It’s no secret that I can’t get enough pumpkin desserts in the fall. I don’t eat them much any other time of the year, so I don’t think I need to apologize for going a little pumpkin-crazy every once in a while, either. I do like to play with other flavors along with my pumpkin – like cheesecake and coffee – to keep things interesting and to illustrate that pumpkin is good for more than just pies.
This Chocolate Swirled Pumpkin Bread is an easy to make quick bread that you can serve for breakfast or enjoy as an afternoon snack. It is a spicy pumpkin bread that is swirled with just a touch of chocolate, giving it a pretty look and a little extra richness that you wouldn’t normally expect to find in pumpkin bread. The chocolate swirl is created by separating a small amount of the pumpkin batter and stirring cocoa powder and finely chopped chocolate into it. Cocoa powder gives the batter a dark color and a chocolate flavor, while the chopped chocolate adds extra sweetness and defines the chocolate swirl even more.
The finished bread is very moist and not too sweet, with a nice balance of chocolate and pumpkin elements to it. It is also very pretty when you can cut in and see the swirls of chocolate in the dark orange pumpkin batter. I liked this served as-is, but at breakfast it was excellent when toasted and topped off with a little bit of salted butter.
Chocolate Swirled Pumpkin Bread
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1 1/4 cups brown sugar
2 large eggs
3/4 cup pumpkin puree
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
2 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
3/4 cup buttermilk, divided
3 tbsp cocoa powder
3 oz finely chopped dark chocolate (approx 1/2 cup)
1 tbsp coarse sugar, for topping (optional)
Preheat oven to 350F. Line and grease a 9×5-inch baking pan.
In a large bowl, whisk together vegetable oil, brown sugar, eggs, pumpkin puree and vanilla extract.
In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, salt and pumpkin pie spice. Stir half of the dry ingredients into the pumpkin mixture, followed by 1/2 cup buttermilk. Stir in remaining half of dry ingredients, mixing just until no streaks of flour remain.
In a small bowl, whisk together cocoa powder and 1/4 cup buttermilk until well combined. Add in 1 cup of pumpkin batter and the finely chopped chocolate and fold together until completely combined.
Add pumpkin batter and chocolate batter into the prepared pan, dolloping both batters around to spread out the colors. Run a butter knife through the batters to gently swirl them together.
Top with coarse sugar, if desired.
Bake for 50-55 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
Allow bread to cool in the pan for 5 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack to cool completely.
Makes 1 loaf.