Pumpkin Week: Pumpkin Chocolate Cake

Pumpkin Week: Pumpkin Chocolate Cake

I told you I’d squeak pumpkin  into everything, even chocolate cake. It actually wasn’t my idea. This is a Whole Foods recipe that I decided to play with a bit.  I cut the sugar and added some agave nectar. The original recipe also required pumpkin pie spice but I didn’t have any. I just added some nutmeg, cloves and cinnamon instead.

Scarlett and I planned an entire day around making this cake. It was the perfect dessert for Backwards Night. When my husband goes away I like to theme every evening for Scarlett. It’s something to look forward to and it eases the void of Daddy not coming home at the end of the day. One night is Pizza Picnic Night, another is Fancy Night (we both get dressed up and go out for dinner) and Pajama Night is as it sounds with a big stack of pancakes. Our favorite, by far, is Backwards Night–we start with dessert and finish with dinner. It doesn’t feel so devilish if it’s full of the vitamin-rich vegetable. I also don’t feel as guilty giving my kid dessert before her dinner.


Pumpkin Chocolate Cake

1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
1/3 cup cocoa powder, sifted
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon cloves
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/8 teaspoon salt
2 eggs
1 can of pumpkin (15-ounces)
1/2  cup sugar
1/4 cup agave nectar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup canola oil, plus more for greasing


Preheat oven to 350. Grease an (8-inch) square pan with oil and put aside.

In a large mixing bowl, combine flour, cocoa powder, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, baking powder, baking soda and salt.  Place oil, sugar, eggs, pumpkin, vanilla and agave in a second bowl and whisk. Then combine dry ingredients into pumpkin bowl. Transfer to prepared pan.

Bake for 35 to 40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center is removed clean.

Scarlett took full control of the preparation. I think it was her excitment about eating the cake. She couldn’t get it into the oven fast enough.

Once the cake was completed, we could barely wait for it to cool. We let it have 10 minutes on the cooling rack and then tore into it. We sliced it up like little brownie pieces. Scarlett had hers with a bit of confectionary sugar dusted on it and I, weirdly, put cream cheese. I think I was wishing it was frosted. Regardless, it was awesome, all three pieces. Then we followed it up with tuna melts. I know, sounds like a let down. However, it wasn’t. We both devoured our sandwiches. Perhaps that is the key to finishing your plate. Let it come after dessert.


originally post October 17, 2011

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  1. Christine
    November 02, 15:46 Reply

    Hi Laura, Ceri and Heidi, Your Pumpkin Chocolate Cake recipe has been selected to be featured in a Recipe Guessing Game. Please share the following link with your friends and fans. To play, go here: http://knapkins.com/guess_games/161?source=blog Congrats again!!

    PS: Hi Heidi, its Christine from Canada’s Walk of Fame. What a small world!!! 🙂

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