Appalachia Appalachian Food

Chocolate Cake With Pumpkin Frosting

Chocolate brown sugar cake with spicked pumpkin frosting recipe

I recently tried a recipe I found in Country Living. Chocolate Brown Sugar Butter Cake with Spiced Pumpkin Frosting…the name is a mouthful but the ingredient list sounded like the sort of cake I would love so I decided to give it a try.

Pumpkin frostingTo make the cake you need:

  • 1 cup butter
  • 1 1/4 cup dark brown sugar
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 4 eggs (separated)
  • 2 tablespoons cocoa
  • 1/4 cup hot water
  • 2/3 cup chocolate syrup
  • 2 1/2 cup all purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 8oz sour cream
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract

To make the frosting you need:

  • 1/2 cup pumpkin puree (I used pumpkin I had in the freezer-it worked fine)
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 2 four-ounce white chocolate baking bars (I somehow only managed to buy one so that’s all I used it seemed ok but next time I will use 2)
  • 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 8oz cream cheese
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1 pound box of powdered sugar
  • 1/2 cup lightly toasted chopped pecans
  • 1/2 cup lightly toasted chopped walnuts (I left them out)
  • Pecan halves for decorating cake (I didn’t use them-I thought the cake was pretty enough without them)

Go here to print the recipe.

Special cake for thanksgiving

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour three 9 inch cake pans. If you have parchment paper on hand-I’d suggest lining the bottom of the pan with a piece of parchment paper to help prevent sticking.

Beat butter with mixer until creamy. Gradually add sugars, beating well. Add the egg yolks one at a time-mixing well after each addition.

In small bowl stir together cocoa and hot water until smooth; add chocolate syrup and mix well. Set aside.

Mix flour, baking powder, salt and baking soda together in a bowl. In another bowl mix sour cream, buttermilk, and vanilla.

Alternately add flour mixture and sour cream mixture to the butter, sugar, and eggs. Starting with the flour and ending with the flour-scraping sides of bowl as needed. Once all the flour and sour cream mixture has been added-mix in the chocolate syrup.

Beat egg whites in a large bowl at high speed with an electric mixer until stiff peaks form. Gently stir one-third of egg whites into batter then fold in remaining egg whites.

Divide batter evenly between the three greased cake pans. Drop pans on counter to release air bubbles.

Bake for 18 to 20 minutes or until done. Cool in pans on wire racks 10 minutes; remove from pans and cool completely on racks.

Pumpkin frosting for cake

To make the frosting-stir together pumpkin puree and cream in a small saucepan and cook over medium heat, stirring constantly until thoroughly heated about 4 minutes. Stir in white chocolate until melted. Stir in pumpkin pie spice. Chill 2 hours or until thickened and completely cold.

Beat cream cheese and butter until creamy. Gradually add powdered sugar, beating at low speed until blended. Add pumpkin mixture, beating just until blended. Stir in chopped pecans and walnuts (if you use them) until blended. Spread frosting between layers and over top and sides of cake. Store cake in refrigerator. Garnish iced cake with pecan halves if you so desire.

Country living

Photo courtesy of Country Living

I was going for this look…or for the ease of this look. I only used frosting on the top of the cake and in-between the layers. My cake didn’t look near that pretty, but it tasted great and was a hit with everyone who ate it-which was around 10 people. It’s a recipe I will make again. Hopefully next time I won’t forget the other white chocolate bar.




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  • Reply
    Joseph Ouma
    June 29, 2017 at 9:33 am

    the is delicious

  • Reply
    October 28, 2016 at 4:34 pm

    Sue-thank you for the comment! Hard for me to remember-but I think I just guessed at the 8 ozs of sour cream the first time I made the cake, then once it turned out good I knew that must be the right amount for the next go around : ) Have a great weekend!

