Let me tell you a little bit about my journey with this cake. You can call it The Adventures of Melanie and the Chocolate Chunk Pumpkin Cake. Really though, read on because there are important life (maybe just baking) lessons to take away… and you get a piece of cake at the end.
My mom has a shared google file of hundreds of recipes she collects (her own, friends, online, even from magazines she’s read in the waiting room of the dentist’s office) so I go through it every now and again and I found this recipe gem. I knew this was definitely happening this fall. Well, yesterday the weatherman got it wrong and it was randomly sunny (aka good picture day) so I all of a sudden decided to quickly throw this cake together and take pictures before Mr. Golden Sun went away. The end product turned out beautifully and so yummy but in my efforts to do things speedy, I ran into a few speed bumps reminding me that baking cannot be rushed. So here’s what happened:
In my mad rush to pop this in the oven I almost forgot the sugar. Can you imagine a cake without sugar?! Sorry to even make you do that but yeah, it wouldn’t be a cake at all. Eww. So, I was going in for a taste of the batter before mixing in the chocolate chips and found it wasn’t sweet at all! My Pumpkin Bread tasted sweeter! Well I’m just grateful I discovered it then and not after baking because it’s unfixable at that point.
This little experience reminded me of this past season’s Master Chef (my husband and I love that show!) and one of the contestants accidentally put salt instead of sugar in his cake. Yikes! …And he got kicked off.
Lesson to be learned: Always sample your food before serving and even during the cooking/baking process if possible (don’t eat raw meat. K?). Or just take your time and get things right the first time. 🙂
Next hiccup was when I was taking the cake out of the pan (caused by my negligence in the beginning to thoroughly grease the pan) and only half of it came out. I almost cried, decided to give up, and started to munch on some crumbs with Carly… but then something in me said “Girl! You can save this!” So I did! I wish I had taken a picture of it because it was quite a save too! About one third of the top of the cake was stuck to the pan so I gently loosened the edges of the stuck piece using a rubber spatula and inverted the pan over the part of the cake that was missing a very large chunk. After some puzzle piecing it looked as good as new and with the caramel sauce there was no way you could tell. Good save huh? Bet you didn’t even notice!?
Lesson to be learned: grease you pan VERY well. Do NOT use cooking spray. You need to either grease with shortening and then flour the pan OR you can use the miracle working baking goop which is just a mixture of equal parts oil, shortening, and flour that you then thoroughly brush the pan with getting in every nook and cranny (I’ll make a post about it). If you pop the cake out after just 10 minutes of cooling it will fall out perfectly (don’t wait longer!).
So when you make your own beautiful intact bundt cake (sugar included), spoon on the the molasses caramel sauce, slice it, top it with the amazing molasses homemade whipped cream, dust with pumpkin spice (I forgot to do that in the beginning… oops!),indulge… and then share.
Chocolate Chunk Pumpkin Cake
For the Cake:
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 1/4 cups granulated sugar
- 3/4 cup brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice
- 1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 6 ounces semisweet chocolate cut into chunks about 1 1/2 cups
- 1 15 ounce can pumpkin
- 3/4 cup canola oil
- 6 eggs beaten
For the Caramel Sauce:
- 1/4 cup 1/2 stick butter
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 1/4 cup dark Karo syrup
- 2 tablespoons molasses
For the Cream:
- 1 cup heavy whipping cream
- 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
- 2 teaspoons molasses
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and grease and flour a bundt pan VERY well. (Instead, I suggest making a smooth mixture of equal parts of oil, shortening, and flour and then brush that on.)
In a small bowl, combine 1/4 cup of the flour with the chocolate and set aside.
In a large bowl, mix together the remaining flour, sugars, pumpkin pie spice, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Make a well and set aside.
In a medium mixing bowl, combine all the wet ingredients: pumpkin, oil, and eggs. Add to the dry ingredients and mix until combined. Add the flour coated chocolate and stir until just combined. Pour into pan and bake for 60-70 minutes until toothpick comes out clean (mine took 70). Let it cool for 10 minutes before removing from pan. Allow it to cool 30 more minutes before applying the sauce.
Make the caramel sauce about 20 minutes after remove the cake from the pan. In a small pan, bring caramel sauce ingredients to a simmer until it begins to thicken (about 3 minutes). Remove from heat and let it sit for 5 minutes. Spoon over cake. Let cake cook completely before slicing.
Combine cream ingredients in a mixing bowl and beat with an electric mixer until it forms stiff peaks. Spoon or pipe onto pieces of cake and sprinkle with pumpkin pie spice. Serve.
Recipe Source: Tastebook via my mom’s ginormous recipe file. 🙂