Dan Lepard’s Pumpkin Chocolate Mud Cake

It has been ages since I cooked a Dan Lepard recipe. Well 2 months to be exact. For anyone who is a regular visitor to my blog you will know that 2 months without a Dan Lepard recipe is like a lifetime and that by rights, I should now be experiencing withdrawal symptoms.

So I decided to fix that by making Dan’s pumpkin chocolate mud cake recipe from the Guardian. It wasn’t actually my intention to make a Mr Lepard recipe but the theme of this month’s We Should Cocoa Challenge is pumpkin and chocolate. If you Google “pumpkin” and “chocolate” then Dan’s recipe pops up pretty much at the top of the list.

As I have been a bit pushed for time this week, I was pleased to see that this was a no-nonsense recipe from Dan. It’s pretty much a ‘whack all the ingredients in a bowl and give it a good mix’ sort of cake. It didn’t really like being baked at high altitude though. Despite reducing the baking powder by half, the cake still rose too fast and sort of exploded in the middle. Some creative trimming got it back to a square-ish shape and at least there was icing to cover a multitude of sins. (Although it was a good 30+˚C in the kitchen that day so the icing did wilt a bit and start to slide off the cake.)

It may not have been a looker but as we all know, looks can be deceiving and this cake was no exception. On first bite I was just relieved it tasted better than it appeared but the cake really grew on me and now there is only one square left, I am sad it is almost gone. I think Dan and I share a love of a tipple of rum as I have noticed its appearance in many of his recipes. A little dash of rum features here in the icing and it is gorgeous. As is the sponge itself which is kept moist by the grated pumpkin and contrasts beautifully with the slight crunch of the pecan nuts.

So thanks to Choclette of Chocolate Log Blog and the Hungy Hinny who are hosting this month’s We Should Cocoa challenge for choosing the pumpkin/chocolate combo and in the process, reminding me of what a baking genius Dan really is.

I am also entering this cake into the One Ingredient Challenge hosted by Nazima of Franglais Kitchen and Laura of How to Cook Good Food whose theme this month is pumpkin and squash.


  1. Love this recipe. you made me laugh, as I have made something yesterday using Dan’s recipe as a basis but with a bit of variation! I’ve yet to eat mine as wanting to do some chocolatey decoration on the top of the icing but will post my link tomorrow!! thanks for entering one ingredient🙂

    • Oops, sorry! I did fear I wasn’t being very novel with this one but then it is such a great recipe that I am glad I made it. At least you have done a variation. I intended to top mine with caramelised pumpkin but ran out of time…….. I hope you enjoy Dan’s cake as much as I did.

  2. laura_howtocook

    What a good looking cake. I forgot that Dan Lepard had baked a pumpkin cake and it’s in his Short & Sweet book. I do love the sound of it and even better that it’s easy to put together!
    Thanks for entering One Ingredient this month xx

  3. Dan is surely the man when it comes to baking. You’re a wonder with photography because whatever you say about explosions and sliding icing, the pictures make that cake look very appetising. Anyway, there is usually a bit of sliding about when it comes to mud. Thanks for joining in with WSC🙂

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