On the whole I generally tend to shy away from chocolate cakes, largely because they’re either too rich or not flavoured enough, but with the addition of pumpkin this one is delightfully squidgy yet not overpoweringly chocolately.
There’s a number of ways you can make pumpkin but I find the easiest (and laziest) is to buy the pre-made pumpkin filling. You can always de-seed, peel and chop up a pumpkin and process the flesh if you so wish.
I was sent some cocoa powder and dark chocolate from Divine and decided to put it to use in this cake.
The pumpkin adds mainly to the texture, as the flavour you’ll get it mostly of the chocolate, but this means you end up with a deliciously moist, soft cake and there’s no risk of it being dry.
As you’ve got cocoa powder in as well, the mixture doesn’t get uncontrollably wet but if it does look a bit slick add in some more flour.
I made this one for halloween, hence the decorating, but it’s something which can be done at any time of year. If you’re going to halloween icing, feel free to be as creative as you desire. I had limited time and a flat full of hungry guests so opted for red and black blots of icing over a vanilla buttercream.
175g plain flour
1tsp baking powder
80g cocoa powder (I used Divine’s in this one)
175g caster sugar
2 large eggs, at room temperature
175g softened butter
One 400g can of pumpkin puree (I used Libby’s)
A pinch of salt
For the topping:
100g unsalted butter, very soft
2 tbsp milk
350g icing sugar
A selection of dark food colouring
How to make…
Preheat the oven to 170C/150 Fan/Gas 3 and line a loaf tin with baking paper.
Mix the butter and sugar together until everything’s combined and you’ve got a light, creamy mixture (about five minutes with an electric beater, 7-8 without). This is the texture you’re after:
Add the eggs, one at a time, and then sieve in flour, pumpkin puree, cocoa powder and add the salt.
Continue mixing on a slow speed for a few minutes then pour into your loaf tin.
Put the tin into the oven and set a timer for 50 minutes. Keep an eye on the cake, it’s done when a knife inserted into the middle comes out clean, this can take around an hour or slightly longer.
When it’s done take the cake out and let it cool completely before moving onto the icing.
To make your icing, beat the butter and icing sugar together until it forms a creamy, thick icing. This takes around five minutes in the mixer, seven by hand (depending on your upper arm strength).
Flick on a few blobs of the food colouring, feel free to be as reserved or wild as you fancy at this stage.