  • Reply
    October 25, 2016 at 8:24 pm

    How did you find out how much sour cream to use? All I saw listed on Country Living was ‘a container’ – not terribly specific, but I would’ve guessed the 8 oz. I hate assuming, if you know what I mean! LOL

  • Reply
    November 25, 2014 at 7:41 pm

    Jackie-Thank you for the comment! I hear your pain LOL : ) I liked the other player better too-it was great till it started interfering with people’s browsers. If this one continues to work well-I’ll add the other songs back-I just want to make sure its going to work for everyone before I do all the work : )
    Blind Pig The Acorn
    Celebrating and Preserving the
    Culture of Appalachia

  • Reply
    November 25, 2014 at 7:40 pm

    Yep it was : )
    Blind Pig The Acorn
    Celebrating and Preserving the
    Culture of Appalachia

  • Reply
    Lisa Hardin
    November 25, 2014 at 7:01 pm

    Was this what we had at lunch the other day cause it was fabulous!

  • Reply
    Ed Ammons
    November 25, 2014 at 4:58 pm

    I can’t wait til Thanksgiving and Christmas are over and all the pumpkin goes away. My wife just finished making pumpkin pie for Thursday. She had a little filling left after she filled her crusts. She made the mistake of asking me what she should do with it. I told her to put it inside a Pamper, roll it up, tape it shut and put it in the trash.

  • Reply
    November 25, 2014 at 3:52 pm

    It was easier to skip to my favorite songs with the old music player. You also had a larger selection with it. This is not a complaint – just a comment.

  • Reply
    November 25, 2014 at 2:10 pm

    Cake looks scrumptious and so happy to have the music back!

  • Reply
    Ken Roper
    November 25, 2014 at 12:32 pm

    You seem to always come up with the
    best looking things in your kitchen. I’m sure that cake would
    be tasty cause like B. Ruth, I like
    all them ingredients…Ken

  • Reply
    Bill Burnett
    November 25, 2014 at 11:00 am

    This sounds great, the only trouble with it is that my Blood Sugar went up just reading the recipe

  • Reply
    b. Ruth
    November 25, 2014 at 10:59 am

    My goodness that recipe would make (a) “some” cake. “Some” of my favorite flavors, chocolate, pumpkin, spice, cream, creamed cheese, brown sugar, etc. Not to count if you wanted the yummy pecans and walnuts…goodness!
    I suppose you just forget about the calorie count per slice!
    I wonder if this cake could be made in a 9×15 pan, even though it is beautiful in stack form?
    I think I gave away my 9″ cake pans years ago!
    I may just try this cake for Thanksgiving instead of the Pumpkin, graham, cream cheese fluff pie I make!
    Thanks Tipper,
    PS…I may start on my “bird” today, by cooking the giblets and saving my stock. Also, I may go ahead and sauté my onion and celery in butter for the dressing! I always make my buttermilk cornbread ahead and put in the freezer!
    That would get me a small jump on things…Yep, I’m cookin’ the “bird” this year instead of having it “smoked”! We are ready this year for a scratch (pun intended) Turkey!
    (You remember when I picked up so many drowned ones in the woods after all that rain!) LOL

  • Reply
    potato queen
    November 25, 2014 at 10:24 am

    MAN, this sounds so good… but it would kill my pumpkin-loving but lactose-intolerant husband!

  • Reply
    Joyce Heishman
    November 25, 2014 at 9:11 am

    Your cake sounds wonderful. May give it a try. Wishing you a Happy Thanksgiving

  • Reply
    November 25, 2014 at 8:44 am

    Mmmmm! Yummy! I’m in heaven just thinking about it. Thanks for the recipe.

  • Reply
    eva nell wike, PhD
    November 25, 2014 at 7:42 am

    Tipper: I’ll declare this recipe takes the cake – if you know what I mean! I will have to share it with friends and see who is brave enough to tackle it!
    Eva Nell

  • Reply
    November 25, 2014 at 6:26 am

    Oh oh oh,Tipper! That sounds and looks absolutely delicious. Can’t remember the last time I had chocolate cake, but I sure wish I had a little slice of this one!

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