Chocolate Glazed Pumpkin Cake, and a little song too

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Chocolate glazed pumpkin cake is so moist and delicious, it’ll get even the most skeptical pumpkin-spice eaters (like me)! Make the pumpkin cake as mini-bundts for extra pizazz, but it’s great as a big (10-inch) bundt too.

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For every occasion, there is a song. And if there isn’t a song, I will make one up. My repertoire of tunes-by-Maureen is limited to the a capella (no instruments), and those ditties are typically sung for children. You could say that’s because it’s much easier to make up songs with rhymes for a child; you could also say that it’s easier to feel like a rock star with your brilliant rhyme and rhythm when the only other person in the room is a one-year-old for whom your every facial expression is cause for laughter.

I was never so proud as when the song-making rubbed off on my sister. When she and her roomie Rebecca lived in their 5th floor walk-up in Boston right out of college, they had two small rooms and barely two pennies between them. Restaurants and movies were rare and special treats, so I guess they started baking, and singing songs, for some fun (necessity breeds invention). When I visited them that first fall (after missing my flight and in the absence of cell phones, sister going on the T all the way to the airport to get me, only to discover I was not, and would not be, there that day) they were excited to show me around. I never have gotten over the North End and the array of Italian goodness that we ate there.

One thing I did get over was the loaf of pumpkin bread they made for my visit. The song that went with it, however, was right up my alley: Pumpkin bread, Pumpkin bread! Everybodyluvsalittle Pumpkin Bread! ….wiiiith butter! (then the whole tune sung again, changing keys) But the treat itself—I’d rather eat, well, nothing.

I’m sorry Peg for this confession, but spice breads and spice cakes and really pumpkin-y desserts rank up there for me the same way your scones do. Thanks, but no. Unless they are paired with chocolate. Then we’ve entered a whole new territory.

Despite all of that, this month I wanted to bake with pumpkin and I wanted to make the chocolate-covered miniature bundt cakes like the ones I used to salivate over at the Corner Bakery during my lunch hour in the Loop in Chicago. I know Corner Bakery isn’t Bittersweet Cafe, but finding treats within a block of the office makes everything look and taste better than it actually is.

In my search for a pumpkin dessert that I could truly love for you, I found that the chocolate-glazed pumpkin bundt is very traditional, very well-known. I went for the mini-bundt because I do like things small, even cake. I hoped and prayed as I made the cakes that I could report to you that they taste great. All I can say, or sing, is: Pumpkin cakes, Pumpkin cakes! Everybodyluvsalittle Pumpkin Cake! …wiiiiith chocolate! (change key; repeat)

What I love best about the cakes, besides their sweet, moist crumb, is the combined flavor of spice with chocolate that, like that mini-bundt shape, takes me back to the Loop. This time it’s to the Christkindlemarket, a magical German Christmas market there that sells beautiful imported sweets, including Lebkuchen, traditional German spice cookies enrobed in chocolate. Many a holiday-season-afternoon did I sit at my desk with the snow falling over the city outside my window, eating the cookies I’d brought back from the Christmas market, listening to Christmas music on the radio my dad gave me for my office when I got my first job.

Do try these pumpkin cakes with a heaping spoonful of melted chocolate glaze over top. They’ll have you making up songs in no time.

Pumpkin mini bundt cakes with chocolate glaze drips down the sides
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Chocolate Glazed Pumpkin Cakes

The walnuts add a textural contrast to the very moist crumb of the pumpkin cake. This recipe is based on one from the Miette cookbook, along with the chocolate glaze we used at Tante Marie’s Cooking School. Be sure to let the glaze cool down substantially so that it drizzles slowly and most of it stays on the cake. Makes one 10-inch bundt cake or about 15 mini-bundt cakes (depending on the size of your mini-bundt pans). The cake freezes well, wrapped twice in plastic wrap, for up to 2 months. Wrap and refrigerate to serve within three days of baking.
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 20 minutes


For the cake:

  • 1 3/4 cups cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground clove
  • 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 4 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1 2/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup vegetable or other neutral oil
  • 1 3/4 cups pumpkin puree or 1 14oz. can pure solid-pack pumpkin mixed with ¼ cup water
  • 1 cup toasted walnuts, chopped

For the chocolate glaze

  • 3.5 ounces bittersweet chocolate (50% – 70%), finely chopped
  • 4 tablespoons (2 oz.) butter
  • 1 tablespoon corn syrup (for shine)
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For the cake

  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Liberally butter the bundt pan(s). Dust with flour and tap out the excess.
  • In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, and salt.
  • In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, combine the eggs and sugar on medium speed until lightened in color and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Reduce the speed to low and slowly pour in the oil until combined, then increase speed to high for 1 minute. Switch to the paddle attachment and add the pumpkin puree, mixing on medium speed just until combined. Add the flour mixture in three additions, mixing just until combined after each addition (about 5 seconds each time, on low). Remove the bowl from the mixer, scrape down the sides with a rubber spatula, and mix in the walnuts.
  • Pour the batter into the prepared pan(s) and bake until the cake springs back when touched and a tester inserted in the center comes out clean, about 45 minutes for a large bundt pan and about 20 minutes for mini-bundts. Cool in the pan for about 10 minutes, then invert the cake(s) onto a plate or wire rack and cool completely.

