Saturday, October 9, 2010

Pumpkin Chocolate Cake

Every fall, I'm obsessed with pumpkin. Pumpkin spice lattes, pumpkin cookies, pumpkin scones, pumpkin bread...the list goes on and on, and I just can't get enough. (My other fall obsessions are apples and maple). Today I've had both a pumpkin spice latte and a pumpkin cupcake, and I was still ready to bake yet another pumpkin treat. That being said, I've had a few more sweet treats than I probably should have lately, so I wanted to make a baked good that was a bit on the lighter side. I found this recipe at the Whole Foods website, which has tons of great recipes, including lots of healthier baked goods using whole grains. After being out and about all day, it was also nice to bake up a simple-to-prepare treat with very little clean-up.

This cake is an moist and fudgy chocolate spice cake, with a subtle pumpkin flavor on the finish of each bite. Although the cake is quite good as is, I think it would benefit from the addition of chopped walnuts, (and perhaps even some chocolate chips, if you want to make it more indulgent). Chocolate is definitely the dominant flavor in this cake, and I wonder how well other squash purees, such as butternut or acorn, would work in this recipe. Whole Foods claims this serves 12, but I cut it into 9 pieces instead. Maybe that means I'm having more dessert that I should, but I just don't care.

Pumpkin Chocolate Cake
from Whole Foods
serves 12

1/4 cup canola oil, plus more for greasing
1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
1/3 cup cocoa powder
2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 (15-ounce) can pumpkin purée
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Powdered sugar, for dusting (optional)

1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease an (8-inch) square baking pan with oil and set aside.

2. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, cocoa powder, pumpkin pie spice, baking powder, baking soda and salt. In a separate bowl, whisk together oil, sugar, eggs, pumpkin and vanilla. Whisk flour mixture into pumpkin mixture until well combined then transfer batter to prepared pan.

3. Bake until the cakes pulls away from the sides of the pan and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, 40 to 50 minutes. Set aside to let cool then cut into squares and dust with powdered sugar, if you like.

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