Marbled Pumpkin Bundt Cake ~ this is my classic spiced pumpkin bread recipe swirled with deep chocolate and topped with a thick bittersweet ganache ~ because even humble pumpkin bread has a delicious dark side — who knew?
Chocolate and pumpkin is an epic combination, if you haven’t experienced it, this Marbled Pumpkin Bundt Cake is a great excuse to take the plunge. There’s something about the spicy warmth of cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg and allspice, paired with bittersweet chocolate that is about as sophisticated as it gets.
I got the recipe for my original chocolate chip pumpkin bread years ago from my friend Jennifer. Jennifer and I have long since lost touch, but her pumpkin bread has become a family tradition. We start making it every September…sometimes even in August if the spirit moves us and it marks the start of the new season, (funny how a recipe can be more enduring than a friendship.) It’s never let me down in all these years, it’s truly foolproof. The spices are perfectly balanced, the cake is always tender, it always rises nicely, and pops right out of any pan. For that reason I’ve rarely fiddled with it…until today!
TIP: Pumpkin pie spice is convenient, but it’s much better to use a mix of individual spices. There are lots of wonderful combinations you can do with fall spices, and each one is unique. I buy my spices in small jars so they stay fresh, and I ALWAYS grate my nutmeg fresh! You’ll find whole nutmeg right next to the other spices, and you can use a microplane or a nutmeg grater to grate it. The aroma is heavenly!
To get the marbled effect I remove a cup of the regular batter and add some dark cocoa powder and a little melted chocolate. Then I spoon the two batters alternately into my prepared bundt pan and use a thin chopstick to swirl everything around a bit.
The bittersweet ganache is pure indulgence.
TIP: Bittersweet chocolate, like black coffee, is an acquired taste. If it’s too intense for you, feel free to substitute semi-sweet chocolate in this cake.
TIP: When you are making ganache, make sure to get the cream up to a simmer, and then let the chocolate sit in the hot cream for at least 5 minutes. Then stir — the warmth of the cream will eventually melt all the chocolate and the ganache will be thick and glossy. The transformation is awesome. The ganache will thicken further as it cools.
TIP: Bundt pans vary quite a bit in shape, capacity, and the thickness of their walls. This will impact your baking time, so always check on the early side. A done cake will be fully risen in the center, spring back when lightly touched, and a toothpick inserted in the center should come out without wet batter clinging to it (moist crumbs are fine.) Non stick bundt pans DO NOT last forever, so if you start to have trouble removing your cakes, it’s time for a replacement.
- 1 cup pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie filling)
- 1/2 cup vegetable oil
- 2 large eggs
- 1/4 tsp each of nutmeg, cinnamon and allspice and ginger
- 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1 Tbsp unsweetened dark cocoa powder
- 1/2 cup bittersweet or semi-sweet chocolate chips, melted
- 2/3 cups heavy cream
- 2 cups bittersweet chocolate chips
- set oven to 350F
- Spray a nonstick bundt pan lightly with cooking spray and dust it lightly with flour.
- Whisk the wet ingredients together in a mixing bowl, making sure the eggs are well beaten, and set aside.
- Whisk the dry ingredients together and make sure the baking soda is well distributed and not lumpy.
- Add the dry ingredients to the wet, mixing just until everything is completely combined. Remove 1 cup of the batter to a small bowl, and add the cocoa powder and the melted chocolate. Mix well.
- Spoon the two batters alternately into the budnt pan. Don't worry about getting it completely even. When all the batter is in the pan, take a chopstick or other thin implement and swirl the two batters together.
- Bake for 30-45 minutes until the top springs back when lightly touched and a toothpick comes out with out wet batter clinging to it. The cooking time will vary depending on your particular bundt pan and your oven. My cake took just over 30 minutes. Check on the early side.
- Let the cake cool on a rack for 15 minutes, then loosen the edges and invert.
- To make the ganache, heat the cream until it just comes to a simmer. Take off the stove and add the chocolate. Let sit for 5 minutes without disturbing. Then stir until everything is thick and glossy and all the chocolate has melted.
- Spoon, pour, or drizzle over the cake.
- This recipe makes a little bit extra ganache, never a problem in our house, but you can reduce the cream to 1/2 cup and the chocolate to 1 cup for a smaller batch.
- I used Hershey’s Special Dark cocoa powder in my Marbled Pumpkin Bundt Cake, it is formulated to be extra dark and gives my cake that deep rich color.
Let me know what you think — and tag tvfgi if you make this and post it to social media — I’d love to see!