Pumpkin Pie Inside a Chocolate Cake


Pumpkin Pie Inside a Chocolate Cake

A Spectacular Thanksgiving Dessert

Pumpkin Pie

“Cal turned down Alisal Street, went into the post office, and looked in the glass window of box 632. It was empty. He wandered back home and found Lee up and stuffing a very large turkey.”

East of Eden, John Steinbeck


Cocoa powder

You know how the election went, I want to tell you about the dessert I made that fateful day. A dessert that would make a spectacular Thanksgiving statement and keep both the pumpkin and chocolate lovers happy. I’d seen magical pie inside a cake desserts on-line before. Crazy, intoxicating, a dessert that would change any conversation. It was election day and I needed to keep busy. In need of a diversion that would calm my nerves and settle my mind, I baked. I bought a pumpkin pie at the grocery store and buried it inside a chocolate cake. I spread a thick layer chocolate ganache all over the Pumpkin Pie Inside a Chocolate Cake. I cut the cake while it was warm and some of the ganache melted. I took photos anyway. I watched an election that was messy, imperfect, with mind blowing, spectacular results. I found that a bright orange pie hiding inside a dark chocolate cake was lots of spectacular, a bit messy and imperfect too. A perfect metaphor for the election, and life really.

Pumpkin Pie Inside a Chocolate Cake


My inspiration for the Pumpkin Pie Inside a Chocolate Cake came from here. I used my Old-Fashioned Chocolate Cake recipe and a store bought pie. To keep it easy, a store bought pumpkin pie and a chocolate cake mix would probably work very well. A shallow 9” pie and a 10” springform pan are keys to success. It’s a puzzle that must fit together, or there will be chocolate cake all over the oven. The weight of the baked pie on top of the cake batter, pushes the batter up the sides of the springform pan. Some of the batter, not much, leaked out of the bottom of my old springform pan. Make sure to bake this mammoth cake on a parchment lined sheet pan. Thank goodness I remembered to do this, I just cleaned the oven. The most challenging part of this recipe is moving an entire baked pie from its baking dish into the center of the springform pan, after that its easy.

Pumpkin Pie Inside a Chocolate Cake

Pumpkin Pie Inside a Chocolate Cake

all-purpose flour
2C sugar
1/2C unsweetened cocoa powder
2t baking soda
1t fine grain sea salt
2C hot water
3/4C grape seed or canola oil
2T distilled white vinegar
1T coffee granules
1t vanilla extract
9” baked, pumpkin pie
Ganache Frosting

heavy whipping cream
1/4c full fat sour cream
1t instant coffee granules
1C/8oz unsalted butter
1-1/2C sugar
1-1/4C unsweetened cocoa powder
1/4t fine grain sea salt
1t vanilla extract

    Cocoa Powder

  1. Heat the oven to 350°. Grease and dust with chocolate, a 10” springform pan. Line a sheet pan with parchment.
  2. In a large bowl sift or shake through a sieve the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, soda and salt.
  3. In another bowl whisk together the water, oil, vinegar, instant coffee and vanilla. Add the wet ingredients to the bowl with the dry ingredients, mixing just until combined. Pour an inch of batter in the bottom of the prepared springform pan. Carefully remove the entire pumpkin pie from its pan and place it in the center of the springform pan. Poor the rest of the batter on top of the pumpkin pie. Make sure the batter fully covers the pie. Bake the Pumpkin Pie Inside a Chocolate Cake for 90 minutes. A tester inserted into the chocolate cake will come out cleanly. The cake will have pulled away from the sides of the pan. Cool the cake on a cooling rack for 15 minutes. Run a small off-set spatula or knife around the edge of the pan, then remove the outer ring from the springform pan. Let the cake cool completely before frosting with the ganache.
  4. To make the ganache, whisk together the cream, sour cream and coffee granules until smooth in a medium size bowl or large measuring cup. Melt the butter in a large saucepan. Using a wooden spoon stir, the sugar, cocoa and salt into the melted butter. The mixture will be very thick and grainy. Switch to a whisk and gradually add the cream mixture to the saucepan, stirring and cooking until the ganache is smooth and glossy. Cook only until the sugar has dissolved, do not boil. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the vanilla. Cool the ganache at room temperature until spreadable consistency, 2-3 hours. Cooling the ganache in a bowl of ice or on top of an ice pack will speed up the chilling process. Stir the ganache occasionally to check the consistency. If the ganache hardens, it can be softened in the microwave. Microwave for 15 seconds at a time, stir to mix thoroughly.
  5. Place the cooled Pumpkin Pie Inside a Chocolate Cake right side up on a cake stand or serving plate and frost with the ganache. To firm the ganache chill the cake for at least one hour before slicing.

Ganache, Pumpkin Pie inside a Chocolate Cake

Pumpkin Pie Inside a Chocolate Cake

Pumpkin Pie Inside a Chocolate Cake

This entry was posted in Baking, Cakes & Cupcakes, Pies, Tarts, & Pastries and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

22 Responses to Pumpkin Pie Inside a Chocolate Cake

  1. cheri says:

    Wow!! I have never heard of a pie inside of a cake, love it!!!!! I always head out to the kitchen as well when I am feeling stressed, a wonderful way to calm the nerves. Take care and have a wonderful holiday.

  2. Holy moly! This is decadence at its best. I am daydreaming of having both pie and cake at once.

  3. Cathy says:

    Oh my goodness! How absolutely decadent! I want a piece – no, TWO pieces please! Brilliant idea Deb. Looks so amazingly delicious!

  4. Andy says:

    Wow. I am impressed. Wishing you and the family Happy Thanksgiving. Andy

  5. Wow, Deb! This looks incredible, the best of both worlds wrapped up in a perfect Thanksgiving showpiece!

  6. It is really amazing what you baked here Deb. I am impressed! I can just imagine the taste of this combination. I remember a friend of mine putting a deboned duck into to a chicken or vise versa.

    • Deb says:

      Thank you Gerlinde! It’s the first time I’ve tried this type of recipe. It was just what I needed on election day.

  7. Ala says:

    I love this idea, and I’m also glad that you had baking to turn to on that bizarrest of days. You’re right that this pie-cake is the perfect embodiment for that. As always, though, I bet it tastes amazing and will bring you back to the present moment <3

  8. mjskit says:

    WOW! I sat here and stared at that picture for 5 minutes before I could make a comment. What a unique and creative “cake”. You’re over the top with this one and in a very good way!!!! Happy Thanksgiving Deb!

  9. Love the idea of this! Pumpkin and chocolate do have an affinity for each other, don’t they? But then, chocolate seems to have an affinity for everything! This looks spectacular — thanks. And Happy Thanksgiving!

  10. Mary says:

    How very cool Deb! If only I had read this a few hours ago. Funny enough, I have a pumpkin pie in the queue and a chocolate cake already baked. Your idea would have brought the two together and amazed all my guest tomorrow. Oh well, I’ll just have to be amazing another time.

    Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours! Grateful to be blog pals. 🙂

  11. I had cake inside a bread and loved it, and a pie inside a cake sounds and looks even better and more enticing, esp. in the holiday season.

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