Chocolate Pumpkin Cornbread Cake

by Marla on November 8, 2010 · 54 comments

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Cornbread. With pumpkin & chocolate. I think I will need to rename this the pumpkin blog as I can’t get enough of the stuff these days. Cornbread as cake is a fun thing indeed. Cornmeal shows up a lot around here lately in all kinds of cakes, muffins and cookies, pancakes, etc. It has a strong presence in this cake and that is a very happy thing.

Chocolate Pumpkin Cornbread Cake on

Sometimes I am not quite sure how I come up with these recipes. I know that cornbread is supposed to be a side. Something that scoops up gravy and sits beside your turkey dinner. I get that. But let’s face it, cornbread is kind of cake. It is sweet, crumbly and well, cakey. If you are in the mood to actually have your cornbread for dessert or even breakfast, then this might be for you. This cornbread is on the moister side, the pumpkin layer almost has the texture of a cheesecake.

Chocolate Pumpkin Cornbread Cake on

By simply dividing your cornbread batter into three parts, adding pumpkin purée to one, cocoa powder to another and leaving one alone you end up with 3 dreamy layers. Neat huh? I thought the pumpkin layer would have baked up a bit more orange, but the whole wheat pastry flour masks the color. If you tend to use food coloring you could always use a few drops of that. I usually opt for the rustic, au natural approach.

Chocolate Pumpkin Cornbread Cake on

I have been having fun with my piping bag and pastry decorating tips lately.

Chocolate Pumpkin Cornbread Cake on

Some dollops of slightly sweetened homemade pumpkin infused whipped cream always makes everything better.

Chocolate Pumpkin Cornbread Cake on


Chocolate Pumpkin Cornbread Cake

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Total Time: 35 minutes

Yield: 10-12 servings

Chocolate Pumpkin Cornbread Cake


  • 1 cup medium grind Cornmeal
  • 1/2 cup Corn Flour
  • 1 1/2 cups White Whole Wheat Flour - or Whole Wheat Pastry Flour
  • 4 teaspoons Baking Powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon Salt
  • 1-2 teaspoons Stevia Powder or to taste
  • 1/4 teaspoon Pumpkin Pie Spice
  • 1 tablespoon Unsweetened Cocoa Powder
  • 2 large Eggs
  • 2 tbs melted Unsalted Butter
  • 1 1/2 cups fat free Milk (or any milk you prefer)
  • 1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
  • 1 cup canned or fresh unsweetened Pumpkin Purée
  • Topping
  • 1/2 cup freshly Whipped Cream
  • 1/4 cup Pumpkin Purée
  • sweeten with Vanilla Stevia Drops to taste (or your favorite natural sweetener)


  • Pre heat oven to 400 degree F with the rack in the middle. Prepare a 9 X 2 round pan with parchment paper. Sift dry ingredients excluding pumpkin pie spice & cocoa powder in a medium bowl. Combine wet ingredients excluding pumpkin purée in a large bowl. Gently stir the wet and dry ingredients together in the large bowl.
  • Divide the batter into thirds (about 1 1/4 cup batter for the chocolate & cornbread layer & 1 cup in the pumpkin layer as you will be adding the purée to that one.) For pumpkin layer: Combine 1 cup batter with pumpkin purée and pumpkin pie spice. For chocolate layer: Combine 1 1/4 cups batter with cocoa powder. Leave the third 1 1/4 cups batter "cornbread" layer as is. Carefully layer batter in pan, first pumpkin, then chocolate then cornbread. If the batter starts to thicken too much add a splash of milk. Bake for about 20 minutes until a toothpick comes out clean from the center of the cake. Let cake cool on rack before serving.
  • Whipped Cream
  • Whip cold heavy cream in a stand mixer. Gently fold in pumpkin purée and sweetener of choice. Pipe onto cooled cake or frost with an offset spatula. If you want to cover more of the cake with cream, then adjust ingredients accordingly using the same ratios.
  • Notes
  • I used canned pumpkin purée in this recipe. Food For My Family has a great Homemade Pumpkin Purée post.
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  • If you want to go a bit lighter use lightly sweetened fat free Thick Greek Yogurt instead of whipped cream.
  • Add some chocolate chips to the batter for a more indulgent treat.
  • Add some chopped, toasted nuts to the batter and the top of the cake before baking for more flavor & some crunch.
  • A handful of chopped dried fruit and/or raisins would be good in this too.

Cornbread Recipe Links

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