When Kate and I were in Logan, UT a couple of weeks ago, she took me to the Old Grist Mill, which is a charming bakery filled with homemade breads, cookies, and all that good stuff. As she was buying a loaf of chocolate chip pumpkin bread, I was reminiscing about the fall season and how when I was in college, my roommates and I would always go to our local bakery and grab loaves of chocolate chip pumpkin bread and pretty much finish them off in a day (or maybe the car ride home. Stop judging.) I then realized how odd it was that neither of us had ever posted pumpkin bread recipes here on Our Best Bites seeing as it’s probably the thing I make the most in the fall months! This is my go-to recipe. I’ve tweaked it over the years so it’s just how I like it. One of my complaints about pumpkin bread (and other quick breads in general) is that they are often so loaded with sugar and oil. Don’t get me wrong, that certainly makes them delicious, but sometimes they become really heavy, dense, and overly sweet as a result. This one has plenty of sweetness, but it’s not overkill. I also hate it when bread recipes use less than a full can of pumpkin, so this one is perfect with one whole can. Also, it makes 2 loaves. Because 2 is better than one. There are a ton of tips in this post, so if you’re usually a skimmer, you may want to take the time to read, or at least take note of the tip count!
Start by whisking the sugars together. Brown sugar has a lot more moisture than white sugar does, and you might want to even use your fingers to break up any clumps. I use a whisk so it’s nice and smooth and looks like sand.
Now we’ll add the wet ingredients to the sugar mixture. One of my secrets to moist quick breads (and a lot of other things like muffins and cakes) is yogurt. I use a 6 ounce container of vanilla yogurt, and you can use low-fat, regular, greek, take your pick. It’s a great way to add sweetness and moisture without using additional sugar and oil and it really helps gives this bread a light and fluffy texture. In a pinch you can sub sour cream, or plain yogurt. I’ve even used flavors like banana when it’s all I had, and it’s not a huge deal!
Next in goes a few eggs, one can of pumpkin puree, and a little vegetable oil.
Use a whisk to mix that all up until it’s nice and smooth.
For the dry ingredients I use a mix of all purpose flour and whole wheat flour, but you can certainly use all all-purpose and nix the whole wheat if you don’t have any. (I wouldn’t do the opposite though, and use all whole wheat). I mentioned in my pumpkin pancake post that whole wheat flour really goes well in baked pumpkin-y things, and that’s the case here too. Use a whisk to mix the dry ingredients so all of the spices are mixed in. We’ve got cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves in there, plus a little baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
Add the dry ingredients to the wet and mix them in. I use a whisk at first, but then switch to a rubber spatula when it gets about to the point of the photo below on the right. One trick for quick breads is to not over mix! Use the spatula just until everything is combined and then stop. Don’t get beater-crazy.
Last thing to do is add in the chocolate. You can use regular chocolate chips or mini chips. Sometimes I like the mini chips better because you get little bits of chocolate scattered throughout. Then again, there’s something to be said about a big, melty, chunk of chocolate in there. So on that note, I used jumbo chips this time around.
Now here’s another great tip. A lot of times when you add chocolate chips to breads, cakes, and muffins, you’re bread will bake up beautifully and all of the chips will sink to the bottom. To combat that problem, here’s an easy fix: just toss a little flour in with your chips first. Once they’re coated, the flour helps suspend them in your batter.
Just fold them in gently and then pour the batter into 2 prepared pans. I’ve shared this next tip before, but it’s a good one. Another problem people sometimes have with quick breads is that they sink around the edges of the pan and then poof up in the middle. If you’ve ever had that problem, try spraying your pans with nonstick spray but then take a paper towel and wipe away the grease on the top one inch of your pan. It makes it so when the batter rises to that point, it has something to grab on to and will bake up nice and plump.
After I put the batter in the pan I like to toss a little extra chocolate on there. I threw a few chips on there and then gave some a rough chop and threw those on as well. I just like having some chips and also some little flecks of chocolate on top.
Into the oven it goes, and in about an hour you have this pretty thing:
Don’t pick those chocolate chips off. You know you want to. Let it cool for about 10 minutes and then run a knife around the edge of the pan and remove the bread. Let it cool on a cooling rack for a bit.
I like to dig in when it’s still a little warm. If it’s piping hot, it will fall apart, but warm is like heaven.
The bread has a warm spice to it and those little pieces of chocolate are like tiny melt-in-your-mouth surprises.
And I’m gonna tell you right now, you should have some very soft almost-melted butter ready to slather on at least one piece. Or all of them. Because it’s “bread” (as opposed to chocolate-dotted cake in the shape of bread) so it’s perfectly acceptable to spread butter on that baby.
And since it makes 2 loaves, you can eat one and share one. Or eat two. Or eat one and hide one in a cupboard until your family isn’t watching and then hide in a dark closet and eat it yourself. Don’t forget the butter.
(PS I’m kind of in love with those cute rainbow stripe napkins from Pine Cone Hill.)
Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Bread
Recipe by Our Best Bites
2 cups all purpose flour (spooned into measuring cup and leveled)
1 cup whole wheat flour, (again, don’t scoop!) or all purpose flour if you like
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoons nutmeg
1/4 teaspoons ground cloves
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon table salt
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 1/2 cup white sugar
6 ounce container vanilla yogurt
3 eggs, slightly beaten
15 ounce can pumpkin puree
1/2 cup canola oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup chocolate chips (plus a few extra for the top of loaves)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray 2 9×5 (or similar sized) loaf pans with nonstick spray and set aside.
Combine flours (after you put your flour in the bowl, just grab a teaspoon or two of it and toss with chocolate chips), cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Whisk gently to combine and set aside.
In a separate mixing bowl combine brown sugar and white sugar and whisk to combine, breaking up any clumps of brown sugar. Add yogurt, eggs, pumpkin, oil, and vanilla extract and whisk until smooth.
Slowly add dry ingredients to wet and mix together, being careful to not over mix. When combined, gently stir in chocolate chips. Divide batter between loaf pans and sprinkle a few extra chocolate chips on top. Bake for 50-60 minutes or until a skewer comes out with a few crumbs attached. All ovens are different, I would set your timer for about 45 minutes and keep an eye on it after that. Don’t overbake!
Let cool for 10 minutes and then run a sharp knife around edge of pan and remove loaves from pan.