½ cups all purpose unbleached flour
⅔ cup cocoa
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
½ cup buttermilk
1 cup canned pumpkin
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
¾ cup unsalted butter soft
1 cup dark brown sugar
1 cup white sugar
3 large eggs plus 1 yolk

Bake the cake

  • Preheat oven to 375℉ and line the bottom of 2 round 8 x 2" cake pans with parchment paper.
  • Sift cocoa, flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt together.
  • In a small bowl stir the buttermilk, pumpkin and vanilla extract together.
  • Beat the butter and sugars together until light and fluffy, about 4 - 5 minutes.
  • Beat the eggs and yolk into the butter/sugar mix, one at a time, until well blended.
  • Add the flour mixture in thirds, mixing at low speed.
  • Add the buttermilk/pumpkin mixture.
  • Divide the batter equally between the two pans.
  • Bake until a cake tester comes out clean, about 35 minutes.


6 oz. cream cheese, softened
1½ cups icing sugar
2 heaping tablespoons cocoa
¼ teaspoon cinnamon
¾ teaspoons vanilla extract
1½ cups whipping cream
¾ cup icing sugar
Orange food colouring

Make the frosting

  • Beat cream cheese on high speed until fluffy.
  • Add icing sugar, cocoa, cinnamon and vanilla and beat on low speed until combined.
  • In a separate bowl beat whipping cream with 3/4 cups icing sugar and a few drops of liquid orange food colouring.
  • Fold the whipped cream into the cream cheese mixture until evenly combined.
  • Frost between the two layers of cake using about 1 cup of frosting.
  • Use the remainder to cover the cake sides and top.
  • Chill for 30 minutes to firm up the frosting. 


4 oz. bittersweet chocolate
1 tablespoon unsalted butter, cold
3 tablespoons corn syrup
1½ cups whipping cream

Make the glaze

  • Chop bittersweet chocolate into a bowl and add butter and corn syrup.
  • Boil whipping cream and pour it over the chocolate butter and syrup allowing it to stand for 2 minutes.
  • Whisk the ingredients together until smoothly combined.
  • Pour the glaze over the top of the frosted cake and allow the glaze to run down the sides.