Blackout Chocolate Pumpkin Cake
Blackout Chocolate Pumpkin Cake- deep and rich chocolate flavor using black cocoa with subtle hints of pumpkin fall flavors with dark chocolate buttercream.
Top with flying bats and spooky eyeball chocolate bark for Halloween theme or just keep it simple with black frosting.Jump to Recipe
BLACKOUT CHOCOLATE PUMPKIN CAKE
I wanted to make a blackout chocolate cake for Halloween but incorporate fall flavors- hello pumpkin! I took the base of my chocolate cake recipe and slightly modified it and I am going to show you how I got the darkest of dark color for the cake and frosting.
The secret to a dark cake and frosting is in the cocoa powder. Super dark Dutch-process Black Cocoa or Black Onyx will yield a deep dark color in the cake but is also more bitter which is why we incorporated pumpkin puree for moisture and sweetness.
This cocoa powder will remind you of the taste of an Oreo and is challenging to find in the stores so plan ahead and order online! I personally use King Arthur Black Cocoa because I can always trust the quality of their ingredients.
Let’s talk about how to achieve black frosting that won’t die your teeth! You may be surprised because this recipe doesn’t require much, if any, black food coloring.
In fact, the color comes from the black cocoa powder! Incorporating the black cocoa powder directly with the fat from the butter will bring out the dark color in the cocoa.
Adding the powdered sugar will slightly lighten the frosting so you can either add more cocoa powder or add 1-2 teaspoons (that’s it!) of black food coloring. We opted for the food coloring because we didn’t want the cocoa powder to add additional bitterness.
But wait….there is more! The key is to WAIT. Yes, wait. I made the frosting 24 hrs before I frosted the cake and noticed that after sitting for 2+ hours, it actually darkened from a grey color to jet black.
DECORATING THE CAKE FOR HALLOWEEN
Let’s talk about how we decorated this cake for Halloween. You will be surprised how easy it was! We wanted a decoration that was slightly spooky but also cute and super simple to make.
We found the bats on Amazon which came with stickers and used floral wire to take the bats to and insert into the cake. Easy!
For the Spooky Eyeball Halloween Bark- we’ve got an entire blog post here but it takes 5 minutes to make and we just insert different chocolate pieces into the cake!
- Always use Room Temperature Ingredients- set eggs in a bowl to come to room temperature for 30 min before baking. Take the butter to soften for 1 hour.
- Measure Flour Accurately– Always scoop flour with a spoon into measuring cup and level off with a knife for the most accurate measurement (unless you have scale at home). Tips on how to properly measure are on our Instagram Reel videos!
- Make sure your baking soda and baking powder are not expired- they can expire within 4-6 months so I always write the date I open the box. This may impact your cake from rising properly!
- Evenly distribute cake batter in cake pans so they bake evenly. The most accurate way is to measure if you have a kitchen scale.
For more baking tips- check out our Instagram Reel Videos!
Black Chocolate Pumpkin Cake
- 2 cups all purpose- flour
- 3/4 cups granulated sugar
- 1/4 cup light brown sugar packed
- 3/4 cup black cocoa powder
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 cup creamer, nut milk, or whole milk
- 1 cup oil vegetable or grapeseed
- 2 eggs room temperature
- 1 cup pumpkin puree
- 1 1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
- 1 cup unsalted butter room temperature
- 1 cup black cocoa powder
- 4 cups powdered sugar sifted
- 2 teaspoons black food coloring
- 1/4 cup cream or milk
- pinch of kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- Preheat oven to 350° F degrees. Line 2 8" cake pans with parchment paper and spray with oil, lightly dust pan with flour and set aside.
- In a bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment- combine flour, sugars, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, salt , pumpkin pie spice and whisk on low-medium to combine for 10 seconds
- Add oil, creamer/milk, eggs, pumpkin puree to the mixing bowl and mix on medium speed for 3-4 minutes or until mixed. Scrape the sides of the bowl to ensure everything is mixed.
- Pour batter evenly into prepared baking pans and bake for 30-35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
- Allow to cool in pan on a cooling rack for 20 minutes before removing from the pan.
- In a bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment- beat the butter on medium speed for 2-3 minutes or until light and creamy. Add the cocoa and cinnamon and mix until combined. Add pinch of salt.
- 1 cup at a time, add the sifted confectioners sugar and mix until fully incorporated.
- With the mixer on low, slowly stream in the cream and vanilla extract. Add black food coloring. Turn the mixer on medium and whip until light and airy. Buttercream should be spreadable. Allow to sit for 2+ hours or overnight to achieve the blackest color frosting.