Chocolate Pumpkin Marble Cake

20 Nov

Chocolate Pumpkin Marble Cake | Adventures of a Hungry Redhead
Pumpkin Week continues with Chocolate Pumpkin Marble Cake! If you want your sweet something pumpkin to be a showcase piece at Thanksgiving, this could be it. I mean look at those ribbons of chocolate floating through the moist orange pumpkin. Fancy comes at a price though ? just ask the Real Housewives of Orange County. This cake is a labor of love because of the two separate batters and the need to get excess moisture out of the pumpkin.

I realize I’ve nearly talked myself out of a sale here, but bear with me. I’m going to be honest, this is one of those recipes I second-guessed the whole way. I have to strain water from the canned pumpkin? I have to split how much in half and add half of what to which? But, when I finally got to the point of pouring the batters into the pan, I couldn’t stop myself from eating most of it as I went (especially the chocolate), which in my mind is the first sign of a good recipe.  In the end, the cake was exactly what I wanted (minus my sub-par marbling skills). So, like I said, fancy comes at a price: your time and patience. If I have no patience does this mean this cake was half off or twice the price?

Chocolate Pumpkin Marble Cake | Adventures of a Hungry Redhead
Though the recipe starts with a pumpkin pound cake base, I didn’t think this was anything like pound cake. Pound cake to me is really dense with a fine crumb and sort of coats your tongue with butter as you eat it. This cake was more of a straight-up homemade cake: soft and fluffy, like you could get it to stick to the back of a fork.

Marbling this cake was the trickiest part. My first problem was that it felt as though there was too much batter for the pan, so note to self and readers: recommended pan size is a large bundt pan. On this attempt I used a small tube pan, the kind for angel food cake. This problem was remedied by a mini muffin pan (cupcakes solve a lot of problems, fyi) . The other issue is, the chocolate batter is thin, but the pumpkin batter is thick. So, the chocolate won’t make splotches or blobs for you to swirl, instead it runs to the edges and covers everything. It feels like it’s taking over the whole pan, but when you cut into the first slice, you realize you could have been more liberal with the chocolate (so true in so many situations).

Chocolate Pumpkin Marble Cake | Adventures of a Hungry Redhead
The cream cheese icing is basic and tasty, but isn’t as thin as I was expecting. I lumped it all on top of the cake and then spread to the edges with a knife to get a drip effect. I’d thin it out with milk next time and also let it sit overnight so it could firm up. I like my icing to have a bit of a crust on it.

By the time you get done making this cake, your hard work is deserving of… a slice of cake. Go you!

Chocolate Pumpkin Marble Cake with Cream Cheese Icing
From Back to the Cutting Board



1 1/4 cups pumpkin puree
1 cup sugar
1 cup packed dark brown sugar
1 1/2 cups unsalted butter, softened
5 large eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
2 3/4 cups cake flour, divided
3 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
1 tsp. baking powder, divided
1/2 tsp. baking soda, divided
1 tsp. salt, divided
3/4 cup Dutch-processed unsweetened cocoa
1 1/3 cup regular or low-fat buttermilk, divided

Cream Cheese Glaze:

1/2 cup powdered sugar
4 oz. (1/2 cup) regular or low-fat cream cheese
1/2 tsp. vanilla
3-4 tbsp. milk (or more if you want a thinner glaze)


Preheat oven to 350 degrees (F). Rub a 10 inch tube pan or 12-cup bundt pan with butter (or spritz with cooking spray) and dust with 1 tbsp. flour until the interior is covered. Tap lightly to shake loose extra flour. Set aside.

Spread pumpkin puree over two layers of paper towels and press two more layers on top. Let sit for 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a large mixer bowl cream butter until light. Add both sugars in a steady stream and mix on medium for about 5 minutes.

Add eggs, one at time, mixing well after each. Add in vanilla.

Transfer half of the mixture into another large bowl (another mixer bowl would be helpful, but any large bowl will work). Set aside.

Scape the pumpkin off of the paper towel and add it to the first bowl. Mix well.

In a smaller bowl combine 1 3/4 cup flour, pumpkin pie spice, 1/2 tsp. baking soda, 1/4 tsp. baking powder and 1/2 tsp. salt.

Add half of the flour mixture to the pumpkin mixture and mix well. Mix in 1/3 cup buttermilk. Then add the remaining flour and mix until combined. Set aside.

In the smaller bowl combine 1 cup flour, 3/4 cup cocoa, 1/2 tsp. baking soda, 1/4 tsp. baking powder and 1/2 tsp. salt.

Add half of the flour/cocoa mixture to the other large bowl and mix well with a whisk or your mixer. Mix in 1 cup of buttermilk. Then add the remaining flour and mix until combined.

Spoon 1/3 of the pumpkin batter into your prepared pan. Drop heaping spoonfuls of the chocolate batter around the pan (not completely covering all the pumpkin). Spoon in the remaining pumpkin and chocolate batters. Gently swirl a knife around the pan several times.

Bake for 45-55 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with a few moist crumbs (make sure you’re checking in both the pumpkin and chocolate parts, I noticed large chocolate sections needed a few additional minutes). Cool in pan for 10 minutes, then remove from pan and cool for another 10 minutes on a rack.

Meanwhile, to make the glaze, mix powdered sugar and cream cheese until well blended. Beat in vanilla and milk, 1 tbsp. at time. Drizzle on the warm cake. Let cake cool completely.

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