I found this recipe in Country Living Magazine about 4 yrs ago. I tried it out when my Ex's job had a contest requiring you to decorate, and use a pumpkin. I actually gutted, and carved a pumpkin. Lined the inside, and then layered the cake cubes with the Orange Cream Cheese Frosting. We actually won 2nd Place! Every time I make this cake, everyone asks for the recipe. Enjoy!
- 2 1⁄2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1 cup good-quality cocoa
- 2 tablespoons good-quality cocoa
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- 1 1⁄2 teaspoons baking soda
- 2 1⁄4 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 3⁄4 teaspoon fresh-grated nutmeg
- 3⁄4 cup buttermilk
- 1 1⁄2 cups pumpkin puree
- 1 1⁄2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 1⁄8 cups unsalted butter, softened
- 1 1⁄2 cups firmly packed dark brown sugar
- 1 1⁄2 cups granulated sugar
- 5 large eggs
- Prepare cake pans: Heat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly butter three 8-inch cake pans and fit each bottom with an 8-inch circle of parchment paper. Lightly butter the parchment paper. Set aside.
- Make the batter: Sift the flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, and nutmeg in a large bowl and set aside. Combine the buttermilk, pumpkin, and vanilla in a medium bowl and set aside. Beat the butter and sugar together in a large bowl, with an electric mixer set on medium speed, until fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition, until the mixture is smooth and light. Alternately add the flour mixture and buttermilk mixture, blending well after each addition.
- Bake the cake: Divide the batter among the pans and bake until a wooden skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean -- about 35 minutes. Cool the cakes in the pan for 20 minutes. Remove cakes and cool. (For cupcakes: Heat oven to 375 degrees F. Place cupcake liners in standard cupcake tins and fill each with 1/4 cup of batter. Bake for 22 minutes.).
- Assemble the cake: Trim each of the layers. Place one layer on a cake plate and top with one third of the frosting. Repeat with the second and third layers. (To ensure that the cake layers do not shift, cut three skewers to 1/4 inch shorter than the full height of the cake and insert them before icing the top layer.) Refrigerate until ready to serve.
The chocolate and pumpkin combination is a favorite of our family and this recipe makes a nice, moist cake. I opted for cupcakes, since that's what DD wanted to decorate (she's learning to swirl icing), and I halved the recipe. We made a basic Wilton cream cheese frosting to top them off with. Delicious! :) My only complaint is that the chocolate flavor could be a little stronger & I might swap out a bit of flour next time in favor of more Dutch processed cocoa. Thanks for posting the recipe, adkbabe! Made & enjoyed for Spring 2012 Pick-A-Chef.