Chocolate Pumpkin Cake

It has been quiet around here because my internet was out for five days! Time Warner was sweet about it and even put a credit on my account, but it took FIVE days for them to come out and fix the problem. grrrr.

In happier news, my husband’s birthday was yesterday and I made a Chocolate Pumpkin Cake for him. I thought it was very festive with Halloween coming up! I really enjoyed this cake- the texture was moist and yummy. I made a very sweet traditional frosting- Pumpkin Cream Cheese Frosting. After all, the frosting needed to be orange!

I used this recipe from Country Living (on the cover this month!) and adapted it to be gluten-free. I hope everyone enjoys it as much as we did!

choc pumpkin cake1 Chocolate Pumpkin Cake


1/2 cup teff flour

1/3 cup brown rice flour

1/3 cup sorghum flour

1/3 cup tapioca flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

2 teaspoons of baking powder

1 teaspoon xanthan gum

2/3 cup of cocoa powder

1/2 teaspoon of salt

1 cup of canned pumpkin

1/2 cup of buttermilk (or milk substitute and 1/2 T apple cider vinegar)

3/4 cup of butter, softened

1 cup granulated sugar

1 cup brown sugar

3 eggs, plus one egg yolk

2 teaspoons of vanilla

optional ingredient to try: try adding 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon to dry ingredients if you miss Pillsbury’s Orange sweet rolls- it is a fun addition!


In a medium bowl, mix pumpkin and buttermilk together. In a separate bowl, sift dry ingredients together. In your stand mixer, beat softened butter until light and fluffy. Add the sugars and cream some more. Add vanilla and then the eggs, one at a time. Then alternate pumpkin mixture and flour mixture into the stand mixer until incorporated. Pour batter into two greased 9 inch cake pans and bake for about 30-35 minutes.

Take out of the oven and let cool for 10 minutes. Then invert the cake pans and allow the cakes to cool on a rack. Once cooled, frost and assemble your cake!

choc pumpkin cake Chocolate Pumpkin Cake

PUMPKIN CREAM CHEESE FROSTING (found here at Country Living)

4 cups powdered sugar

1/2 teaspoon vanilla

1/4 cup canned pumpkin

1/4 cup butter

1 T orange juice

1 teaspoon grated orange zest

1 package of cream cheese


Place all ingredients into mixer and beat until combined. Do not overbeat as it will change the consistency of the cream cheese.

Note: This cake can easily be turned into cupcakes! Just put batter in muffin tins with liners instead and frost when cupcakes have cooled.

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18 Responses to “Chocolate Pumpkin Cake”

  1. Ahh, I see the lovely teff flour in there. Isn’t it awesome???? I love teff, sorghum, and brown rice as a flour mix for baking. It’s all I have been using lately and everything ha been great.

    Talking about which, this layer cake looks amazing. I didn’t make many cakes before being gf, but this one may have to made for a special occasion..hmm maybe Thanksgiving???

  2. You were my inspiration definitely. I also read in Gluten Free Girl’s new book that she uses teff a lot too. It really lends a moist crumb I think. And I need more whole grains!!! :)

  3. Darn! We just went egg and casein free! I want some cake! :) Looks delicious…think I can keep chocolate cake secret from a precocious 15 month old?

  4. Natalie, that cake looks delicious!! That gives me a good idea for Michael’s birthday this month! He loves chocolate! What a great picture!!

  5. Melody- Oh man! Egg substitutions are hard with a cake like this! But maybe you can keep it a secret for a bit longer ;) Jude did not know that liquids existed other than water until just recently. We have a lot of power as parents at first. [insert evil laughter]

    Carrie- This makes a great birthday cake! Also, You really need to try the Lighter than Air Chocolate cake. You just need a big enough bowl to beat those egg whites!

  6. Wow- what a gorgeous cake. I wish egg subs would work, too. May be worth a try. Perhaps if I baked it in a bundt pan? :)

  7. this looks incredible! will definitely give it a try!

  8. [...] get you in the mood, here are some Gluten Free Pumpkin Recipes from Gluten Free Blog and A Gluten Free Chocolate Pumpkin Cake Recipe from Gluten Free [...]

  9. That looks delicious! I don’t know if I have ever had chocolate with pumpkin before. This is going in my list of recipes to try in the next couple of months. Thanks.

  10. While this cake was one of many (the rest made with wheat) on the Thanksgiving dessert buffet, it was clearly a favorite. I topped the icing with toasted pecan pieces. This is a moist and delicious cake and the pumpkin is subtle for those who aren’t pumpkin fans. I also used the dark cocoa powder and it was almost sinfully chocolatey in flavor.

  11. Susi-
    The toasted pecans were a great idea! I am glad you enjoyed it!

  12. Hi Natalie

    I was finally able to pick up some Bob’s Red Mill teff flour and I have all the other ingredients on hand, including half a can of leftover pureed pumpkin and soy milk and apple cider vinegar for the buttermilk sub. However, I would like to halve the recipe to yield 1 9″ round cake pan … how would you do this regarding the eggs? Also, by any chance, do you know whether this recipe freezes well?

    I am trying all sorts of varieties of chocolate cakes (not flourless ones) so I can teach my caterer how to bake me a gf wedding cake for ~150 so if you have any other tips regarding gf cake baking, please e-mail me.

  13. Hi Natalie – I am new to gluten-free cooking. Problems with gluten run in my husband’s family and I have decided to keep our 2-yr old son on an mostly gf diet. Before I found the community of gf blogs, I had no idea that gf baking could be yummy! I loved your post on the different flours and am stockpiling (still having trouble finding millet flour!). Anyway, I just made the chocolate pumpkin cake and it’s best cake I’ve made recently, including those with gluten. Thanks for much!!

  14. Kris- I am glad you liked the cake! I also have a two year old. My biggest challenge is snacks for the little guy.

  15. Natalie – my son is a dried fruit addict, so he eats that, fresh fruit, nuts, cheese and lately muffins for snack. I’ve been making these muffins with a few alterations:
    and my son LOVES them.
    Your millet bread is cooking in my breadmaker as I type and I can’t wait to try it!

  16. I am trying to bake Gluten Free recipe. I saw your recipe and all ingredients are awesome and healthy. Can I use premix GF flour instead of first 4 indregients?? Thanks! By the way,who can live without Chocolate(cake)! Yum

  17. [...] Chocolate Pumpkin Cake from Gluten Free Mommy  Print this  • Subscribe •  E-mail this Leave a Comment [...]

  18. I made this cake for a pool party we had yesterday and it was delicious and a big hit but really dense and MUCH too moist! Any suggestions? I know that usually means there’s too much liquid in the cake and not enough flour but I followed the recipe and didn’t foresee any problems. Also, she means it when she says don’t overbeat the frosting. Mine was runny and never hardened, even after putting the cake in the freezer for an hour! :) I think next time I will beat all the other ingredients until well mixed and add the cream cheese in very last just enough to mix is in.

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