Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Chocolate & Pumpkin Squares

Trick or treat! Well, now that I've been decorating the apartment with pumpkins and little ghosts for Halloween, I thought it was about time I baked something for the holiday. Normally I would never even think about Halloween until the day before it, let alone really do anything for it but here in the States, its quite the contagious holiday.

I was really happy the way these little cake bars came out. The chocolate pumpkin cake is extremely moist and has a lovely crumb, yet holds its shape perfectly when cut into squares. Your taste buds will really pick out the bold pumpkin and chocolate flavors and the aroma of these with the spices added are heavenly.

The frosting is just a simple buttercream with a pinch of spice to compliment the cake flavors and the chocolate drizzle on top brings back the boldness that is current in the cake, balancing out the layers and bringing all the flavors together.

I will gladly make these again in a few weeks for Halloween.

Chocolate & Pumpkin Squares:
makes 9 (3x3") squares

For the cake:
  • 3/4 cup + 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 5 tablespoons butter (softened)
  • 1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup pumpkin puree
  • 2 tablespoons buttermilk
  • 3 drops black food coloring

Pre-heat oven at 350F.

In a medium sized bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cocoa powder and pumpkin pie spice. Set aside.

In a larger bowl cream together the brown sugar and butter with an electric whisk until light and fluffy.

Add the vanilla extract and eggs and continue to beat.

Fold in the pumpkin puree and buttermilk.

Add the black food coloring and whisk just until the color has evenly combined.

Pour into a 9" square cake tin and bake at 350F for 35 mins.

Allow to cool fully.

For the frosting:
  • 3 tablespoons butter (softened slightly)
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • 3/4 cup powdered sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 20 drops orange food coloring
Add the softened butter to a bowl and whisk constantly while slowly adding half of the powdered sugar.

Add the milk and whisk.

Then continue to whisk while slowly adding the rest of the powdered sugar.

Finally whisk in the vanilla extract, pumpkin pie spice and orange food coloring until well combined.

When the cake is completely cool, begin to spread the frosting, covering the top of the cake smoothly. Place the cake in the refrigerator while making the drizzle.

For the chocolate drizzle:
  • 3 tablespoons bittersweet chocolate chips
  • 3 teaspoons heavy cream
  • 1/2 teaspoon butter
  • 1/4 teaspoon cocoa powder

Add the chocolate chips, heavy cream, butter and cocoa powder to a saucepan and heat
on a very low heat, whisking constantly until it has all completely melted and come together.

Pour into a piping bag and drizzle the chocolate over the cake.

Refrigerate the cake for at least an house before cutting into 3x3 inch squares.


  1. Your squares look awesome - I wish we celebrated Halloween in Australia, just the themed baking alone would be fun.

  2. Hi,
    First time to ur blog.Have to agree....awesome squares...feel like grabbing one !!

  3. oh wow these are awesome great job girl

  4. Colourful, vibrant and very well done! What a great way to use all that pumkin (when I buy a couple for Halloween, rather than the canned type, I seem to always run out of inspiration to use the never ending supply!)

    Thanks for sharing!

  5. These look fabulous, and are making me very homesick for the US at this time of year!

  6. These look fabulous, and are making me very homesick for the US at this time of year!

  7. I'm not a big fan of pumkins, but this one looks just.. WOW! And the pictures are amazing!

  8. oh darling! these look really ah!mazing! I can't stop looking at them ... I'm about to bite the screen of my computer ... can you send me one pretty please? ;)

  9. How beautiful! You outdid yourself! I love the spiderwebs on top.

  10. Gorgeous! I'm definitely going to try this recipe. They look so yummy.

  11. Oh I love these! Never got the chance to work w/ black food coloring.

  12. Beautiful! I love the striking contrast of the cake and icing colors. And you can't go wrong with chocolate in anything. :)

  13. I love how this dessert just jumps out at you! It makes me want to put on a costume, put on "Monster Mash," and throw a Halloween party complete with punch and these orange squares!

  14. Those are beautiful, and so perfect for Halloween!

  15. These look and sound amazing! Perfect for Halloween!

  16. Well aren't those adorable? You are getting me in the Halloween frame of mind!

  17. They look delicious. I am so challenged when it comes to perfect cuts like that!!

  18. You saved only one slice of this for me? Well, I must settle for that. It looks fantastic, moist, chocolaty and flavorful and I'd really love to taste the chocolate + pumpkin together. Wow! Yum! Thanks for the slice! I love the dark drizzle against the orange!

  19. Thanks,wow u r also superb,excellent good job.

  20. Very cute! This would get my in the Halloween mood for sure!

  21. The chocolate and pumpkin squares look delicious! What a perfect autumn treat!

  22. Thanks for stopping by my blog! You're right, Halloween does seem to be a contageous holiday! ;) Chocolate and pumpkin is one of my favorite flavor combinations. Theses squares sound delicious and looks so cute and festive!

  23. That is strikingly beautiful!

    I am giving you an award check it out at http://eaturl.info/icpe

  24. Stumbled on your blog...and what do I see? A great dessert idea for Halloween. That looks delicious!

  25. This cake looks amazing :) Kudos to your effort and creativity :) btw, great photos - very helpful and nice to look at.

  26. Great job on cutting them into perfect squares! And your drizzle job? Can we say perfect? Yeah, that sums it up they look perfect!

  27. These sound great! I made sure to bookmark them.

  28. I love how your squares are decorated with the pumpkin orange frosting and the chocolate drizzle.

  29. These are beautifully decorated! You should submit this recipe to Recipe4Living.com! :)

  30. YUM! These look so perfect and sound so delicious! I love Halloween themed desserts and treats!

  31. Wow, these are amazing! I love your blog! You should get a book deal :)

  32. I've never seen such festive brownies. They look wonderful!

  33. Now this just speaks fall weather. How perfect pumpkin and chocolate!

  34. You have some very creative recipes! I never know what to do with pumpkin and since I am committed to making lantens for Halloween I will need a few recipes to use up the flesh, thanks!

  35. What a great simple design that looks fantastic, even better when cut!

  36. These are so gorgeous! I am loving the dark cake with the bright orange frosting. And, they sound superbly delicious!

  37. These look yummy!

  38. These just look so awesome!! I love how you used the pumpkin!

  39. hi!,
    amazing work!. First time here for me. But i was so hooked and went through all ur post!. Now i know i will be here often!. The pumpkin squares look beautiful. Ur demonstrations makes it look so simple that i am tempted to try it!.

  40. Not only do the flavors and colors seem great, but your lines of chocolate drizzle are so perfect!


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