October 10, 2020

Pumpkin-Chocolate Marble Loaf Cake

Fall baking is now upon us and I, for one, love it!  I can't seem to get enough of warm spices like cinnamon, nutmeg and clove this time of year.  Pumpkin bread is a perennial favorite throughout the season and I was immediately intrigued when I saw this recipe from Real Simple for pumpkin chocolate cupcakes.  

Never would I have thought to combine chocolate with pumpkin. What a great idea! I knew I wanted to make it but I couldn't be bothered making cupcakes (because I'm lazy) so I went with a much easier variation which I'm calling Pumpkin-Chocolate Marble Loaf.  

The vanilla batter is divided into two portions: one is flavored with pumpkin puree and pumpkin pie spice while unsweetened cocoa and milk are mixed to the other.  I wasn't sure if there was enough batter to bake the cake in a traditional 8.5" x 4.5" loaf pan so I ended up using a 3" x 9.5" pan I bought at my local Daiso (for those that aren't familiar it's like a Japanese Target!) many years ago.  Even with the smaller pan there was a little bit of overflow when the cake was baking so next time I'll take some of the batter and make 1-2 cupcakes.  If you don't have a smaller loaf pan then I would just use the normal size you already have.

Rather than topping the cake with chocolate buttercream I made a really easy and quick ganache using heavy cream and bittersweet chocolate chips.  There couldn't be a simpler glaze to make, plus I love the look of the ganache dripping down the sides of the loaf.  One slice of the cake and I was totally converted.  The pumpkin and chocolate flavors shine through individually but complement each other wonderfully.   I will definitely be making this cake again.

Pumpkin-Chocolate Marble Loaf Cake

Makes one loaf

1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup sour cream (I used whole milk Greek yogurt)
1/4 cup pumpkin puree (NOT pumpkin pie filling)
1 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice
3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa (I used Dutch-processed)
2 tablespoons whole milk

1/4 cup heavy cream
1 cup bittersweet chocolate chips 

Preheat oven to 350F.  Spray a loaf pan with cooking spray.  Set aside.

Beat butter and granulated sugar in a large bowl on medium speed with an electric mixer until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in vanilla extract.
Whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a bowl. Starting and ending with flour, add flour mixture and sour cream in 5 additions, beating just until combined after each addition. Scoop half of batter into a separate bowl. Stir pumpkin and pumpkin pie spice into 1 bowl of batter; stir cocoa and milk into the second bowl.  Layer pumpkin and chocolate batters alternately in the loaf pan.  Take a butter knife and swirl the batter. 
Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 35 minutes.  [I recommend checking every 5 minutes after you hit the 25 minute mark.]  Cool in pan on a wire rack 10 minutes. Turn loaf cake out of pan and onto a wire rack to cool completely, about 1 hour. 

Make the ganache while the cake is cooling.  Place the chocolate chips in a medium size bowl.  In a small saucepan heat the heavy cream until simmering, but do not boil!  Pour the hot cream over the chocolate chips and let sit for about 1 minute.   Whisk the mixture until all the chocolate is melted and the mixture is fully combined.  Let cool slightly until the consistency is thick, like corn syrup.  Pour the chocolate ganache over the cooled cake and let it dry.  Slice the cake and serve.


  1. The cake looks yammy! Thanks for the recipe!

  2. This looks very delicious and I am surely going to try this at home.

  3. Nice cake!!!
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