Chocolate Muffins with Pumpkin Cream Cheese Frosting

These Chocolate Muffins with Pumpkin Cream Cheese Frosting are sure to please any pumpkin fan, and they’re the perfect sweet treat for any fall occasion.

Chocolate Muffins with Pumpkin Frosting

Chocolate and pumpkin? It may not be a typical combination, but I’m positive I’ve had it somewhere along the way. Once you’ve tried it, it seems so obvious. There’s just something about the cinnamon and other spices combined with the chocolate. But then again, I’d be happy with a chocolate covered stick.

One afternoon, a couple of weeks back, I had a chocolate craving. Earlier that day a tempting pound cake recipe found its way to my computer screen. Sometimes that happens. Random pastries and sweets just pop up, out of nowhere.

So when the chocolate craving hit, with pound cake already on the brain, I decided to try to make my first chocolate pound cake (which can made into muffins too). I’ve had a few chocolate pound cakes over the years. Some of which were quite dry and not very chocolatey. So if I was going to go to the trouble of making something from scratch, and something chocolate, it better be worth the effort and calories.

Chocolate Muffins

After searching for a few recipes that looked easy enough and involved ingredients that I had on hand, The Bag Lady’s Favorite Chocolate Pound Cake caught my eye, as well as Hortensia’a Best-Ever Chocolate Pound Cake recipe both from I didn’t have enough flour for one of them and not enough butter for the other, so I settled on merging the two together. For this recipe I decided on muffins but it can easily be split between two loaf pans or one tube pan.

Both called for adding instant coffee but my husband didn’t care for that the last time I used it when baking so I skipped it. I did use Hershey’s Special Dark Cocoa Powder which I think makes this pound cake/muffin recipe extra chocolatey.

The pumpkin? It’s fall y’all and while chocolate cake is mighty fine on it’s own, I wanted to spice it up for fall, so it was topped with a quick cream cheese pumpkin frosting. This frosting could be thickened up if you’d like with more cream cheese, powdered sugar or both. The consistency is more like a spread because of the pumpkin puree but I kinda liked it. It definitely would be excellent on toast, bagels … a leaf (I’m into nature y’all).

Chocolate Muffins with Pumpkin Cream Cheese Frosting

 I hope you enjoy them!

Chocolate Muffins with Pumpkin Cream Cheese Frosting
Merged, melded, and mixed together from Paula Dean’s Chocolate Pound Cake recipe & Hortensia’s Best-Ever Chocolate Pound Cake found on
Serves: Makes about 34-36 muffins.
For Muffins:
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup cocoa (I recommend a dark cocoa, I used Hershey’s Special Dark Cocoa)
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 sticks (1 cup) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 3 cups sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 5 eggs
  • 1 cup buttermilk
For Pumpkin Frosting:
  • 1 stick butter, softened
  • 8 oz. cream cheese
  • 3½ cups powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon ginger
  • ½ teaspoon nutmeg
  • ½ cup pumpkin puree
For Cake:
  1. Preheat oven to 325°F.
  2. Grease muffin pans or line with paper liners.
  3. Sift together the flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
  4. In a separate bowl cream the butter then add the sugar a beat until fluffy.
  5. On medium speed add one egg at a time to the butter sugar mixer. Don’t over beat, just mix enough to blend well.
  6. Add vanilla and mix.
  7. Alternate adding flour/cocoa mixture and buttermilk until combined. Mix well on medium speed for about 30 seconds until smooth.
  8. Fill muffin tins halfway.
  9. Bake at 325° F for 15-18 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean. Be careful not over bake.
  10. Let cool in muffin pan for about 2 minutes and carefully remove to cool on rack. (Go ahead and eat one while they’re hot… you need to test it anyway.)
  11. (*If you’re making 2 loaf pans cook for approximately 65 minutes at 325°F or until toothpick inserted in middle comes out clean. Not sure about the time for a tube pan but imagine it would be a bit longer than the two loafs. If you make one in a tube pan, please let me know.)
For Pumpkin Frosting:
  1. In a bowl beat butter and cream cheese together until smooth.
  2. Add all other frosting ingredients and mix together on medium speed. Add more powdered sugar or cream cheese for a thicker consistency if desired.
  3. (I refrigerated the frosting for about 10-15 minutes before icing the muffins which I think helped the frosting to thicken up a tad.)
  4. * These warmed slightly in the microwave are yum yum!

