August 28, 2013

Easy Pumpkin Dark Chocolate Chip Cake

This cake takes about five minutes to mix together, and comes out incredibly moist. It's actually a little hard to cut because of this - hence the raggedy-edged, not-so-pretty cake slice shown here - but it's so delicious that you won't care!

As I mentioned in the last post, we're in the middle of moving - a perfect time to use up extra ingredients in the pantry! We just happened to have a can of pumpkin left over from the fall, and a yellow cake mix from a Thanksgiving sale. I'd heard of people mixing pumpkin with chocolate cake mixes for muffins, so I figured you could do the same thing with yellow cake mix. After searching for some recipes online and reading the comments where people suggested subtle changes, here's the easy pumpkin dark chocolate chip cake recipe I came up with:

1 box yellow cake mix (you could also use spice, chocolate, white, etc.)
2 eggs, preferably room temperature
1 can pumpkin puree
1 tsp. vanilla extract
cinnamon, cardamom, mace, cloves, ginger
dark chocolate chips (you could use semi-sweet, white, or butterscotch as well)

Preheat your oven according to the directions on the box. Select a pan size from the back (or wing it, like we did), and grease and flour it if the directions call for it. I used a Duncan Hines mix, and that's what they advised.

Pour the cake mix into a large bowl. Make a well in the center, and crack both eggs into it. Add the vanilla, the pumpkin, and as much or as little spice as you like. I like a good amount, so I added several dashes of each. In the comments I read, some people also added 1/4 c. sugar to sweeten it up a bit. If you're not including chocolate chips, you might want to do this. With the chocolate chips mixed in, I think it might be overkill. Totally up to you, though! I tend to like things less sweet than other people do.

Mix according to package directions - usually 30 secs on low to moisten the ingredients, then 2 minutes on high. I didn't feel like cleaning beaters, so I did this part by hand. The batter was a little lumpy, but I suspect it was mostly due to the cake mix being in a warm kitchen for months. The lumps turned into cake - rather than flour-y pockets - so no harm, no foul. They just didn't look so pretty as pockets of white in the finished product. But taste is what matters, right?

Gently fold in the morsels/chips. We had about a cup left in the pantry, so that's what I went with. I thought it was a good amount. You could add more or less - just go with whatever you like!

Pour into the prepared pan, and bake according to directions. We didn't have cake pans around (they'd already been packed), so I just went with a large greased 12" skillet. I forgot the flouring part (whoops, you can tell I have a lot on my mind) but the cake didn't stick too much and only took 25 minutes to bake. That's why I like this cake so much - you don't have to do things perfectly and it will still be wonderful!

I opted to leave it plain, but since it's not overly sweet, I think it'd be even better with a light cream cheese or whipped cream frosting, or even just a dollop of CoolWhip.

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