October is the time to have some spooky fun with your baking. I made a tamer pumpkin recipe last year (delicious, don’t get me wrong) but this year I knew I wanted to up the ante a bit. I started strong with my Pumpkin Espresso Hazelnut Fudge last month… and when I saw a mini skull cake pan I knew I had to have it, and started planning some chocolate-y pumpkin shenanigans on the spot. The result turned out well! Even though it doesn’t taste anything like store-bought pumpkin bread, it’s wonderfully dense, incredibly moist, and the flavor is everything you could want in an autumnal spice bread. These Chocolate Pumpkin Cake Skulls are bit sweet, but not cloyingly so, and the spices add a wonderful warmth to balance the bite of the dark chocolate.
If you’re not in possession of a mini skull cake pan (and I assume 99% of you aren’t), I encourage you to give this Chocolate Pumpkin Cake a try in a regular round spring-form pan or square cake pan. I haven’t experimented with that yet, but the batter isn’t finicky. Just watch the cook time in the last quarter of an hour but it’s so moist that it’s hard to imagine being able to overcook it.
Lastly, careful to buy simple pureed pumpkin rather than canned pumpkin pie filling; you know, the stuff doctored up with sugar and spices and ingredients with a lot of letters. Or you can make your own from (gasp) a real pumpkin!
- Preheat oven to 350° F. Grease a skull cake pan with coconut oil and set aside.
- Whisk the eggs, maple syrup, coconut oil, and pumpkin in a medium bowl until smooth.
- In a separate medium bowl, combine the almond meal, cream of tarter, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, and allspice.
- Slowly pour the almond mixture into the pumpkin mixture and whisk until smooth. Melt the chocolate in 30-second bursts in the microwave (stirring between each) or in a double-boiler over hot water. Drizzle the chocolate over the surface of the pumpkin batter.
- Pour the chocolate pumpkin cake batter into the greased pan.
- Bake for 60 minutes or browned and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
- Cool the cakes in the pan for 15 minutes, then invert onto a serving plate.