Chocolate-Pumpkin Marble Cake with Cream Cheese Glaze

I am officially addicted to pumpkin. Maybe I’m just trying to make up for all the lost years of not eating it, but I’ve been making myself a pumpkin spice latte every morning and it’s pretty much the only thing I’m interested in baking with lately. And did you hear? The canned pumpkin shortage is over, so it shouldn’t be so hard to find it this year! I’ve already stocked up.

When I was going though my recipe archives for last week’s Fall round-up post and remembered the Double Chocolate Pumpkin Cupcakes, I knew I wanted to make something else with pumpkin and chocolate and since we’ve already established that I love any kind of marbled dessert, I decided a marbled chocolate and pumpkin cake would be perfect.

Chocolate-Pumpkin Marble Cake with Cream Cheese Glaze Chocolate-Pumpkin Marble Cake with Cream Cheese Glaze

I found a marbled pound cake recipe that looked good, but it had very high fat/calories, so I found a different recipe for a lighter pumpkin pound cake. This pound cake is a combination of those two recipes, plus I added a cream cheese glaze on top. I wouldn’t call this recipe low fat, but it’s a bit lighter than your average cake (assuming you use low-fat buttermilk and cream cheese, which you don’t have to). Not that you can taste a difference!

Thanks to the pumpkin and buttermilk, it’s an extremely moist cake. It’s dense like a pound cake should be, but it’s not heavy. You need to make sure to follow the directions carefully, though. It’s important the cream the butter and sugar as specified as well as to drain the liquid out of the pumpkin puree. Doing all that will help keep the cake light, you don’t want to end up with a brick! And be sure to use Dutch-processed cocoa to get a really dark and distinctive chocolate flavor, it’s almost like mocha.

Chocolate-Pumpkin Marble Cake with Cream Cheese Glaze

The cream cheese glaze goes perfectly with the pumpkin and chocolate and gives the cake an extra punch of flavor. I’m not even sure it should be called a glaze since it’s a lot thicker than what I normally think of as a glaze, but it’s too thin to be called a frosting. (I may add a bit more milk next time to thin it out even more.) Whatever you want to call it, it’s delicious.

This would be a great cake to make for a Halloween party or anytime in the fall. I love the orange and brown batters swirled together, it’s so pretty! I’d love to make it in a bundt pan next time because I think the shape is much prettier than a tube pan. Now I have a good excuse to buy one!


Site note: I wanted to mention a new plugin I just added to the site. Now you can save all of your favorite recipes to your own private Recipe Box so that you can come back later to view or print them out. Just click on the “Add to Recipe Box” link on any post and you can visit your recipe box anytime by clicking on the link on the right side of the page under Interact. You don’t have to be registered to save recipes, but it is recommended (more info about this is on the Recipe Box page). I hope you’ll check it out!

Chocolate-Pumpkin Marble Cake with Cream Cheese Glaze

Chocolate-Pumpkin Marble Cake with Cream Cheese Glaze

adapted from My

Dessert | Servings: 12-16
Prep time: 35 min | Cook time: 55 min | Total time: 1 hour 30 min



  • 1 1/4 cups pumpkin puree
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup packed dark brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups unsalted butter, softened*
  • 5 large eggs
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 2 3/4 cups cake flour, divided
  • 3 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 tsp. baking powder, divided
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda, divided
  • 1 tsp. salt, divided
  • 3/4 cup Dutch-processed unsweetened cocoa
  • 1 1/3 cup regular or low-fat buttermilk, divided

Cream Cheese Glaze:

  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 4 oz. (1/2 cup) regular or low-fat cream cheese
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla
  • 3-4 tbsp. milk (or more if you want a thinner glaze)


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees (F). Rub a 10 inch tube pan or 12-cup bundt pan with butter (or spritz with cooking spray) and dust with 1 tbsp. flour until the interior is covered. Tap lightly to shake loose extra flour. Set aside.
  2. Spread pumpkin puree over two layers of paper towels and press two more layers on top. Let sit for 10 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, in a large mixer bowl cream butter until light. Add both sugars in a steady stream and mix on medium for about 5 minutes.
  4. Add eggs, one at time, mixing well after each. Add in vanilla.
  5. Transfer half of the mixture into another large bowl (another mixer bowl would be helpful, but any large bowl will work). Set aside.
  6. Scape the pumpkin off of the paper towel and add it to the first bowl. Mix well.
  7. In a smaller bowl combine 1 3/4 cup flour, pumpkin pie spice, 1/2 tsp. baking soda, 1/4 tsp. baking powder and 1/2 tsp. salt.
  8. Add half of the flour mixture to the pumpkin mixture and mix well. Mix in 1/3 cup buttermilk. Then add the remaining flour and mix until combined. Set aside.
  9. In the smaller bowl combine 1 cup flour, 3/4 cup cocoa, 1/2 tsp. baking soda, 1/4 tsp. baking powder and 1/2 tsp. salt.
  10. Add half of the flour/cocoa mixture to the other large bowl and mix well with a whisk or your mixer. Mix in 1 cup of buttermilk. Then add the remaining flour and mix until combined.
  11. Spoon 1/3 of the pumpkin batter into your prepared pan. Drop heaping spoonfuls of the chocolate batter around the pan (not completely covering all the pumpkin). Spoon in the remaining pumpkin and chocolate batters. Gently swirl a knife around the pan several times.
  12. Bake for 45-55 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with a few moist crumbs (make sure you’re checking in both the pumpkin and chocolate parts, I noticed large chocolate sections needed a few additional minutes). Cool in pan for 10 minutes, then remove from pan and cool for another 10 minutes on a rack.
  13. Meanwhile, to make the glaze, mix powdered sugar and cream cheese until well blended. Beat in vanilla and milk, 1 tbsp. at time. Drizzle on the warm cake. Let cake cool completely.

Recipe Notes:

After I initially posted this recipe I decided the cake was coming out a bit too dry so I increased the amount of butter and sugars. If you’d prefer to make a healthier version of this cake (and you don’t mind if it’s a bit on the dry side) you can reduce these ingredients to their original amounts: reduce both sugars to 3/4 cup and the butter to 1 cup.