For the chocolate glaze:

  • Melt the chocolate, butter, and corn syrup for 30-second intervals in the microwave, or over a bain-marie (double boiler) of low-simmering water. Let cool until slightly thickened, then spoon over the cake(s). Let the cakes with chocolate firm up before serving, about 30 minutes.

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Additional Info

Author: Maureen Abood
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
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  1. Elizabeth says:

    Delicious! And it makes a beautiful turkey cake using the Nordicware Classic Turkey Cake Pan. Mix the recipe twice in separate bowls. Fill the wells of the turkey pan completely. (Make 4-6 cupcakes with leftover batter.) Bake about 90-95 minutes at 325 degrees. Cover with foil after 30 minutes to prevent edges from burning. After the cakes have cooled in the pan 15 minutes, use a serrated knife to cut dome off cakes to make them level. Invert the turkey cakes onto wire rack and cool completely. To ice the halves together, place one cake back in the pan, ice that half with a thin layer of Royal Icing; lay other half on it. Let set until the icing dries (or refrigerate overnight). To display, place turkey cake upright on small bed of Royal Icing on cake plate. To serve, cut the cakes in half, lay on platter, cut one half into serving pieces and the other half remains decorative in the center of the platter. (The recipe also bakes well using 1:1 sugar substitute in place of the sugar.)

    1. Maureen Abood says:

      Thank you so much for your detailed method!!

  2. Gwendolyn Loehr says:

    I forgot the vanilla. Then I reread the recipe and couldn’t find when to put it in. I assume it’s after you cream the butter and sugar?
    Thank you!

    1. Maureen Abood says:

      Great catch Gwendolyn, thank you so much! Yes, vanilla goes in right before the oil. Recipe has been adjusted!

  3. Camille says:

    Would you please provide the quantity for the vegetable oil ? It seems to be cut off on the page. ” ? cup”

    Thank you

    1. Maureen Abood says:

      Woops! It’s fixed now, thank you!

  4. SarahD says:

    I made this for dessert for a dinner party I hosted and it was such a winner! I made it in the big bundt pan and it looked beautiful! What a great pumpkin/chocolate recipe-and so easy, too! I will definitely be making this again!

  5. Patty says:

    Thank you, Maureen! I was just searching for a new pumpkin recipe today! This sounds lovely. However, I only own the regular old mixer with regular beaters to attach. Can I use those ok? Should I use a whisk first by hand, then a regular mixer?

    1. Maureen Abood says:

      Great Patty–you should be ok with the regular beaters, key is not to over-beat the mixture when the flour is added.

  6. Henna says:

    omg Maureen! You really have outdone yourself with this recipe! It is SO delicious! It’s got such a soft and light texture, yet it holds together so well! I didn’t make the glaze, only because I decided to take a bite of the cake when it came out the oven, and holy moly I was on cloud 9! I took some pictures and it’s going on my blog soon… In fact, my next grocery trip is definitely going to include a few more cans of pumpkin puree! Thank you soooo much for the amazing recipe 🙂

    1. Henna says:

      Oh, and I used cinnamon and cardamom instead of nutmeg and cloves… it was pure heaven I tell you!

  7. Diane Nassir (My maternal grandmother was an Abowd) says:

    the aroma has reached the Southwest–loverly!!!

  8. Janet Moore says:

    Ok….so the moistness of the cakes and the yumm-y-ness of the chocolate drizzle makes one drool….and I too will be making this for Tues. nite “cocktail hour” where I live.
    And I might add, that was a “touche’ ” from sister Peg…..and I loved reading each and every word……

  9. Peggy says:

    Maureen, habibti-elbi, sweetheart! Like my loube stew that never got much respect, I’ve seen you eat too many slices of my pumpkin bread to ever really believe you didn’t like it. Granted, our recipe came from the humble confines of the Junior League of Lansing spiralbound cookbook rather than the vaulted heights of Miette. And we sure didn’t have fancy chocolate glaze either – just a bit of Land O Lakes. But given your enthusiastic partaking of my delicious pumpkin bread over the course of nearly two decades, I’m going to take this post with a grain of salt! If anyone wants that delicious recipe from the Jr. League cookbook, let me know – Rebecca and I are happy to share it!

  10. Maria Bill says:

    On the menu for this weekend’s dessert…thank you for the recipe and the song story – love it!