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Chocolate Pecan Pumpkin Cake – Just the Thing for Halloween

Chocolate Pecan Pumpkin Cake Slice for Halloween

A delicious light-textured and mousse-like chocolate cake with crunchy pecan pieces and hidden veg. This chocolate pecan pumpkin cake is covered in a rum flavoured cream cheese icing. Halloween decorations are entirely optional.

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 and this chocolate pecan pumpkin cake seemed like a good start. In fact I had no choice; 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.

Chocolate Pecan Pumpkin Cake

Chocolate Pecan Pumpkin Cake

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

Adding coffee to a chocolate cake is a really good way to enhance the chocolate flavour. It’s a trick I often use. Vegetables can also work well in a cake, giving moisture and body. Just think carrot cake. Pumpkin or squash is a particularly good one to use as you can see in this almond and squash cake. I’ve also made any number of beetroot cakes, such as these beetroot & orange brownies, nettle cakes, an kale apple cake and an exceedingly good spinach cake.

Chocolate Pecan Pumpkin Cake Slice

Decorating aside, this chocolate pecan pumpkin cake is really easy to make. It’s just a case of mixing everything together in a pan, then pouring it into a cake tin. The icing is pretty simple to make too. It also feels rather decadent with its tot or two of rum. This can, of course, be left out if children are likely to be around.

The chocolate pecan pumpkin cake was such a success, I shall be making it again for sure. 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.

Keep In Touch

Do let me know if you ever make this chocolate pecan pumpkin cake for Halloween (or any other time). I’d love to see your photos, especially of something a bit more expertly decorated than my own. For more delicious and nutritious recipes, follow me on TwitterFacebook, Instagram or Pinterest.

Chocolate Pecan Pumpkin Cake. PIN IT.

Chocolate Pecan Pumpkin Cakefor Halloween.

Chocolate Pecan Pumpkin Cake – The Recipe

Chocolate Pecan Pumpkin Cake Slice for Halloween
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5 from 1 vote

Chocolate Pecan Pumpkin Cake

A delicious light-textured and mousse-like chocolate cake with crunchy pecan pieces and hidden veg. It's covered in a rum flavoured cream cheese icing. Halloween decorations entirely optional.
Prep Time45 mins
Cook Time55 mins
Total Time1 hr 40 mins
Course: Afternoon Tea
Cuisine: British
Keyword: cake, chocolate, cream cheese, halloween, pecans, pumpkin, rum
Servings: 10 slices


Chocolate Pecan Pumpkin Cake

  • 175 g unsalted butter
  • 225 g dark chocolate I used 72%
  • 275 g  muscovado sugar half dark and half light
  • 3 large eggs I used duck eggs
  • 3 drops of Holy Lama fennel extract optional
  • 275 ml warm coffee
  • 120 g good quality pumpkin or butternut squash - grated
  • 100 g pecans - chopped
  • 250 g flour half wholemeal, half white
  • 3 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp maca powder optional

Rum Cream Cheese Icing

  • 20 g unsalted butter
  • 160 g icing sugar - sifted
  • 50 g cream cheese
  • slug of rum
  • 50 g double cream
  • a little black icing I used some from a ready bought tube
  • chocolate pumpkin faces optional


Chocolate Pecan Pumpkin Cake

  • Melt the butter and chocolate in a large pan over gently heat.
  • Remove from the heat and beat in the sugar, followed by the eggs, followed by the coffee.
  • Stir in the fennel extract if using.
  • Stir in the pumpkin and pecans.
  • Sift in the dry ingredients and stir until just combined.
  • Scrape the mixture into a deep 9" silicone mould or lined tin and bake at 180℃ for 55 mins.
  • Leave to cool for 15 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack to cool completely.

Rum Cream Cheese Icing

  • Melt the butter and mix in some of the icing sugar.
  • Beat in the cream cheese, followed by a little more of the icing sugar.
  • Add the rum along with some more icing sugar and beat again.
  • Add the cream, followed by the rest of the icing sugar and beat until smooth.
  • Place the cake on a stand and spread the icing over the top.
  • Create a spider's web on top with the black icing.
  • Add some chocolate pumpkin faces for good measure.


Finally, I’ve given in and I’ve made a Halloween bake. 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 this chocolate pecan pumpkin cake with its 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.

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

I reckon, this chocolate pecan pumpkin cake is is just right for this month’s Baking with Spirit over at Cake of the Week. It has rum in the icing and pumpkin in the cake; 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.

This scrumptious cake has hidden veg in the form of pumpkin, so I’m sending it off to Extra Veg. This is hosted by Fuss Free Flavours and Utterly Scrummy Food for Families.

