Whole Grain Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Snack Cake

This easy one-bowl pumpkin chocolate chip snack cake is healthy (packed with whole grains and no butter or oil) and still VERY moist, fluffy and delicious! The perfect fall snack!

Two pieces of pumpkin chocolate chip snack cake stacked with bite taken out.

Pumpkin baked goods are all over the place this time of year. I’m not complaining! I’m the girl over here who hoards canned pumpkin and makes pumpkin chocolate chip cookies (only this best-ever recipe) all year long. 

I love the pumpkin + chocolate chip combo. But sometimes, even I’m longing for a slightly healthier pumpkin treat.

Enter this pumpkin chocolate chip snack cake. Even with 100% whole grains and no butter/oil, it still manages to be super fluffy and so, so delicious. Also…it’s ridiculously easy (one bowl!). 

Cut out piece of pumpkin chocolate chip snack cake in metal pan.

The heartiness of the whole wheat flour plays really nicely with the pumpkin flavors giving this snacky cake a delicious nutty, wholesome flavor. I absolutely love it.

Even for someone who bakes a lot with whole wheat flour, I was pleasantly surprised (ok, actually really excited) at how fantastic this cake is with the healthier changes. I didn’t even feel remotely guilty for snitching piece after piece after piece. 

Because it’s a one-bowl recipe, it comes together so fast! 

Process shots making pumpkin chocolate chip snack cake batter.

After the wet ingredients (pumpkin, applesauce, sugars, eggs) are mixed together until smooth, I throw in the dry ingredients (no need to mix them on their own first).

I add the chocolate chips right in there, too – mixing them with the dry ingredients helps prevent them from sinking while baking.

I prefer using white whole wheat flour. It is lighter in texture and flavor than red whole wheat flour, but either can be used*. Kamut or Einkhorn flour can also be used. But don’t worry, if you don’t have whole wheat flour on hand, you can sub in the same amount of all-purpose flour. 

*Here’s a post I published a while back about the different types of wheat and wheat flour.

Process shots making pumpkin chocolate chip snack cake batter.

Just like a good quick bread or muffin recipe, you don’t want to over mix the batter or else the baked cake may be tough and dry instead of fluffy and moist. 

I mix just until no dry streaks remain. 

This batter, once mixed, may appear slightly grainy and may even have a little bit of a curdled texture. It’s ok! It’ll all work out in the oven. Promise.

Mixing chocolate chip snack cake batter.

Spread the batter evenly in an 8X8- or 9X9-inch pan and bake until the top springs back lightly to the touch and a toothpick comes out clean. You can see the cake will pull away from the sides of the pan just a bit. 

I haven’t tried that – usually a recipe for this size of pan will double fine for a 9X13-inch pan. My only hesitation recommending that is this cake is already quite thick and I don’t know that a full doubled batch will fit in a 9X13-inch pan. 

I know the temptation will be there to double so you can use the whole blasted can of pumpkin, but just make sure it doesn’t overfill the larger pan or you’ll be hating my guts if/when it overflows in the oven.

Unbaked and baked pan of pumpkin chocolate chip snack cake batter.

Some could argue that the world (and even my blog) really doesn’t need another pumpkin chocolate chip recipe, but one taste of this hearty, wholesome, DELICIOUS pumpkin chocolate chip snack cake and I bet you’ll beg to differ just like me.

This is a guilt-free way to enjoy the tasty pumpkin + choc chip flavors. It makes a perfect after school snack (and is yummy enough no one will know the difference if you serve it for dessert!). 

One bowl and one hour…that’s about all you need! I’ve found with other pumpkin baked goods that the flavor often gets better with time. You can definitely dig into this warm, but we prefer it cooled…and it’s really delicious the next day, too!

Square piece of pumpkin chocolate chip snack cake on top of baked bars.

One Year Ago: Ultimate Beef Stroganoff {Slow Cooker or Instant Pot}
Two Years Ago: Philly Cheesesteak Sloppy Joes {30-Minute Meal}
Three Years Ago: Amazing Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies
Four Years Ago: Quick and Easy Quinoa Enchilada Skillet Meal
Five Years Ago: Easy 10-Minute Caramel Sauce
Six Years Ago: Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Ice Cream Sandwiches
Seven Years Ago: Little Quinoa Patties
Eight Years Ago: Pumpkin-Maple Hazelnut Bread

Yield:
8-12 servings

Prep Time:
20 minutes

Cook Time:
30 minutes

Total Time:
50 minutes

Whole Grain Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Snack Cake

Ingredients

  • 1 cup (8 ounces) canned pumpkin puree
  • 1/2 cup (3.75 ounces) granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup (3.75 ounces) light brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup (4 ounces) unsweetened applesauce
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 1/4 cups (6.25 ounces) whole wheat flour (see note)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon allspice or cloves
  • 1/2 cup (3 ounces) miniature chocolate chips

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease an 8X8- or 9X9-inch square baking pan (I prefer metal; if using glass, decrease oven temperature to 325 degrees).
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together the pumpkin, granulated sugar, brown sugar, applesauce and eggs until well combined.
  3. Add the flour, cinnamon, baking powder, ginger, nutmeg, baking soda, salt, allspice (or cloves), and chocolate chips. Stir until no dry streaks remain (don’t overmix or the cake may be tough and dry instead of soft and moist).
  4. Spread the batter evenly in the prepared pan. Bake for 25-30 miutes until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean and the top of the batter springs back lightly to the touch.
  5. Let the cake cool before cutting into squares.

Notes

Flour: You can sub in all-purpose flour if you don’t have whole wheat flour. I prefer using white whole wheat flour. It is lighter in texture and flavor than red whole wheat flour, but either can be used.

Spices: You can sub in a heaping 1 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice in place of the cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and allspice (or cloves).

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Recipe Source: Mel’s Kitchen Cafe (adapted from a recipe in Cook’s Country – replaced all-purpose flour with whole wheat flour, added weight measures, subbed out oil for applesauce, used different spices, etc)

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Posted on October 9, 2019 by Mel



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