Hello “Pumpkin Eaters”* — We are big chocolate cake fans around this house. It’s our #1 go-to for birthday cakes and there’s usually one on the kitchen counter when Ani & Brian come down to visit. So I was pleased to find this October version of good old chocolate cake– packed with pumpkin and those little spices that tag along with it. I think you’ll find it just right for this time of year…
CHOCOLATE PUMPKIN CAKE WITH PUMPKIN CREAM CHEESE FROSTING
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup white sugar
3/4 cup canola oil
1 3/4 cup flour
2/3 cup unsweetened cocoa**
3 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
2 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
1/2 cup buttermilk***
1 cup canned pumpkin puree****
1 tsp. vanilla
1/2 cup butter (1 stick), room temperature
8 oz. cream cheese, room temperature
1/2 cup canned pumpkin puree
1 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
4 cup powdered sugar (a little more than a one pound box)
1 cup pecans
1/2 cup sugar
To make the cake, use an electric mixer to beat together the brown sugar, white sugar, eggs and oil. Then blend in the flour, cocoa, baking powder, salt and pumpkin pie spice. Finally mix in the buttermilk, pumpkin and vanilla. Mix on medium speed for one minute more and pour the batter into 2 9″ cake pans (or a 9″x13″ baking pan) that have been sprayed with cooking spray. Bake it up at 350 degrees for 30 to 35 minutes, until it is firm to the touch (cooked through). Let the cakes cool completely before you frost them.
For the frosting, beat the butter and cream cheese until they are smoothly blended. then mix in the pumpkin and spice and lastly, beat in the powdered sugar. Spread it nicely over your cooled cakes and viola!
To candy the pecans, put the sugar and pecans into a nonstick skillet and stir them over medium heat until the sugar melts, browns a bit and coats the pecans. Takes about 4 or 5 minutes. Spread them hot from the pan onto a sheet of foil and let them cool completely. If they are stuck in little clumps, just break them up to the size of pieces you like.
*”Pumpkin Eaters” as in
“Peter, Peter pumpkin eater,
Had a wife and couldn’t keep her.
Put her in a pumpkin shell,
And there he kept her very well.”
(Am I the only one old enough to remember that nursery rhyme?)
**I love, love Hershey’s new dark unsweetened cocoa– so much chocolate per spoonful!!
*** If you don’t have buttermilk, use 1 tablespoon vinegar and fill up the half cup with regular milk.
*** A 14 oz. can of pumpkin puree is enough for both the cake and the frosting.