It’s 104° in Texas today. I don’t care what the calendar says, I’m a fan of pumpkin all year round, not just in the Fall. This recipe is originally from Cooking Light Magazine and I’ve made it for over 10 years. I packed my kids’ school lunch every day and they asked for these all of the time. When my son was in high school he would ask for extra muffins. I thought it was because he was a growing boy, but I found out later he was selling them. I admire his hustle, but I’ve yet to see my cut.
I’ve adapted this recipe slightly over the years. It’s incredibly versatile and I’ve used it to make loaves, muffins, Bundt cakes and even a double layer cake with cream cheese frosting. You’ll have to vary your cooking times for each of those and I’ve noted the times in the instructions. The original recipe states it serves 32. There’s no one in my house who eats a portion that small, so I adjusted the serving size to 22, as this recipe makes 22 muffins. I’ve seen a cake serve as few as five in one sitting. Hungry teenage boys are scary.
Since the kids are visiting from college next week, I made this cake today and will freeze. If you do this, remove from the freezer and place in the fridge the night before serving. If you’re going to top with a glaze or frosting, wait until the day you plan to serve.
Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cake
2 cups sugar
1 can (15 oz.) pumpkin puree (not pie filling)
½ cup canola or vegetable oil
½ cup sugar-free vanilla pudding (about 2 Snack Pack cups)
3 large egg whites (or 1/2 cup All Whites Egg Whites)
1 large egg
3 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground cloves
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
½ teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips (milk or dark chocolate chips are good, too)
Preheat oven to 350º. In a large bowl combine sugar, pumpkin, oil, pudding and eggs.
In a medium bowl, combine flour, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, ginger, salt and baking soda. Add to pumpkin mixture and blend well. Add chocolate chips.
Spoon batter into a cake pan that has been sprayed with cooking spray or rubbed generously with butter.
Bake for 45-55 mins. Begin checking with a toothpick around 45 mins. If making in loaf pans bake 35-45 minutes. If making muffins bake 25-28 minutes. Let cool completely on a wire rack. If freezing, cover in plastic wrap and then one more time with foil. I’ve never had in the freezer for a long period of time, but it should last up to 3 months just fine. I’ve served this cake with chocolate ganache or cream cheese frosting. Here are my recipes:
1 cup heavy cream
8 oz. semi-sweet chocolate chips
Bring cream to a simmer in a small saucepan over low heat. Do not boil. Place chocolate chips in a medium bowl and pour cream over top. Let sit for 5 minutes and then stir well. Ganache should be smooth and shiny, and of course, delicious. Spoon over the top of your cooled cake. Here’s a mini Bundt cake with the ganache and walnuts –
Cream Cheese Frosting
8 oz. cream cheese (room temperature)
4 oz. (1 stick) unsalted butter (room temperature)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2-3 cups powdered sugar
1/4 cup half & half (you might not use all of this)
Beat cream cheese and butter in a mixer until well combined. Add vanilla and 2 cups of powdered sugar and combine well. Add the last cup of powdered sugar. Frosting will probably be too thick, so add half & half, one Tablespoon at a time until you get the desired consistency. I’ve topped this frosting with chopped walnuts or pecans, as they always go well with pumpkin.