Finally, a slice of my chocolate pecan pumpkin cake has got to go to Let’s Cook for Halloween over at Simply Food.


  1. belleau kitchen

    22nd October 2014 at 9:09 am

    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

    • Choclette Blogger

      25th October 2014 at 9:34 am

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

  2. Agata Pokutycka

    22nd October 2014 at 10:06 am

    Wow, you baked yourself one awesome looking cake!
    Share a piece?

  3. Latoyah Egerton

    22nd October 2014 at 10:19 am

    I am literally drooling at this! It has been far too long since I had chocolate!

    • Choclette Blogger

      25th October 2014 at 9:32 am

      Oh no Latoyah, no chocolate? But you are doing really well. Perhaps a reward soon?

  4. Johanna GGG

    22nd October 2014 at 11:35 am

    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

    • Choclette Blogger

      25th October 2014 at 9:31 am

      Yes Johanna, it’s the commercialisation of Halloween I object to – not the festivity itself.

  5. Debi Wayland

    22nd October 2014 at 4:33 pm

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

  6. Laura Denman

    22nd October 2014 at 5:52 pm

    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 =)

  7. Janice Pattie

    22nd October 2014 at 7:43 pm

    Lovely looking cake and I think your spider pattern is looking good!

    • Choclette Blogger

      25th October 2014 at 9:29 am

      Thanks Janice, that’s a very kind interpretation 😉

  8. Katie

    23rd October 2014 at 5:32 am

    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

    • Choclette Blogger

      25th October 2014 at 9:28 am

      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 …

  9. Corina

    23rd October 2014 at 8:41 am

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

    • Choclette Blogger

      25th October 2014 at 9:27 am

      Thanks Corina – it must be the year for Halloween cakes 🙂

  10. Bintu @ Recipes From A Pantry

    23rd October 2014 at 10:41 am

    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.

    • Choclette Blogger

      25th October 2014 at 9:26 am

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

  11. Dannii @ Hungry Healthy Happy

    23rd October 2014 at 2:57 pm

    Great recipe 🙂 I love how it is decorated too!

  12. Katharine

    23rd October 2014 at 5:14 pm

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

    • Choclette Blogger

      25th October 2014 at 9:24 am

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

  13. Janine

    23rd October 2014 at 8:27 pm

    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.

    • Choclette Blogger

      25th October 2014 at 9:23 am

      The icing was a real winner Janine and twas the rum that made it.

  14. Nayna Kanabar

    23rd October 2014 at 8:31 pm

    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.

  15. Jennifer Ferris

    24th October 2014 at 2:05 am

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

  16. Baking Addict

    24th October 2014 at 6:48 pm

    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!!

    • Choclette Blogger

      25th October 2014 at 9:21 am

      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 😉

  17. Lizzy (Good Things)

    25th October 2014 at 4:31 am

    Hi there… we don’t tend to celebrate Halloween, but I do love the look of your cake!

    • Choclette Blogger

      25th October 2014 at 9:19 am

      Thanks Lizzy. Well actually we don’t either – Bonfire Night is more of a British thing.

  18. glutenfreealchemist

    25th October 2014 at 6:05 pm

    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!!!

    • Choclette Blogger

      27th October 2014 at 4:13 pm

      Ah yes, it’s the slug of rum that really does it 😉

  19. Angie Schneider

    26th October 2014 at 9:01 am

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

    • Choclette Blogger

      27th October 2014 at 4:13 pm

      Can’t say as I’ve ever celebrated it before either Angie, but any excuse for a good cake 🙂

  20. Jean |

    26th October 2014 at 1:15 pm

    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! 😀

  21. The Caked Crusader

    26th October 2014 at 3:57 pm

    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!

  22. Galina Varese

    26th October 2014 at 4:26 pm

    Gorgeous cake, so festive and pretty! Send me a slice!

  23. Kate@whatkatebaked

    26th October 2014 at 6:15 pm

    Those flavours sound just…wow! A delicious (whisper it…halloween) treat of a cake Choclette!

  24. Alison

    27th October 2014 at 2:33 pm

    That looks so pretty and the flavours sound gorgeous

  25. Hannah Hearsey

    29th October 2014 at 8:44 am

    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 🙂

    • Choclette Blogger

      30th October 2014 at 9:03 am

      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.

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  27. Lucy @ BakingQueen74

    11th October 2015 at 9:47 pm

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

    • Choclette

      12th October 2015 at 8:32 am

      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 😉

  28. kate @veggie desserts

    26th October 2015 at 2:40 pm

    This sounds lovely! What a great combination of flavours. Perfect for Halloween.

    • Choclette

      26th October 2015 at 6:04 pm

      Thanks very much Kate. I do remember it as being a very nice cake.

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