This super soft pumpkin snack cake has a hint of pumpkin pie spice with chocolate chips in every bite. We call it snack cake because it’s not super sweet – just sweet enough (and only 160 calories per square) to justify a slice with a late afternoon cup of tea. It’s a great afternoon pick-me-up! (But we like it for dessert too!)
Yup. All the pumpkin. It’s here, and I can’t get enough.
We’ve been testing these pumpkin squares for a few weeks, looking for just the right balance of super flavorful, moist and light. Anyone and everyone we know has taste tested these, and this version was the solid winner.
Sliced into little squares, this pumpkin chocolate chip snack cake is a super handy thing to have on hand. It keeps great for three to four days at room temperature and is perfect for grabbing on the go or for a little something sweet after dinner. It’s the sort of thing that should be in the cake equivalent of a cookie jar.
Lighter than a blondie, more moist than most cakes, snack cake is just the right name for this 8 x 8 beauty.
I was so excited to share the finished recipe that I quickly whipped it up for some friends we had over on Sunday. However, between the toddlers underfoot and the certainty that I knew this recipe in and out, I spooned an entire can of pumpkin puree into the bars (the recipe calls for 3/4 cup). When I realized my mistake, I slid the pan in the oven and crossed my fingers. And they came out great! Dense and creamy – almost like fudge. No photos of that version, but the lesson is: even if you get distracted and add a whole can of pumpkin – carry on. You won’t be sorry.
- 1 Egg + 1 Egg yolk
- 1 cup All-Purpose Flour
- 1 tsp Pumpkin Pie Spice
- ½ tsp Ground Cinnamon
- ½ tsp Baking Soda
- ½ tsp Salt
- 1 stick (1/2 cup) Unsalted Butter, at room temp
- ½ cup Granulated Sugar
- ¼ cup Dark Brown Sugar (light brown sugar will work as well)
- 1 tsp Pure Vanilla Extract
- ¾ cup Pumpkin Puree (not pumpkin pie filling)
- ⅔ cup Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips (plus a few for sprinkling on top)
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- Line an 8 x 8 baking dish with parchment paper and / or spray it with nonstick cooking spray.
- Whisk together egg and egg yolk. Set them near the oven as it's heating up (the eggs should be about room temperature when you add them to the batter).
- In a small bowl, whisk together flour, pumpkin pie spice, cinnamon, baking soda and salt.
- In the bowl of a standing mixer or with a hand mixer, beat butter until creamy. Add granulated sugar and brown sugar and beat on high until light and fluffy, ~2 minutes.
- Add egg, egg yolk and vanilla and mix until combined.
- Add pumpkin puree and mix on medium until combined (the mixture will look lumpy and slightly broken).
- Add dry ingredients in two increments, mixing on low between each addition. Add ⅔ cup chocolate chips and stir to combine.
- Pour batter into prepared pan and smooth the surface out with a spatula (it will be quite thick). Sprinkle a few chocolate chips over top.
- Bake until the cake is just set in the middle, 30-35 minutes (see note).
- Let cool completely in the pan before slicing into squares.
In my thin metal baking dish, these cook in exactly 30 minutes. In my thick ceramic baking dish (shown in the photos above), the cake takes about 35 minutes.
Molly and Clara loved making this snack cake as well as the many other baked goods we have coming for you this fall! Their only change would be to double the chocolate chips. And add sprinkles. And maybe frosting…