Chocolate Pumpkin Cakes


This is one of those recipes that you have to really try before you can believe it.  If you aren’t one to buy the almond flour or coconut flours online then this is a recipe made just for you! I enjoy these little cakes because it’s the one treat that my son actually really loves.  We can eat it together whenever we want. Also it’s made with pumpkin so it’s a fantastic source of magnesium.  It has insoluble SOLUBLE fiber (I always get those mixed up!) which is great especially on a low carb diet.   Pumpkin might be my favorite vegetable in the world.  Even before committing totally to low carb eating I would use pumpkin like this for chocolate cupcakes.  This way is MUCH healthier though.  Previously I would use a box cake mix and pumpkin, a recipe by Hungry Girl actually! I was probably really hungry all the time too!  So adding in pumpkin doesn’t make it taste crazy weird or anything.  However we’re going to add peanut butter to this! And cocoa powder! And it’s going to be so good and make you believe in magic again.  How can this possibly work??  Is it going to be gross? 


No way! It’s so exciting.  A flourless chocolate cake that doesn’t require major baking skills with ingredients you can buy at any store that has an actual vegetable in it.  Unbelievable! I will make you a believer today.


The batter is so fluffy and very light in color. You can use any nut butter you want with this.  The original recipe (the link is no longer available) called for almond butter instead of peanut butter.  If you are going to make this for your kids though, or any picky eater, I would make it with the sort of nut butter they are familiar with.  My son does not like the no sugar added peanut butter I buy so I have to use Skippy All Natural.   You can make this in a square baking pan, in donut baking pans, as mini muffins, silicone baking trays…. any way you want!


I prefer them as donuts for the same reason I like using the donut pan for my pizza bagels.  It gives the cakes a nice crisp bottom.  It’s such a soft,  moist, delicate cake that the crisp bottom adds nice textural contrast.  Today I’m going to do them in a mini donut pan.  Chocolate baby donuts, I love you!


I had enough to make 24 mini donuts and 6 thin regular sized donuts.  I think with mini donuts I could get 36 servings max.  Mini muffins would get 24 servings.  I will do the nutritional information based on 24 mini muffins and then leave the stats for the whole recipe so you can divide by the numbers you get. 


I have tried this so many ways but this basic recipe is truly the best.  I have tried subbing baking powder for baking soda and it 100% changed it.  I don’t know if I just didn’t add enough baking powder or what went wrong but it was not good!  This goes from a rich milk brown color to a darker chocolate cake brown while it’s baking and with baking powder that didn’t happen.  The texture was different and it tasted weird.  So be sure to use baking soda in the orange box and not the can stuff.  I melted some sugar free chocolate chips and added a tsp of coconut oil to make the drizzle.  That’s completely optional but it does add some nice flavor on top.  These are very moist the day of making but will become even more so the next day.   

Chocolate Pumpkin Cakes
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  1. 8 ounces peanut butter (natural)
  2. 8 ounces cannned pumpkin
  3. 2 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
  4. 1 tsp vanilla extract
  5. 1 tsp baking soda (no substitutes)
  6. 1 egg
  7. 1 cup sugar equivalent (I used 1/2 tsp ez sweetz)
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Measure out peanut butter, pumpkin, vanilla, unsweetened cocoa powder and add the egg.
  3. With an electric mixer combine ingredients well.
  4. Spoon into (greased) mini muffin pan or fill a 16 inch piping bag and pipe into (greased) mini/regular donut pans.
  5. Bake 10-15 mins (if baking in a baking pan bake for 20-25 mins)
  6. Let cool in the pan about five minutes and then flip them over to release cakes.
Serving 24 as mini muffins
  1. 69 Calories; 5g Fat; 3g Protein; 3g Carbohydrate; 1g Dietary Fiber; 2 net carbs each.
Entire recipe
  1. 1664 Calories; 120g Fat; 68g Protein; 67g Carbohydrate; 24g Dietary Fiber; 43 net carbs.
Up Late Anyway


  1. Carol says:

    Oh my goodness! These look and sound so good. I will be making these soon. One question: I don’t have a donut pan, is there a different way I could make this? Thank you so much for sharing this yumminess.

