Chocolate Pumpkin Cake with Pumpkin Cream Cheese Frosting

IMG_5019Hello “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…


1 cup brown sugar
1 cup white sugar
3 eggs
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)

Candied pecans:
1 cup pecans
1/2 cup sugar

IMG_5036To 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.

19 thoughts on “Chocolate Pumpkin Cake with Pumpkin Cream Cheese Frosting

  1. This looks like the BEST cake ever! I am definitely making this. We need this cake on Thanksgiving to go right along with our pies! Maybe we need one tomorrow too! Thanks for the recipe.

  2. So Rhonda ~ Did you cut one of your layers to make the triple layered cake? 🙂 This is going to happen next week for our small group! Thanks for sharing it. Thankful for every bite and calorie! 😛

      • Thanks for the tip! And yes, I too recited “Peter, Peter pumpkin eater”! I read nursery rhymes to my kids, but I don’t know if they remember them or not. I plan to read them to my grand kid(s). Our Halloween was wet and cold…we usually don’t participate in the street celebration. We had a Fall festival in Sept. at the church for our church family and community. Lots of fun…it was also Tilly’s (our eskimo/poodle dog) birthday! We did not have cake, but Derek and I had some hot cookies and coffee 😛

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