Chocolate Pecan Pumpkin Cake for Halloween

Halloween Cake

5 Star, Large Cakes | 22nd October 2014 | By

For years I’ve raged against the invasion of the very American Halloween and associated trick or treating; in the UK, we have All Hallows Eve, from which Halloween is derived. Just five days later we have our very own Guy Fawkes Night, with its pagan effigy burning associations – OK Guy Fawkes was a catholic, but never mind. Well, finally I’ve come to the conclusion that if you can’t beat them you’d better join them! In fact I had no choice as this month’s We Should Cocoa theme is Halloween.

For Random Recipes this month, Dom has tasked us with picking a recipe from the internet. His suggestion was to type a theme into the search box and then pick a recipe randomly from the first ten that appear. I was game. To bag several challenges in one, I searched for chocolate and pumpkin, thereby getting We Should Cocoa in as well as Tea Time Treats which has vegetables as this month’s theme.  The recipe that popped up was Dan Lepard’s pumpkin chocolate mud cake – perfect.

Pumpkin Halloween Cake

It’s been a while since I made a Dan Lepard recipe, or should I say tinkered with one. I did of course change things around just a little by replacing vanilla with fennel, adding coffee to the mix and changing the quantities. I included some maca powder as I often do, just so I can tell myself the cake is good for me. I also added cream cheese to the icing to give it a bit more character and make it less sweet and sickly.

This is how I made:

Chocolate Pecan Pumpkin Cake

  • Melted 175g unsalted butter and 225g of dark chocolate (72%) in a large pan over gently heat.
  • Removed from the heat and beat in 275g sugar (half dark and half light).
  • Beat in three duck eggs (can be replaced with large hens eggs).
  • Stirred in 3 drops of Holy Lama fennel extract.
  • Beat in 275ml warm coffee.
  • Grated 120g butternut squash (the only pumpkin I could get) and stirred this in together with 100g chopped pecans.
  • Sifted in 250g flour (half wholemeal, half white), 3 tsp baking powder and 1 tsp maca powder.
  • Stirred until just combined then scraped the mixture into a deep 9″ silicone mould and baked at 180℃ for 55 mins.
  • Left to cool for 15 mins, then turned out onto a wire rack to cool completely.
  • Melted 20g unsalted butter.
  • Mixed into some of the 160g icing sugar.
  • Beat in 50g cream cheese, followed by a little more of the icing sugar.
  • Added a slug of rum and mixed in with some more icing sugar.
  • Added 50g double cream, followed by the rest of the icing sugar and beat until smooth.
  • Placed the cake on a stand and spread the icing over the top.
  • Attempted to create a spider’s web on top with some ready bought black icing I happened to have acquired. 
  • Added some chocolate pumpkin faces for good measure.
Pumpkin Halloween Cake

The cake was such a success, I shall be making this one again. It was soft, light and mousse like with a welcome crunch from the pecans and the fennel note gave an intriguing, “what is this?” It wasn’t overly sweet, which is good because the icing was. The rum icing may have been sweet, but it was nonetheless delicious and complemented the cake well. An added bonus was that it lasted well over a week and was just as good at the end as at the beginning.


Finally giving in, I have made a Halloween bake  and it’s all down to the devilish Hannah over at Honey & Dough, who is guest hosting We Should Cocoa this month.

Random Recipes was the driving force behind the bake with the theme of something sweet  randomly selected from the internet. This is a splendid monthly challenge from Dom over at Belleau Kitchen where we never quite know what recipe we will land up with next.

Ensuring I would get a recipe containing pumpkin meant I could also send this off to Karen over at Lavender and Lovage for her Tea Time Treats, where the theme is vegetables this month. This monthly challenge is co-hosted by Jane over at The Hedge Combers.

With rum in the icing and squash in the pumpkin in the cake, I reckon this is just right for this month’s Baking with Spirit over at Cake of the Week where the theme is autumnal.


Love Cake over at JibberJabberUK is also all about the dark side this month, so I am sending this Ness’s way.


Extra Veg LogoWith hidden veg in the form of pumpkin, I’m sending this off to Extra Veg. Normally hosted over at Fuss Free Flavours and Utterly Scrummy Food for Families, it’s being guest hosted this month by Emily over at A Mummy Too.


And a slice has got to Let’s Cook for Halloween over at Simply Food.



  1. Leave a Reply

    belleau kitchen
    22nd October 2014

    well, three in one, you met be thrilled!… it looks like a fab cake and has a nice spooky edge to it too… I’ve always loved Halloween as a concept… not the horrid Americanization of it but as the celebration of all things spooky plus it’s such a great looking festival and you can get away with a bit of orange and black which is always a treat!… thanks so much for entering random recipe this month xx

    • Leave a Reply

      Choclette Blogger
      25th October 2014

      Haha Dom, you’ve outdone me on the spooky orange and black this year – well not so much spooky as ghastly!

