Chocolate Pumpkin Cake

filed under: Cakes on September 28, 2012

This cake is packed with rich decadent flavor and a super fun presentation! The magical combination of pumpkin and chocolate is intensified with the smooth, creamy textures in this perfect recipe!

Chocolate Pumpkin Cake

I have been wanting to make my Chocolate Pumpkin Cupcakes into a cake for a while but wanted to try something different.  So this cake was inspired by a Ho-Ho.  Or a Ding-Dong.  Whatever its called, it is cake and a whipped cream filling.

And this cake, well… all that beautiful whipped deliciousness up there… is Pumpkin Whipped Cream.

Want to know what it tastes like?  Light, airy, delectable pumpkin pie.  It’s pretty much the most awesome thing I have ever made.  I know I say that all the time but this time I mean it.

5 from 2 votes
Chocolate Pumpkin Cake
Prep Time
20 mins
Cook Time
12 mins
Total Time
32 mins

This Chocolate Pumpkin Cake is packed with rich decadent flavor and a super fun presentation!

Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: chocolate pumpkin cake
Servings: 9 servings
Calories: 1025 kcal
Author: Amanda Rettke
  • 1 1/2 cups (192g) all-purpose flour
  • 2/3 cup (85g) unsweetened cocoa
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 cup (120g) buttermilk room temperature
  • 1 cup (225g) canned pumpkin puree
  • 1 cup (200g) brown sugar
  • 1 cup (200g) granulated sugar
  • 1 tbsp. vanilla
  • 3/4 cup butter room temperature
  • 4 large eggs room temperature
Whipped Cream
  • 1 1/2 cups (357g) heavy cream
  • 1 cup (225g) pumpkin puree
  • 2-3 cups (384g) confectioners sugar
  • 2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp. all-spice
  • 12 oz bag milk chocolate chips
  • 6 oz heavy cream
  • chocolate jimmies for garnish, optional
  1. Heat oven to 350°F. Prepare two square baking pans with butter & flour or GOOP or non-stick spray.
  2. In a medium bowl, sift together flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set Aside.
  3. In a small bowl combine buttermilk and pumpkin. Whisk together until incorporated.

  4. In a mixer, beat the butter, sugars, and vanilla together until light and fluffy. Add in eggs, one at a time, until fully incorporated.
  5. Alternatively add the flour mixture and buttermilk mixture to the sugar mixture, beginning and ending with the flour mixture.
  6. Mix for 1 minute on low until fully combined. Divide batter evenly between two prepared baking pans. (I used 8x8 square pans)
  7. Bake for 18-26 minutes. The cake is done when an inserted toothpick comes out mostly clean.

Whipped Cream
  1. Add heavy cream to a stand mixer and whip on med to medium-high speed until soft peaks. (usually about 2-3 minutes)

  2. While the cream is mixing place pumpkin puree, cinnamon, and all-spice in a bowl. Stir until combined.

  3. Once the cream is at soft peak stage, add powder sugar in a 1 cup at a time. After one cup, turn off mixer. Gently fold in pumpkin puree mixture to cream. If the consistency is not firm enough, add more powder sugar, about a 1/4 cup at a time until you reach desired consistency.

  1. Bring heavy cream to a boil and remove from heat.
  2. With chocolate chips in a heat safe bowl, pour cream over chips and slowly stir until all chips are melted.



Chocolate Pumpkin Cake with Pumpkin Whipped Cream and Chocolate Ganache

How to Make Chocolate Pumpkin Cake

I started by make my Chocolate Pumpkin Cake in 2 square cake pans.  As soon as those bad boys were in the oven I started making my favorite Ganache recipe. (below)

After the cakes were out of the oven and cooled, I placed one on my cake stand and one on a baking sheet.  I poured just enough ganache over each of them to cover the top of the cake, hardly letting any spill over. (You can have it spill over as much as you want!)

I then let them sit overnight.  (They were ready to assemble in about an hour, I was just tired!) The next day I made the Pumpkin Whipped Cream.  Place it in the fridge for about 15 minutes before assembling the cake.

Chocolate Pumpkin Cake

Why Straws in this Cake?

I knew that my light and airy whipped cream was not going to stand the weight of a cake on top of it, so I took a plastic straw and cut it into 4 pieces.  I inserted those pieces near the four corners of the cake and then covered it in a thick layer of the whipped cream. (See how I did this here) This is for stability. Yes, it could be annoying to cut into a cake and have a straw there, but the cake will not stay sturdy without them. If you want to use an edible product, you could make some chocolate covered stick pretzels and use them in the same way.

