Pumpkin chocolate marble bread - this easy vegan pumpkin cake with chocolate swirl is soft, moist, lightly spiced and so moreish!
It is the perfect autumnal cake to serve alongside a cup of coffee (or tea!).
There is certainly no shortage of pumpkin recipes on Domestic Gothess, but there is always room for more!
Pumpkin cake is one of my all-time favourite flavours and every Autumn I am excited to get the tinned pumpkin out and come up with some new recipes!
This pumpkin chocolate marble bread is a riff on my popular vegan pumpkin bread recipe, with added layers of chocolate batter to create a beautifully striped cake.
It is perfectly soft, moist and tender with a warming spiced pumpkin flavour and a hint of chocolate. It is a great cake for snacking on in the Autumn (Fall) season, and it is way easier to make than you might think!
What Do I need To Make Pumpkin Chocolate Marble Bread?:
Plain (all-purpose) flour: Just regular plain flour is best here. I do not recommend swapping it for wholemeal as that will make the cake too dense. I haven't tested this cake gluten-free.
Sugar: I like to use a mix of light brown soft and caster sugar. You can use all of one or the other if you want but the texture and colour of the cake may be slightly different.
Granulated sugar will work instead of caster. Do not swap the sugar for sweeteners or liquid sugars.
Baking powder and bicarbonate of soda (baking soda): You need to use both, they are not interchangeable.
Pumpkin spice: In the UK pumpkin spice is readily available online and you can also make your own - see below for instructions.
Salt: It may seem odd adding salt to sweet things but it really helps to bring out the flavour and balance the sweetness.
Tinned pumpkin puree: You need to use pure pumpkin puree, NOT pumpkin pie filling. It is available from many larger supermarkets in the UK, or online. See instructions below for how to make your own.
Oil: Any neutral flavoured oil that is liquid at room temperature will work. I tend to use sunflower, but a mild olive oil is also good.
Milk: Any variety of unsweetened non-dairy milk will work (except tinned coconut milk) but I like soy milk the best for baking as it has the highest protein content.
Vinegar: This reacts with the bicarbonate of soda (baking soda) to help the cake rise and give it a fluffy texture.
Vanilla: Optional but recommended.
Cocoa powder: You ideally want to use Dutch processed cocoa powder rather than natural (just regular cocoa powder to those of you in the UK).
How To Make Pumpkin Chocolate Marble Bread:
(Full measurements and instructions can be found in the recipe card at the bottom of the page)
Step 1: To make the batter, whisk together the pumpkin puree, oil, milk, sugars, vinegar and vanilla in a large bowl.
Step 2: Whisk in the pumpkin spice, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda and salt until well combined then whisk in the flour.
Step 3: Transfer 450g (a bit less than half) of the batter to a separate bowl. Sift in the cocoa powder, add the milk and stir until combined.
Step 4: Spoon a bit of the pumpkin batter into the lined loaf tin and spread it out. Top with some of the chocolate batter.
Repeat alternating the batters until you have used them all. Aim for 4-5 layers of each. Jiggle the tin to level the batter out.
Layering the batter like this makes a stripy marble cake like the one in the photos.
If you want a more swirled effect, alternately dollop spoonfuls of the two batters into the tin at random then gently swirl a knife or skewer through them to swirl them together.
Step 5: Bake for about 75 minutes until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean.
As with all of my baking recipes I really do recommend using the metric measurements with a digital scale rather than the cup conversions. Cups are a wildly inaccurate measuring system and you will get far better, more consistent results using a scale, not to mention that it is also easier and less messy than cups!
If you are using tinned/canned pumpkin puree, make sure that it is 100% pumpkin, NOT pumpkin pie filling.
Don't over-swirl the two batters together as that will just muddy the colour. The oven will do a lot of the work for you as the cake bakes.
The cake is ready when it is firm to the touch and a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean or with a few moist crumbs but no wet batter.
Depending on your oven the top of the cake might start to get a bit dark before it is cooked in the middle. If this happens you can loosely cover the top with a sheet of tin foil for the last 20 minutes of cooking.
Make sure that the cake has cooled completely before you slice it as otherwise the texture can be a little gummy.
The cake will keep for around four days in an airtight container at room temperature.
For a more indulgent cake with a stronger chocolate flavour, try adding a couple of handfuls of chocolate chips to either batter. Alternatively (or as well as), you can top the cooled cake with chocolate ganache.
