For the past few years I’ve been trying to replicate a delicious and beautiful pumpkin chocolate cake with two distinct layers of pumpkin and chocolate. Unfortunately every time I ended up with one of the two layers being too dry. Recently I was able to track down the original recipe thanks to the person who introduced me to it in the first place. The big thing missing in my attempts in replicating the recipe was that I only mixed pumpkin puree in the pumpkin batter. This recipe made things simpler by mixing the puree in a big batch of batter and then adding cacao powder to only half the batter. The addition of cacao powder in the chocolate batter was balanced by the moisture of the pumpkin puree, and the result was two deliciously moist cakes fused together! With just a couple modifications to the recipe, I baked this cake for Thanksgiving dinner with friends.
¾ cup butter at room temperature (1.5 sticks)
1¼ cup white granulated sugar
½ cup dark brown sugar
2½ cups all purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 can (15 oz) pumpkin puree (not pie filling)
⅓ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
¼ - ½ cup semisweet chocolate chips (optional)
Heat oven to 325 F. Grease two 6” pans and dust with flour (or line with parchment paper).
In a large bowl, cream butter, sugars until light and fluffy. Add eggs and continue to beat.
In a separate bowl combine flour, baking powder, baking soda and cinnamon. Add the dry mixture to the creamed mixture alternately with pumpkin.
Divide the batter in half. Mix in cocoa powder in half the batter and beat until just combined. Mix in chocolate chips in the chocolate batter.
Add half of the chocolate batter to each pan. Top each one with half of the pumpkin batter. Smoothen out the top and bake for ~60 minutes, checking for doneness after ~45 minutes. If using a larger pan, the baking time will be reduced as the cake height will be lower and it will bake faster.
Let the cake cool down for 15-20 minutes before removing from the pan. Sift a mixture of cocoa and powdered sugar on top. I made two little maple leaf cutouts and put them on the cake before adding the cocoa and sugar. Then lifted them up and piped an outline with melted chocolate. Alternately, top with dark chocolate ganache (Click here for ganache recipe).
Note: To get a flat cake top instead of a dome, follow these instructions.
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