Chocolate Pumpkin Cake with Pumpkin Whipped Frosting


Trying to keep your fingers out of the ganache, carefully place the other square cake on top of the cake covered in whipped cream.  It should be sturdy.

I put the remainder of my Pumpkin Whipped Cream is a plastic disposable pastry bag with a 1M tip.  Just pipe out little clouds of pumpkin heaven and cover with sprinkles.

Chocolate Pumpkin Cake Recipe

I really can’t say enough good things about this cake.  It’s one of the best tasting cakes I have ever made.  The taste, the textures, the cake to whipped cream ratio… it just all works together perfectly.

Chocolate Pumpkin Cake with Pumpkin Whipped Cream


Three tips for the PERFECT Layer Cake!

  1. Cold cake, room temperature frosting. Cake can be fragile, but having it chilled is a great way to assemble it without breaking. Room temperature frosting is easier to spread and will not pull at your cake.
  2. Prepare your pans correctly. You can use GOOP, or butter & flour, or lining them with parchment… but just make sure your cake comes out clean.
  3. Level cakes. Assembling a layer cake is easy… when your cakes are flat and level! You can use a leveler or a long serrated knife to create a level cake. (More tips here)


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  • Deb says:

    The flavor of the cake and frosting is great .. My only problem was the frosting wasn’t thick at all and the more sugar I added the sweeter it got and I followed the recipe to an exact

  • Melissa says:

    I realize this is from last year, but I wanted to comment because I just this past week got around to making it after thinking about it the past year. It was amazing. Mine didn’t turn out as pretty as yours, but oh my god was it delicious. Thanks for the recipe!

    • Amanda says:

      Yay!! Great to hear!

  • Kaylyn M. says:

    I am wanting to make this cake tomorrow for a dinner, but had a couple of questions. What size are your square cake pans? I have rounds and needed to know what size to use. Also, what temp and time do I bake them for? One last thing, in the individual slice of cake picture, it looks like there is ganache on the bottom of each cake layer (so the middle looks like ganache, pumpkin whipped cream, ganache), but your instructions only stated you put it on the top of the cakes, so I just wanted to make sure I am doing it exactly correct. Thank you very much 🙂

    • Amanda says:

      I used 9in square pans. The instructions are correct, the only place you put ganache is on top of the cakes. 🙂

  • Robin Luginbuhl says:

    Making this for my nieces bridal shower next week. You are my “go-to” dessert girl lol! Always overthetop deliciousness and amazing presentation! Thanks in advance!!

  • Lauren says:

    Thank you for this recipe! I was thinking of replacing the whipping cream in the middle with a pumpkin mousse, would this work too? I see most mousse recipes use a spring form pan and set the mousse so it doesn’t spill out the sides. Would I be able to set the mousse in a bowl, spread it, and then add the top cake layer? Or would it be a disaster?

  • Julia says:

    OMG! That looks soooo good! I need to try this! 😀 Thanks for the recipe!

  • Chris says:

    Oh My Goodness….I can’t wait to try this!! I take it that it’s not the “fixed up” pumpkin that you get in a can for the pumpkin puree???

  • Haley says:

    I did a semi-homemade version of this cake by using a chocolate cake box mix and a can of pumpkin and it worked out great! Also, this whipped cream is to die for in coffee!

  • Maura says:

    Noticed the ganache seems to be on the top and bottom of the cake section when viewed in the cut piece picture. How did you manage that? Or are my eyes deceiving me? I am excited about adding chocolate to a pumpkin cake. Loved the whipped cream idea. Just have the cakes in oven now. : > ))

  • julie says:

    I’m making this today, but how long do I bake the cake? Your recipe says bake cupcakes for 16-20 min.

  • Danielle Robinson says:

    This looks delicious and beautiful! I am going to try it for Thanksgiving this year. Is it best to top the cupcakes with whipped cream just before they are eaten or will it sit ok for a few hours in the refrigerator?


  • Donna at NothingChocolate says:

    Wow! I really have to try that frosting. I love all things, “whipped” and have been experimenting with light tasting frostings. Must try this flavor combo, too! I am in awe of the image of the slice of cake — great job!

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