Moist pumpkin cake that’s dotted with chocolate chips and drizzled with chocolate ganache – pumpkin chocolate chip cake is fall favorite. You’ll love the soft cake crumb, hint of chocolate, and how easy it comes together.
When it comes to pumpkin recipes – I think most people think of pumpkin pie or pumpkin bread. But if you’ve never tried pumpkin and chocolate, then you definitely need to give this pumpkin chocolate chip cake a try. It has a soft, moist cake crumb, and the warm spices pair perfectly with chocolate chips. It’s not overly sweet but packed with flavor. There’s no need for frosting – but a simple drizzle of chocolate ganache makes it a little extra special.
The Perfect Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cake Recipe
This recipe is based on my favorite pumpkin bundt cake recipe. It’s moist and tender thanks to the oil, eggs and pumpkin. You won’t taste any oil because the pumpkin and spices add so much flavor. Instead, you end up with a delicious texture that’s soft, tender and dense without being heavy like a pound cake.
The pumpkin flavor comes from 1 whole can (15 ounces) of pure pumpkin AKA pumpkin puree. I don’t recommend making your own pumpkin puree because 1. it is very time-consuming in comparison, and 2. the amount of moisture can vary significantly with homemade pumpkin puree – therefore leading to inconsistent results.
Note that pure pumpkin is different than canned pumpkin pie filling. Make sure you’re using pure pumpkin.
Then brown sugar, vanilla and warm spices create that delicious pumpkin spice flavor. Because we’re adding in the chocolate chips and chocolate glaze, this recipe has more mild spices. Don’t worry – there’s still lots of flavor.
Pan Sizes & Variations
I made this recipe in my bundt pan. Whenever using a bundt pan, it’s very important to have the pan properly greased and floured (or use pan release) even if the pan says it’s non-stick. I’ve included how to make homemade pan release in the recipe notes – which is my preferred method for perfect bundt cakes, but it can also be purchased at many craft stores and specialty kitchen stores.
This recipe will also work in a 9×13 inch pan with high sides. Grease and flour the pan, and bake in the preheated oven for 35-40 minutes, or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean.
If you’d like to make pumpkin chocolate chip cupcakes – then I recommend using this recipe. It’s designed so that the cupcakes will rise beautifully.
I topped my bundt cake with a drizzle of chocolate ganache. It’s equally delicious left plain, or for a sweeter variation, you could frost the entire thing with chocolate frosting or cream cheese frosting.
Tender and soft with a delicious pumpkin flavor and chocolate chips in every bite – this pumpkin chocolate chip cake is the perfect addition to your fall baking repertoire.
Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cake
- bundt pan
Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cake
- 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour measured carefully
- 2 teaspoons cinnamon*
- 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger*
- 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg*
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup vegetable oil canola oil works too
- 1 cup white sugar
- 3/4 cup brown sugar light or dark
- 3 large eggs
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- one 15 oz can pure pumpkin* AKA pumpkin puree
- 1 1/2 cups chocolate chips semi-sweet or dark, mini or regular sized
- 4 oz dark chocolate* finely chopped
- 1/3 cup heavy cream/whipping cream
Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cake
- Preheat the oven to 325F degrees. Grease and flour a 12-cup bundt pan, or brush with pan release. Make sure to get into all the grooves of the pan.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, spices, baking soda, baking powder and salt.
- In a separate very large bowl, beat together the oil, sugars, eggs, vanilla extract and pumpkin until there are no lumps. This can also be done by hand with a wire whisk.
- Carefully beat (or whisk) the flour mixture into the batter, about 1/2 at a time until combined.
- Stir in the chocolate chips.
- Pour the batter into the pan, smooth the top, and bake in the preheated oven for 60-70 minutes, or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean or with a few crumbs. It is better to bake the cake for 5 minutes longer to ensure it is fully baked through the middle, instead of ending up with a doughy center. This can is very unlikely to dry out.
- Remove the pan from the oven and place the cake (still in the pan) on a wire rack to cool. After 1 hour, carefully invert the cake (the pan may still be warm) and continue cooling.
- Chop the chocolate into very small pieces (if you're not using chocolate chips) and place in a heat-proof bowl.
- Heat the cream until almost boiling, then pour the hot cream over the chocolate.
- Let sit for 2 minutes, then whisk until smooth. If the chocolate isn't quite melted, microwave the bowl for 45 seconds on medium power (not standard/high power) and whisk until smooth.
- Transfer the cooled bundt cake to a serving plate and drizzle the top with chocolate ganache.
- This cake can also be made in a metal 9x13 inch (23x33 cm) cake pan. Grease and flour the pan, and bake at 350F for 35-40 minutes, or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean.
- Pan release can be purchased at kitchen specialty stores or many craft stores. To make your own, whisk together 1/4 cup shortening, 1/4 cup vegetable oil and 1/4 cup flour until smooth and no lumps remain. Brush the pan with the mixture, and store the rest in an airtight container in the fridge. (You could also make a smaller amount too using equal parts shortening, oil and flour).
- Instead of using cinnamon, ginger and nutmeg - feel free to substitute with 2 1/2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice.
- I highly recommend using canned pumpkin puree (often labeled pure pumpkin). Homemade pumpkin puree can have different amounts of moisture, and therefore lead to inconsistent results. Pure pumpkin is not the same as canned pumpkin pie filling. Do not use pumpkin pie filling.
- For the chocolate ganache, feel free to use semi-sweet chocolate or 50-70% dark chocolate. I find using baking chocolate bars work best for chocolate ganache, but chocolate chips work too. 4 ounces chocolate chips is equal to 1/2 cup.
- Make-Ahead Tips: To make this cake the day before serving, make the cake and let it cool fully as directed in the recipe. Place on a plate, wrap with aluminum foil (I don't recommend plastic because it can stick to the cake) and store at room temperature or in the fridge. Bring the cake to room temperature and drizzle with glaze the day you plan to serve it. After the cake is fully cooled, it can be wrapped tightly and frozen for up to 2 months, thaw in the fridge.
- Store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4 days.
- Nutrition information is an estimate only and based on 1 slice, assuming the cake is cut into 14 equal pieces.