Want to make a pumpkin cake but you’re tired of pumpkin pie? Are you looking for a different kind of recipe when it comes to using pumpkin in a cake? This chocolate pumpkin cake might be what you’re looking for. If you want a rich and moist chocolate cake and it happens to be pumpkin season, look no further! This Bundt cake is made with pumpkin purée, and in all honesty you wouldn’t guess it. Unlike pumpkin pies, the use of the pumpkin here is not so obvious. In fact, the cake is quite obviously first and foremost a chocolate cake, at least judging from its looks.
The thing about pumpkin in this cake is that it is added mostly for the texture, rather than the flavour. Sure, it’s a natural sweetener, but you still need to add sugar, also to contrast the bitterness of the cocoa powder. In this Bundt cake, pumpkin is used like zucchini, banana or avocado in other cakes and breads. They give the cake extra moisture, extra nutrition, and just a hint of flavour. Pumpkins have a pretty long shelf life and tightly wrapped in cling film can stay pretty long in your fridge. If you still have some pumpkin leftovers from Halloween, this recipe might be the best excuse to finally get rid of those – because I am using homemade pumpkin purée.
When everyone gets so obsessed with pumpkin pie it’s mostly for the spices. Let’s be honest. Sure the filling of a pumpkin pie definitely tastes more pumpkin than this chocolate pumpkin cake. But you could be using sweet potato and the same pumpkin spice mix and be fooled into eating pumpkin pie. I’m also thinking of pumpkin pie lattes. I’m quite positive there is no pumpkin purée in them. It’s the spice mix that evokes pumpkin pie. The brain does the rest.
So this chocolate Bundt cake does have pumpkin but you could hardly guess. In fact, my husband brought it to work and forgot to say it was pumpkin cake. Everyone thought it was a normal chocolate cake. Yet, take away the pumpkin and you have a different cake. Less flavourful, less moist. Because even if the pumpkin here acts as a side kick and not as a main character, it still provides that little extra that makes you really appreciate this moist chocolate cake.
Homemade pumpkin purée
This recipe has been adapted from this one. My Bundt pan is medium-sized, so I have reduced the quantities and slightly altered the ingredients. My recipe also differs in the fact that, not being based in North America, canned pumpkin purée is not a thing I can easily find here. It is what the original recipe calls for, but when you live in Sweden and mostly follow North American bloggers you learn to get creative. Well, in this case I didn’t have to go above and beyond. I just bought a pumpkin (a muscat squash, to be precise) and I roasted it in the oven. Then I puréed it. Voilà! Pure 100% pumpkin purée, no added ingredients.
According to the recipe we need 1 cup of pumpkin purée – that is about 250 g. I used half of my muscat squash in this cake. After seeding it, a half weighed around 900 g. I sliced it into 6 pieces and gently rubbed it with coconut oil. I placed all the pumpkin slices on an oven tray lined with baking paper and baked it in the oven at 200°C for one hour. Halfway through the time I flipped the pumpkin slices, to ensure all sides would nicely roast. After that, I let it cool down, and gently peeled off the skin. I transfered the pulp to a colander and left it there to drain overnight. This was not enough to completely drain it of all excess water, but it was a good start. So the following day I squeezed out as much water as I could. In this process the pulp already took a purée texture, so I kept it like that. You can also blend it, for extra smoothness. Doesn’t really play a big role once it’s used in the cake. The half squash yielded exactly 250 g of homemade roasted pumpkin purée.
Wonderfully moist and rich in cocoa, this chocolate pumpkin cake is perfect paired with an afternoon cup of coffee. You know, just to feel Swedish and take part in the wonderful ritual of fika.
Chocolate pumpkin Bundt cake
- 110 g salted butter
- 220 g dark muscovado sugar
- 2 eggs
- 1 cup roasted pumpkin puree
- 130 g flour
- 30 g cocoa powder
- 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1/4 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon powder
For the ganache
- 120 g dark chocolate
- 60 ml heavy cream
Combine the butter and the muscovado sugar and cream with a hand mixer for a couple of minutes at medium speed.
Always mixing, add the eggs, one at a time. When the eggs are combined, add the roasted pumpkin puree and keep mixing until incorporated. Stop the mixer.
In another bowl, combine all the powders (flour, cocoa, cinnamon, baking powder and baking soda). If using unsalted butter, add 1/4 tsp salto to that.
Add half of the powder mixture to the other bowl and incorporate it mixing at slow speed. Stop the mixer, add the second half of the powders and do the same, until all is incorporated.
Pour the batter into a medium Bundt pan that has been previously greased and bake in the preheated oven at 180°C for 40-45 min. Once baked, let the cake sit in the pan for about 20 minutes before taking it out.
When the cake has cooled down to room temperature, combine the chocolate and cream and set on the stove on a double boiler. When the chocolate has melted, remove from the heat and stir to combine. Pour the ganache over the cake letting it drizzle down the sides.