A supremely decadent and show-stopping dessert! This Layered Chocolate Pumpkin Cake is perfect for fall holidays and parties or all year long! Chocolate and pumpkin team up to make a delicious treat – a delicious, mouth-watering pumpkin chocolate cake recipe!
The Best Chocolate Pumpkin Cake Recipe
If you know me, you know I am a die-hard chocoholic. I think every birthday of my entire life I have requested some form of chocolate cake for my birthday.
Well, my birthday is in November, so this year I have a new request…
Chocolate cake made with pumpkin frosting!!
I mean, take a look at this cake!! Isn’t it incredible looking?!
Layers upon layers of rich chocolate cake filled with luscious pumpkin cream cheese icing. Rich, decadent, full of chocolate, and LOTS of frosting…just the way I like my cakes!
There are a lot of pumpkin recipes out there, especially this time of year. However, in my humble opinion this is the BEST chocolate pumpkin cake recipe because it is all from-scratch, but easy enough for a novice baker.
And the frosting doesn’t have to look perfect – no fancy techniques here! I like my cakes to look like they are just waiting for you to dig right in, instead of like they belong in a display case.
So my fellow chocolate lovers, let’s get started on our beautiful and delicious chocolate pumpkin cake made from scratch!
Related: For one of my all-time favorite chocolate cake recipes, check out this Chocolate Mayonnaise Cake. Yep, mayo!!
One more thing…I always list the calories in my recipe cards. This should come as no surprise, but this chocolate pumpkin cake is not a low calorie treat.
But when you’re enjoying the best chocolate pumpkin cake ever and it makes you feel happy all over, the calories don’t count right?! At least that’s what I tell myself!
Layered Chocolate Pumpkin Cake Ingredients
For your convenience in re-creating our chocolate pumpkin cake, I’ve provided shop-able ad links to some of the products used; disclosure policy available here.
For the Cake:
- 4 cups granulated sugar
- 2 cups vegetable oil
- 8 eggs
- 4 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 6 cups all-purpose flour (we used organic unbleached)
- 2/3 cup cocoa powder (This is our favorite cocoa powder!! It’s a little pricey, but if you buy in bulk you can use it for all your chocolate recipes)
- 3 cups hot water
- 4 teaspoons baking powder
- 2 teaspoon baking soda
For the Filling:
- 16 ounces cream cheese, softened to room temperature
- 15 ounce can pumpkin puree
- 5 cups powdered sugar
- ½ cup heavy whipping cream
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- ½ teaspoon ground cloves
Chocolate Pumpkin Cake Made from Scratch
Keep reading for step-by-step photo directions to make this easy chocolate pumpkin cake. A free printable copy of the recipe is available at the bottom of the post.
To make the Cake:
First, preheat your oven to 350°F and prepare your cake pans – 8″ round pans. If you have 6 pans, you can prep them all – otherwise you can make the cakes in shifts. Spray the pans with non-stick cooking spray and line the bottom of each pan with a circle of parchment paper.
Mix wet ingredients first, then add the dry ingredients and stir to combine until just mixed but smooth. Do not overmix.
TIP: For an extra-decadent twist, add in a cup of chocolate chips to make the best pumpkin chocolate chip cake you’ve ever seen in your life!
Divide batter evenly between the six cake pans and bake for 25-30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the middle of the cake comes out clean.
If you have only 2-3 baking pans, don’t worry! You can bake the cakes in shifts and re-use the pans.
Set cake aside to let it cool in the pans for 30 minutes to an hour, and then drag a knife along the outside of the cake to make sure it isn’t sticking to the pan at all before removing the cake from the pan.
Level the cakes using a leveler to remove the curved top.
TIP: Save your extra chocolate cake scraps to make another recipe like cake pops or cake truffles!
To make the Pumpkin Cream Cheese Frosting:
Using an electric mixer, whip the cream cheese until smooth. Slowly add in the powdered sugar and blend until all the sugar is incorporated.
Mix in the pumpkin and heavy cream.
To Assemble the Cake:
Place one of the cake layers top side down on a serving plate or cake stand. Add about 1/6 of the frosting to the top, and spread it evenly over the cake.
Repeat this process with the remaining cake layers and frosting.
If some of the frosting spills out the sides, that is a good thing! Use a spatula to smooth that extra frosting to coat the sides of the cake.
If you’re feeling creative, you can decorate the top of the cake with chopped pecans, chocolate shavings, etc. Have fun with it!
And then the best part…cutting a big slice to enjoy!
More of our favorite pumpkin recipes:
- Pumpkin French Toast
- Pumpkin Pie Spice Muddy Buddies
- Gluten Free Starbucks Pumpkin Loaf
- Caramel Pumpkin Poke Cake
- Fluffy Pumpkin Cookies with Cream Cheese Icing
- Chocolate Pumpkin Spice Truffles
- Pumpkin Pie Bread Pudding
- Gluten Free Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Mini Muffins
- Greek Yogurt Pumpkin Parfait
- Pumpkin Pie Cupcakes
Pumpkin Chocolate Cake Recipe (Printable Copy)
If you like this recipe, please rate it! We’d also love to hear your thoughts in the comments below.
Layered Chocolate Pumpkin Cake
For the Cake
- 4 Cups Granulated Sugar
- 2 Cups Vegetable Oil
- 8 Eggs
- 4 tsp Vanilla Extract
- 6 Cups All-Purpose Flour
- 2/3 Cup Cocoa Powder
- 3 Cups Hot Water
- 4 tsp Baking Powder
- 2 tsp Baking Soda
For the Frosting
- 16 oz Cream Cheese softened, room temperature
- 15 oz Pumpkin Puree
- 5 Cups Powdered Sugar
- 1/2 Cup Heavy Whipping Cream
- 1 tsp Vanilla
- 2 tsp Ground Cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp Ground Nutmeg
- 1/2 tsp Ground Cloves
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Spray 6 8-inch round cake pans with non-stick cooking spray and line the bottom of each pan with a circle of parchment paper.
- Mix wet ingredients and then add all the dry ingredients and stir to combine until just mixed but smooth. Do not overmix.
- Divide batter evenly between the six cake pans and bake for 25-30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the middle of the cake comes out clean.
- Set cake aside to let it cool in the pans for 30 minutes to an hour, and then drag a knife along the outside of the cake to make sure it isn’t sticking to the pan at all before removing the cake from the pan.
- Level the cakes using a leveler to remove the curved top. Toss top, or use in another recipe like cake pops or cake truffles.
- Using a hand-held mixer, whip the cream cheese until smooth.
- Slowly add in the powdered sugar and blend until all the sugar is incorporated.
- Add in the pumpkin and heavy cream and blend with a mixer.
- Reserve a small amount of icing/filling if you want to decorate the top of the cake with an icing bag.
- To assemble the cake, start with one of the layers top side down on a cake plate.
- Add 1/6 of the filling to the top, and spread it evenly over the cake.
- Repeat this process with the remaining cake layers and the filling.
- Scrape the filling along the outside of the cake to lightly frost it.
- Decorate the top of the cake if desired.
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More of our favorite pumpkin treats: