Chocolate Harvest Cake is a dessert to consider for fall holidays and celebrations!
I first baked this cake back in 2008. You can see the (not very good) photo I took of it back then if you scroll to the end of this post. My lack of photography skills back then didn’t have any affect on how good this cake was. This many years later, it was time to give the cake its due justice and re-shoot. I think it looks much better now!
The recipe originally appeared in an older issue of Better Homes and Gardens magazine. It intrigued me, so for me it was a must-try. I’m glad I did. I’ve been baking this fall-themed cake for various celebrations over the years, and it’s always a big hit.
How to make Chocolate Harvest Cake:
You’ll be baking two layers of chocolate cake. No boxed mix here– this is homemade chocolate cake! A simple pumpkin-cream cheese filling is spread on top of the first layer of cake.
The second layer of cake is placed on top of the pumpkin filling.
This cake is what is commonly referred to as a “naked cake.” That means it won’t be completely covered in frosting. Instead, a simple chocolate glaze is drizzled on top and will ooze down the sides. I love that about this cake because it allows everyone to see the beauty of the cake and the filling.
If you’re wary of putting chocolate and pumpkin together, don’t be. There is only 1/3 cup of pumpkin puree in the creamy filling. So there’s a hint of pumpkin flavor, but it’s not overwhelming. And I love the color it provides– giving this cake the perfect fall color vibe.
Servings of this Chocolate Harvest Cake will satisfy everyone’s chocolate craving. The cake is delicious, and that glaze on the top adds another layer of fabulous. The filling in the middle is a sweet bonus.
You can leave it plain on top, or you can add some sort of garnish. I chose to add fresh raspberries and almonds. You could also use different berries, toasted hazelnuts or orange peel. Or be creative!
Here are a few more fall dessert recipes you might like to try:
- Pumpkin Gingerbread Trifle
- Apple Cake with Hot Caramel Rum Sauce
- Pumpkin Sheet Cake
- Fresh Apple Cake
- Pumpkin Cheesecake Cake
- Classic Double Crust Apple Pie
- Pumpkin Delight
- Caramel Apple Cheesecake Cake
Chocolate Harvest Cake
- 1 cup buttermilk
- 1 cup water
- 2/3 cup canola or vegetable oil
- 2 cups granulated white sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 cups all purpose flour
- 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
PUMPKIN CREAM FILLING:
- One 8-ounce package cream cheese, at room temperature
- 1/3 cup unsweetened pumpkin puree
- 1/4 cup granulated white sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 cup whipping cream
- 4 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped
- seedless red grapes, whole blackberries or raspberries, toasted hazelnuts, shredded orange peel (as desired)
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease and flour two 9-inch round baking pans; set aside.
PREPARE THE CAKE:
- In a large bowl combine the buttermilk, water, oil, sugar, eggs, baking soda, and salt. Whisk until well combined. Add the flour and cocoa powder; whisk vigorously until smooth. Divide the batter between the prepared pans.
- Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, or until the top springs back when lightly touched in the center. Cool in pans on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Remove from pans and cool completely.
PREPARE THE FILLING:
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the cream cheese, pumpkin, sugar, and cinnamon until thickened. Place one cake layer on plate. Spread the filling over the top. Top with the second cake layer.
MAKE THE GLAZE:
- In a saucepan bring the whipping cream just to boiling over medium-high heat. Remove from heat. Add the chocolate (do not stir). Let stand 5 minutes. Then stir until smooth. Cool 15 minutes or until slightly thickened. Pour over the top of the cake, allowing the glaze to drip down the sides. Chill until set, about 30 minutes. Top with desired toppers.
- TIP: When you flour the pans, mix the flour with a little bit of cocoa powder. This will help your cake to not have white flour residue.