As much as I love chocolate -- and I do love chocolate -- I seldom bake or eat chocolate cake. Truth be told, I'm more of a cookie gal. However, when the pantry presented me with all of the ingredients for this double chocolate pumpkin pecan loaf cake, including some canned pumpkin left from baking these pumpkin chocolate chip biscotti, I couldn't resist.
Despite the presence of chocolate chips, this cake is not overly sweet, yet it's melt-in-your-mouth moist. Kathy and I thought a scoop of vanilla ice cream or frozen yogurt would make a perfect topping, but we didn't have any on hand when we took the photographs. (Good thing, too, or you'd be seeing even less of the cake than you are now.) Make your cake ahead, let it cool completely, cut it in half cross-wise and freeze it. That way you'll have some on hand for the holidays, and some for a lucky friend or two who might stop in for afternoon tea.
Double chocolate pumpkin pecan loaf cake
From the pantry, you'll need: unsalted butter, granulated sugar, light brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, ground cloves, powdered ginger, cocoa powder, eggs, all-purpose flour, baking powder, baking soda, kosher salt, confectioners sugar, baking spray.
Adapted from this recipe on Cajun Cooking Recipes Cooking Blog. Serves 10-12.
1 stick ( 1/2 cup) unsalted butter, softened
3/4 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp ground cloves
1/4 tsp powdered ginger
1 cup canned pumpkin
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2 large eggs
1-1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/4 cup skim milk
6 oz semisweet chocolate chips (1 cup)
1/4 cup chopped pecans
1 tsp confectioners sugar
Preheat oven to 350°F. Spray the bottom and sides of a 9 x 5 x 3-inch loaf pan with baking spray, and set aside.
In a Kitchenaid-type stand mixer, cream together the butter and sugars until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, ginger, pumpkin, and cocoa; beat well. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.
In a mixing bowl, stir the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt until well-combined. Add to the wet ingredients in the mixer alternately with milk until well incorporated. Remove the mixer bowl, and stir in chocolate chips and pecans. Turn the batter into the prepared pan.
Bake 50-55 minutes, or until a wooden toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let the loaf cool in pan at least 30 minutes, then transfer to a rack and let cool completely. [At this point, you can wrap the cake in foil and then in plastic wrap, and freeze.]
Sift confectioners sugar over the top before serving.
Coffee cake with espresso-cocoa swirl, from The Perfect Pantry
Red velvet cake, from Pinch My Salt
Cocoa banana coffee cake, from The Canadian Baker
Fudgy Earl Grey chocolate cake, from What We're Eating
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