This chocolate-pumpkin marble pound cake is one of the mainstays of the dessert table at our annual Halloween open house. I developed it for Sunset magazine years ago and have since seen it floating around Pinterest, so I thought it was time to give it a new look!
It's a big, dramatic cake, and it feeds a crowd. Make sure your pan will hold 12 cups of batter—if you're not sure, you can measure your pan's capacity with water first. And if you want to skip the glaze, you can sift a little powdered sugar over the top of the cooled cake.
Chocolate-Pumpkin Marble Pound Cake
Meaure and set out everything for your two batters before you start, and then this cake will come together easily.
for the pumpkin batter
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 cup sugar
2 large eggs
1 cup pumpkin purée
1 tablespoon vanilla
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup buttermilk
for the chocolate batter
3/4 cup butter (1 1/2 sticks), softened
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla
1 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 cup Dutch-processed cocoa
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup buttermilk
for the glaze
4 ounces chopped semisweet chocolate
1/2 cup whipping cream
1 tablespoon corn syrup
Preheat oven to 350°. Butter and lightly flour a 12-cup bundt or tube cake pan
To make the pumpkin batter, beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in the pumpkin and vanilla until well blended.
In a small bowl, stir together the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, and salt. Stir the flour mixture and buttermilk into the pumpkin mixture just until blended. Set aside.
To make the chocolate batter, beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in the vanilla.
In a small bowl, sift together the flour, cocoa, baking powder, and salt. Stir the flour mixture into the butter mixture alternately with the buttermilk (starting and ending with the flour mixture), mixing after each addition just until blended.
Spoon the two batters alternately into the pan. There’s no real formula here—just play around with it, and use big dolllops so that the two colors are distinct in the finished cake. Then gently run the blade of a butter knife around the pan several times to swirl the batters.
Bake the cake until a skewer inserted into the center comes out with a few moist crumbs attached, 55 to 70 minutes. Let cake cool for 10 minutes in pan, then invert it onto a platter and cool completely.
While cake cools, place chopped chocolate and corn syrup in a small bowl. Bring the cream to a simmer and pour it over the chocolate. Let stand 1 minute, then stir until the mixture is evenly melted and smooth. Let the glaze cool until it thickly coats a spoon but is still pourable, about 5 minutes.
Spoon the glaze over the cake, letting it drip down the sides. Let stand until glaze is set, about 2 hours.
Makes 16 to 20 servings