Chocolate Pumpkin Cake

Chocolate Pumpkin Snack Cake: perfect for breakfast or an after school treat!

Chocolate Pumpkin Cake 

For me, pumpkin season runs from September to January. During pumpkin season, I can’t get enough pumpkin treats. I always have a strong compulsion to develop dozens of new pumpkin recipes every fall. 

That compulsion resulted in this Chocolate Pumpkin Snack Cake recipe!

I don’t know why people don’t put chocolate and pumpkin together more often. These snack cakes layer pumpkin and chocolate flavors!

I ate this for breakfast. Is that wrong? It’s more like a cake, but I was hungry, and the chocolate was calling my name.

If I eat pumpkin coffee cake for breakfast, then I should be allowed to eat chocolate pumpkin cake, too! 

Speaking of, I can’t decide whether to call this a cake or a snack bar, so I use both depending on when I feel like eating it. Craving it in the morning? It’s a snack bar. Want one after a meal? It’s a cake! 

Whatever you call them, these pumpkin snack bars are delicious anytime of day. I enjoyed mine with a cup of coffee, of course, as a satisfying sweet way to start my day. They’d also be great with a glass of milk for an afternoon (or midnight) snack. 

Ingredient Notes

What you need to make Chocolate Pumpkin Cake Bars: 

  • Butter – Softened slightly to room temperature before using
  • Sugar
  • Egg
  • Vanilla Extract try making my homemade vanilla extract for all your baking!
  • Pumpkin puree – NOT pumpkin pie filling
  • Flour
  • Baking soda
  • Baking powder
  • Cocoa powder – Unsweetened baking cocoa
  • Salt 

And an optional ingredient that I LOVE: 

  • 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 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. Divide batter in half. In one half of batter, add cocoa and mix until combined. Spread in bottom of greased 13 x 9 pan. 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.

Waste not, want not, right? 

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.

Can you freeze chocolate pumpkin bars? 

Yes, these bars will freeze well! I recommend, freezing the pumpkin snack bars before adding any powdered sugar or nutella drizzle. 

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. 

Cake Bars with 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! 

These are so tasty though that you have my full permission to make them anytime of year. No need to wait for “pumpkin season.”

What are you waiting for? Time to bake some chocolate pumpkin treats!

Yield: 12 bars

Chocolate Pumpkin Cake

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


  • ½ cup butter, softened
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • ¾ cup pumpkin puree
  • 1½ cup flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ¼ cup baking cocoa


  1. 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.
  2. Divide batter in half. In one half of batter, add cocoa and mix until combined. Spread in bottom of greased 13x9 pan (I use my butter wrapper to grease the pan). Spoon remaining batter on top, swirl slightly into the bottom layer.
  3. Bake in a 350 degree oven for 25 minutes. Serve with a dusting of powdered sugar, if desired.

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


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 September 21, 2011

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!


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