  2. Leave a Reply

    Johanna GGG
    22nd October 2014

    such a pretty cake and sounds delicious – I am with you on Halloween – I quite like some of the day of the dead celebrations which seem less commercial but I suspect they are just catching up with halloween

  3. Leave a Reply

    Debi Wayland
    22nd October 2014

    This cake look yummy! I love all the flavors you have going on in here. And, I love Halloween! so this is perfect!

  4. Leave a Reply

    Laura Denman
    22nd October 2014

    I cannot make my mind up with pumpkin cakes but this is one which would sway me I think. Chocolate AND pecans. I’m there =)

  5. Leave a Reply

    23rd October 2014

    What a great recipe and I love your twists to it. You can’t go wrong with Dan as a base recipe. Looks delicious. Love the decoration too, half Halloween, half xmas-like

    • Leave a Reply

      Choclette Blogger
      25th October 2014

      Yes Katie, Dan is great and I haven’t made anything of his for ages. Hadn’t thought of this as an Xmas cake, but not you come to mention it …

  6. Leave a Reply

    23rd October 2014

    It looks delicious and I especially love the sound of the icing – I’ve also made my very first Halloween cake this year too!

  7. Leave a Reply

    Bintu @ Recipes From A Pantry
    23rd October 2014

    I don’t mind holidays coming over as it gives us more things to celebrate. Now I just need to learn how to bake more treats for said holidays starting with some from your blog.

    • Leave a Reply

      Choclette Blogger
      25th October 2014

      True Bintu, it’s always good to have an excuse to celebrate. And I’d love you to make some of my recipes 🙂

  8. Leave a Reply

    23rd October 2014

    I love cakes made with pumpkin and this one is amazing! The rum icing is a perfect way to finish it off – sounds wonderful.

    • Leave a Reply

      Choclette Blogger
      25th October 2014

      Thanks Katherine. I agree, pumpkin works really well in cakes. Just wish we’d managed to grow some this year.

  9. Leave a Reply

    23rd October 2014

    Thanks for entering Baking With Spirit! The cake looks great, and I love the sound of that flavour combination. Rum in the icing sounds like a winner.

  10. Leave a Reply

    Nayna Kanabar
    23rd October 2014

    This looks super tasty and delicious , its the perfect entry for Lets cook for halloween event at my blog, inviting you to link the recipe.

  11. Leave a Reply

    Jennifer Ferris
    24th October 2014

    I love everything you did with this and would never have thought to put fennel in a cake! Well done.

  12. Leave a Reply

    Baking Addict
    24th October 2014

    Lovely cake for Halloween. The flavour combination sounds interesting and it clearly works well together. Beautiful decoration and well done as always on all those blogging challenges. Shame AlphaBakes was not P or H this month!!

    • Leave a Reply

      Choclette Blogger
      25th October 2014

      Thanks Ros, I was wondering if I could get away with rum Icing, but thought probably not!

      I haven’t done too well on the challenges this month – Chocolate Week got in the way 😉

  13. Leave a Reply

    25th October 2014

    Yum yum yum! What a rich, moist, chocolatey cake. I could happily sit and eat my way through this one….. Love the ‘slug of rum’ addition!!!

  14. Leave a Reply

    Angie Schneider
    26th October 2014

    This looks spooky and fun! I have never celebrated Halloween, but love to see all gorgeous treats that associated with the festival.
    Happy Sunday!

  15. Leave a Reply

    Jean |
    26th October 2014

    Choclette, keep raging against the invasion of American customs (and fast food chains!). Of course, this is coming from a person who creates a little corner of England in her US home! 😀

  16. Leave a Reply

    The Caked Crusader
    26th October 2014

    Halloween was stolen from the pagans too – it’s the festival of Samhain where the portal between our world and the ‘other side’ opens and all the spirits can roam into our world. I celebrate Samhain, but not the commercialised Halloween!

  17. Leave a Reply

    Hannah Hearsey
    29th October 2014

    Sorry I forced you into Halloween this year, I much prefer Guy Fawkes night mainly because of toffee apples and chilli spiked hot chocolate! Pecan and pumpkin sound like perfect partners and your cake looks gorgeous! Intrigued by the fennel extract 🙂

    • Leave a Reply

      Choclette Blogger
      30th October 2014

      Haha Hannah, it’s good to get out of your comfort zone from time to time. I am so having a chilli spiked hot chocolate on Guy Fawkes night now – splendid idea. Thank you for hosting, there were some splendid entries.

  18. Leave a Reply

    Lucy @ BakingQueen74
    11th October 2015

    Your cake looks gorgeous and I am also very impressed you managed to get a recipe to fit in with so many challenges! 😉

    • Leave a Reply

      12th October 2015

      Thanks Lucy. There was a time when we were all trying to get into as many challenges as we could. I think I held the record at one point 😉

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