★★★★★

Chocolate Pumpkin Cake

You’ll love this easy Chocolate Pumpkin Cake recipe for a quick dessert. Super moist and flavorful, this snack cake is delicious served warm or room temperature.

If you love holiday cakes, be sure to try our Pumpkin Magic cake recipe. The layers magically separate while baking, creating the ultimate treat. Readers also love this delicious wonderful pumpkin cream cold brew to sip while enjoying dessert!

Slice of chocolate pumpkin cake with two layers sprinkled with powdered sugar on a stack of white plates.

Why this Recipe is Best

I love pumpkin desserts. Especially when they are simple and easy like today’s cake. It reminds me of our favorite easy chocolate cake (made in a 13×9) but with a layer of pumpkin!

The pumpkin puree in these bars makes them moist and cakey, complementing the chocolate in an unexpected and delicious way.

When you’re tired of pumpkin spice everything, Pumpkin Snack Bars with a layer of cocoa flavored pumpkin cake are just the thing for celebrating fall!

  • One bowl recipe!
  • Simple ingredients.
  • No frosting needed.

Ingredient Notes

Ingredients needed to make chocolate pumpkin cake.
  • Unsalted Butter – Softened slightly to room temperature before using. If choosing salted butter, skip the kosher salt!
  • Vanilla Extract try making my homemade vanilla extract for all your baking!
  • Pumpkin puree – NOT pumpkin pie filling
  • Cocoa powder – Unsweetened baking cocoa

OPTIONAL: 

  • Melted Nutella – To drizzle over the finished cake bars
  • Powdered SugarDust the tops of the bars before serving 

How to Make Chocolate Pumpkin Cake

Step by step photos showing how to make chocolate pumpkin cake.

STEP 1. In a stand mixer, beat together the butter and sugar until creamy. Add egg and vanilla, beat until combined. Blend in the pumpkin. Add flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.

STEP 2. Spread half the batter in bottom of greased 13 x 9 pan. Stir in cocoa powder to the remaining batter. Spoon remaining batter on top, swirling slightly with the first layer of batter.

STEP 3. Bake in a 350 degree oven for 25 minutes. Allow to cool before enjoying.

How to grease the cake pan

For these bars, I used my favorite easy way of greasing my baking pans: the butter wrapper! After using the sticks of butter, place the buttered side of the wrapper flat on the glass cake pan and coat the pan with a light layer of the butter.

If you prefer, you can also use baking spray to grease the pan. While I sometimes grease AND flour my baking dishes, it’s not necessary in this recipe.

Or try my homemade cake release! Easy and always on hand at our house.

Two slices of chocolate pumpkin cake on white dessert plates.

Tips and Tricks

  • Storage. Store leftover bars in airtight container at room temperature.
  • Freeze. I recommend, freezing the pumpkin snack bars before adding any powdered sugar. Cut into bars and place a sheet of wax paper between layers before freezing, so they don’t stick together. These bars will keep well in the freezer for about 2 months. After that, you can expect some changes to taste and texture. 
  • Be sure to choose pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie filling)!
  • Love pumpkin? Try our moist pumpkin bread recipe too!

More Fall Baking

Yield: 12 bars

Chocolate Pumpkin Cake

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes

You'll love this easy Chocolate Pumpkin Cake recipe for a quick dessert. Super moist and flavorful, this snack cake is delicious served warm or room temperature.

Ingredients

  • ½ cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ¾ cup pumpkin puree
  • 1½ cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¼ cup unsweetened baking cocoa powder

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease the bottom of a 13x9-inch baking dish. Set aside.
  2. In mixer, blend butter and sugar until creamy. Add egg and vanilla, beat until combined. Blend in the pumpkin. Add flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
  3. Spread half the batter in bottom of greased 13x9 pan. To the remaining batter, mix in the cocoa powder. Spoon remaining cocoa batter on top, swirl slightly into the bottom layer.
  4. Bake in a 350 degree oven for 25 minutes. Serve with a dusting of powdered sugar, if desired.

Notes

  • Storage. Store leftover bars in airtight container at room temperature.
  • Freeze. I recommend, freezing the pumpkin snack bars before adding any powdered sugar. Cut into bars and place a sheet of wax paper between layers before freezing, so they don't stick together. These bars will keep well in the freezer for about 2 months. After that, you can expect some changes to taste and texture. 
  • Be sure to choose pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie filling)!
  • Love pumpkin? Try our moist pumpkin bread recipe too!
  • Nutrition Information:

    Yield:

    12

    Serving Size:

    1

    Amount Per Serving: Calories: 208Total Fat: 8gSaturated Fat: 5gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 3gCholesterol: 36mgSodium: 310mgCarbohydrates: 31gFiber: 1gSugar: 17gProtein: 3g

    *Nutrition facts are an estimate and not guaranteed to be accurate. Please see a registered dietitian for special diet advice.

    Did you make this recipe?

    Please leave a comment on the blog or share a photo on Instagram

    Pumpkin and chocolate come together in beautiful harmony in this easy homemade Chocolate Pumpkin Snack Cake.

    About Aimee

    Aimee is a dessert lover (specifically rice krispie treats), workout enthusiast, self-taught foodie, and recipe creator.

    Learn more about Aimee.

    Affiliate Disclosure:**There may be affiliate links in this post! By clicking on them, or purchasing recommended items I may receive a small compensation. However, I only recommend products I love! Thank you for supporting Shugary Sweets! See my disclosure policy for more info**

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    Posted on October 15, 2021

    Comments & Reviews

    1. I love pumpkin also. I put up 100 lbs of pumpkins as soon as they start showing up in the markets. I usually have to make any where of 25 -50 pumpkin pies a year. The whole neighbor hood get one for Christmas and the Fire Dept and Sheriffs Dept. That usually leaves me a few pounds to play with. I know what I am going to do with some of it now. Thank you.

    2. It’s pumpkin…it’s healthy. Of COURSE you can eat it for breakfast.

      I’d love it if you’d link up to my new recipe party: http://www.alittlenosh.net/2011/09/inaugural-linky-party.html

    3. Yup I am in the same boat as you…it is all about the pumpkin right now! I heart pumpkin and chocolate…in fact I just made 2 recipes using both those ingredients:-) I am thinking you and I were separated at birth!!!

    4. Looks devine! I love anything pumpkin! and I say if having that for breakfast is wrong, then I’d just have to be wrong!!

    5. I’m a new convert to pumpkin and chocolate so this is right up my alley. And of course it’s okay to eat it for breakfast…it has pumpkin in it! 😉

    6. I made Pumpkin-Chocolate Cheesecake Bars and that combination is simply amazzzing! I attached my post below if you want to check it out. This recipe looks great!

      http://lifessimplemeasures.blogspot.com/2011/09/pumpkin-chocolate-cheesecake-bars.html

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