    • Elizabeth Nimphius says:

      You can bake them in an 8×8 square baking pan bake for 20-25 mins. Donut shapes are just for fun and it’s easier to get a kid to eat if it’s a cool shape. 🙂 I like to make these all sorts of ways. If you want to do a mini muffin pan it’s the 10-15 mins still.

  2. binacm says:

    By far the best chocolate cake recipe I’ve ever made. It tastes like the real thing but better because it’s low carb! I subbed some sugar with SF Torani brown sugar cinnamon and it was divine. So moist and chocolatey. Your recipes are a godsend.

    • Elizabeth Nimphius says:

      I’m so glad you liked it! I love this recipe because it almost seems like a delicious chocolate peanut butter cake would be an impossible result given the ingredients. Then you take it out of the oven and “Wow!”

  3. Sharon says:

    I made these as donuts. They tasted very good but all of the pent butter in one donut gave me indigestion. Is there any way to cut back on the amount of peanut butter with the addition of something else? Thx

    • Elizabeth Nimphius says:

      Off the top of my head, no. Maybe half peanut butter and half almond butter? I have tried this with almond flour added to it but I would have to go back through my notes and figure that out. I just posted a twinkie recipe that is basically chocolate cake. it has no peanut butter. Very scrumptious. 🙂 if I can think of a solution I’ll let you know.

    • Elizabeth Nimphius says:

      Yes but it’s best to measure this out on a food scale! It’s exactly 8 ounces for the peanut butter and pumpkin. I always use the food scale like this because it just means less dishes and I can just take a big bowl, put it on the scale and add my ingredients. If the ingredient is for a tablespoon or teaspoon I just use my measuring spoons. It should be the same in a 1 cup measuring cup but with the peanut butter looks can be deceiving and you could end up with way more peanut butter then the recipe calls for. Hope that helps.

    • Elizabeth Nimphius says:

      It’s amazing isn’t it?? I love, love, love this recipe! It makes me so happy to share this with you guys. It’s so simple but truly delicious.

    • Elizabeth Nimphius says:

      This is one of my favorite recipes. It’s just so simple and I always have the ingredients. Glad you liked them!

  4. Danielle says:

    I made these this morning and LOVED THEM! As my sweetener I used 1/2 cup maple syrup and I nearly ate the entire batch. Yummy! (I roast my pumpkin with maple syrup before I purée it…I love the flavour!)

    • Elizabeth Nimphius says:

      I use liquid sucralose (brand name “Ez Sweetz”) which is a super concentrated sweetener. Just 1/2 tsp will sweeten my recipe exactly like a cup of sugar would. Most sweetener will have some sort of conversion like this. Truvia’s conversion for one cup of sugar is 7 tbsp truvia. Hope that helps!

    • Elizabeth Nimphius says:

      No I haven’t but that’s really easy to test. Take just one and freeze it overnight and see if it defrosts well the next day.

    • Elizabeth Nimphius says:

      Buy a food scale. Baking is like chemistry. It needs to be exact. You can use a measuring cup and get 1 cup but I’m not sure. I’d much prefer you weigh it, ok? And yes, it’s a cup and a 1/2 pound. It’s both. Hope this helps. Sorry to be harsh.

  5. Rosalyn says:

    i made these, and they were delicious, moist and cake like…the first actual low carb, low sugar recipe i found that worked! thank you SO much!! will definitely be making these again! Delicous

    • Elizabeth Nimphius says:

      It’s one of our favorites! It’s just so easy, you know? Really delicious too. Thanks for commenting.

  6. Pan says:

    Wow! These are delicious! They have the crumb of a moist high carb cake. These would make great cupcakes for a party with some peanut butter frosting.

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