Recipe Revisited: Chocolate Pumpkin Torte

My family does not dig pumpkin pie. Or pumpkin scones. Or pumpkin cookies. Or really anything with the word pumpkin in it. This means that I have to be pretty creative for how to incorporate this fruit (yes, it’s a fruit!)  during the holidays. Why do I bother? Because I can’t let a holiday season go by without slipping in at least one culinary challenge (or 3 or 4) and usually that means a new dessert that will hopefully get someone in my family to think pumpkin can be tasty. So I’m going to cheat and mix it with something everyone loves: chocolate. Sneaky!

I found this incredible recipe from Eating Well and wanted to share this with all of you because it was a big big hit this past Thanksgiving. At only about 200 calories a serving, it manages to be decadent and light all at the same time, and even better it’s easy to make. Give it a try for your next holiday party or if you have half a can of pumpkin that you need to use and want a sweet treat. 🙂




  • 3/4 cup semisweet chocolate chips, divided
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil*
  • 3 large eggs
  • 2 large egg whites
  • 1 cup canned unseasoned pumpkin puree
  • 1/3 cup sugar*
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3/4 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice*
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt


  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons canned unseasoned pumpkin puree*

*Notes and Alterations: I replaced the canola oil with coconut oil to eliminate refined oils. I also reduced the sugar to 1/3 cup as opposed to the 1/2 cup in the recipe. I don’t own pumpkin pie spice so I just added 1/4 tsp each of cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, and ginger. As for the whipped cream topping, I eliminated the pumpkin after several attempts to make it smooth turned out terrible. I’m not sure if it was the pumpkin but it didn’t have the texture I wanted. I just added some spices to the cream to give it a nice flavor boost.


  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. Coat a 9-inch springform pan with coconut oil or spray. Line the bottom with parchment paper and spray the paper.
  3. Combine the chocolate chips, butter and oil in a small metal saucepan. Place the bowl over a pot with simmering water over medium-low heat, stirring frequently with a spatula, until melted. This allows the chocolate to melt gradually without burning.
  4. Beat eggs, egg whites, pumpkin, cup sugar, cocoa powder, vanilla, spices and salt in a large mixing bowl with an electric mixer on medium speed for 5 minutes. Add the melted chocolate and beat until combined. Scrape the batter into the prepared pan.
  5. Bake the torte in the middle of the oven until the edges are set and the center just barely jiggles when the pan is gently shaken, 30 to 40 minutes. Let cool on a wire rack to room temperature, about 1 1/2 hours.IMG_20121120_204743
  6. I changed the chocolate topping to more of a ganache by melting the remaining 1/4 cup chocolate chips with several tablespoons of room temperature heavy cream in a bowl over simmering water. Just eyeball the mixture as you’re stirring and add the cream until it reaches a consistency thin enough to pour but not too thin.
  7. Decoratively drizzle the melted chocolate over the top of the cooled torte. Cover the pan with plastic wrap and refrigerate until chilled, about 2 hours (or up to 1 day).
  8. To prepare topping: Just before serving, beat cream with 1 tablespoon sugar in a medium bowl with an electric mixer until soft peaks form. Add 1/2 teaspoon vanilla and a dash of cinnamon and continue to beat until stiff peaks form.  Remove the pan sides and slice the torte. Serve each portion with a dollop (about 1 tablespoon) of the whipped cream.

I didn’t take many pictures while baking since I was hurriedly preparing a slew of dishes simultaneously. Here’s a pretty picture from Eating Well to show the finished product.

chocolate pumpkin torte
courtesy of Eating Well magazine

One more recommendation: be sure you use high-quality chocolate chips and cocoa. For the cocoa powder, I specifically used dutch-process instead of natural because it’s less bitter and doesn’t over power the torte with a deeply chocolate flavor the way natural cocoa does. This allows for the pumpkin and spices to shine through. This is the brand I use:


It’s worth it to splurge just a bit especially when you’re working with chocolate. It makes a huge difference in the final product.

Hope you all get to try this one out for yourself! 🙂


3 Replies to “Recipe Revisited: Chocolate Pumpkin Torte”

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