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Pumpkin and chocolate cake

Published on October 13, 2016
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Vegetable cakes have been one of the sweetest food fads of 2017. This pumpkin and chocolate bake from Nick Hodges, head chef at The Greenbank Hotel in Falmouth, is not only bang-on-trend but wickedly indulgent

Chocolate and pumpkin cake

Serves 12

You will need

For the sponge:
Plain flour 350g
Cocoa powder 50g
Baking powder 1 tsp
Baking soda 1½ tsp
Ground cinnamon 2 tsp
Buttermilk 175ml
Pumpkin puree 200g, tinned or preferably homemade
Vanilla extract 1½ tsp
Soft butter 600g
Soft brown sugar 300g
Eggs 5

For the ganache:
Double cream 500ml
Dark chocolate 600g

For the pumpkin buttercream:
Soft butter 250g
Cream cheese 120g
Pumpkin puree  50g
Salt pinch of
Icing sugar 600g
Milk dash


  1. If you’re not using tinned pumpkin puree, you’ll need to make it before beginning the cake. Simply cut a pumpkin into quarters, then peel and cut into chunks. Put in a large saucepan, cover with water, and bring to the boil. Cook for approximately 20 minutes until tender. Drain and cool before pureeing it in a blender or with a masher.
  2. For the cake: preheat your over to 180°C / gas 4. Mix the flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and cinnamon.
  3. In a separate bowl, mix the buttermilk, cooled pumpkin puree and vanilla extract.
  4. In a machine mixer, beat the sugar and butter until light and fluffy. Slowly add one egg at a time. Add the flour mix and pumpkin mix into the machine mixer alternatively.
  5. Divide into two baking tins and bake for approximately 30 – 35 minutes.
  6. For the ganache: heat the cream, but only just, to simmer. Remove from the heat and whisk in the chocolate. Cool until the ganache is thick and spreadable.
  7. For the buttercream: add all the butter and cream cheese, and whisk until light and creamy. Slowly add the sugar and then add the pumpkin puree.

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