Chocolate-Pumpkin Mousse & Génoise Cake with chocolate ganache


Chocolate-Pumpkin Mousse & Génoise Cake with chocolate ganache

If you’re a fan of pumpkin and chocolate, this cake is for you! The light and airy chocolate génoise is smothered under a decadently rich, yet light, pumpkin mousse, making for a swoon-worthy dessert.

Even though the name is French, génoise is actually an Italian creation from Genoa. And the secret is in the eggs along with a few key steps that contribute volume. And let’s not forget about the mousse! Rich pumpkin flavor, with just the right amount of spice — the mousse is what seals the deal (literally!). Now the fun part: assembling — a springform pan is your friend here thanks to the removable sides. Simply layer in the cake halves and top with some creamy pumpkin mousse, then after a few hours in the refrigerator or overnight (if you can wait that long) you’re on your way to chocolate pumpkin bliss.


one 9-inch cake (10 servings)

Total Time

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Génoise: the magic’s in the eggs

Since there are no leaveners in this cake, génoise relies solely on eggs for height. And to keep air in the batter, use a whisk to properly fold in the flour — it incorporates the flour more thoroughly than a spatula.

A note on pumpkin

This recipe uses an entire 15-ounce can of pure pumpkin purée. Don’t be confused with pumpkin pie filling, which has spices added.


For the Génoise

Preheat oven to 350°. Line bottom of a 9-inch round cake pan with parchment.

Sift together flour, cocoa, 1 Tbsp. sugar, and salt.

Beat eggs and remaining 7 Tbsp. sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer, by hand with the whisk attachment until blended. Secure bowl and whisk attachment in place; whip egg mixture on medium speed until pale, triples in volume, and forms ribbons, 810 minutes. Add vanilla during last few minutes of whipping. Detach bowl from mixer.

Fold flour mixture into batter in two additions with a whisk, stopping as soon as it's incorporated. Fold about 1 cup of batter into bowl of melted butter, then gently fold butter mixture into batter.

Pour batter into prepared pan and bake until center springs back when gently pressed, 1822 minutes. Transfer cake to a rack and let cool completely. Run a knife around edge of pan, then turn onto work surface. Halve cake horizontally.

For the Chocolate-Pumpkin Mousse Cake and chocolate ganache

Sprinkle gelatin over water in a bowl; stir and let soften, about 3 minutes.

Combine ½ cup pumpkin, sugar, and salt in a saucepan over medium heat, stirring until sugar dissolves. Off heat, stir in gelatin and let cool to room temperature.

Whisk together remaining pumpkin, rum, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and cloves; whisk in gelatin mixture.

Whip 1⅔ cups cream to soft peaks. Fold one-third of whipped cream into pumpkin mixture, then fold in remaining whipped cream for the mousse.

Place one halved cake layer, cut side up, in bottom of a 9-inch springform pan; spread half the mousse over top. Trim ½-inch from outside edge of remaining halved cake layer. Arrange remaining cake half cut side down, on top of mousse; spread remaining mousse evenly over top, filling in edge around cake, and smooth top. Refrigerate cake until set, at least 4 hours or overnight.

Carefully run a knife around edge of cake, remove sides of pan, and smooth sides of mousse with an offset spatula.

Combine chocolate and remaining ⅓ cup cream in a glass measuring cup with a pour spout; microwave until chocolate is melted, stirring every 10 seconds, then cool ganache slightly. Pour ganache around edge of cake, allowing some to drip down sides. Sprinkle top of cake with cocoa powder and curls.


The pumpkin mixture should be hot to dissolve the gelatin, but do this off heat so the mixture won’t curdle.


The eggs should fall into the bowl in a ribbon that rests on the surface for about 10 seconds. If not, beat a bit longer.

Nutritional Facts

Nutritional Facts

Per serving

Calories: 371

% Daily Value*

Total Fat 24g 36%

Saturated Fat 14g 70%

Cholesterol 135mg 45%

Sodium 132mg 5%

Carbs 36g 12%

Protein 7g

*Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet.

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