This soft, tender pumpkin loaf is filled with warm spices and dotted with chocolate chips. Whip up a batch in under 15 minutes, and your kitchen will fill with the aroma of fall as it bakes. Flavorful and moist – this pumpkin chocolate chip bread is the perfect fall treat.
I make this pumpkin loaf every year when the weather starts to turn cooler. It’s moist, comforting, and has the perfect blend of warm spices and pumpkin. The addition of chocolate chips really complements the pumpkin spice flavor. Best of all – the crumb is soft, moist and dense without being heavy. Long gone are the days of dry, flavorless pumpkin recipes. (Don’t worry – there’s none on Just So Tasty).
The Best Pumpkin Bread Recipe
This recipe is perfectly moist because it’s made with oil, the pumpkin (obviously) and sour cream. I find oil produces a superior texture compared to butter, and because the bread is so flavorful, you don’t miss out on any of the flavor that butter would provide. Eggs add tenderness too.
The pumpkin spice flavor is due to the perfect combination of spices, brown sugar and warm vanilla (plus the pumpkin – of course). We’re using cinnamon, ginger powder, nutmeg and the tiniest pinch of allspice You can substitute these spices for 2 ½ teaspoons of pumpkin pie spice since essentially we’re making our own in this recipe. If you’re really in a pinch, you could simply use 2 teaspoons of cinnamon instead.
Making the loaf is very simple:
- To get started, you’ll whisk together the dry ingredients: flour, spices, baking soda and salt. Whisking together the dry ingredients first ensures even distribution of the baking soda and spices. This means that the loaf rises better and that you don’t end up with a lump of cinnamon in your final loaf.
- Then in a separate bowl, you’ll whisk together the wet ingredients: oil, sugars, pumpkin, vanilla extract, sour cream and eggs. I do this by hand with a metal whisk, but you could also use an electric mixer. You want to ensure that there are no lumps of brown sugar.
- From there, carefully fold the dry ingredients into the pumpkin mixture
- Stir in the chocolate chips.
- Then spoon the batter into your prepared loaf pan, and pop it in the oven to bake.
How to Know when a Loaf is Done Baking
The trickiest part about any loaf or quick bread is knowing when it’s done baking. If it comes out gummy when you slice it – then you know it wasn’t baked long enough. This issue is that the bake time is long, and ovens can vary anywhere from 10-20%. Therefore, with a bake time of approximately 60 minutes – your oven may take somewhere between 50-70 minutes. You’ll know your loaf is done when:
- An inserted toothpick comes out clean or with a few crumbs (or melted chocolate).
- When you gently press on the top of the loaf, it feels firm or slightly springy.
If you’re unsure – it’s better to bake for a few extra minutes to ensure it’s fully baked in the middle. This recipe is very unlikely to dry out.
Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Bread
- 9x5 inch loaf plan - an 8-inch loaf pan is too small for this recipe
- 1 ⅔ cups all-purpose flour
- 1 ½ teaspoons cinnamon*
- ¼ teaspoon nutmeg*
- ¼ teaspoon ginger*
- ⅛ teaspoon allspice*
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ⅓ cup vegetable oil or canola
- ¾ cup brown sugar light or brown
- ½ cup white sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 large eggs
- 1 cup pumpkin puree (AKA pure pumpkin) NOT an entire can
- ¼ cup sour cream*
- ¾ cup chocolate chips dark or semi-sweet (or your preference)
- Preheat the oven to 350F degrees.
- Grease and flour a 9-inch (23 cm) loaf pan, or line with parchment paper.
- In a medium bowl whisk together the flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, allspice, baking soda and salt.
- In a large bowl whisk together the oil, brown sugar, white sugar, vanilla, eggs, pumpkin and sour cream until no lumps remain. This can also be done with an electric mixer.
- Fold the dry ingredients into the pumpkin mixture. Give it a few whisks until there are no lumps.
- Fold in the chocolate chips.
- Spoon the batter into the prepared loaf pan.
- Bake in the preheated oven for 50-70 minutes. When it's done baking, an inserted toothpick comes out clean or with a few crumbs and if you press down gently on the bread it will feel firm or slightly springy. If you're unsure, it's better to bake the bread for a few extra minutes with this recipe.
- Remove from the oven and let it cool fully in the pan on a wire rack. Once fully cooled, remove from the pan and slice.
- Make sure your loaf pan is 9x5 inches and not an 8x4 inch pan. There is too much batter for an 8x4 inch pan and it can overflow. A light-colored pan will reduce the risk of the sides over-browning.
- Cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger and allspice can be substituted with 2 ½ teaspoons of pumpkin pie spice.
- Sour cream can be substituted with plain Greek yogurt.
- Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days, or in the fridge for up to 1 week. Once the bread is fully cooled, it can be wrapped tightly in plastic wrap, followed by aluminum foil or a freezer bag and frozen for up to 2 months. Thaw in the fridge.
- Nutrition information is an estimate only and based on 1 slice, assuming the loaf is sliced into 12 equal pieces.