How To Make Your Own Pumpkin Pie Spice:
Pumpkin pie spice blend isn’t readily available outside of the US. In the UK the closest thing we have is mixed spice (though M&S have started selling pumpkin spice and it is available online), but it is a different blend of spices to pumpkin spice so it’s not the best thing to use if you want a true pumpkin spice flavour.
The good news is that it is really easy to make your own using a few common spices – cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, cloves and allspice.
To make it, just mix together 3 Tbsp ground cinnamon, 2 tsp ground ginger, 2 tsp ground nutmeg, 1 tsp ground cloves and 1 tsp ground allspice.
You can easily halve the recipe if you only want to make a small jar of it, but the homemade pumpkin pie spice will keep in an airtight container for ages and is perfect for using in all your autumnal and festive bakes.
How To Make Pumpkin Puree:
I used tinned pumpkin puree to make this vegan pumpkin chocolate marble cake which I get from Sainsbury’s; it can also be found in some Tesco’s, Waitrose and on Ocado and Amazon. In the supermarkets it is often hidden away in a little ‘American section’ in the world foods aisles.
If you can’t find it however it is also really easy to make your own; you just need to halve, de-seed and roast an eating pumpkin (NOT a carving one) or a butternut squash until it is tender then scoop the flesh out of the skin and puree it until smooth.
Roast it at around 200C/400F/gas mark 6. The time it takes will very much depend on how large the pumpkin/squash is so just cook it until the flesh can easily be pierced with a fork.
I don’t recommend boiling the pumpkin to cook it as that will make the puree too wet.
Can I Freeze It?:
Yes this vegan pumpkin chocolate marble cake freezes really well, either whole or in slices.
Allow it to cool completely before freezing, either well wrapped or in a freezer-proof container. Store for up to three months. Allow to defrost at room temperature before serving.
More Vegan Pumpkin Cakes:
- Vegan pumpkin coffee cake
- Vegan pumpkin bread
- Vegan pumpkin bundt cake
- Vegan pumpkin spice latte cake
- Pumpkin chocolate chip bars
- Vegan pumpkin muffins
- Vegan pumpkin cake with maple pecans and cinnamon buttercream
If you tried this recipe let me know how it went! Rate it, leave a comment or tag @domestic_gothess on Instagram and hashtag it #domesticgothess
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Pumpkin Chocolate Marble Bread (Vegan)
- 320 g (1 ⅓ cups) pumpkin puree
- 100 g (120ml/ ½ cup) neutral oil
- 120 ml (½ cup) unsweetened non-dairy milk (I use soy)
- 130 g (¾ cup) light brown soft sugar
- 100 g (½ cup) caster or granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon vinegar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 ½ teaspoons pumpkin spice
- 2 ¼ teaspoons baking powder
- ¾ teaspoon bicarbonate of soda (baking soda)
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 280 g (2 ¼ cups) plain (all-purpose) flour
- 25 g (¼ cup) cocoa powder
- 30 g (2 Tablespoons) millk or water
- Preheat the oven to 180°C/160°C fan/35°0F/gas mark 4. Grease an approx 11.5 x 21.5 cm / 4.5 x 8.5 in loaf tin and line it with a strip of baking parchment that comes a little way above the sides so that you can easily lift the cake out once it is baked.
- To make the batter, whisk together the pumpkin puree, oil, milk, sugars, vinegar and vanilla in a large bowl.
- Whisk in the pumpkin spice, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda and salt until well combined then add the flour and whisk gently until no dry lumps remain.
- Transfer 450g (a bit less than half) of the batter to a separate bowl. Sift in the cocoa powder, add the milk and stir until combined.
- Spoon a bit of the pumpkin batter into the lined loaf tin and spread it out. Top with some of the chocolate batter.
- Repeat alternating the batters until you have used them all. Aim for 4-5 layers of each. Jiggle the tin to level the batter out.
- Bake for about 75 minutes until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. Loosely cover the top with tin foil for the last 20 minutes of baking if it starts to get too dark.
- Leave the cake to cool in the tin for 10 minutes then carefully lift it out onto a wire rack and leave to cool completely before slicing.
- See post above for tips, details and step-by-step photos.
- As with all of my baking recipes I really do recommend using the metric measurements with a digital scale rather than the cup conversions. Cups are a wildly inaccurate measuring system and you will get far better, more consistent results using a scale, not to mention that it is also easier and less messy than cups!