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Entertaining

Block Party: Jack-o-Lanterns and Chocolate Pumpkin Cake
September 17, 2012 • Posted by Katie Marber

As you find yourself mid-way through September, you may be anxious to unpack your scarves, savor the beautiful foliage, and adorn your home in jack-o-lanterns. Often the perfect solution for recycling the inside of the pumpkin is to make an autumn classic, like pie. However, this season, be the hit of the neighborhood by throwing a pumpkin-carving party that your little ones will surely enjoy. Modernize your pumpkin pie with a Chocolate Pumpkin Cake that will make your neighbors beg for an annual event!

Prepare the cake the day before the guests arrive, and make sure to pick up extra pumpkins for pureeing and for carving. I suggest steaming the pumpkin in order to make the puree. You can freeze the extra puree for later! Assign a few adults to supervise the pumpkin carving while the young partygoers come up with creative jack-o-lantern creations that they can take home afterwards.

After the pumpkin-carving festivities, your guests will light up when you serve this deliciously moist and flavorful Bundt cake. By swapping in your pumpkin puree, the cake maintains its moisture without all the extra fat. Allot a few hours for preparation, although the active time in the kitchen after you make the pumpkin puree should not exceed thirty minutes. What sets this cake apart from others is the sweet buttermilk glaze and mini milk or dark chocolate chips for garnish. The harmonious combination of the subtle pumpkin spice and chocolate creates a comforting and warm flavor perfect to kick-start autumn.

Chocolate Pumpkin Cake
Serves 16

For Cake
1 cup all-purpose, flour (or whole wheat)
¾ cup pastry flour (or whole wheat)
1 cup granulated sugar
¾ cup unsweetened coca powder
1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
1 ½ teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
¼ teaspoon salt
1 cup nonfat buttermilk
2 cups pumpkin puree
¾ cup packed dark brown sugar
1 large egg
1 large egg white
¼ cup canola oil
¼ cup light corn syrup
1 tablespoon vanilla extract

For Garnish
½ cup confectioners’ sugar
1 tablespoon nonfat buttermilk
2 tablespoons mini chocolate chips

Instructions for Pumpkin Puree:
Boil a large pot of water. Clean the pumpkin to remove dirt. After cutting in half, remove seeds and strings with ice cream scoop. Cut into small pieces and remove the skin. Over boiling water, place the pieces in a colander in the pot. Covered, steam for 50 minutes, or when tender. In a food processor or hand blender, puree the pumpkin.

Instructions for Cake:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. With cooking spray, coat a 12-cup Bundt pan. Combine the all-purpose flour, whole-wheat flour, granulated sugar, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, pumpkin pie spice and salt in a medium bowl with a whisk. With an electric mixer on low, blend buttermilk, pumpkin puree and brown sugar in a large bowl. Then beat in egg and egg white, and stir in oil, corn syrup and vanilla. Gradually stir in the dry ingredients and place batter in the 12-cup pan. Bake for 1 – 1 ¼ hours, checking with a toothpick when ready. Let cool for 20 minutes, then remove from pan and allow 2 hours for full cooling. For the glaze, mix confectioners’ sugar and buttermilk until smooth. With the cake on its serving plate, drizzle over the top freely and sprinkle the chocolate chips immediately.

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