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  1. 5

    CJ says

    Pumpkin and chocolate are a good combo. My girls don’t like pumpkin, but they love the chocolate chip pumpkin muffins I make in the fall.

  2. 7


    These have my name written all over them … at least when it comes to DEVOURING them! I’ve never had the choco-pumpkin combo either, but if it tastes half as good as it looks, by golly, I think you’ve got a winner there!
    Btw, will this fit 1 or 2 regular muffin pans?

    • 8


      Ooops, I forgot to put the serving amount! It’s fixed now – thanks for asking. It makes approx. 34-36 muffins (36 if you don’t eat any of the batter, not that we ever do that around here). – Amy

  3. 12


    This looks delicious! Most of the recipes I’ve found have pumpkin flavored bread as opposed to pumpkin frosting! I’m excited to try this!

  4. 13

    Andrea says

    This sounds too yummy… something I’ll have to make for the big Thanksgiving dinner!

  5. 14


    You know, now that you mention it pumpkin and chocolate sounds fantastic together. I am always so impressed that you merge recipes the way you do!

    And i think that the special dark cocoa powder may just change my life. I love chocolate… the darker and richer the better :)

  6. 15

    Jessica @ How Sweet It Is says

    I found your blog from Tasty Kitchen and OMG these look incredible! I can’t wait to try!

  7. 16

    Susan says

    Found you through Tasty Kitchen… these look really yum-o! I’m going to have to try them soon!!

  8. 18


    I tried making these on Saturday… They turned out wonderful until the timer went off. Then, they all just sank to the bottom of the pan. I thought maybe i needed more flour. I tried making them again tonight. The smae thing happened. They are crispy on the top and then really gooey in the center and not very pretty! I really want to eat the muffin WITH the Frosting instead of just eating the batter and the frosting! Can you help!

    • 19


      Thanks for stopping by. I’m sorry you’ve had trouble with the chocolate muffins ~ they’re too good to miss out on. Your time may need to be adjusted. They’re to be cooked until a toothpick comes out clean so they should not be gooey on the inside. Maybe add a minute at a time checking every minute.

      Other than that if your oven temperature is off that would affect the outcome. I had an oven once with a messed up thermostat and had to get an oven thermometer to leave in for accuracy when baking.

      Hope that helps!

      ~ Amy

  9. 20


    I love pumpkin and chocolate together.

    I remember one birthday when I was small a neighbor made me a cake, she was 103 years old! It was banana with a lemon pudding. It was the best cake ever. I’m not sure if it was because i was young, or if it was because I loved my elderly neighbor so much because the combo doens’t sound good but I remember it being wonderful. And many layers….

    Thanks for sharing your recipe. It brought back on old memory and gives me a chance to make a new one!

  10. 21

    Stephanie says

    Just make chocolate chip cupcakes and was seeking a pumpkin frosting for them. I think I’ll try this one out though I’ll have to use tofutti cream cheese with our allergies. Thanks!

  11. 23

    Michelle Bencomo says

    I absolutely love this idea!!
    Have you tried making pumpkin frosting out of store-bought cream cheese frosting and just adding pumpkin?

  12. 24

    Britt J says

    The pumpkin icing recipe was amazing! I actually thickened it a little with a little bit extra powdered sugar to top pumpkin shaped sugar cookies. It turned out great, but I still want it thicker. Is it possible to make hard icing (when the recipe calls for corn syrup) with the pumpkin purée? I guess I can always experiment.

  13. 26

    Deirdre says

    Could I use whole wheat flour? I medically have to follow a low glycemic index diet but would love to make these. Could I do half and half?

  14. 29

    AJ says

    I actually made this as a 3-layer cake: 3 8-inch cake pans baked at 350 for about 30 minutes. I had to double the frosting to get enough for the whole cake. Yum!

  15. 31

    Kelsey says

    Honestly as rich and awesome as the chocolate flavour is in these. They turned out horrible, with the first batch I had to triple the suggested baking time because they were just soggy. Then for the second round I changed the over temp and still had the same issue. Then getting them out was a major chore.

  16. 32


    Hey there! I’m making the chocolate pound cake for your oreo ice cream cake. Just wondering when you use the above recipe to make pound cake, how long do you cook it for? Thanks!

  17. 34

    Audrey says

    Quick question: If I were to make the half recipe of the cake and use only one loaf pan, would the baking time need to be adjusted from the 65 minutes needed for two loaf pans?

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