High Country Baking: Pumpkin Bundt recipe is a great way to transition from fall to the holidays

Take the topping off of this pumpkin Bundt, and it makes for a great sweet bread to serve with brunch.
Vera Dawson/High Country Baking

Pumpkin is as eagerly awaited in the fall as ski area openings, and this Bundt showcases it beautifully. With a hidden ribbon of chocolate, a tender crumb, a lush texture and well-balanced flavors, it’s a welcome addition to any meal from early autumn through the holiday season.

Served with a chocolate glaze or hard sauce, it’s a stunning dessert. Without a topping, it’s a perfect sweet bread to elevate a brunch. It’s at its best the day after baking, so it’s a good choice when entertaining.

Pumpkin Bundt with Chocolate Ribbon

Make in a 6-cup Bundt pan, preferably a non-stick one

Adjusted for elevations of 7,000 feet and above


Chocolate ribbon:

  • 2 tablespoons packed dark brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  • ½ tablespoon unsalted butter
  • ¼ cup mini semisweet chocolate chips
  • ¼ cup chopped pecans


  • 1 ¼ cups bleached all-purpose flour, spoon and level
  • 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  • ¼ teaspoon, plus 1/8 teaspoon, baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ cup plus, 2 tablespoons, granulated sugar
  • ¼ cup, plus 2 tablespoons, packed dark brown sugar
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened and cut into small pieces
  • 2 large eggs, at room temperature
  • ½ cup pumpkin puree
  • ¼ cup plain full-fat yogurt or sour cream
  • 1 tablespoon dark rum
  • 1 ¼ teaspoons vanilla paste or extract

Glaze (optional)

  • 4 ½ ounces of bittersweet or semisweet chocolate
  • 2-3 tablespoons of canola oil
  • Chopped pecans, optional


Get ready: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees, with a rack in the center position. Generously grease your pan with a baking spray that contains flour and set it aside.

Make chocolate ribbon: Whisk the sugar and spice to combine. Cut the butter into small pieces, add them, and rub the mixture with your clean fingertips until it is evenly moistened and crumbly. Stir in the chips and nuts. Cover lightly and set aside.

Make batter: In a small bowl, whisk the flour, spice, baking soda and salt to combine and set aside. Add the two sugars and butter to a mixing bowl and, using an electric mixer, beat until light and creamy. One at a time, add the eggs, beating until blended after each addition. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed. Stir in the pumpkin puree, yogurt, rum and vanilla. In four additions, stir in the flour until a smooth batter forms. Don’t overmix.

Add to pan, bake and cool: Spoon just over half of the batter into the prepared pan, and level and smooth it. Sprinkle on the chocolate ribbon mixture, keeping it away from the pan sides (where it would burn). Spoon the rest of the batter on top, leveling and smoothing it again. Make sure it covers the chocolate ribbon completely. The pan should be filled to no more than an inch from its top. Tap the pan on a counter to expel any air bubbles and bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean and the batter is just starting to pull away from the pan sides, 30-38 minutes. Cool the pan on a rack for 20 minutes, then carefully invert it onto a platter or cardboard cake circle, remove the pan and cool completely.

Make the glaze, if using: Chop the chocolate into small pieces, place them in a microwave-safe bowl, and heat in a microwave at low temperature until the chocolate is melting but some lumps remain. Remove from the oven and stir until the chocolate is fully melted and smooth. Add 2 tablespoons of canola oil. Let cool until slightly warm to the touch. If it seems too thick to drizzle easily, add a little more canola until it reaches the proper consistency. Drizzle it over the cooled cake, sprinkle on pecans (if using) and allow it to set up before cutting and serving.

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